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Store view: Scott’s Auto Center

SHOP STATS: Scott’s Auto Center Location: Cummings, Ga. Owner: Scott Muse Staff size: 15 Store size: 13,800 square feet Annual revenue: $3.6 million (2021)

Molded by experience

When Scott Muse put all his savings aside to buy a corner lot in Cummings, Georgia in 2006, he pledged to make the building the exact business he wanted. In the beginning, this meant building a large 10-bay facility from scratch with enough room for technicians to work. Coming from a technician background, he knew the impact space could have on a technician’s productivity. But quickly he realized that the space had room for a lot more capacity with room to spare.

He added nine more bays in a second 3,500 square foot structure behind the original 10,000 square foot building. He also changed the orientation of all the elevators, moving them to a diagonal of 45 degrees, which added space for several more elevators in each building. These are the building blocks of success that led the company to $3.6 million in revenue from a single location last year.

“I started out thinking like a mechanic at first, but realized pretty quickly that there was more space I could use and enjoy,” says Muse.

Add a unique touch

In keeping with the theme of taking ownership of the store, Muse has added several unique touches to the store over the years. One of the first was a practice green in the front parking lot, hoping to entertain adults and children while the vehicle was being repaired or serviced. The shop has a bucket of balls and several putters that customers can use to pass the time. The hall also has a large saltwater tank with an eel and other fish. Muse will even bring her two parrots, Aruba and Jamaica, from time to time. All are successes with customers.

“We just want everyone to have a good time while they’re here, to feel comfortable,” Muse says.

For several years, Muse’s father also ran a one-man barber shop in one of the side rooms that customers could use. Muse’s father retired from gigging about five years ago at the age of 85 and died just before Christmas last year at the age of 90. Now Muse is renting the space to a wine tasting business.

open and clean

For more than nine months of the year, all rack doors are open as technicians move from rack to rack. Each technician has two bays for which he is responsible, but the atmosphere is very family-like as they mingle with colleagues.

The hall is regularly maintained, the floors are stripped, cleaned and polished monthly and the technicians are responsible for cleaning their spaces every evening. The lobby is a natural extension of this, offering a warm atmosphere.

“Usually when someone walks into a nice place and it’s clean, especially the bathroom, that says a lot about the store,” says Muse.