After working for Young’s Gear, a local automotive shop specializing in drivetrain parts and service, for twenty five years, Justin Herrin decided to purchase the business alongside his partner Doug Coon. With decades of experience between the two, Justin and Doug were experts in the trade and came to the Alaska Small Business Development Center to consult on the business management side of things.
Through the years, Justin and Doug checked in periodically at the SBDC as they made critical business decisions and analysed the company’s financial health. They were successfully able to pay off a loan years before it was due and they worked to retain their greatest asset- their top notch shop technicians and front counter staff- by being one of the few small businesses able to offer benefits like full coverage health insurance, IRAs and paid time off and holidays. Their SBDC advisor even nominated them for the Alaska Business Person of the Year award in 2013, after seeing how well the business was running under their care.
“The SBDC has been a valuable asset over the years not only in helping us in the purchase of the company in 2007, offering advice and suggestions on how to better our day to day operations and providing us with financial projections over the last couple of years,” said Herrin. “The SBDC also was instrumental in nominating [us] for the National Small Business Persons of the Year Award for Alaska which we won in 2013. Whenever we have a question or concern regarding our business, we contact the AK SBDC and receive guidance and answers. We would highly recommend the AK SBDC to any small business in need of business counseling and advice.”
After almost a decade of ownership, Doug and Justin have returned to the SBDC to begin working on their next plan. Anchorage Center Director Lynn Klassert has been able to advise on the operating agreement and ways to evaluate the company.
As Doug and Justin update and improve the business, Young’s Gear will continue to provide customers with quality service and care for many years to come. You can learn more about Young’s Gear, their services and it’s owners at their website.