Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

Editor's note: This is one in a weekly series of profiles on locally owned and operated businesses in Southern Oregon.

What do you do and how long have you been doing it? (Dave Facciuto speaking) We repair, maintain and service automobiles. We originally specialized in imports until about the mid-1990s, when a lot of the vehicles became homogenized. We added more technicians with domestic experienced. I've been a technician since 1975, and I've operated the business since 1989. We incorporated in 2005.

How long have you lived in the Rogue Valley? I have lived in the Rogue Valley since 1978. I was originally from Cincinnati.

What inspired you to go into this line of work? I attended college at Butler University, majoring in business. I had been supporting myself doing things in a garage; it was easy to get hired as an apprentice. I found I loved that end more than the business end, but later the business skills paid off.

What decision or action would you change if you could do it again? I started small and grew. I wouldn't change that. It helped me along the way not to acquire large debt. We built our building in 2005, and I would have made it larger if I were to do it again, I didn't anticipate the volume of business we had right after that. The building has three suites, and we took over the middle suite so we could increase our size that way.

What's the toughest business decision you've made? During the downturn in the economy, having to let someone go. We really have a family atmosphere here. We get together for meetings and include family members, and we're close to everybody. Having to anguish over that decision is tough. We're not at the point we were when the economy slowed, but we're showing signs of picking up.

Who are your competitors? Keith Schulz Garage and Diagnostic Center, and Bob Thomas Automotive and Specialized Foreign Car Service have the bigger shops in the area.

What are your goals? Five years from now, I'd like to see the shop do without me as much — as every business owner would like. Probably some increased car counts, too, but mostly I would like to see us on the cutting edge of technology. As cars change, my priority is to get us on same page with new technology coming out. That's the biggest challenge for anyone in this business.

What training or education did you need? I studied business administration at Butler University. My automotive training came through various dealerships: I worked for a GM dealer, a BMW dealer and had some Porsche experience. They send their technicians to manufacturers — that's where the term factory-trained comes from. The bulk of my training has been hands-on. The schools get you started, but when you are in the real work environment, that's where the real learning begins because it has to be practical.

What's your advice for budding entrepreneurs? Start small and don't go into debt as much as possible. We didn't acquire a huge amount of debt and that made it easier. We weren't staring at huge payments where people might want to repossess equipment. We tried to pay cash for the equipment. Obviously, when it came to the building, we had to get a mortgage.

To suggest ideas for this column, about businesses that are at least five years old, contact reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.