Serial Entrepreneur Jamie Davidson Tries New Line of Work


Serial Entrepreneur Jamie Davidson Tries New Line of Work
Jamie Davidson changes lanes from men’s clothing to auto maintenance with his latest startup, Tic Toc Auto. (Amanda Cordell)

Jamie Davidson, the Little Rock businessman who sold his Strong Suit Clothing company two years ago, has found his next startup: Tic Toc Auto.

With the experience he acquired through his years in retail, Davidson determined that a product or service centered around convenience was what he needed to try next. Tic Toc Auto takes auto service to the customer.

Tic Toc launched in May after several months of planning, said Keith Hoelzeman, chief technology officer.

Davidson is the sole owner, and while he did not disclose the amount he has invested, he did say that it was “considerable.” He explained that he wanted to prove the viability of Tic Toc Auto before seeking out investors.

“The auto maintenance market is massive. It is bigger than health care; it is a market segment with no real market leaders,” said Davidson.

Unlike Strong Suit, Tic Toc Auto is not selling a luxury item. Instead, it provides a service that anyone with a vehicle needs and does it in a way that adapts to the customer’s schedule. And Davidson settled on a membership model in which customers pay a set monthly fee — $29, according to the Tic Toc website — for a year’s worth of routine maintenance.

That includes four premium oil changes and simultaneous car washes, air filter replacement and lightbulb replacement. Tic Toc also offers individual services like brakes, premium oil changes and a summer road trip package, and convenience fees on those services are waived for members.

Davidson says Tic Toc’s on-site service takes a fraction of the time that traditional auto repair and maintenance shops would take. An oil change can take as little as 15 minutes, and the vehicle owner doesn’t have to leave work. “One of the reasons we called the business Tic Toc is because what I am really selling you is your time,” he said.

For members, Tic Toc Auto will contact them when it is time for their vehicle to be serviced. Once the appointment has been set up, Michael Crisco, the Tic Toc Auto technician, will drive to the customer in a truck with a trailer that is equipped to service the vehicle.

Tic Toc also wants to service fleets of vehicles. “If we were launching all over again, I would have spent the first month going out and signing up fleet vehicles,” Davidson said last week. A conversation with a potential client opened his eyes to the revenue companies lose when a vehicle needs maintenance. Paying an employee to wait while oil is being changed plus revenue lost while the vehicle is out of service can add up to $150 or $200, he said.

Davidson said tens of billions of dollars worth of needed car maintenance simply isn’t performed each year. Tic Toc Auto is trying to get a piece of that business by making car maintenance convenient and affordable.

Little Rock is the “beta test” for Tic Toc Auto because it is geographically convenient for the service technician. “You can be just about anywhere in the city in 20 minutes, give or take,” Davidson said.

Assuming his model works, Davidson is already thinking of expansion markets: northwest Arkansas; Dallas; and Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga in Tennessee.