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  1. Today
  2. I've been using "My Shop Manager" and it's been great for our business. It also has digital vehicle inspections that seem to work well. Also, with the slowdown from COVID 19 and me having to let my two employees take time off, I contacted them to suspend service for a month or two. They were quick to get back to me and allow us to keep service in order to contact customers and whatnot, but not charge me for this coming month. They are in the fight to help get through this crisis right along with the shops. I really appreciated that from them.
  3. Yesterday
  4. Last week
  5. UPDATE TO TEXTING: We did our 1st mass text blast ever. WOW! We did it to our regular customer base. The phone started ringing right away.
  6. Good morning, With business slowing down for most, we feel that there's never been a better time for shops to take advantage of online training. We know that everyone in our great industry is in this together, and want to help shop owners in any and every way that we can, so have decided to team up with Jasper Engines & Transmissions to make our Online High Impact Customer Care Sales Course available to the industry at no charge. The recordings for this 4-part online sales training course are usually sold for $179, but the below link will provide you with complimentary access. You'll see that the page also provides access to an Action Plan that you can follow to help you navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. As you take on this challenge, please don't forget that you're not alone, and that this pandemic will pass. If there's anything else that Elite may be able to do to help you, please feel free to Contact Us, or give us a call at 800-204-3548. Click Here for complimentary access to our Online High Impact Course and COVID-19 Shop Owner Action Plan Wishing you the best, Your Friends at Elite
  7. I am hearing this story over and over, and not just from our industry. I spoke to the local deli owner yesterday. Business for him is down 95%. He is working alone, and has one employee working 2 hours a day. He cannot pay his rent or his bills. The only thing that I can say is that this will pass. Right now is seems like the worst of times, and being in business for 40 years, and in New York, I can tell you that I am never seen anything like this. But, we will prevail. Talk to your banker, accountant, financial advisory. Get the help you need and make those hard decisions. You need to save the business first, then rebuild when things begin to get better. I know it may sound fruitless at this point, but maintain a positive and strong attitude. This will help your mind find ways to get through this. It will not be easy, but we will succeed.
  8. Road traffic is at an all time low as well as our gas volume. Two of my key full time gas attendants and one part time attendant told me today that they are unable to continue working because of health concerns. Totally understandable but my island staff has now been reduced from 10 employees last week to one full time and two part time employees as of today. Impossible to cover our normal gas island business hours from 6am-10pm so I needed to substantially reduce hours Monday thru Saturday and close completely on Sunday. Not my desire but I have no choice. Bays are very busy which is a bit strange considering what is going on around us.
  9. Are you a Iowa shop owner? If you have been affected by COVID-19, have 2-25 employees and have a location in the state you can get a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 from the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program. (If you are not from Iowa please tell friend from the state) YOU MUST APPLY NOW! (Deadline is March 31, 2020) So what information do you need? A LOT! ● Most recent Income Statement ● Revenue Loss Analysis ● Most recent Balance Sheet ● Payroll Schedule And Analysis ● Funds utilization report ● Fill out All Paperwork You need to apply now because applications close March 31, 2020. This is FREE money, don't let it pass. We are currently helping business owners to access this grant. For more info please call us at 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min View full article
  10. Are you a Iowa shop owner? If you have been affected by COVID-19, have 2-25 employees and have a location in the state you can get a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 from the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program. (If you are not from Iowa please tell friend from the state) YOU MUST APPLY NOW! (Deadline is March 31, 2020) So what information do you need? A LOT! ● Most recent Income Statement ● Revenue Loss Analysis ● Most recent Balance Sheet ● Payroll Schedule And Analysis ● Funds utilization report ● Fill out All Paperwork You need to apply now because applications close March 31, 2020. This is FREE money, don't let it pass. We are currently helping business owners to access this grant. For more info please call us at 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min
  11. Questions to everybody. Who is mass texting their customers? What company are you using? Cost? Complaints.? We do use e-mailing with over 50% opening. With the covid-19 we want to let all our customers know we are open, we are essential company and how we are doing business now? Keeping them informed. weekly.
