It seems you’re never too old to listen to your mother—even when it comes to business. Brothers Paul and Leonard Roybal decided to launch a transmission shop in Santa Fe after growing up with the family’s service station, which their father ran until he passed away in 1991. Their mother, Yolanda, led the shop until she retired in 1998.
When Paul and Leonard wanted to reopen a transmission shop at the same location, they had to make their case to their own mother. "We had to present a business plan to our mother in competition with another business that wanted the location," Leonard says.
"She told us, go to SCORE and see if they feel it’s a viable business," he adds. "She wanted us to succeed, of course, and with SCORE’s help, she knew we could find out whether the business would work."
In fact, Yolanda herself had received advice from Santa Fe SCORE mentors after taking over the business in the early ‘90s. The Roybals worked with SCORE Mentor Bart Jacobs, a retail expert, to create a business plan and budget.
SCORE continues to provide valuable mentoring for whatever new issues may arise. "I don’t know any place where a small business like us can get advice like this," Leonard says. "We couldn’t afford this type of knowledge and we couldn’t have done it without SCORE."
"Imagine hiring a team of advisors like this," Paul adds.
Their biggest fan is still their mother. "It's just amazing to me what the boys did with the business," she says. "I'm just so proud of them."
Working with SCORE Mentor Bart Jacobs, Paul and Leonard saw that they could implement new ideas to improve efficiency, enhance sales and reduce overhead. The realities of doing business demanded a new approach to marketing, inventory and many other areas of the business. With their vision for Precision Transmission, the brothers earned their mother’s confidence to open the business at the family’s location.
Precision Transmission now employs six people and has seen increasing sales and profitability. They estimate business has grown 80 to 100 percent since the ‘90s. Though business is booming, the brothers always find time for SCORE. The two keep meeting with mentors each month since opening their business. Though Bart acts as their primary mentor, he occasionally calls in other mentors as the business' needs change from human resources issues to cash management to financing.