Joe Roush’s grandfather gave him his very first car, an ’88 Ford Mustang GT, the day he turned 16. From that moment on Joe was infatuated with fixing it up and making it better. When his high school counselor encouraged him to pursue his hobby as a career, Joe began working at the local body shop. Throughout the following years Joe did plenty of body work and then moved on to paint jobs at Iowa car dealerships.
At 28, Joe decided to open his own shop since he had already established a loyal customer base doing side jobs after working his full-time job all day. In January 2012, Joe started Roush Collision & Restoration, doing everything from custom paint jobs to restoration to collision repair in his hometown of Winterset, Iowa.
Joe credits Dave McLaren, former director of the South Central Iowa SBDC, with helping him establish himself as a business owner. Dave provided business plan assistance, market research, financial projections, and even attended bank meetings with Joe to help him obtain financing.
“If it wasn’t for Dave I probably wouldn’t have a business today,” Joe says. “I had all the talent, tools, and drive, but I needed to know how to be a business and he helped me do that.”
Dave and Joe met frequently to go over any questions Joe had. Dave also trained an employee of Joe’s on how to effectively use QuickBooks for the shop’s accounting.
“[Dave’s] the most important person of all the steps I went through in terms of finding a banker, getting my loan, becoming an LLC, and more,” says Joe. “He’s been there and had an answer for every question I’ve had.”
After three years of business, owner Joe is proud of how the business has grown and established loyal customers. Roush Collision & Restoration is well ahead of last year’s total revenue and has seen a significant spike in business since last October.
“I’m getting as much work as I can handle right now,” Joe says. “If you make a good name for yourself and treat people right and fair, you shouldn’t have any problem staying busy.”
Word of mouth advertising is the easiest way Joe promotes his business, but he also uses the company’s very active Facebook page, plus a YouTube account that has over 70,000 views of his many restoration videos. Those videos have gotten him phone calls from all over the nation asking about his work. A revamped shop van with an impressive paint job has Joe’s logo on it and is known around town as well.
The shop’s involvement with the Winterset Booster Club allowed Joe to sponsor the school’s football and basketball scoreboards and to have his logo prominently displayed on both of them. Roush Collision & Restoration is also a member of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and hosts a chamber meeting annually at the shop.
As business continues to increase, Joe would like to hire on a couple more technicians to work at the shop with him and his two other employees. He also plans to put a new addition on his current shop as he is quickly outgrowing his current space.
Joe will continue to reach out to the SBDC if he needs advice, assistance, or reassurance.
For more information on the high-end services offered by this Winterset, Iowa business, check out the Roush Collision & Restoration Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RoushCollisionRestoration.