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  4. Truett

    UniFirst

    We have had nothing but a good experience since we got it up and going. Had some difficulties at first, Salesman messed up and then quit and had to wait for another sales man to be hired and trained, but other than that been doing well. We have had them for about 6 months now and they have been the same price every week. Since we are a Goodyear dealer I have a great price. Only drawback was we had to sign a 5 year contract to get the Goodyear account. the only increase they can make is a 5% per year. Drivers have been great to work with but once again it has only been 6 months.
  5. Richard Ehler

    Business Plan

    SBA website is what I used. Very good. Easy to use. Good info required, but not too much. Bank was good with it. Saves updates automatically.
  6. Andrew Cutler

    UniFirst

    May be different in your area, but this was our experience with UniFirst: abysmal
  7. Cappy McCormick

    dales57tbird.jpg

  8. If you are looking for an inexpensive option, I like zmodo for the price and features. The meshare app is pretty good. I use the cameras at my house. The ones below are outdoor but can be used inside, have 1080p and night vision. At $400 for 8 cameras with repeater, hard drive and NVR, its a good deal. This is on amazon. The indoor ones are good and have an intercom feature where you can speak into it. Here's a mix of 4 outdoor and 2 indoor:
  9. What are you REALLY buying? Are you buying a business, or are you buying a job? For many shops, if they had to hire someone to perform the owner's job functions, one would discover that the business isn't profitable. Another test is to see if the owner claims the accounting isn't REALLY what he makes, as in under-reporting income or burying personal expenses into the shop. Businesses needs to make a profit over and beyond what the owner is paid for his job function(s) and businesses shouldn't have to under-report income to allegedly do it. The target percentage of profit is debatable, but all agree it should be something. Have you been able to look at the P&Ls for the last 3 years? If so, what's the bottom line profit, as a percentage of sales? When you answer, I'll continue.
  10. With all the available wifi cameras these days, what is everyone using for shop security? Anyone using Nest, zmodo, d-link, arlo or other? There's a ton of them out there especially on amazon.
  11. HPINAZ

    Leaving radio on in the shop?

    An "old timer" told me he leaves it on to scare away potential break ins when the shop is closed. The thought process is the would be thief would here the radio and think someone is still inside.
  12. Old and Tired

    Customer's buying their own parts

    I would let them bring oil and a filter as long as its correct. I had a problem once where a customer asked for something cheap. We did what he wanted trying to please him. When it all went bad the lawyers said it doesnt matter that the customer asked for it. We are the professionals and should have saved him from himself.
  13. Hi Alex! Wanted to send you a message... and a pop up showed up saying "Your inbox is full. You must delete some messages before you can send any more." How do I do that?? Can you help? Feel free to email me at [email protected] 

    Thanks! Matthew

    1. Alex

      Alex

      You have a pending renewal to your sponsor membership. Once you renew, you will go back to unlimited storage.

    2. Alex

      Alex

      Thanks, all set!

  14. Hi Ken! I don't call myself an expert - but been around auto service/repair for the better part of 30 years. I re-read your question a few times, but still not sure of what you're looking for or how I can help you. I don't think I need to walk you through a business plan outline - there's a ton of that on-line and you've probably done it before - but I think that your biggest focus is to retain that customer list. I know, I know, everyone want to talk about assets like equipment and all that - but if you really think about it - nothing matters without the customers. Now, you don't mention if this is a "going concern" type of shop - meaning its already got X number of techs and ongoing customers - or if it's operating under a banner or franchise. But with that said, being an "existing full-service shop" (your words) I would think there's customers. Just remember that those customers built a relationship with the existing owners - not YOU. So now, if you're a lender or partner - the only thing they're looking at (in reality) is how they're going to get their money back. Having borrowed millions for business investment, I know if you want their money - you have to show them how they're going to get it back. With that said, the ONLY source of revenue (cash) that business has it customers - and more you can show your plan to retain those customers - while building more - will be the key to getting funding. Make sense? Let me know if you have any specific questions. You're welcome to message me on this forum, reply here or whatever. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer" P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers - Grow your Car Count, Income & Profits
  15. CAautogroup

    Customer's buying their own parts

    What about oil changes? Do you guys allow customers to bring their own oil & filter and just charge labor? We have noticed a demand in this, however, most customers are bringing the incorrect weight of oil (calls for 020 , supplies 530). How would you handle this? Document, decline service...?
  16. I allow the radio to be on but it has to be a music station. Music, when played at a respectable volume does not hinder productivity as far as I can tell. Talk radio on the other hand reduces productivity since a tech or worse yet multiple techs will pause and limit noisy activity to be able to hear the discussion on the talk show. Additional time is then wasted when the techs render their opinion on the subject at hand, all work stops for a verbal review, not good. Another problem is that some talk radio station topics or hosts can be rather questionable and often step over the line considering anyone could be listening. On nice days with all of the doors open this questionable content can be a problem since customers, in particular women and young children, are within ear shot. Everyone in the shop is similar in age so the music station selected is never an issue. My one tech started changing the station to classical music after all the jobs are done and the shop is shut down and quiet. I have never liked classical music but when played in the background at the end of a busy day it seems to have a subtle calming effect. I never thought I would say that.
  17. Alex

