A Passion for Technology
“My dad started a repair shop in 1971. I grew up in the industry. From pushing a broom and cleaning the shop, to being a mechanic, to becoming a service advisor, manager, and then owner. My brother and I took it over in the ‘90s when we got really old enough to manage the business. I worked with my brother and my dad for roughly about 18 years. So I was always in the shop environment before I moved here to North Carolina.”
Some people would be happy just to continue being an entrepreneur carrying on the family business, doing the status quo, Danny got interested in technology and branched out to internet technology. At just sixteen years old—and mind you, this was 1982—he purchased his first computer, a Tandy 1000, that still sits on a shelf in his office. That early interest in computer technology led Danny to pursue a Computer Science degree.
But rather than taking his knowledge to Silicon Valley, Danny chose to apply his knowledge and technical skills to his first passion, the automotive industry. He started with his father’s auto repair shop.
“We were one of the first repair shops with a fully networked shop environment. We had computers in the front, in the back, and in the back office. We were one of the first shops to ever have work stations just for the technicians to be able to go and get service information.”
Given Danny’s passion for Internet technology, networking, and cars it was only a matter of time before Danny taught himself to build his own website.
“I had a ’72 Nova Super Sport and I built a car website for it. So that’s how I started. It got to be very popular. I was getting, even back in those days, 2,000 hits a month. If you can imagine from 15 years ago, that kind of traffic with inflation now, that would mean two billion hits a month by comparison.”
Continuing to grow
This early success with his personal website led him to start building websites for other people- first for his family’s auto repair shop and then for other businesses in the automotive industry.
Soon I was helping shop owners not just by building their websites, but by helping them to improve their businesses, business practices by improving their efficiencies, their productivity, profitability, systems and procedures and working to help them be a more profitable business.
Moving Forward: Soon Danny’s role in helping shop owners with their websites extended to helping other auto repair shops plan their business strategy. The market was very competitive for shop owners and Danny was a natural coach.
“We had to do things differently for it to be profitable. I learned that I had the ability to see processes and systems and convert problems into sustainable systems that could improve the way things got done. I just had the ability to see problems and create solutions. So really when I first stepped out, I was mostly known for my sales skills and my business management skills. Well, my sales skills were really what opened the door. And it turned out I was able to translate that into instruction and become a very good instructor to teach other people how to do service sales. And that’s where it got started.”
Even while focusing his energies on coaching, teaching, and training shop owners, Danny continued to keep his finger on the pulse of Internet technology, online marketing, and advances in Internet search technology. When Danny became a beta tester for the soon-to-be Google Adwords, he was able to see how the Internet could help shop owners market locally. With Google’s search algorithm having evolved to support local search, suddenly Internet marketing made sense for the auto repair industry.
“I have a drive to continue to help others, to continue offering ways to parlay the information that I have into helping others and to create a business model around it. It’s a drive to be able to help people, help them be more profitable, help them pay their bills on time, be more successful, have a little bit more balanced lives.”
A Commitment to the Industry
Danny’s marketing objective is all education-based . The goal is to educate the industry and cut down on the misinformation. Informing, clarifying, helping automotive shop owners navigate through some of the the bad advice and mixed information that’s so rampant in this industry and in the field of Internet Marketing so that they’re not taken advantage of. No one can solve every automotive or marketing problem out there, but the intention is to get more information out there so there are make fewer mistakes made.
“I always like to see whoever I’m helping benefit from the other side of what’s getting accomplished or the training and consulting was definitely a huge good feeling for me in building a business. I was able to help people, help them be more profitable, help them pay their bills on time, be more successful, have a little bit more balanced lives. Those were all good parts of doing what I had done. And now in the internet marketing, the same thing. You’re helping a lot of people improve their businesses, but the main thing is is that it’s what I love to do. I love this industry. It’s what I grew up with. I love everything about it. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty underneath the car. I enjoy that. The oil that spills around and the smells, that’s all what I grew up with and so I love that. I love the interaction with the consumers. I mean, that’s another big part of it. I love cars, always have. So it’s another part of hanging around. And then I’ve always loved computers and the internet. And so this is just a matter of combining all the things that I love the most, which makes it a dream job for me.”
Danny’s dad moved here from Argentina with his wife and two year old son in 1964. Stepping off the airplane in Los Angeles with $100 in his pocket, he didn’t speak the language, he didn’t know anyone in the U.S. But he didn’t let that stop him. He built a life. He busted his butt. He took every job that anybody would give him and then appreciated everything that they had. Even a basket full of groceries was a luxury to them at that point in time. And those are the values Danny never forgot: appreciation for what you have, working hard at what you do, and giving back as much as you can.
Through his company Autoshop Solutions, Danny has donated over $70,000 of website design and Internet marketing services to charities like Wheels 4 Hope and to industry organizations and associations like ASA and AASP. He’s always looking for ways to help inside the automotive industry. Contact Danny