DNA Motor LabRodrigo wanted to implement processes to improve quality of life for employees so that their work was more productive and genuine, customers felt more satisfied coming into the store, and a sense of community was created.
Based in Hayward, CA, DNA Motor Lab provides maintenance, upgrades, and repairs for motorcycles and scooters, both in their garage and via roadside service. We met Rodrigo Cedeño Jr. when he was still an employee at DNA Motor Labs and had the opportunity to purchase the company. He couldn’t get funding from a traditional bank, and secured a $100,000 loan from PCV to help finance the acquisition.
Rodrigo was paired with pro-bono advisor Ryan Rasieleski, a Revenue Management Analyst at The Hertz Corporation. Ryan’s skills in finance, business development, and scaling operations aligned very well with Rodrigo’s business challenges. Additionally, Ryan’s passion for auto body shops along with his entrepreneurial experience made him an exceptional fit as Rodrigo’s advisor. Rodrigo’s goal was to expand his business in a financially healthy way.
Ryan began by helping Rodrigo take control of his finances and formalize his bookkeeping using software tools such as Commanderne and Quickbooks to analyze the business’ performance. Ryan suggested ways in which Rodrigo could cut expenses, allocate spending capital, and improve budgeting. They also created a plan to hire two employees – a mechanic/technician and a customer service employee to help write estimates and manage appointments.
DNA Motor Labs is also a participant in PCV’s Good Jobs, Good Business pilot program, an initiative to provide business owners with the resources they need to offer quality jobs. Rodrigo has been excited to dive into the Good Jobs, Good Business Toolkit. As a participant in the pilot he initially focused his attention on the Hiring, Training, and Professional Development section. He wanted to implement processes to improve quality of life for employees so that their work was more productive and genuine, customers felt more satisfied coming into the store, and a sense of community was created. Rodrigo and Ryan used the toolkit as a guideline to set their meeting agendas to brainstorm ways to improve Rodrigo’s operations.
They determined that focusing on employee retention by investing in professional development would both benefit DNA’s employees and the business. With Ryan’s guidance, Rodrigo analyzed his P&L statement and KPIs to uncover what job quality investments they could make that would be most cost efficient and immediately available for reinvestment in the business so DNA could continue growing. Ryan stated, “Good Jobs, Good Business gets the owner really thinking about what’s important from a business perspective, and what can we influence now to make a big difference.”
Rodrigo created a short term goal of establishing performance development meetings to show continuous improvements, celebrate victories, and build camaraderie so that employees understand their value to DNA. Rodrigo also established regular staff meetings to touch base with everybody, air out any concerns, and foresee future problems on any given project. Rodrigo’s long-term goals are to create a training manual with two sections for his shop’s main functions: technicians and to pay for an accredited training program for his employees. The training manual will educate staff members on exactly what their duties are and how to get them accomplished without having to rely on Rodrigo’s instructions. This will allow Rodrigo to take a step back from the day-to-day operations and focus on strategic planning and scaling his business.
Rodrigo is taking the necessary steps to foster a strong company culture. His transparency and desire to provide an ever-improving workplace have transformed DNA’s environment. Rodrigo finds his employees to be happier, feeling less alone in their challenges, less stressed, and more at ease. Rodrigo hopes to see employee satisfaction improve as he invests in his employees over the course of the pilot and beyond.