Mike Watkins is the CAO of Next Level Shop Owner. He is a 25-year veteran in the Auto Repair Industry. He started out in the industry as an employee, but his entrepreneurial spirit soon won out and he purchased a van and began a business on his own, doing a mobile repair.
Mike started off high school auto repair classes where he excelled and eventually went to WyoTech. There he places top of his class. After a few years, a tire shop and a dealership. Mike decided to return to school to understand business. There, as a non traditional student he was stuck with working and trying to go to school. He found the large colleges were more focused on lending money, schooling kids, and only partially delivering a very slow way to learn the business ropes. One day he placed an Ad “R U looking for a mechanic?” at the student union building. The phone rang off the hook. However, there was the trouble, the cars needed to be fixed, but the classes were all during working hours. After a few weeks He realized he needed to focus on fixing the cars and that he's already learned more in a few weeks than the whole first year of college. So, he bought a truck and started going to homes of students and facilities. Eventually, he expanded to serving the whole valley and then found the “perfect automotive dream shop.”
In 2005 he bought his first auto repair shop in Nampa, Idaho.A small 2 bay shop on the end of town. He ran the shop as a one man show until he wed in 2008. He started hiring employees and learning to become a business owner.
Over the past 15 years Mike has immersed himself in extensive training and learning to become the best shop owner and employer in the Nampa area. He was able to successfully take himself out of working in his shop and now working on his shop.
In 2011 he moved locations to another dream shop, a larger shop and was able to hire more employees. He believes strongly in supporting local, small businesses and veterans. He and his wife are proud to be able to employ others and help to support their families. He took his shop from a 2-bay, one-man show to an 11-bay, thriving shop of 10 employees.
He now puts training his employees as a top priority and his shop is able to hire the best of the best employees who thrive in an environment of respect and growth. Each employee is heard and is striving for greater goals at work and in their personal lives.
Mike has been married to his wife and co-partner, Ann for 15 years. In his free time he loves to be with his family, hunt, ride motorcycles, travel, fish, build his real estate portfolio and spend time outdoors. He is currently working on getting his pilot’s license.
Mike has a strong desire to share his knowledge of building a successful business and being a great employer with other small business owners.