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5 Reasons for Low Shop 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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Management

Auto Shop Owners: Your End-of-Year Tax Planning Checklist

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Management

Do You Know the First Step in Your Marketing Plan?

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Marketing

Nine Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line

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: Hire the

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Management

Don’t think you need an Exit Plan? Think Again!

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Management

Why Your Employees May be Looking to Quit

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Employee Retention

Why You Don’t Want a 5-Star Google Review Rating

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.

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Customers

Before You Give Pay Raises, Consider This!

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

Why You Need to Balance Life and Work

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Management

Are Your Employee Pay Plans Legal?

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.   Here’

How to Keep Your Bays Full, All Year Long!

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

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Customers

Remarkable Results

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

nptrb

nptrb in Finance

How to Find the Right Bookkeeper For You

When it comes to finding the right person to help your business maintain your finances and bookkeeping, trust and comfort are at the top of our client’s priorities. The clients that chose to work with us asked us a bunch of questions before we began working together. And while I can’t tell you the exact questions they asked, I can tell you the kind of questions they asked and the key principles that convinced them we were the right fit. Look For Value The first topic our clients cove

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nptrb in Finance

4 Reasons Not To Do Your Own Payroll

One of the biggest and most consistent challenges that my clients face is payroll. All bookkeeping is repetitive, but payroll seems to come up more frequently and present more challenges, especially for smaller companies. One of the first things that I recommend to all my clients when I start helping them with their books is to take payroll off of their plates. Here are four reasons why. Withholding Taxes Is Tricky If you are an employer and you aren’t using independent contractors, th

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nptrb in Finance

3 Signs Your Business Isn’t Healthy

As a bookkeeper, I have unfortunately seen companies fail. They don’t tend to fail overnight. In fact, most of the companies that fail do so for multiple reasons. But before they fail, there are several signs of problems. Three of the most common signs that I have seen are easy to catch and fix, if you know what they are. Inconsistent Sales Sales are what make your business a business and not a charity. But if your sales aren’t consistent, your business will begin to suffer. Most people w

nptrb

nptrb in Finance

How Does A Bookkeeper Help My Business?

One of the most common questions I get is “Why do I need a bookkeeper?” It’s usually accompanied by a “I can do it myself or have a friend help me for less.” I recently had a client I helped that demonstrates exactly what I do and how it helps. I won’t include their name, or any identifying information, but I want to share with you how the work I do impacts their business. What a Disaster Looks Like I don’t call errors a disaster lightly. A disaster means major problems. When I got my

nptrb

nptrb in Finance

Who’s More Important, Your Customers or Employees?

Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, was once asked, “Who’s more important, your customers or your employees? Thinking back on what his mother had taught him, Kelleher responded, “My mother taught me that your employees come first. If you treat them well, then they treat the customers well, and that means your customers come back and your shareholders are happy." Shop owners have been taught that the customer is always right and that their needs supersede all other needs. An

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Customers

Never Apologize for Your Prices

Shop owners today understand the challenges of rising costs and inflation.  Without addressing this issue and making the needed adjustment to your margins, the increase in your expenses will end up hurting your bottom line. Adjusting prices, up or down, is a function of being in business and, at times, unavoidable. Shop owners often fear that their customers may push back with any price increase. They ask themselves,  “Will my customers understand? Will they shop other auto repair shops to

Joe Marconi

Joe Marconi in Customers

Are Your Employees Looking to Leave You?

There’s a lot of talk these days about finding quality employees. Creating a continuous recruiting process to find and hire quality people is essential for your overall success. However, shop owners also need to consider their existing employees and create a work environment where people feel wanted. The truth is you cannot afford to lose the people you have now, especially if those employees are superstars.  Another reality is that with so many shops looking to hire, they may be trying to recru

Is Your Auto Repair Shop Like Tom Brady, The GOAT?

Whether you like Tom Brady or not, you have to admit he is the Greatest Of All Time. I’m not a football person, but when I hear or read about his accomplishments, I’m amazed. If your shop isn’t the greatest, do you know why? What is your vision for your auto repair shop? One lesson I’ve learned is that you have to see where you want to be in the future. See where you want your shop to be in 3 years or 5 years. When you see this picture of your shop the way you want it to be, what does

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nptrb in Goal Setting

What You Need To Know about the Employee Retention Credit

Whew! We’re moving on from the PPP loan blog series to dispensing knowledge about the Employee Retention Credit. Hello IRS! With all of the changes and tax time approaching ~2 months away, I hope you’re ready to go. If you haven’t already filed, here is some information that’s about two weeks old, so grab a cup of coffee as we dive into a summary of this credit. This credit is designed to make it easier for businesses that chose to keep employees on their payroll through all the challe

nptrb

nptrb in Finance

Beyond the Awards. The Story Behind the Story.

Early in 2021, I interviewed the recipients of the first annual AAPEX 2020 Awards; Shop Owner of the Year, Service Advisor of the Year, and Technician of the Year. I’m so grateful that AAPEX for the first time created these award categories to start this important recognition. I also had the honors to present the awards at Virtual AAPEX. I pulled the honorees together for a podcast not just to pay homage to their awards, but to talk among ourselves about the relationship between the owner, tec

carmcapriotto

carmcapriotto

Have You Felt the Impact?

Have you walked one of your regional malls lately? I recently spent time at our one big regional 1.6 million sq’ mall. It had been a while since I’d been there and I saw and felt the impact Covid-19 and e-commerce has had on our world. At the minimum, I counted 15 closed stores. I’m not talking about the small boutique storefronts, but some very big name stores shuttered. We’ve heard of the challenges many brick and mortar stores are having and the stores that are closing to ‘restructure’ into

carmcapriotto

carmcapriotto



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