Lauren Henderson

Lauren Henderson

LAUREN HENDERSON is an experienced automotive freelance copywriter and a former full-time team member of NOLN. Her work has appeared across print, broadcast and digital mediums.

ARTICLES

The Land of Opportunity

Due to ever evolving engineering, science and technology, the automotive aftermarket now faces an employment gap like they’ve never experienced before. Today, there are more well-paying automotive aftermarket jobs than qualified technicians to fill them. In this job-seekers’ market, many students entering the workforce report not having to look for jobs; they’re being pursued.
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Brand and Rebrand

What once were classic fast lube shops are upping their game and their service offerings. It's a mischaracterization to classify most shops as only fast lubes anymore, as they are that and so much more. This means, for many shops, it's time for a rebrand.
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Advertising Your Quick Lube — Where to Start

According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs fail within their first 18 months of starting their small businesses. If you don’t believe that, just watch an episode of ABC’s reality pitch show “Shark Tank.” So why do so many good ideas not get off the ground at all or crash and burn when they do? While there are many control factors that play into each individual situation like poor leadership and ideas that were never good in the first place, there are uncontrollable factors like market climate and take rate can also greatly impact business. There are certain
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After Hours: Mark Daleiden

A $105 million budget, population of 135,000 people, 700 county employees, seven unions and five commissioners — those are the numbers Mark Daleiden, county commissioner in Wright County, Minnesota, and owner of A1 Quick Lube and Carwash, is working with every day and after hours. Daleiden, a former chemical project manager and process engineer for 28 years, has plenty of experience serving his community. Since finding his way out of the office and into in the quick lube business in the late ‘80s Daleiden has built a successful reputation in the automotive industry. More recently, in 2012, he shared
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Organic and Paid Advertising Strategies for Reaching Customers and Growing Your Sales

Last month, in Part 1 of our Facebook for Business mini-series, we discussed setting up your business Facebook Page. We also examined how to find your unique audience among the more than 60 million businesses utilizing Facebook Business already. This month, we will delve deeper into understanding organic and paid advertising strategies and walk you through setting up your own advertising campaigns. Before we can get started talking about how to set up a Facebook advertising campaign, we must understand what the options are and when to use them. Let’s start by talking about the differences between organic and
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Setting Up Your Page with Facebook Business, Finding Your Community and Growing Your Business

You’ve decided to take the jump and join more than 60 million businesses already using Facebook Business — maybe you’re one of those 60 million already. Either way, if you’re just starting out or you have had a Facebook page for your fast lube for a while, we want to share key tips and in-sights for using Facebook Pages to the best advantage of your business. Find your community within the platform, learn what paid advertising within the platform is a good fit for your business and then give your followers what they want by creating a compelling content
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Texas State of Mind

What was the last excuse you made to not do something you’re passionate about? Were you too tired, too old, too stressed out, too out of shape or too over committed? The majority of us make excuses like these everyday. We tell ourselves it’s not because we don’t want to do whatever it is we’re making an excuse to get out of, it’s just because…you fill in the blank. Have you ever noticed what happens when you talk your way out of something you probably should’ve said yes to? Whether it’s working out, putting in the extra time at
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Signage in the Shop

These days, it seems like everyone has their nose in a phone checking Facebook Likes, trying on Snapchat dog filters and putting just the right touch on their Instagram Stories. Because of this, it may seem like in-store advertising materials should be becoming less and less relevant to your guests and, thus, to your fast lube. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If done correctly, the messaging and branding you’re able to do in-store will always be important to the business you do and have a place in your shop. It’s common for many industries to approach
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Sincerely – A Letter to Our Favorite Customers

Dear Loyal Customer, Today, I didn’t want to come into work. I know you’ve been there before, too. Your bed is warm, your dog is snuggling and you don’t want to wake your spouse, not to mention it’s still dark and 8 degrees outside. However, in my case, I’m always soon reminded in my groggy state how lucky I am to not only have a job, but a job I don’t dread. The reason I want to stay in bed is because I’m feeling lazy, and sleeping until 10:00 always sounds good at 5:00, not because I hate my
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Hanging It Up: How to Tell if You're Ready to Retire

Over the course of our lives we experience a handful of milestones. Some are sweet and unexpected — like a new baby or a job that moves you to a new and exciting place. Other moments in our lives, we see coming and in some cases, have even planned for our entire adult lives — like retirement. But how do you know when is the right time to retire? This question is tricky, and you’re the only one who can answer it.To many people, retirement feels like the end of something, but it’s important to remember for something wonderful
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Sincerely - A Letter to the Top

Dear Bossman,Today marks six years since my first day on the job at your place. You know I’ve worked a few other places in my day, but I don’t think I’ve ever told you why I decided to build my career here at your quick lube. It’s no secret, I’ve told plenty of other newbies who’ve shown up here for work over the years. Whenever a new guy or gal arrives for their first day of work, I tell them if they’re willing to put in the time and work as if they want to run the company themselves
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Sincerely - A Letter to the Master Lube Tech

Dear Master Lube Tech,I haven’t met you. In fact, I’ve only seen you a few times as you quickly hustled down the stairs of the bay into the pit. Sometimes I wonder if you’re just a figment of my peripheral vision. I’m usually preoccupied with meticulously pulling my car into the bay or fumbling to find something I dropped in the floorboard or spilled in my cup holders. I may not always see your meticulous hustle, but I experience it and, most importantly, I trust it. Your team has me in and out in the time it takes me
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Sincerely - A Letter to the Shop Greeter