  12. Shop owners, if you are having problems with cash flow due to the Coronavirus or even if you are not feeling the effects yet. It is always a good idea to make preparations to have enough cash on hand. With that said, the government has allocated 8 Billion to assist business owners affected by COVID-19 by offering SBA disaster loans and I am helping shop owners with filing their applications. Please see my article for more info.
  13. You are not alone. I am in New York, ground zero and we are suffering too. We are all in this together. Speak to your accountant, your financial advsior and your banker. Get their help to create a plan. There will be assistance for us, this time. This is not our fault. Also apply online for the SBA Disaster Relief fund. Call all the vendors and other companies you owe money and negotiate a deal. Call all your customers to let them know you are thinking about them and offer to pick up and deliver, if that is something you want to do. Talk yo you employees. You may have to cut hours or lay off temporarily. This will pass, it will not be pretty, but we will get through this.
  14. Agreed. We'll come back strong. Here's another angle on Corona Virus impact.... I needed to send out an (Westcreek) finance application for a customer's large repair bill today. Tried to do it and found that they are not accepting new applications. Finally read their notes and they are saying two things (my reading in-between the lines): 1) Your credit score today is NOT an indication of your ability to pay. We can no longer reliably judge/predict your creditworthiness. Maybe you were laid off yesterday, etc. and 2) We might soon have a cash flow problem on our already outstanding loans and need to keep a hold of our cash until we understand the impact. I would guess if these guys are pulling back on credit, others might be doing the same. New car loans?
  15. As a growing number of states issue emergency orders to close non-essential businesses, the U.S. government has issued guidance declaring that automotive repair and maintenance are “essential” functions. A March 19 memo from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) includes automotive repair and maintenance employees in a list of “essential critical infrastructure workers.” “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as health care services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” CISA Director Christopher Krebs says in the memo. The list of essential critical infrastructure workers includes “employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers,” as well as “employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).” As a growing number of states issue emergency orders to close non-essential businesses, the U.S. government has issued guidance declaring that automotive repair and maintenance are “essential” functions. A March 19 memo from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) includes automotive repair and maintenance employees in a list of “essential critical infrastructure workers.” “If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as health care services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” CISA Director Christopher Krebs says in the memo. The list of essential critical infrastructure workers includes “employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers,” as well as “employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).” For additional information, contact Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs, at [email protected] or Tom Tucker, director, state affairs, at [email protected] Source: https://www.counterman.com/automotive-repair-service-deemed-essential/
  16. I,m exactly not sure what to do. I have a small shop just getting by okley. Our town is mixed income but alot of lower income people , closing the resturants hit us hard ,alot of our customer are in the hospitality buisness or older, No one knows heare in Maryland how long were going to be shut down or if its going to get wost. Thers only 3 of us .My son and another tech Ive known for 20 year or so , I have been thinking about telling the guys im laying them off so as to get unemployment while I wait to see what fedral and local goverment is going to do , I can keep working and my son can volenteer? Just to keep us open until aid happens , I'm only a week or so away from not making payroll. Any input good bad ?????? I'm feeling alone
  17. No one knows what will come next. Where we are in New York, it's the hardest hit state in the country. Things change by the hour and we are making adjustments as needed. We do not plan on shutting down, but we will adjust hours and staff as needed. Hang in there everyone, this is not our fault, we will get throught this.
  18. Our March was super strong thru about March 13. Then I noticed about a 20% drop for 2 days. Then on Monday March 16, we dropped 80%. This kept up until Friday, then only down about 20%, then down 90% for 2 days, and on Monday, back to just a 20%-30% drop. We have a local radio show Wheels with Ed Wallace. He always has dealers on and they were discussing their repair business and it was pretty much mirroring what we saw. The drop-off seems to coincide with the Shelter in Place order issued by Dallas County (our local news source), as it was announced many days before taking effect. Our county, north of Dallas, is acting more sanely and issued a "Work Safe" order... aka social distancing. Regardless, auto repair and parts sellers are considered an essential businesses. I was contemplating shutting down Tue (today), Wed and Thur, but given yesterday, I'm open today. Not sure what comes next.
  19. I'm sending my two employees home today, and will do my best to keep them paid. My family and I live in the same building the shop is in, and so in order to keep them and us safe, we have decided to take a couple weeks off kinda. I'll still work and try to keep enough cash flow to not close my doors permanently. I to am concerned for my customers vehicles and their needs, but for time being, I'll have to do what I'm able to do without my help.
