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  1. Today
  2. Thanks for the update @rpllib I spoke with my CPA yesterday afternoon and we're doing the same. 100% will be spent on payroll. We're ok on headcount. My CPA is still thinking that the taxes noted here are not consistent with the initial PPP desire to help. There's a chance they may review it later as the final 2020 tax rules are prepared. But for now, as you noted, taxes are due. Bad news for my guys.... the gravy train dried up. Even still, I'm happy as we've made their lives better with some "found money" (bonuses).
  3. TODAY IS THE 76TH ANNIVEARY OF D-DAY. LET US ALL REMEMEBER: Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region.
  4. Yesterday
  5. I really believe the new flexibility act passage will negate most concerns with being able to use the funds correctly, and/or using all the funds. The best advice i have heard today, is to use all the funds for payroll over the new 24 week period(or as long as it lasts), to make the forgiveness end of this a no brainer for the lending institution. The actual quote is: "We recommend trying to spend 100% of the loan amount on payroll over the 24 weeks. That will make the application process much easier since you will only need to provide payroll reports to support your forgiveness application. " and "Although utilities, health insurance, SUTA, and other small costs are still eligible, they become less important. Rather than worry about tracking small receipts, focus on big items that are easy to provide to the lender—payroll primarily, and rent. This should make the forgiveness application process quick and easy." It sounds like we won't even be applying for forgiveness until 2021 since they extended the "rehire clause" to 12/31, and the no interest clause from 6 months to 10 months after the end of the end of the covered period. This quote is worth watching and strongly considering for your 2020 tax planing. I suspect in many cases, profitable shops will have a tax bill in the 20-30% of the PPP funded amount against year end taxes: "At this time items paid with PPP funds are not deductible expenses. There was previously talk that Congress would revise it so the items would be deductible. However, given the favorable changes to the program passed here, there may be less motivation to do so." Every way I look at it, this is one hell of a GIFT.
  6. I'm finding it difficult to hit the 75% spending. Many of my employees have been getting overtime and bonuses and I've not dented the under-spend much given some mid-cycle-yet-normal turn-over. I call them tool bonuses and encourage them to buy that tool you wanted or needed. But, they are free to spend their money how they want. We do have a number of new tools now in the shop. As long as I'm not giving myself a bonus, bonuses already confirmed as ok, just minding the total salary cap per person. I didn't start hiring again until PPP, but then it's hard to hire on a short clock and spend as needed. I'm ready to spend more than the 75% if I can get people on board. I was worrying about this last night and today, I saw this video on LinkedIn from Bryon Boyer , Attorney at Law, Business and Tax and Cryptocurrency Tax and Asset Protection. He gives a nice summary of the new PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. It was signed by the President today (6/5). He talks about lowering the 75% to 60%, but no forgiveness for < 60% vs a prorated forgiveness if less than 75%. I'm OK if the number is 60%. There's something about 8 weeks being extended to 24 weeks, but I'm not sure I completely understand this. I think it's to deal with folks that may still be shut down and unable to hire. Further, some forgiveness for folks recalled but not agreeing to come back (I have one of these).
  7. Last week
  8. Superstar shop owner and Elite Business Development Coach Greg Skolink shares a fun tip on how to keep your shop's customers engaged on Facebook. For additional help building a more successful auto repair business, learn how you can team up with a superstar shop owner like Greg through Elite Top Shop 360: One on One Coaching View full article
  9. Superstar shop owner and Elite Business Development Coach Greg Skolink shares a fun tip on how to keep your shop's customers engaged on Facebook. For additional help building a more successful auto repair business, learn how you can team up with a superstar shop owner like Greg through Elite Top Shop 360: One on One Coaching
  10. YES. We have two shops in southeastern Pennsylvania. We were hit hard during the peak of the Covid pandemic. Although we were considered essential and allowed to remain open, our phones stopped ringing entirely. We didn't have work so we couldn't remain open. We closed for just over a month. We reopened a few weeks ago and we're seeing things bounce back slowly but surely. We struggled quite a bit during this pandemic, we worried quite a bit during this pandemic; we do not want to go back there again. We have signs on our office doors stating that masks must be worn upon entry. We aren't fooling ourselves that masks and gloves will complete prevent us from catching or spreading the virus entirely, but we'd rather play it safe and do our part. We've implemented policy changes, removed waiting room chairs, placed complimentary masks on our counter for customers that forget to bring them, stopped allowing in-office waiting, etc. This isn't just for them, its for us as well. In addition, most of our customers are wearing masks themselves and want to see this from us - they feel safer seeing us practice safe distancing, wearing gloves and masks, etc., It instills a sense of security in our customers, & we're happy to do it!
