Daryl Collette is the founder and owner of Automotive Quality Solutions, which is a one-stop shop for vehicle related needs, including cosmetic repair, detailing, and pretty much everything except for mechanical issues. To simplify their offerings, the company advertises that they provide “CPR” for cars, which stands for “Clean, Protect, Renew,” and informs customers that they can come to AQS to have their car cleaned and detailed, protected with coatings and paint protection films, and renewed to repair scratches or collision damages.
Daryl has been in the car business since 1998 and came to notice the lack of auto servicing businesses that offered all of this under one roof. He thought it would be much easier and more efficient for people to be able to get their body and detail work all done in one place, rather than having to get it outsourced. “The dent guy, the paint guy, the touch-up guy…the wheel guy….It takes them an average of 8-10 days for all these different people to come on because they’re not there everyday.” So Daryl and his crew started brainstorming, “Okay, what if we came up with a one-stop shop? Car comes in. 24-48 hours, it all gets done. We bring specialists in for everything.” They started off thinking they would primarily be spreading their business through word of mouth, put up a website just for kicks, and ended up finding a huge demand for what they had to offer. They successfully found a problem, identified a solution, and managed to disrupt the industry, leading them to six years of success going strong.
An Evolving Business
Automotive Quality Solutions first opened its doors in October 2012 with an entirely wholesale approach. They have evolved over time into a retail business that operates with only 30% of their customers through wholesale. “I didn’t know I was getting into the auto detailing industry,” laughs Daryl. “When I first started, it was, ‘Let’s make dealerships more efficient.’ And in that world, the amount of opportunity cost that gets lost because cars aren’t ready to be for sale is huge.”
Though excelling in retail, Daryl and his team also offer a competitive edge to the wholesale side of their business with their efficiency and attention to detail. AQS has been able to deliver optimal results to car dealerships because they have mastered the art of working smarter, not harder. “By simply being smarter about the process and more organized, they’ll sell cars faster,” Daryl says. “Which means they’re not paying for them to be there longer.”
Paying It Forward
Daryl has demonstrated a consistent passion for giving back to his community. “I think it’s important,” he says. “I think I get a lot of help from the community, and maybe more specifically in the business community when opening Automotive Quality Solutions. I’m a big believer in paying it forward.” Daryl has found that random strangers delivering acts of kindness have made a positive impact in his community and likes to encourage those behaviors by implementing them himself.
Effective Success Strategies
If given the opportunity to reach a group of fresh entrepreneurs with one piece of advice, Daryl would tell them, “Don’t give up. You have to keep pushing forward if you have a dream and you want to make something happen.” As cliché as that may sound, it really is the most important and the most difficult part of being an entrepreneur. “Challenges and hurdles and difficulties are a part of it,” says Daryl. “Most people don’t see the trials and tribulations and what it takes to get it there.”
On the outside, Daryl’s business has always appeared to thrive. However, Automotive Quality Solutions has had its struggles too. The most challenging parts of running the business have been advertising effectively and switching from wholesale to retail. Advertising can be difficult because it is hard to find “what plays well with the audience,” and what keywords are the most effective and relevant for their target audience. It can take a lot of time and money to figure out which marketing methods get people in the door and which ones don’t. The biggest hurdle for the company, however, was making the switch to retail. For Automotive Quality Solutions, switching from entirely wholesale to primarily retail meant losing one of their biggest clients overnight and having to readjust quickly in order to stay on their feet. AQS could have closed up shop then and there, but they persisted, worked around all the setbacks, and pulled through more successful than ever.
“If it wasn’t easy to get here, it’s not easy to stay here. Do things the right way,” Daryl says. “I’m a big believer in slower is faster.” Though success involves pushing to achieve bigger and better goals, it is important to do it the right way. Shortcuts may get you to short term goals, but if you want to be successful, then you have got to play the long game.
To learn more about Automotive Quality Solutions and the level of efficient quality they can achieve for your vehicle, visit automotivequalitysolutions.com or check out their Facebook and Instagram. You can also read through their blog, where they offer insightful information about the science behind what they are able to achieve for cars.