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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Feet ache? Can’t see well? Back hurt? Does your knee hurt? You may need a specialist in each of these areas.
Is your business aching, hurting? (in the sense that it is struggling with sales and profits)
There are specialists in the automotive service aftermarket that can fix a struggling business. They are called coaches or consultants. I get requests to recommend a coach to listeners. I do not. I’m very neutral in the industry. I need to be so we can get the views from all segments and people
Of late there has been a lot of dialogue around my circles about being paid for the value you give and bring to your customer. I recently saw a survey of shops whose sales averaged $750,000 yet their net operating profit was only 2%. That is only a $15,000 average net operating income before tax. This troubling stat begs the question: How do you continue to invest in the business and even provide a living wage for you and your team at that level of profit?
If you consider the investment you hav
Have you learned and experienced the powerful adage ‘When We Teach We Learn’. Ask any trainer if it is true.
How do you make this work? Have you read a good book lately, attended a virtual seminar, listened to one of my podcasts? Learn anything? I bet you did, even just one new thing.
How to start. Create a platform for knowledge sharing inside your organization. If you are an owner or leader, you have the power of meetings. If you are not assembling your team weekly, then do it. Carve out som
The new 5,500+ page Covid Relief Bill is massive, and it will take many weeks to digest everything included in the legislation.
Here's what we know about business relief and PPP funds:
There is now streamlined forgiveness for PPP loans under $150K. This is a significant development for many so check with your lender about how they want that now to be handled.
There is also now an additional $284B in PPP funding for impacted businesses to access.
This past weekend, Sirius XM played the top 100 Beatles songs, voted by their listener. During a busy weekend, while in the car, Ann and I had a chance to listen in segments. I love to hear the story behind the music. What inspired the song. How many sessions did it take to get it ‘right’. What instruments were used, among other great trivia.
I heard the segment starting with song #7 and the Abbey Road Medley. My favorite stretch of Beatles music is Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight and The En
Flipping through channels, there it was, the beloved ‘Wizard of Oz’. I just can’t help but stop and get a fix of this very special movie. I remember as a kid being glued to the TV watching this every year.
I found the movie in its first 20 minutes at the part where Dorothy starts her journey down the yellow brick road. I immediately thought of life’s journey, brick by brick. I could not help but think of life’s challenges and opportunities that each brick can afford us. The journey we take in g
As you plan for your giving budget in this holiday season, remember that THIS YEAR ONLY (per the CARES Act), you can take the standard deduction, as well as up to $300 of cash donations. It has to be cash though, and it's up to $300 per return, so if you file jointly, it's still only $300.
(Since most people use the new higher standard deduction, charitable giving is not deductible. But this year, you can claim up to $300 on top of that standard deduction.)
With the end of 2020 fast approaching, we’re going to look at annual financial reports. Your shop’s financial report is being prepared and there are some steps for you to take. There are also steps you can take to prepare for a solid start to the new year.
The content of this blog comes from two checklists provided by Three Rivers Bookkeeping. If you would like copies of these checklists, ask by phone or email at the bottom of this post. I would love to deliver these useful tools to you.
Within this post we’re going to pull back the covers and take a look at what goes into a quarterly report. For this conversation we’ll be talking about privately owned auto repair shops only.
By definition a quarterly report is a summary or collection of unaudited financial statements. These include balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. These are prepared by your bookkeeper every quarter (three months). Some quarterly reports may also include year-to- date figures and