  11. Hi all, I feel like this is a broad question but I'm curious as to how other shops manage "scheduling". This has been the bane of our existence for years, searching for the perfect formula so that we won't overwhelm or underwhelm ourselves on a day-to-day basis, and yet the secret to this still eludes us. Do you use software that manages the daily car capacity for you based on the type of jobs scheduled? Do you manually manage the intake? How do you allot time for inspections when some can take 45 minutes and others could last several hours if much work is required to pass inspection? Or dealing with delivery delays on top of an already tight schedule? We've been in business for many, many years and obviously what we're doing is working - but I guess I'm just looking for feedback as to how we could improve this for increased efficiency. I've been thinking about upgrading our software to include a scheduling component but I'm not sure if this would be worthwhile or further limiting. Thoughts and feedback would be most appreciated!!!
  12. I think the responses to your post will mainly be predicated on the location of the shop. Areas not hit as hard as others will naturally have more relaxed standards. I am in NJ and the entire state is still shut down except for essential businesses. Every business that is allowed to be open has signs posted indicating face mask required. I have to agree with bantar’s post that most customers wear the masks incorrectly and they will partially or fully remove the masks when talking. Odd how people nationwide feel the need to remove the mask during the time when it is really required. I need to constantly remind people to “mask up” so in most cases I just ask them to step outside. I removed all waiting room chairs back in March and I have no place for customers to wait. Nobody wants to wait, everyone is still scared and on heightened alert. Occasionally during quick jobs some customers take a walk over to a strip mall behind us but every store is closed and they get depressed looking at shuttered stores.
  13. I've heard it all over the place that texting customers should now be a given. I've heard the Elite Worldwide coaches, the ATI coaches and other say it is a given. Honestly, from a business owner perspective it does seem so much better, faster and seems to generate a higher ROI than say using email. There are many good solutions in our industry from texting. AutoTextMe, Kukui, etc. Although, I'm also interested if as an industry are we taking the time to listen if as an industry we are taking time to listen to vehicle owners and what they prefer. Let me explain. Although we're just getting the first results of our vehicle owner survey back... this next statistic I share may shock auto repair professionals around the country. When we asked vehicle owners, "What method would you prefer as the most convenient way to book an appointment with your local auto repair shop?" .. So far, as of 5/30/2020, a large majority (61.5%) of our vehicle owner survey respondents answered, "Book and confirm appointment in mobile app". Note: "Send a text message to my shop" was only chosen as the preferred method by 11.5% of the survey vehicle owner respondents. Does this consumer insight where texting trails mobile apps by almost 50% lead us to ask if 2020 is the year where shop owners need to consider getting their own vehicle owner mobile app?? Where their customers can manage and track their vehicles in their custom mobile app keeping their brand front and center on their smartphone?? Perhaps to help answer this for your shop, I've put together a quiz so any auto repair shop owner can see where their shop ranks in a digital brand score compared to say a Fortune 500 and how they are using the latest in mobile app technology to blend email, YES texting too, but all seamlessly integrated with in-app push notifications too. https://www.appfueled.com/quiz
  14. I've heard it all over the place that texting customers should now be a given. I've heard the Elite Worldwide coaches, the ATI coaches and other say it is a given. Honestly, from a business owner perspective it does seem so much better, faster and seems to generate a higher ROI than say using email. There are many good solutions in our industry from texting. AutoTextMe, Kukui, etc. Although, I'm also interested if as an industry are we taking the time to listen if as an industry we are taking time to listen to vehicle owners and what they prefer. Let me explain. Although we're just getting the first results of our vehicle owner survey back... this next statistic I share may shock auto repair professionals around the country. When we asked vehicle owners, "What method would you prefer as the most convenient way to book an appointment with your local auto repair shop?" .. So far, as of 5/30/2020, a large majority (61.5%) of our vehicle owner survey respondents answered, "Book and confirm appointment in mobile app". Note: "Send a text message to my shop" was