Texas Maaco Owner Shares How He Achieved Entrepreneurship Dream

After getting a degree and working in corporate America, Robert Reid pursued his ultimate goal of owning his own business.

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Robert Reid always dreamed of owning his own business.

After moving from Jamaica to the U.S. as a teenager and graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge, LA, Reid built a career in corporate America. He spent time working for automotive manufacturer Meritor, as well as several years at leading food and beverage manufacturer Danone.

However, business ownership was the ultimate goal. He was always drawn to the idea of the automotive field, driven partly by his personal passion: “I’m a car guy. I’ve been messing with my cars my entire life.”

His engineering background and focus on processes made him lean more toward the mechanical side of the industry, so although he understood the work environment well, he didn’t initially consider running an automotive collision repair shop.

In college, Reid worked at a body shop. “I was, by no means, a skilled body repair technician or auto body painter," he recalled. "I never would have thought I would end up going back to it as a business of my own. But that’s the way God circles things around. You can plan all you want, but he knows what he's doing.”

Reid went looking for franchise opportunities that aligned with his own criteria for the type of business he wanted to own. Seeking a business in the automotive space, he discovered Maaco’s diversified business model. Soon after, he opened a location in Mansfield, TX, outside Fort Worth ,in February 2017.

By his second year in business, the store doubled its revenue and has continued a steep growth trajectory ever since, including adding 7,000 square feet of space in 2021, as well as purchasing two acres of land to accommodate the expanding needs of his business and customers.

Those first few years were filled with rapid growth and learning curves for Reid as he acclimated himself to business ownership. He navigated the challenges of finding the right employees, building a customer base and determining what his goals were for the store.

Throughout that time, Reid also committed to establishing a positive culture among his employees.

"I'm big on work ethic. I wanted an environment where people have personal relationships, and they can hold each other accountable. We're all going after the same goal,” Reid said.

He approaches business as a team sport and hires collaborators who share that same perspective. This poses its own challenges as Reid also believes a diverse workforce will produce better results. At his Maaco store, the team includes talented men and women ranging in age and generation, from teenagers just out of high school to experienced technicians in their 60s.

Learning how to juggle a team that spans generations, genders and experiences has been an ongoing and empowering process for Reid.

“After running a manufacturing facility with hundreds of people, I walked into this thinking, ‘OK, you have a business with 10 people in it. You make all the decisions.’ This is gonna be easy,” Reid said. “But that’s not the case. The people side of it in this industry is the biggest learning curve. Figuring out what these different people bring to the table and what positions to put them in.”

His goal for the store has played a significant role in how he navigates employees and the processes he put into place. While the traditional Maaco store primarily focuses on auto paint and light collision repair, Reid dreamed of more than that. His hard work and commitment paid off because today, his location is a high-level collision repair facility complete with the latest technology, specialized technicians and I-CAR Gold certification, the highest training achievement recognized by the collision repair industry.

Reid’s experience as a mentor, leader and well-rounded businessman is exemplified through his previous tenure on the Maaco Advisory Council and his receipt of the Regional Cup West Award at Maaco’s 2023 convention and the Terry Taylor Award at Maaco’s 2022 convention.

As Reid looks back on his career, he recognizes the importance of belief in oneself and how it has played an integral role in his success as a business owner.

“Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re right,” Reid said. “Figure out where you want to go, and be relentless in getting there.”

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