Unlimited Auto owner settling in as sole employeePublished 11:19am Monday, February 17, 2014
After Safelite AutoGlass closed their Fergus Falls location, Dan Bolstad started commuting to the company’s Fargo location. After doing that for about a year, he decided it was time to make a change.
“It was something I had wanted to do for a little while, but it’s a big step and I never pursued it,” Bolstad said. “Then finally one day I said, ‘That’s enough.’”
Bolstad opened his own Fergus Falls shop, Unlimited Auto Glass, in August. But this was not a hasty decision, Bolstad said.
He had been laying the groundwork for some time in the event he wanted to branch out on his own. Many of the customers he worked for, both in Fergus Falls and in Fargo, pledged their business to him, which made it easier to open up a shop.
Summer is always the busiest month for auto glass and body shops, Bolstad said, so his first month in business was a very productive one. Business has trickled off during the winter months, especially around the holidays, but he said he usually has enough to keep him busy.
To separate his business from the local competition, Bolstad said he tries to focus on affordable prices and memorable service.
“I’ve been doing this for nine years and I feel like I’ve gotten fairly good at it,” Bolstad said. “I tell (customers) I guarantee everything and they seem to appreciate that.”
Those daily commutes to Fargo while he worked at Safelite have turned into weekly business trips on behalf of Unlimited Auto Glass. He said he generally covers about a 70-mile radius for sales, but will be taking some longer trips this spring and summer into Jamestown, N.D.
In the future, Bolstad would be interested in expanding to another location, preferably more in the middle of the city. Unlimited Auto Glass is located on Pebble Lake Road, and Bolstad is renting the space.
He is the company’s lone employee and does all the work, both in the shop and on the business end. Although Bolstad had no prior business experience before opening his shop, most things have gotten easier at this point.
But he has thought about bringing in another employee to either work in the shop or in the office. Doing both has proven to be a lot of work and Bolstad is worried he has lost some customers by having to close the shop whenever he leaves.
For now, he is happy with where things are and with where they are headed.
And he’s certainly happy to not be making the commute to Fargo anymore.