In business, if your not growing you’re dieing. This may be harsh, but true. All companies need to grow to survive. Whether you have 2 bays or 30, it doesn’t matter.
For the first five in business I grew from nothing, so any growth was positive. After eight years my sales hit a plateau and hard times followed soon after. By my tenth year, I was nearly broke. It took me an additional 2 years to realize that although I could fix cars I could not fix my business. My skills were all mechanical. I needed to learn a new set of skills: The skills of business. It took an additional 2 years to create a plan that would free me from the hole I dug for myself.
By 1994, I created my first business plan. I made major changes to the business and started watching the numbers of the business. I increase the staff to take on duties that I once performed: Every position from lead tech, service advisor, janitor, office manager, shop foreman, receptionist and just about every other position. I needed to give up control of the daily operations in order to gain control of the business.
Changes were made in areas of marketing, branding and advertising. We launched programs that targeted our existing customers and reached out to prospective customers. We experimented with different forms of advertising: some worked, a lot did not. But, you will never know what works until you try. Today, our marketing and advertising is focused on growth.
Once we made the decision to increase the business from 6 bays to 10, we ran the numbers to see what sales we would need to generate the income needed to pay for the expansion and return a profit on the investment. We also learned how many techs will be needed, the number of service advisors and support staff.
Everything is on paper in a detailed business plan. Comprehensive strategy and scenarios were also written to simulate real life conditions. In-house training will be a key component. We compare to this to a football team or baseball team where all players are working in unison toward a common goal.
Growth in business is determined by you particular needs, abilities and desires. All that matters it that you grow. You don’t have to achieve the status of Disney World or Trump Enterprises to be successful.
Everything starts with a plan. And a plan is written. If your goals, dreams and aspirations are all in your head, there’re in the wrong place.