Reporter's Blog

A Note From the Associate Editor: Changes Afoot!

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What’s your New Year’s resolution? Here at National Oil and Lube News, we’re putting the final touches on ours.

It’s the refocused, re-energized and resourceful NOLN. We’re jumping into 2020 with a magazine that shed more light on the people and processes that make the quick maintenance industry thrive. Our strategy will be to show you how it’s done.

But that isn’t all. Between the gorgeous new magazine and the cool things we’re introducing over in cyberspace, you’re going to have more fresh news, interviews and multimedia than you can shake an oil dispensing gun at.

 

An Auspicious Year

The last 12 months have been big ones for NOLN, even on the scale of its 33-year history. After coming on board with 10 Missions Media, the team had two big goals at hand. The first was to continue the work done by the previous staff so that readers wouldn’t skip a beat. The second tasked us with finding ways to offer more.

My work as the magazine’s associate editor really took off in May, when my colleagues and I attended iFLEX. Nashville was a bottomless beverage bottle of fun, but more importantly, the conversations I had with operators that week propelled the work I had to do in the coming months.

The new website debuted in June, which was one step in our vision to make the magazine a guidepost publication for shop owners looking to grow and improve their operations—all while highlighting the shops that are already setting examples for others. Come January, you’ll see the next big step.

 

Turn the Page

I suppose it’s proper to begin at the front of the magazine. The new NOLN will jump right into the numbers and names of the industry. That’s where you’ll find industry stats, news about big acquisitions and updates on topics of interest.

We’re adding a Shop Look spread that will let the photographs do the talking for those great-looking shops out there.

Just like before, NOLN will have the big topical and profile features that tap into the main current of the industry. They’re some of the biggest stories we do.

The magazine will also retain its stories on business operations, which have offered tips on things like oil specs, overtime laws, creative marketing and more. What will get closer attention is the way we emphasize how shops succeed in different areas of the business. There will be simply more stories in each issue, too!

We'd also like to introduce Adam Tatum, who is our newest columnist. He will join Lenny Saucier to round out the editorial column roster. Tatum is the director of operations for the Virginia Group, which operates a network of Jiffy Lube shops. He has great insights on leadership and wants operators to think outside of the box for improvement.

Of course, this is just a summary. Every nook and cranny of the magazine has been reviewed enough times to make one red in the face. And by golly, we’re pretty proud of the result.

 

Sights and Sounds

Over here in the online space, we’ve got plans for some handy digital-only offerings that should keep you updated on what’s new for quick lubes and the larger automotive space.

One of the more exciting pieces of content will be… people’s voices! We’re launching “The NOLN Podcast” in January. Give your eyeballs a break and listen to candid interviews about shop ownership, technical information and business strategies that will hit the online airwaves twice per month.

We’re also working on bringing more reporters’ blogs and original news stories about shops and the work they do across the country. There’s no reason that a quick lube in Portland, Maine, can’t know what’s going on in a Portland, Ore., shop.

 

Powered by Operators

It’s been a big year for NOLN, indeed, but I’m always impressed with the big years that operators have had. Whether it’s shops doing right for their communities or first-time operators creating opportunities for themselves, it’s that successful spirit that we at NOLN wants to make contagious. In so many interviews with operators and industry leaders, I talked to sources who were excited to share their insights in hopes that others might benefit. The magazine is the conduit for that.

I think back to my time at iFLEX. I was a bit nervous; it was my fourth week on the job. My main question for operators was, “What do you want to see in the magazine?”

That open invitation continues here. As you check out the new magazine and online features, think about your own story in quick lubes. And then let me know what you’d like to read in the pages of NOLN.

I’m at news@NOLN.net.

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