Sharpe Auto Sales, LLC
Name: Blake Lawrence, Manager
Business Name: Sharpe Auto Sales, LLC
Business Bio/Background: Owner Jason Sharpe, partner owner of a very successful Buy-Here Pay-Here lot in another community, purchased an established business here in his home town of Warrensburg on May 1, 2006. At first we operated as cash sales and the occasional self-financed transaction and we also tried a couple of finance companies as well, but we were still left wanting for something better to present to our customers; better
opportunities and better arrangements. With the downturn in the economy, painfully slow cash sales and the continued success of Jason’s other venture, we knew financing was still the way to go to help our customers. It was about March 2008 we happened upon Northland and found exactly what we were looking for - RTO. By the middle of May 2008 we had laid the foundation of our new business model and were helping our first customers into the transportation they needed to do the best they could for their families.
How has RTO/LTO® impacted/changed your business?: RTO has given us the opportunity to grow immensely as a respected business in our very diverse agricultural community. With a strong manufacturing sector, established medical and long-term care industry, a university and military installation nearby, we have found a method of automotive procurement to fit everyone. RTO has given us an outlet to provide our customers with flexibility beyond the norms of automotive financing. We can be a final solution to one’s transportation needs or we can be a stop-gap to fix a temporary situation, as well as a stepping stone to credit repair. We have found RTO to be our solution to the flagging cash purchaser shortage and the way to doing our part to fight unemployment as a small business in a close-knit community. What started with one employee has blossomed into a family tree of four employees here at Sharpe Auto Sales – as well as the addition of other complementary businesses. We now have a full-line automotive service center, six employees; a partnership in yet another auto lot in a neighboring community, two employees; and interest in an existing full-service glass business, three employees. That is 15 jobs created/preserved in an economic atmosphere seemingly working against the small business.
RTO/LTO® Lesson Learned: The largest lesson we have learned here at Sharpe Auto Sales is to continue to live by the Golden Rule. Be fair to your customers who are feeding your families and your kindness will be returned many times over. What can at times be viewed as a bloated warranty expense ledger can also be looked upon as a huge surplus of customer goodwill and a burgeoning account of blessings to be returned to us by continued support from our communities. This can be passed along to us by repeat business from solid, steady customers or as our growing basis of referrals, feeding our growing businesses. We have learned to remember we are all human and life is what happens to us when we are not looking.