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About this blog

A Blog by Joe Marconi, co-founder of AutoShopOwner , owner of Osceola Garage, and  Business Development Coach at Elite Worldwide, Inc.

Entries in this blog

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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