MASSE IN THE NEWS: Rupert business finds way to succeed

Rupert business finds way to succeed
The Daily News (Prince Rupert)
Mon 16 Feb 2009
Page: 1 / FRONT
Section: News
Byline: George T. Baker
Source: The Daily News

At a time when it appears that the economy is struggling around the globe, there are still some businesses that are thriving. In Prince Rupert, one business that has been able to succeed in the time of recession is Entire Automotive.

According to owner Dwayne McNeil, his business totals were up 10 per cent for 2008 from 2007 and he doesn't expect a slow down in 2009.

"Every year, our business has grown 10-20 per cent and I think 2009 will be good. We'll probably do better than last year," said McNeil.

It's been a good year on many different fronts for the automotive repair company.

Last week, Entire was named as the Small Business of the Year: Trades/Industry/Manufacturing/Transportation and the numbers have been strong and earlier in the year the company was named as the BC Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year.

While the accolades have probably helped stir up business, there are other factors that have improved the economics for the company.

One of the keys, says McNeil, has been the way he has treated his customers. He has taken the old school approach of making sure he and his team treats their customers like they would their family.

"One of the first things I tell my guys is that it's all about service - customers come first," said McNeil.

Another key is actually the downturn in the market. With less disposable income around, McNeil said he expects car owners to stick with their current cars a little longer, meaning more repair work for auto mechanics in town.

"The after-market car industry will flourish," said McNeil.

And he and other auto repair guys might get some help from Ottawa.

Last week, Windsor Ontario-based NDP MP Brian Masse said he would submit a "right-to-repair" private member's bill to make it easier for auto-repair shops to obtain the tools and technology needed to work on modern, computerized vehicles.

That would help McNeil with infrastructural improvements. But, for him, the most important part -- and what he recommends to anyone thinking of starting or already running a business -- is to plan for change this year.

"Those who rest on their laurels won't succeed in 2009. Be positive, optimistic because this is the year to be aggressive," said McNeil.

© 2009 The Daily News (Prince Rupert)