DRIVE Salutes Milaca, MN's Precision Imports

DRIVE Salutes Milaca, MN’s Precision Imports

The October Spotlight Shop has grown dramatically - and successfully - in the past 16 years.

Jen and Tony Ringham have operated Precision Imports together for 16 years. The married couple originally planned on taking over Tony’s parents’ real estate business, but when the market slowed in 2008 they decided to pursue being auto shop owners. Since then, their business has become the go-to shop in Central Minnesota for European cars, not just in their hometown of Milaca but for those in a fifty-mile radius from them. They’ve built the business from just the two of them making $100,000 to a team of six making $1.5 million. 

Tony and Jen Ringham

“Milaca is a small community, as in, Amish carts, a township road, 3 miles outside of town, in a town of 2800 people,” explains Jen. Together, the Ringhams have two kids aged 3 and 6. When they’re not at work you can find them at the lake or roller skating as a family. 

Running their own shop comes with many perks. “I love learning about cars, their common issues, and getting to drive some cool stuff,” Jen explains. “Not only that, but I gets to do it with the person I love. Working together is an opportunity many aren’t afforded.” 

The Ringhams say they also love being able to network with their fellow shop owners. One way they do this is by being DRIVE clients. This allows them to connect with other shop owners, some with more experience than them. Jen’s favorite part is hearing their story, how they run their shops and how they got started. “Tony and I love the wide variety of backgrounds shop owners have. We all come from different walks of life.”

They were able to complete lots of networking this year at DRIVE EXPO 2022. While there, they also received the Professional Shop Owner Award. Their trophy sits on their shelf and reminds them of how far they’ve come and how far they still have left to go.

Jen Rinha

Before becoming DRIVE clients, the Ringhams say they were constantly working in the business, handling everything from communicating with customers, to ordering parts, to selling work. Now they can focus on training their staff, refining shop processes and building connections with their customers. “We immediately saw results and improvements in both our numbers and our culture after becoming DRIVE clients,” Jen says. Today, thanks to the tools provided by DRIVE, they feel confident in the metrics of the business. 

Jen and Tony say they love what they do, but they’re most proud of the team they’ve curated. They can describe the shop culture they have created in three simple words: strong, focused and calm. “A fly on the wall would feel the difference of our $1.5M vs other shops’ $1.5M,” Jen says, “Everyone contributes and is very productive.”

Tony Ringham

Precision Imports is focused on hiring the right person to do the job, not just any technician. Because of this, the Ringhams say they really enjoy their team.

As shop owners, their number one priority is taking care of their customers. Through the years, they say they’ve learned the importance of word of mouth referrals. “They are a major marketing key,” says Jen. “When you treat your customers right, they’re more likely to recommend your shop to someone they know! Quality is Precision Imports number one objective.”

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