Over the years, he has run his Pennsylvania-based business based on these core attributes while focusing on quality repairs and excellent customer service. In addition to running two body shop locations in Altoona and Duncanville, Perretta operates a full mechanical facility, a towing company and a consulting and coaching business. Autobody News spoke to this industry veteran about the recent awards he received and the secret to running a successful operation.
Q: Congratulations on receiving the ‘Excellence in Small Business’ award from the Blair County Chamber of Commerce. What was your reaction when you found out that Professionals Auto Body was recognized?
A: I was humbled. First, in February 2016, my peers in the community along with the chamber honored me with the Small Business Person of the Year award. Then in October, my business, Professionals Auto Body, received the Excellence in Small Business award from the chamber. This month, we received the Hometown body shop award, which we have won repeatedly year after year. All I could think was out of the thousands of businesses we received these awards. It was amazing.
Present at the awards were my wife Paula, management, technical staff and people who have helped us from the very first day—“1979.”
Professionals Auto Body has received multiple awards over the years.
Q: Can you share some of the practices at your Pennsylvania body shops that you think contributed to receiving the award?
A: I often say, if you had a repair done by me 30 years ago and again today, some of the same people would be here to help you. Some of the practices or ingredients are being loyal to my staff, community and customers and receiving their loyalty in return; eliminating drama and distractions; product consistency; keeping ahead of vehicle changes, equipment and training; and not wavering from our beliefs. Most importantly, I respect everyone who works at the business regardless of their position. Lastly, I never wanted to be like others in the industry, copying what they’ve done. I’ve run things not as a body shop but as a business, which has differentiated me in my market and industry.
Q: What is your advice to other shop owners who are starting out in the industry?
A: The only way to succeed in this business or any other is to be passionate at whatever you do. Don’t expect things to be handed to you. You will appreciate your accomplishments more and so will others, as demonstrated by my awards. Create your niche, be consistent, do the right things and don’t listen to people who only share poor advice.
Q: What are some of the upcoming goals for your shop in 2017?
A: We are growing and I’m not on any DRP programs. I’ve added five new positions within the last year and am now working on taking over another shop. I have a production/consulting company that has been expanding. We not only manage social media for body shops, but other businesses along with creating radio, TV, print commercials and coaching. I see 2017 as being a very busy year.
Ron Perretta and the Professionals Auto Body management team
Q: What is the secret to running a successful business in this industry?
A: Literally without any money, from the very first day I opened, I kept the shop clean and organized. Today, all three of my stores are beautiful, well-maintained and equipped. This is the kind of environment people should enjoy working in. This environment is important to people and shows I care about them. This and additional philosophies create an award-winning business.