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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

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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

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Knee Hurt?

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

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Charging What You Are Worth

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

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When We Teach

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

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Inspired by the Beatles

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

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Follow the Yellow Brick Road

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

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How Can You Help the Next Generation of Shop Owners

If you had known then what you know now, would you have opened your own shop? Every day new shops open in North America. Many of them from technicians who have a dream and desire of opening up their own. For many, it is a life long dream to own their own business. For the majority of new business owners, they are great at the skill but do not understand how a business works. Some owners will lose a team member to the dream of opening their own. They are talented techs and want to build a busin

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Are You Meeting Your Customer Expectations?

Customers want a great experience. They have preconceived expectations on how their experience with you is going to happen. Will it be as good as in the past. Will it be better than the dealer or the shop they patronized who is now closed?  Every time we set out to do business, even a trip to Macy’s to buy a shirt, we have a preconceived notion on the shopping experience. I recall getting a special discount because I hadn’t brought in the coupon from the newspaper. I didn’t even know about it.

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Is it Just Me or Do You Feel the Forces of Change?

Are change forces blowing harder and faster than we realize? And are we creating them? A restaurant in my town decided to rent some space in an office tower next to our AAA Ball Park. It just happens that the Toronto Blue Jays are playing there because of the pandemic (Canadian/US border lockdown). All US teams will play Toronto in Buffalo. There are no fans allowed in the park Fans are desperate to see sports and watch a major league team. Did I mention the space the restauranter rented as a

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