Dear Shop Greeter,I am a loyal customer. I have been bringing my car to your quick lube for seven years. She’s 13 years old and might as well be considered a family member. She’s been there through graduations, break-ups and meltdowns, wild Friday nights and lazy Sunday mornings. She’s moved me five times and taken care of me for 143,457 miles. She likes long drives on two-lane roads, 80s rock tunes, the wind in her windows and 5W-30 motor oil. She’s taught my brother to drive and has watched me grow up. She’s paid-off, too, so no car payment
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Winning the Game: How to Use the Operator Survey to Better Your Business

Many of us live and die by our ability to keep a spreadsheet organized and color-coded. If you’re a business owner, chances are, you are one of us.Every year, the climate in the quick lube industry gets hotter. Increasing competition means your customers have more options than ever before when it comes to maintaining their vehicles. You’re well aware — you can’t just check fluids, change an air filter and send the customer on their way the way some shops used to. You must stand out amongst the competition. Staying profitable is a game, and while your employees might
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After Hours: The Call to Go

In Western Africa, there are people waiting to be set free. Bars and walls don’t confine them, instead they are held hostage by the lack of ability to do things most of us take for granted every day — reading, writing and being able to do those things in our native languages.If you’ve been in the quick lube industry for a while, the name Cori Rodgers might sound familiar. Rodgers spent 21 years with Kwik Industries before deciding to take a leap of faith to pursue her passion for sharing the love of Jesus with others — specifically those
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After Hours: Bryan White

You know him as the executive director of the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), but that’s just the beginning of who Bryan White is. White’s family and friends know him as the guy with a need for speed who plays in the dirt and has skills on a Suzuki RM-Z450. As a high school kid, when he wasn’t on a dirt bike, White spent time working at a tire and oil change shop never thinking he’d get to combine his love of motorsports and mechanics with his keen eye for business. White’s had his fair share of bumps, bruises
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Franchise Spotlight: Super-Lube

It was during the early 1980’s when John Lewis, a real estate professor at Florida State University, opened a Super-Lube Oil Change Center.  Lewis grew the company to more than 70 centers. In 1999 Lewis decided to sell 50 of the stores to an Atlanta based company.   Now, fast-forward to the year 2006. Enter business partners Tom Chambasian, — the 2014 National Oil & Lube News Operator of the Year — John Theisen, Chet Bojanowski and Aimann Hafez who purchased the remaining 20-plus Super-Lube stores. Chambasian and Hafez run the company today.“At the time we had five carwash operations,
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Ebb and Flow

Located in West Central Texas, between the Texas hill country and the rolling plains, sits the city of San Angelo. San Angelo covers 58.61 square miles, has a population of a little more than 100,000 and until about a month ago, didn’t have a carwash facility that offered complementary vacuums. San Angelo’s newest car care facility is situated on a high-traffic street corner, and while only a little more than a month old, its approach to customer service, marketing and of course, the aforementioned free vacuums are already setting it apart.In mid January, the team of managing partners and
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2016 TOPS in the Industry

The fast oil change and service industry is comprised of a diverse group of automotive professionals and businesses working everyday to meet the needs of consumers and their cars. It is a progressive and quickly evolving industry. In order to make sure we’re keeping abreast of the current pulse of the industry, every year, we take the time to extensively research, identify and rank the top auto service chains in the nation — and internationally.
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After Hours: Bree Sandlin

From the outside looking in, Bree Sandlin is an achiever with a seemingly effortless approach to work/life balance, but her story is far more than that. Bree is a marketing director for Shell Lubricants, and she and her husband, Stephen, are parents of twin boys, Beck and Elliott. Her story caught my attention when her associate answered our call for human interest stories about people in the quick lube and maintenance industry doing unique things after hours. She wrote telling us about Bree’s trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in Northern Tanzania and the time she finished the Marine Corps Marathon
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2016 Aftermarket Outlook

“2015 turned out to be pretty darn good,” said David Portalatin, executive director of Industry Analysis for The NPD Group, Inc. Every year, National Oil & Lube News heads to Vegas for the AAPEX show and every year we make sure not to miss the Aftermarket Outlook educational session. In this session, as the name would suggest, experts predict trends for the New Year. This year was no different.“Let me begin by taking a little trip down memory lane and looking back on 2015,” Portalatin said. “I’ll hold myself accountable to what I said in this very same spot
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How to Hire Right the First Time

First impressions are made in seven seconds, so should you put all of your focus on somebody’s skill sets when looking to hire? Sure, make sure the person is equipped with the know-how — or at least the potential to “know-how” — to fill the vacant position in your quick lube, but it doesn’t matter how good they are in the pit or office if they can’t uphold your high standards of customer service. In a competitive industry reliant on customer loyalty, you simply cannot risk having the wrong people in the right positions.“You can train people to do
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2016 Technician of the Year

For 27 years, National Oil & Lube News (NOLN) has recognized fast lube operators for their successful business endeavors and outstanding contributions in their communities and to the automotive aftermarket industry. Since 1989, NOLN has named 31 Operators of the Year — some years the nominees were so good we couldn’t choose just one winner, so we chose two. Over the years, the Operator of the Year award has become a coveted, time-honored tradition. This year we decided it was time to recognize some of the men and women our Operators of the Year always credit with their success,
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Shoot Straight, Aim High

Being able to keep in touch with reality and shoot straight without seeming like a pessimistic scrooge is an art lost on many. But if you can conquer the masterful mindset it takes to be both a realist and an optimist, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. This is the balance we hope to strike every year as we set out to help you prepare for the 12 months ahead.In the midst of anticipating an election, ISIS headlines and falling oil prices, there was no shortage of news — good and horrific — in 2015. Despite
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