Wednesday, September 12, 2012

LDJ Auto Body News Welcomes Don Elfrink, New Contributing Author

LDJ Auto Body News Welcomes Our Newest Contributing Author, Don Elfrink of!

We are thrilled to welcome Mr. Don Eflrink of as our newest contributing author here at LDJ Auto Body's Car, Truck, and Motorcycle News.  Don has done several guest posts for us in the past and had such a great response from all of our readers that he is going to be a regular here at LDJ Auto News.

For those of you who don't know Don, here's a short bio to bring you all up to speed as to Don's expertise in the automotive industry.  We are looking forward to some great upcoming articles from Don Elfrink and welcome him to the new team here at LDJ Auto News.  We'll be running new articles by Don regularly, so be sure to register now so you don't miss any of the great info Don Elfrink has to offer and be sure to stop by his website at for some great deals too!

Check out for some great ideas on floor mats for your car or truck!
Here Don Elfrink's autobiography!  Look for more article soon!

An Entrepreneur for Life

I’m no stranger to owning my own business – I’ve operated several over the past three decades. I’ve owned everything from a vending business (which wasn’t one of my best decisions, by the way), to an expedited delivery business, a trucking business, a manufacturing business and, today, an ecommerce website. I’ve also been involved in entrepreneurial enterprises since college. You might say it runs in my family.

Getting Off to a Good Start

I actually left college after completing my junior year at the University of Missouri in St. Louis so that I could go to work in our family business. We operated an LTL (less than truckload) trucking business in the greater St. Louis area. I learned the ropes and honed my skills in St. Louis, and then made the move to Columbia, Missouri, where I opened and ran a terminal that served the central part of the state.
Perhaps the greatest strength of our trucking business was our ability to deliver overnight to destinations as far away as 400 miles, which was unheard of in the industry. However, even with our excellent service, we were limited by the geographic area we served. To supplement our trucking service, I started an expedited business, which gave us a greater serviceable area and more profitability. Unfortunately, four years after I moved to Columbia, the family trucking business was sold. Like they say, though, when one door closes, another opens. That’s when I expanded my expedited business to include truckload services and began doing business with clients across the country.

Entering the Automotive Industry

Really, it was my time spent in the trucking business that helped me get involved in the automotive world. One day, I visited a client that manufactured automotive floor mats. One of his designs really caught my eye – it was manufactured for a full-size van, and covered both front floorboards, as well as the area between the seats. I saw immediately how it would benefit truck drivers, so I asked my client if he had floor mats that would fit 18-wheelers. He said no, but that if I could provide templates and patterns, he could make them for me. They were a huge hit with truck stops, trucking companies and truck manufacturers, and after a few years, I actually bought the floor mat plant from the original owner. I was now in the automotive industry.

Finding My Own Success

There are many different aspects to owning a manufacturing business, but one in particular helped me establish my current business, In the manufacturing process, we created an inventory of overruns, returns and obsolete products we had a hard time finding a market for. However, with the advent of the Internet, especially sites like eBay, we were able to address that issue.

That was when I realized the potential of the Internet. I sold the manufacturing business about seven years ago so I could start up an Internet ecommerce site focused on automotive floor mats. We decided from the beginning that customer service was going to be the difference between our company and our competitors, and it provided to be the lynchpin of our success. With our emphasis on customer service, we have realized an astounding growth of between 15 and 20% every year for the past five years, during a time when the auto industry was suffering one of its worst slumps in history.

Forward to the Future

Of course, we’re not content to rest on our laurels. Our plan for the future is to create similar ecommerce sites that focus on either a specific type of item, a specific vehicle or a specific vehicle type. That specific focus and our drive to provide outstanding customer service will help us stand out in the market.

Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto floor mat company based out of Columbia, Missouri. Before, Elfrink was the operator of a company that produced automotive accessories. focuses on all-weather, logo, carpeted and molded car mats.

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Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you! -Larry and Dee Blackman, LDJ Auto Body, Gibsonton, FL.