Owner Gary Peterson is a native New Mexican and a proud veteran. He founded One Community Auto, LLC in 2013 after spending 22 years in the United States Air Force working in logistics and transportation. He knew he had found his calling after helping the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center fix up and sell an old Camaro. He took a rundown car and turned it into over $4,000 for the charity. He’s been helping donors and non-profits ever since.
Gary is now assisting 20 local non-profit charitable organizations using his business model. This year Gary was selected as one of two New Mexico Business Champions by SCORE, supported by Sam's Club who supplied Gary's prize of a $1000 Sams Club gift card.
Owner Gary Peterson sought advice from the Veterans Business Outreach Center, SCORE, Small Business Developments Centers (SBDC), Women’s Business Center (WESST) and other local resources. They helped him build a business plan and with their continued support and mentorship helped him turn a fledgling idea into a solid business.
SCORE assisted with marketing: we focused on the donors. Facebook ads and SEO were discussed. Gary had already worked on the ideal client and the notion of a marketing plan. SCORE suggested he think about the thought process of a potential donor when he realizes he must get a new car. Who will that person be dealing with at the time he needs to dispose of the car? Dealerships, independent auto shops, perhaps other intermediaries. How can Gary incentivize those people to mention his service?
Gary says, "Our work with SCORE has been fantastic ... It's been very rewoarding working with our mentors. We learned a lot."