Joshua Lombardo-Bottema – Founder and CEO of GoWrench Auto

Re-iterate, pivot, innovate and tweak over and over. I am constantly tweaking everything in order to create the best set of business systems I can.

Joshua Lombardo-Bottema is a multi-preneur and the founder and CEO of GoWrench Auto. Joshua started in business at the young age of 18, buying his first business and moving from Ottawa Ontario to Hamilton Ontario to start it. Beginning with just a small line of credit he grew his first business from zero to 20,000 customers, 80 staff and 10 managers through aggressively tweaking systems, training sales staff with top of the line strategies and constantly developing the people around him. Eight years later he successfully exited that business and founded his current business, GoWrench Auto, which “Brings Auto Repairs and More Right to Your Door”. He sends certified mechanics to people’s home or work to fix their car. GoWrench is expanding now and services all of the Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara region with its sights set on the rest of Canada next. Joshua is passionate about connecting customers, staff, technology, sales & business systems to create a seamless enjoyable experience for all in the company.

Where did the idea for GoWrench Auto come from?

The idea came from necessity! When I was running my first company I had 10 vehicles in my fleet. One day I had a vehicle break down right in our own yard. I called up my trusted mechanic at the time and asked if he would be able to come to me and fix my car on the spot and save the cost of the tow truck as well as the time required to get it there etc. When I made that call, I was greeted with laughter and the mechanic basically said “I don’t do house calls buddy”. I knew there had to be a way of bringing vehicle repairs to your door to save people a ton of time and even money when their car needs to be fixed, and that’s exactly what GoWrench Auto does.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I love to start my day off with a healthy meal. I make and eat a healthy meal while I check the setup of my day and think about my priorities and how I’m going to tackle them. I eat healthy balanced meals and take supplements to ensure my brain and body is working well. Depending on the day I get a workout in either in the morning or mid afternoon. That spikes my energy up again and I’m ready to tackle more. Evenings are usually open for social gatherings or more casual meetings.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Think. Plan. Then execute. A great idea is worthless without execution, but execution without a plan can be costly. So
it’s key to have a great balance and be ready to pivot if need be when you face challenges.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

New tech in new vehicles is always evolving and the emergence of the electric car is very exciting as well. I love to stay on top of new trends in the tech and automotive world because as soon as those vehicles break down, GoWrench Auto will be there.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

The ability to act quickly. If there is an idea, I find many entrepreneurs can stall or procrastinate. Just do it and jump in and get it done.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I would have to say the worst job I ever had was being a dishwasher. It was one of my very first jobs as a kid and I hated it, but it taught me how fast paced businesses move, especially in a restaurant kitchen, but I knew I wanted to be around people.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Hindsight is always 20/20. There are many things I would do differently in terms of first starting up a business. For example, company swag comes last, only buy what you need right now, not what you think you might need in the future (aka don’t get sucked into bulk discounts for purchases), just focus on really finding out who your customer is that is buying and what their profile is, get creative when it comes to marketing and advertising, typical advertising doesn’t work as well as it used to so don’t blow your budget on things you can’t track or don’t have a guarantee on. Those are some lessons I find some entrepreneurs get caught by.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Re-iterate, pivot, innovate and tweak over and over. I am constantly tweaking everything in order to create the best set of business systems I can.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

One thing that has helped grow my business was to get involved in as many things as I can and surround myself with intelligent, successful people and resources. Always ask for help and advice wherever you can and doors will open for you that you never knew were there.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I think something is only a failure if you don’t learn from it. It isn’t really a failure, it’s more so just something that didn’t work yet. I would say I’ve had marketing campaigns that failed or a pitch that failed but I never saw it as a failure, just a lesson.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I think someone should create dorm style accommodations for young, busy professionals and entrepreneurs. Upscale but affordable and all the conveniences in the same building. Cafe style food prep, gym, quiet work space etc. I think condo’s and housing is getting very expensive and this would make a great bridge over the gap of people living with their parents longer and longer to home ownership.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Books, gym membership, healthy food. Knowledge and health is one thing I never squawk about spending money on. After all, your brain and body is all you have, and you control how it functions (for the most part). Might as well take care of it.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I use google apps for work to collaborate with my team. I also use calendars as well as an elaborate CRM to keep track of our customers and their vehicles. Organization is key in this day of data overload so anything to clear your mind and allow you to stay organized and focused is key.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I love books as I believe they can bring so much enlightenment, solve problems and make your life better. Depending on what you want to focus on I recommend “The closer’s survival guide” by Grant Cardone for sales, “Start something that matters” by Blake Mycoskie for inspiration, “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman for love and relationship. Those are a few of my recent favourites.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Grant Cardone, Gary Vaynerchuk, Brian Tracy


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