It’s a major investment, but he’s hardly new to the auto and collision repair business.
After graduating from Corsica High School, he learned the ins and outs at an auto body school in Sheldon, Iowa. He taught at a technical institute in Colorado for two years before he and his family moved back to South Dakota.
They lived in Brookings for a time before moving to Huron, where in 2007 he began serving as manager of the Prostrollo Collision Center.
Three years ago, he struck out on his own when he opened his initial Auto Body Clinic location on Dakota Avenue North. After the Memorial Day weekend holiday, he and his staff began serving customers at the new clinic at 670 21st Street Southwest.
“In some ways, it’s kind of like I’m starting over again because of the different location and getting customers to come over here,” Blom said. “But it’s also a great opportunity.”
Auto Body Clinic has three service technicians, a detailer who has aspirations to be a technician and two estimators.
The business offers auto and collision repair, accessories, spray-in bed liners and has a state-of-the-art paint booth that uses water-based paint that is healthy for the environment and has a lifetime warranty.
“We can bake the paint in about 10 minutes and be working on the car again,” Blom said.
It is only one of the components of the new location that is making life easier.
“The efficiency is so much better because of the paint booth and because of all the doors we put in,” he said.
Fourteen-foot-high overhead doors can accommodate large vehicles like campers, motor homes and some trucks.
The doors are located on both sides of the building.
“Literally, a guy can go in and out of the doors in his own space and not bother anybody,” Blom said.
Vehicles can be driven inside or outside of the paint booth with two openings.
With the high-profile building because of the doors, Blom’s office could be built in part of a second floor “so you can get by with a smaller space and be really efficient.”
His location on Dakota Avenue North was a building he leased that did not give him the efficiencies that he desired.
“We were just busting at the seams,” he said. “It was one door. There were days when we’d back five cars out to move one in to the paint booth, then bring the others back in.
“We were definitely packed in there,” Blom said. “It was time.”
When the decision was made not to renew the expiring lease, he began considering his options. Building a new shop on busy 21st Street Southwest was his choice.
“Honestly, I feel it’s a great location,” he said. “I feel it’s probably one of the best locations of any shop in town.
Down the road are grocery and retail stores, and not far away are developing residential neighborhoods. Also drawing people to the area are chiropractic and orthodontic clinics.
“It’s just a nice-looking area with the clientele that we’re going after,” Blom said.
He is competing with the other auto body and collision repair shops in Huron, but he says there’s plenty of business for everyone.
Blom’s priorities are to provide great customer service, great quality work and a fast turn-around.
“I felt like with hard work and determination and quality repair and taking care of customers it can’t not work,” he said.
We would like to thank Plainsman for reprint permission.