Snap Shop: Linear Automotive
SHOP: Linear Automotive LOCATION: Plano, Texas. OWNER: Joel Ozbun
SIZE: 8,800 square feet STAFF: 25 AVERAGE MONTHLY CAR COUNT: 120 ANNUAL REVENUE: $2.7 million
1. A Marketing Mascot
Joel Ozbun, owner of Linear Automotive, adopted Calvin when he was roughly 3 years old. Ozbun didn’t want to leave the beagle-American staffordshire at home, so he brought the comfiest bed he could find into the shop’s lobby. Calvin has turned into the shop’s mascot, with Ozbun yelling, “Calvin! You’ve got a customer!”
2. A Relaxing Escape
The staff spent six months on a front-of-the building landscaping project. Ozbun ordered in palm trees from North Texas Cold Hardy Palms, a nursery in the Dallas area. He wanted to add curb appeal and create a spot similar to a destination vacation. The whole project cost roughly $15,000.
3. Support Local Businesses
To add art to his lobby, Ozbun attends local art fairs and buys from vintage pictures. The pictures show downtown Dallas, downtown Fort Worth and Dallas Love Field airport.
4. Gray From Top to Bottom
The wall color—battleship gray—was chosen because Ozbun says his shop goes head to head with insurance companies to get the best quotes for its customers.
5. Mingling and Advertising in the Community
In the waiting room, Ozbun always displays a vintage motorcycle, which is changed out every few months. Ozbun’s team offers vintage motorcycle services like painting, chrome work and restoration. The shop attends community events that raise money for charity. This past year, the shop advertised for the Ribeyes & Rods, a car show that raises money for the Scottish Rite Children Hospital, and brought in 100 restored cars.
6. Taking Marketing Out To Town
Al Thompson, who is in charge of SEO operations and community marketing, shoots videos for Linear Automotive marketing in the office, thanks to the in-house green screen. To spread word about the business, he films videos of charity events or community events like Dream2Walk Foundation and Texas Pool, a local historical landmark. At the end of the video, he adds a credit to the shop and a short section explaining the shop’s role in Plano.
7. Entertainment Pays Off
To give his staff breaks, Ozbun created a staff lounge equipped with a pool table and vintage arcade games. Staff can take an hour lunch and use the room to take their minds off of work.
8. Advertising With Style
Kids will not leave Linear Automotive disappointed—if they like Hot Wheels. Displayed on a window inside the lobby are numerous 24 packs of toy cars. Each kid that visits the shop can choose one to take home. The total cost is around $50 per month.
9. Eye-Catching Displays
Ozbun purchased vintage neon signs to hang up in his waiting room. He found the signs from a vendor at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. For the most part, the signs represent businesses that went out of business 50 years ago or more.
10. Serving the Customer
A vintage popcorn machine straight from the '40s is still used to pop fresh popcorn in the lobby. He purchased it from Lincoln Popcorn Company.
11. Staying Close to the Action
Ozbuns’ office is located on the bottom floor of the shop, next to the reception area. He likes to be close by in case customers have issues or his staff has questions. He can view the whole shop through a screen showing views of 16 security cameras around the whole facility.