Our Client Base and Testimonials

The First Step LLC specializes in assisting small to medium-sized dealerships  that find themselves in uncharted territory due to market and business changes, changes in Automotive buying habits, or large shifts in their established markets.


Mike has been instrumental in helping me create two successful Fixed Operations at dealerships that I have been involved with. He utilized strong  processes along with many cutting edge tools to build two solid operations for our company.  The emphasis is on inproving communication skills.  He presented a pathway to success that has benefited all aspects of our endeavor: Sales, Service, and Parts departments.

Mike comes from a place of experience which helps when the "hard" suggestions need to be made. We truly cherished the input Mike has given to inprove our Business.


Pat Carr




I work for Cooper tire in the sales and marketing department. Mike and I collaborated closely on ways to increase their Cooper tire sales by focusing on product training and maximizing the benefits of our tire loyalty program. This resulted in the dealership group becoming a leading performer in tire sales in our overall dealer network. Mike’s leadership and involvement was a key to the tire growth we experienced.


Adam J. Zickert

Senior Manager Consumer and Trade Promotions

Cooper Tire



Your expertise and knowledge in the service, parts and body shop departments have greatly affected our performance and of course, our bottom line.  Combine those abilities with your knowledge of the Ford financial statement and I can honestly say that you've been a big factor in our "Service Absorption" numbers moving up 40 percentage points.  The continued monitoring and coaching with the service management and service writing staff has been exceptional.


Roy Royberg

Rice Lake, WI

Some of our satisfied clients include


     Copper Country Ford, Houghton, MI

     Rhinelander Honda, Rhinelander WI 

     Harvard Chevrolet, Harvard IL

     West Burlington Honda, West Burlington IA

     Galesburg Toyota, Galesburg IL

     Alphorn Ford, Monroe WI

     Ashland Toyota Honda, Ashland WI

     Harvard Ford, Harvard IL

     Beaver Dam Ford, Beaver Dam WI

     Brodhead  Chevrolet, Brodhead WI

     Fairway Ford, Freeport IL

     GM Super Center, Lake Geneva WI

     Koehne GMC, Oconto WI

     Jensen Motors GMC Cadillac, New Ulm MN

     Link Ford Mercury Lincoln, Rice Lake WI

     River Valley Ford, Baldwin WI

     Bloomer Ford,  Bloomer WI

     Courtesy Motors, Stevens Point WI

     Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Nissian, Mazda Stevens Point, WI

     Rhinelander Chrysler, Rhinelander, WI    

"What I like about Mike is he will dig into the Fixed Operations of the Dealership and give me an Honest Evaluation with a practical systematic approach to finding and fixing the problem.  I trust Mike with his diagnosis and I trust Mike with his solutions to fixing the problem and continuous monitoring of our backend.  Mike is great to work with."  Todd Koehne-owner Koehne Buick Pontiac GMC Inc.

"Your practical techniques were easy to implement and yielded immediate results.  By doing an R.O. review for us and establishing a benchmark, we were able to increase our Hours Per R.O. by .6 hours. Technicial productivity overall has increasaed by a total of 18% over the first 45 days.  We feel a major reason for the continued improvement has been the fact that it is an on  going relationship after the in-house visit."  Andy Lamb and Corey Hawkins. River Valley Ford