  20. Like I had to tell my best friend/bookkeeper, her job has VALUE! Our services have tremendous value, we earn it and deserve it. We're providing a valuable service because the customer can't do this. And like the others said, there is equipment, specialty equipment that wasn't cheap to purchase. The ONLY thing I retract is the brake inspection charge, and only if we do the work right then & there. Other than that, everything that needs diagnosing gets charge accordingly.
  21. I posted an ad offering to pick up people's cars so they do not have to leave the house and suggested it is a great opportunity to get that service done while they are self quarantined. We shall see if it generates anything.
  22. My location is in Bergen County NJ about 25 minutes outside of NYC. Statistical reports released today show that NYC has the highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the USA. Our county has the highest number of confirmed cases in NJ. The severity of the situation in our area has prompted authorities to invoke travel curfews and close all non-essential businesses. Gas stations and vehicle repair are both considered essential services. Examples of non-essential services which are now closed are: malls, gyms, bars, barber shops, nail salons, clothing stores, movie theaters, wedding venues, department stores, gift stores, card stores, toy stores, furniture stores, shoe stores & most corporate offices. Pre-schools, public & private schools, colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues and public playgrounds are all closed. Eating in restaurants is not allowed but take out, curbside pick-up or delivery is allowed. The entire state and neighboring states are on a tight lockdown leaving most streets and highways quiet with little or no traffic. One of my techs is 67 and my brother/partner is 70. We decided it was best if they both stayed home because their age predisposes them to a possible worse outcome should they contract the virus. Both of these key people decided to stay home as bay work slowed down which worked out well. We have gas and repairs and our gas volume has dropped about 75%. I have several attendants that requested a leave of absence due to age, pre-existing medical conditions and also family pressure/fear. The loss of gas attendants came as gas volume eroded so that presented no problem. The closing of all non-essential businesses caused a self regulating slow down of both available business and available staff in a very timely manner. The authorities in our area are predicting that things will continue to get worse in the weeks ahead so I certainly could see the need to reduce hours or possibly close as less and less people venture outside their homes. I am having a meeting with my staff tomorrow and I will give them the opportunity to weigh in on matter. If my remaining staff members are willing to continue working and our customers continue to need us I plan to remain open.
  23. We have went to four days Tuesday-Friday. We will see what it is like after this week. Currently shop calls are being forwarded to my phone so I can speak with them and hopefully schedule them for the days we are open.
  24. We have scaled back to a four day week. We were closed Saturday and will be open tomorrow. We will see how it looks the rest of the week.
  25. I'm glad you kept him. I understand what running a business is about but people aren't tools that can be thrown away when they become obsolete. I'm sure your customers notice the same mechanic there for 20 years how would you explain it to them he stopped making you rich so you let him go.
  26. I have been contacted by many shop owners about the decision to close or not. In most cases across the nation, Auto Repair Professionals are considered essential workers. Which means that we can stay open for business. However, even though we are essential, I personally will not demand my employees to come to work. If business fails because of this virus, it will fail in the short term. We will all eventually find a way to come back and rebuild our businesses. Things are changing by the hour, and that makes our decisions as leaders even more difficult. I don’t want to get sucked into panic, but I don’t want to turn a blind eye to the fact that we are in uncharted territories and that we are all learning from this crisis together. The decision to close your business is yours. There is no wrong or right decision here. The safety and well-being of our families are our number one concern. If it makes it any easier, make your next decisions from the heart, not from a business standpoint. Be strong, be a leader, and know that we will get though this. When the dust begins to settle, we will have learned a lot about business and even more about who we are are as a culture and a society. I cannot tell you what I am doing tomorrow. I plan on having a meeting with my staff, and a decision will be made to stay open, cut staff, cut hours or perhaps another scenario will surface. I will keep you updated and try to bring a little sanity to everyone during these crazy times. You are all leaders; you are automotive shop owners. You are the toughest of the toughest. I know you and I will prevail through these troubling times and I look forward to the future when we can all look back and say…”We may it through, and we’re better off for it.”
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