Interview with Ryan Kearns, Owner of Auto Dent Company

What's your background?

My background has always been in business. My Dad, and his Dad both owned their own business and I got to see first hand how they treated their employees and their customers. My Dad owned a courier service and I saw him build it from the ground up. I'm always aiming to implement basic business principals that they taught me when I was younger like, "if you do a good job, they'll tell 10 people, if you a bad job, they'll tell 50 people."

 Why have you decided to get into the PDR business?

I saw a niche and a need in the auto industry for great customer service. I've had some pretty rough experiences with fixing my car and I saw the companies that always did well and treated me right always had great customer service!

It didn't hurt that my dad also had some hot rods in the garage growing up. That's probably what began my fascination with cars.

When did you start the company?

I started the company in July 2015 in Houston, TX. I was the only employee back then, and now we employ 25 people. Pretty good growth in the first couple years of business build off of our core values as a company

What were some of the challenges in the early days?

Proving ourselves! For example: it takes a year to even apply to the Better Business Bureau! We were, and still kind of are, the new guys on the block. We've gotten a lot of great reviews from great customers and it's becoming a lot easier to gain new customers' trust!

How did you overcome them?

Hard work and dedication. Putting the customers and employees first and reinvesting all of the profits back into the company to further assist the same customers and employees that helped us get this far!

How is the routine of a startup?

You just have to work half days. Either the first of the second half :)

What is your vision for the future of this company?

To become the nation's leader in overall customer service in the auto industry and ultimately become one of the best places to work.

What did you learn so far running a startup?

I thought I knew a lot about business from my first company doing sales and marketing for AT&T in Florida, but there was still a lot to learn.

The biggest thing for me to remember was to keep learning. Keep reading books and asking for advice. Surrounding myself with the best people in the paintless dent repair industry and picking their brains and just keeping my ears open for new ideas from my employees.

We've made a lot of mistakes but we've also progressed so much as a company. The good outweighs the bad on the decision making processes this last couple of years

What advice would you give to someone starting a company?

Be prepared, be on time, work a full day, work your territory correctly, have and maintain a positive attitude, respect your customers and clients, take control, and understand your opportunity!!!