    Business Plan

    Topic moved to our new forum - Buying a Repair Shop, Partnerships, Business Deals
  18. Topic moved to our new forum - Buying a Repair Shop, Partnerships, Business Deals
  19. Earlier
  20. CAR_AutoReports

    Customer's buying their own parts

    Just wanted to follow up with everyone and let them know that we have implemented a variation of what we discussed here. We are adjusting the matrix slightly, but our overall prices were raised 8% while raising labor the rate 15.8%.
  21. Go ahead. Ask me questions. I have been using Mitchell 1 for years.
  22. This venture would absolutely require a good manager. One you know you can for sure trust. That person is hard to find. Plus that person would need to be very good with people. Real friendliness and real caring is even harder to find. Customer service is always number one and must be top notch. I have learned that the hard way over the 40 plus years I have owned my shop. You would most likely need to have some kind of incentive pay scale in order to motivate the manager and the mechanics to keep in mind the importance of customer service. A graduate pay plan has worked well for me. That way the business will afford to may payroll even through the slow times. There will be slow times. Base your budget on those times rather than on the better times. The key to this being a success if likely based on how well you pay your manager and how you scale his pay based on performance of the shop. I suggest a decent salary with graduated incentive bonuses based on shop gross for the pay period. I am totally convinced that a good honest trustworthy manager who has a desire to please his customers is a must. Also, in a small market you will need incentives to keep your mechanics happy as well. Something similar to the managers pay works well for me. A truly good mechanic is hard to find anywhere now days. Possibly more difficult in a small market. Find one and pay him well and build around him and your manager. Keep those two no matter what it takes and you should be able to make this work. Although I would like to see you checking in at the shop more often than you plan. You can only do so much checking up remotely no matter what kind of cameras or management software you have. Think this venture over well and good luck with what ever you decide.
  23. Hi there, I hope your shop has been successful! I'm in the same boat now... buying a shop and want to put together a smart transition plan. Did you ever come up with anything?
  24. I'm hoping some experts can help me out. I'm buying an existing full-service shop and need to polish a transition business plan not only for my lender and partners, but also to help give us some focus and direction. I'm certainly not coming into this empty handed, but would love to see what others might have used so I can be as successful as possible. HELP!
  25. Owning and running a auto shop is difficult for guys that were techs, trying to run one absentee is a great way to lose 100% of your investment. Not having the knowledge of how the vehicles actually work not only will your employees take advantage of you they will never respect you, also your customers will take advantage of you. Ever heard of the “ever since you” this is the scenario where you perform a simple repair or any repair a week or so goes by something new fails completely unrelated to what you did. How do you justify that having no experience on the repair side. Now the fact that you want to run this absentee and it’s mostly an all cash business let’s say you pull in 3k a week you will see this for the first month than slowly but surely it will go down down down I gaurntee the lost revenue will be going straight in your employees pocket. If you are willing to take those risks best of luck to you but I would not do it if you want to get in automotive at minimum start taking repair classes at a local community college or trade school. But running the shop absentee is a sure fire way for failure have seen plenty of successful business sold over the years to guys wanting to to what your doing 100% of them went down with in the first year
  26. crushton

    Broken Parts

    I agree with pretty much everyone here it’s the cost of doing business but if it’s a daily thing guys need to be let go. Another thing to remember is your techs are the most important part of your business, you start docking guys pay they will find another way to get it back, I.e. charging your customers for things they don’t need and not doing them, just my thoughts here in a shop owner now but never left my flat rate dealership mindset
  27. Fellow shop owners and entrepreneurs, Over the last several months, I've spoken to hundreds of shop owners and managers who have all seemed to have a different issue in their shop, resulting in slow business (or sometimes, no business at all). These issues seem to range from not enough car count, disgruntled employees, inability to turn a profit, can't find a good tech, high turnover, marketing isn't working, and the list goes on. For most of these shops, the conversation I've had with them has either been able to assist in solving their biggest problem, or at the very least, steer them in the right direction. I wanted to take this topic over here to AutoShopOwner and generate a better understanding of the biggest problems that shops are having right now - whether they are based on season, shop placement, or circumstance. Please leave your reply below and I am sure that I'll either be able to help, or steer you in the right direction.
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