Mobile Electronics Magazine

Switch to desktop

Mobile Electronics July Feature: Top 12 Retailers - Traits At The Top

Mobile Electronics July Issue, July 13, 2016 -- In the business world, they say it takes an average of five years for a new business to turn a profit. In that time, the business must establish itself into the company it will be for the rest of its existence. The job of the owner/manager during this time is to work out the kinks with processes, employees, sales, execution and customer presentation.

For a 12-volt retailer, those elements are easier said than done. But thanks to the way industry insiders support one another with suggestions and communicating best practices, the amount of failures the company must endure is significantly lowered. All that the shop needs to be successful rests on how much the owner/manager and employees are willing to learn through communication.

This year's Top 12 Retailer class is filled with people who have learned lessons both ways. Those lessons allow them to enhance their chances of not only surviving times of economic hardship, but completely bypassing them to remain in a state of constant growth. Take Richard Grimm, owner of Cartunes in Atlanta, Ga., who has been in the industry since 1972. Over that time he's seen multiple recessions, an oil crisis and has worked for other companies that have gone under. Thankfully, he had people he could turn to for advice, which he used to survive some of the harshest economic climates in the history of the country.

On the opposite side of the spectrum sits Josh Mojica, co-owner of GNC Customs in Goshen, Ind. Growing up in the family business, Mojica learned a great deal about not just 12-volt, but business in general from his parents, who operated several business ventures that included car audio, furniture and jewelry. While his background is different from Grimm, it proves one thing is for sure in 12-volt: the more you know, the better off you are.

Relative Foundations

Active in the 12-volt industry since 1972, Grimm of Cartunes has always had a passion for music and cars. From his early days of installing 8-track radios in a parking lot part-time, Grimm has gone the distance in the industry by becoming a specialist in dealer work and car audio. "I was sidetracked into the cell phone business in the early 90s, made a lot of money but it suddenly ended and we had to start all over in the mobile electronics and audio business. We did it the right way, survived it all, and the rest is history," Grim said.

One of Grimm's biggest strengths was hiring people smarter than he to represent the company. This strategy largely contributed to the shop's specialist reputation, helping the business survive turbulent times over the years, including an oil crisis and multiple recessions. "My biggest mistake was hiring people who were not smarter than me," he said.

In fact, survival is something he prides himself on, given those aforementioned times of crisis. "There are so many recessions that I've survived that it's difficult to choose one. Simply put, surviving is what I'm proudest of in my career."

Dan Ungaro, owner of Soundscape Car Audio in Plano, Texas, started from scratch in 12-volt, not knowing a thing when he began at Circuit City in 2000. "I worked there for about four and a half years learning the basics of everything from radio to remote start and video installs. From there I went to Tweeter and was given the space to experiment with custom work which revitalized my passion for car audio," he said. "A few years later I went to work for Car Toys where I did mostly custom work and some wiring mixed in. In 2009, I left Car Toys to start my own shop under the name Ungaro Custom Designs with the idea that I could be a custom shop for other car audio shops. This didn't work well, so I opened a retail location in 2010 under the name Soundscape. Over the last six years, I have moved from doing most of the sales and install to mostly sales and management."

While the experience of going through the gambit of jobs over the years likely taught Ungaro some huge lessons, it's not the only path forward. Sometimes family can provide lessons in a more formulated way.

"I am the oldest of three sons that run GNC Customs. I did whatever our dad asked us to do," said Josh Mojica, co-owner of GNC Customs. "As I gained experience I took over most installations as my brother honed in his fabrication skills. Now with a crew of six, my duties are mostly managerial and sales related."

Read the rest of the story HERE.

Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright - Mobile Electronics Association 2020

Top Desktop version