Business profile: Brian Holder

Posted: Thursday, December 05, 2002

Title and company: Owner, Mobile Oil Service

Services: As founder and sole employee of Mobile Oil Service, Holder specializes in oil changes and winterizing vehicles. He operates out of his Chevy truck, and does his work wherever his customers need him. He charges $29.95 for an oil change and inspection in a standard car. Inspection includes a look at belts, hoses, the exhaust - things he doesn't have to spend hours on to check, Holder said.

"It's a courtesy inspection to see if there's anything that needs to be replaced," he said.

To winterize a vehicle, Holder changes the antifreeze, flushes the engine and removes rust, grease and corrosion in the system, Holder said.

"If you don't have it done regularly, your car can overheat," he said. "Another possibility is that if you don't have the right mixture of coolant and water, you can do serious damage to the engine."

Holder believes his competitive advantage lies in his low prices.

"Because I don't have a lease or any kind of big overhead expenses like a shop, I'm able to provide the best prices in town," he said. "Also, it's really convenient. They don't have to drop off their car and arrange for a ride and so forth."

Biographical information: Holder, 30, was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., and attended Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage for three years before moving to Juneau three years ago. He earned a degree in literature at the University of Alaska Southeast, and opened his business after graduating this spring.

The idea for the business came to Holder after hearing from a friend about the cost of an oil change in Juneau.

"A friend of mine got an oil change and some wiper blades at a shop in town and she paid $85," he said. "I thought, 'That's ridiculous. At those rates I can start my own business.' I didn't have enough money for a shop, but I could do it out of my truck."

Holder learned his mechanic skills from his father, a retired mechanic for Trans World Airlines. He is using trial and error to learn business skills, he said.

Family: Holder lives in Juneau with his dog Kvichek.

Quotable: "The thing I really love about this business is that it makes people happy," Holder said. "Most of my customers are just pleased as punch."

Contact information: Holder can be reached at 723-1948.

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