Operator Spotlight - Joseph Hall

Meet Joseph Hall, current CEO of Precision Body & Service.

Operator Spotlight - Joseph Hall
Article by
GTE Staff Writer
Article Date
August 22, 2022

We sat down with former GT Entrepreneurs (GTE) MBA Intern, Joseph Hall, who is the President of Pittsburgh-based consumer and commercial body shop Precision Body & Auto. Joe entered Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper Business School with the intention of pursuing a career in investment banking. All of that changed when he stumbled across entrepreneurship-through-acquisition (EtA), which he saw as a viable route to business ownership with potentially good financial upside. Joe’s situation was unique in that he was given the opportunity to take over and run a business as an MBA Intern (i.e. he was actively helping to find deals for GTE’s full-time searchers rather than for himself). . 

What made this opportunity and industry so appealing to you?

“I always knew I wanted a blue-collar business. I had experience running an oil rig, managing glass work, and working in the life sciences field at PwC. I had a wide range of experience, so I felt that I could go into any field. I wasn’t interested in tech even though I had some experience. The blue-collar lifestyle of getting your hands dirty and attacking problems was way more interesting to me.”

What gave you the confidence to pursue the acquisition of Precision Body & Auto?

“The deal actually came about because some research had been done on the company, but none of the other searchers wanted to follow through with it. I decided to take it and I had a lot of confidence because of the deals we closed on in the past. There were about 3 or 4 deals that had already been successfully closed so I knew there weren't any questions or doubts. I personally believed that I had a lot of confidence and a detailed plan to have autonomy over the EtA process. If you were ahead of the game and reached out to others at GTE with specific tasks that needed to be done, then it made everything easier since it was all organized and ahead of schedule.”

What have been some of the most rewarding aspects of running your own business?

“The rewarding part is why you do it. When things start to derail or go wrong, those problems go on you. That is why I think 90% of people do search because it puts them in the driver’s seat very early on. Honestly, it is also just pretty fun. Even with the ups and downs, you make these decisions for yourself and have a sense of  personal autonomy. Myself and many other searchers would say it isn't a financial decision, but more of a decision to be your own boss and not work for others.”

What is some advice you would give to someone who recently just acquired their first business?

“Start to figure out what is realistic and what is not within your company. I would definitely spend a good amount of time building relationships with your colleagues. It really is key to build up that trust and respect. And for someone going into an industry that they’re not too familiar with, you can make up for it by going the extra mile; first one there, last one to leave, etc. People will start to take notice how much you care and that you’re willing to be the best boss you can be for them and the company.”