Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor t
While the United Auto Worker’s strike may be over, this won’t be the last time Detroit will hear from the UAW. As a result of the contract agreement, the Big Three (General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis) will now have to find ways to pay for the increases in wages and benefits, which are estimated that it will add $850 to $900 to each vehicle produced.
Putting politics aside, the effects of this strike are far-reaching, with no clear winner. Here’s a quote from UAW President Shawn Fain, “We
Nearly every car that leaves your auto repair shop today will need some sort of service or repair in the future. The question is, will your customers take their car back to you? In this blog, I will discuss three simple ways to increase your customer retention rate, which will also increase sales and profits.
First, ensure that the entire customer experience is amazing; from scheduling the appointment, vehicle write-up, the sales process, and especially car delivery. A poor experience could
I am going to borrow a quote from billionaire, Warren Buffet, “The best investment you can make is in yourself,” This statement, while simplistic, speaks volumes. A shop owner is much more than a boss, a shop owner is a leader. And leaders are solely responsible for the success of their team. This means that you must work hard and commit to a life of continuous learning and improvement. It also means that if the team fails, a leader must always blame himself or herself for that failure and find
My son is not in the automotive industry. He is in the commercial real estate business. However, the workplace problems are the same. Recently, his frustration with the heads of the company reached an all-time high. When I asked him why he doesn’t speak up and let the leadership know how he is feeling, he responded, “Anyone who has voiced concerns or issues has been viewed as weak and incapable of doing their job. I don’t want to be viewed like that.” This is an example of a toxic work environme
“Leave your problems at home” is a common expression. The thinking behind it is that if you are having a problem at home, it will affect your performance at work. So, change gears when you get to work and put the problem out of your mind.
However, can people just shut it off? Can they leave their problems at home? Consider this example; your technician and his wife have a very sick child who is getting worse. Their doctor is concerned and wants to refer the child to a specialist, fearing
I was taught a valuable lesson in pricing back in the 1980s by a fellow shop owner. Tom (not his real name) owned a five-bay independent auto repair shop. We met in a training class and became instant friends. The discussion of labor rates and pricing came up often, and his opinion was spot on. He would tell me, “Joe, we will never get paid what we deserve until we put a higher value on what we do.”
This leads me to the reason for this blog: The mindset that auto repair shops should price
I am a firm believer in providing employees with a competitive wage and the opportunity to earn more through incentives. However, any additional incentive bonus must pay for itself. That means any additional incentive compensation must not eat into company profits. While we typically look at payroll as an expense, everyone in your company must be productive enough to support their compensation plan. This is especially true with service advisors.
Too often, shop owners don’t properly establi
A recent study, done by Harvard Business School, concluded that the real problem with attracting and retaining employees has more to do with the workplace environment, not pay or benefits. While the study did find that an adequate pay plan and offering an attractive benefits package did help with recruiting and retention, it’s not enough to satisfy the needs of employees, especially those of front-line workers.
The study also stated that in 2021, many companies were convinced that giving ra
Have I got your attention? Great.
Let me start by saying that I believe in giving praise when deserved and letting employees know when they dropped the ball. However, the truth is that no one enjoys being reprimanded or told they messed up.
The question is, what is the appropriate balance between the right amount of praise and the right amount of critical feedback? According to studies done by Harvard Business School, the ratio of praise to critical feedback should be about 6:1 – Six
Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production
Typically, when productivity suffers, the shop owner or manager directs their attention to the technicians. Are they doing all they can do to maintain high billable hours? Are they as efficient as they can be? Is there time being wasted throughout the technician’s day?
All these reasons factor into production problems, but before we point fingers at the technicians, let’s consider a few other factors.
Are estimates being written properly? Are labor testing and inspections being b
For automotive shop owners, tax planning is an ongoing process. You should meet with your accountant at least once a quarter to review your financials, expenses, major purchases, cash reserve, payroll, etc., and make needed course corrections.
Below is a general list of tasks that should be done by the end of the year to prepare for tax season, which is right around the corner.
Schedule a meeting with your accountant and ask if any information, reports, or documents are specific to
There are many things to consider when creating a marketing plan. Among them are establishing a budget, what forms of media should be used, and whether traditional advertising, such as TV, radio, and print, is still relevant. And of course, how much should be allocated to social media and digital advertising?
All the above are essentials to any marketing plan. However, the first step is ensuring that you have a healthy workplace and that your employees understand your company’s culture and
The strategies outlined in this blog reflect real-world strategies I have learned and used in my 41 years as an auto shop owner. I also use these strategies when helping clients as a business development coach.
While running a successful auto repair shop today has many components, the list below contains the top 9 strategies I believe every auto shop owner should consider when looking for ways to improve their bottom-line profit.
Ten Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line:
As shop owners, we get consumed with the day-to-day routine of running our businesses. When we are young, we think we have all the time in the world to plan for our futures. When we hit middle age, we think about our end game, but too few of us do something about it. And when we reach retirement age, we wonder if we did all the right things to prepare for life after owning an auto repair shop.
The reality is that life can throw you a curve ball at any age. This means you need to prepare to
I don’t think there’s an auto repair shop in the country these days not looking to hire. At the top of the list is finding qualified technicians. However, while auto repair shop owners may be on the hunt for new workers, they shouldn’t forget the people they employ now.
A recent Gallup poll found that while job seekers consider pay compensation and benefits package their primary consideration, it isn’t why many employees feel disengaged at work and may be looking to quit.
A recent Gall
Contrary to what many people believe, having a perfect 5-star Google review rating is not something a business should expect to achieve. After all, no company is perfect. And Google realizes this too.
There’s no denying that consumers look at online reviews and base part of their buying decision on these reviews. A great online review rating on Google is essential to draw traffic to your website and your business. However, it’s better to have a mix of great and not-so-great reviews.
It appears that no matter where you go these days, repair shops are looking to hire. However, shop owners also don’t want to lose the people they have now. And many of them are considering giving pay raises as a way to retain employees. This is not a bad idea, especially if your pay plans are outdated and not competitive with the current market. However, before you give out pay raises, there are things to consider.
First, have you done a complete review of your labor and part profit margins
The summer is in full swing, which means your shop is probably at its busiest. Summer also means it’s vacation season. You’ve probably done a great job scheduling your employee’s vacations, but what about yourself? Are you planning time off too?
Shop owners are among the hardest-working people on the planet. This is a quality to be admired. However, everyone needs time away from their businesses to spend with friends and family.
Balancing work with life is your responsibility to yours
As an auto shop owner and a business development coach, I know from experience that there are countless ways to create employee pay plans. From hourly, flat-rate, salary, incentive-based, performance-based, team bonuses, profit sharing, on and on and on. However, the question is: are your pay plans legal?
To complicate matters, overtime and minimum wage laws differ from state to state and may vary from county to county within a state. Wage and hour laws are ever-changing too.
We all know there are times of the year that are better than others and times when business is slower than what you would like it to be. While every company goes through highs and lows, there are things you can do to help keep your bays full all year long.
One of the best ways to achieve a more consistent car count is to make sure that every customer that leaves your shop today has their next future oil change or factory maintenance appointment booked. Please don’t tell me you have tried th
Last year I had the privilege of`appearing on @carmcapriotto podcast, Remarkable Results. We had a fantastic time talking about how to take care of your business finances and a few things you need to know to have a successful business. Here are a few of the points we discussed.
Know Your Break Even Point
The first thing you need to know about your business’ finances is what your break even point is. What is the point where your income and your expenses balance out? In other words, at w