JR Luna, owner of Concours Motors in Ventura, California, hasn’t taken a traditional route to owning a shop. He didn’t grow up with a love of fixing cars. He grew up loving business, and knowing he wanted to have a company that cared about its employees and customers.
While still in college with his BA in sight, he had to create a fictional business plan. From that, he discovered that he could own and run his own business – at that moment, he saw the forest for the trees – and it was an eye-opening experience.
Luna has been the owner of Concours Motors for 14 years. Located in the beautiful seaside town of Ventura, California, it wasn’t easy at first. He was working 14-hour days, six days a week, and was doing anything and everything in the shop. It wasn’t good for the business, Luna or his family.
Luna was seeing one to three vehicles per day with no control of car counts. At that point, he was just hoping to have enough money at the end of the week for everything that was due. Things were out of control. He wasn’t getting any results from all the hard work. He knew he owed it to his family to work smarter and make more money, because that’s what gave him the valuable time together with his sons as they were growing up.
Once Luna became a DRIVE client, things changed dramatically. DRIVE catapulted the business forward.
With his passion for training and developing his team, Luna is now in the position to “grow my own superstars to become better employees but also leaders, parents and increasingly more productive members of society,” he says.
Concours Motors offers terrific benefit packages, regularly scheduled companywide dinner parties, bonus plans and travel for training and corporate vacations. Before DRIVE, none of this could have been possible. With a total of 25 team members, Luna is proud to say that he has three employees who were with him 14 years ago.
Luna now has the freedom to work on the business and not in the business. He is able to plan years in advance and drive the business forward – instead of being driven by the business. JR Luna is in charge of his destiny.
Concours Motors is extremely family-oriented. Luna and his team value excellence and quality customer service above all else. They know that getting your car checked shouldn’t feel like an unwelcome chore. They pay attention to the details that make all three shops friendly with a relaxing environment. The top priority is always their customers’ trust, comfort and safety.
Asked what he is most proud of, Luna will tell you, “I love coming to work every day and I love our customers. I am proud of the service we deliver to our customers and of our ongoing effort to better ourselves and each other as a team.”
In addition to more family time, a passion for both Luna and his wife, Rita, is local community service. This includes helping and mentoring unprivileged youth with their local Police Activity League plus “Wheels to Shine,” a program in which the shop rebuilds a car and donates it to someone who makes a difference in the community.
A great example of their philosophy is something that happened a few months ago at the shop. A new customer, John, dropped by after finding them online. He was driving down the coast from Santa Barbara to San Diego and his “Check Engine” light went on. John saw the Wheels to Shine information at the front counter. He then went and grabbed breakfast, came back and decided to hand over his BMW to Concours for Wheels to Shine. It’s so inspiring and a great example of what Concours does every day.
Asked what advice he received that has been the most helpful, Luna says to think of life as a bamboo tree. The bamboo tree takes about five years to develop. During that time, no one will notice all the strong roots that are growing and developing underground. But after five years, the bamboo tree will shoot up in the air and double in height almost overnight. The results will seem instant, but they are actually a product of steady work overtime.
So keep working and think of life – and your business – as a bamboo tree. JR and Rita Luna know they are incredibly blessed to have come all this way from a small shop to what they have now. In addition to Concours Motors, they also own Asian AutoTech and the recently purchased Airport AutoTech – three successful businesses in beautiful Ventura County.
DRIVE, a Monrovia, California-based consulting group, provided this article.