only chosen as the preferred method by 11.5% of the survey vehicle owner respondents. Does this consumer insight where texting trails mobile apps by almost 50% lead us to ask if 2020 is the year where shop owners need to consider getting their own vehicle owner mobile app?? Where their customers can manage and track their vehicles in their custom mobile app keeping their brand front and center on their smartphone?? Perhaps to help answer this for your shop, I've put together a quiz so any auto repair shop owner can see where their shop ranks in a digital brand score compared to say a Fortune 500 and how they are using the latest in mobile app technology to blend email, YES texting too, but all seamlessly integrated with in-app push notifications too. https://www.appfueled.com/quiz
  15. For many of us, it's been a wild ride the past few months. We had to take care of everything, making tough decisions, dealing with banks and the SBA and running the shop from the trenches. But, with things looking better each day, it’s time that we get back into the role of building and operating the company. For many, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. However, the sooner we begin to adjust and build for the future, the better off we will be. Shop Owners are among the hardest working people on the planet. We find ways to get through the most difficult situations. I have no doubt that the lesson’s learned from this crisis will make us stronger and more successful.
  16. Earlier
  17. Hoping to hear back soon on ideas we can add into the custom mobile apps we build. Why is this so important to us? According to Grazitti Interactive, "72% of consumers have a more favorable view of the company if they provide a customer service mobile app" So what do your guests, and your prospects who are smartphone addicted think of your auto repair shop when looking on their iPhone? Check out what Lauralee VP of marketing at Schmidt Auto Care came up with for her auto repair shop's brand in this exciting 30 second video clip! https://www.facebook.com/AppFueled/videos/842605312915298/ If you've considered an app but think it is too costly. I've made the next step easy. Start here to get your instant quote! https://www.appfueled.com/quote Honestly, I can't see any reason that if you set your mind to it, and set aside a budget you could be in the app store in 30* days or less! *pending Apple's approval.
  18. This might not be popular.... No masks required at our shop, nor are we wearing masks. We see about 40% of our customers coming in with masks and very few (1 per week maybe) ask for us to wear gloves. And many of those with masks will take them off or have them on incorrectly or take them off to talk, but wear them when not talking. Most wait in the waiting room, but we have a handful that are waiting outside. Give it a few more weeks and this will go away as the Texas sun pops out. We do have hand sanitizer on the counter and keep our waiting room clean, even before this virus. We wipe down frequently used surfaces, but, IMO, this is largely a feel-good farce. We can't hide from a virus unless we behave like an operating room and are completely fastidious, wiping everything and changing gloves and masks after everything we touch. (My repair business is mostly drop-off. The waiting room is generally filled with waiters for Quick Lube Services). I've changed my marketing to call out our clean facility. We generally get compliments on cleanliness. Many are changing their marketing and some are opting for a higher-level of cleanliness such as seat covers, surface wipe downs, etc. I'm not seeing much of a call for this. Dealers were advertising this heavy on TV, yet they laid off almost all service staff. It didn't seem to bring the nervous folks forward. I know some shops that are selling a $50 sanitization service. We do our best to respect the wishes and needs of those that grace our doors. When people call in that sound worried, I generally recommend that they put the service off until later. In reality, I would not want to disappoint someone that truly needs or expects a higher level of safety than we can provide. I have noticed that those whom are more concerned will sanitize their cars themselves. They have wipes in the car and will wipe it down to be sure that it was done correctly. In truth, this is likely the best model for true personal safety. We assume that everyone wants social distancing and try to respect their space. I shake hands with those that are comfortable and this is more than you would think. To me, it seems that there 3 types of people: 1) Live Free or Die, 2) Cautious and 3) Scared. Personally, I won't go in a place the makes me wear a mask. (Ask me why I still need a haircut). Ever since the restaurants have reopened for dining in, we've started patronizing them. No longer patronizing take-out only. I fall squarely in the Live Free or Die camp. Luckily, I'm under no local rules that mandate social distancing or other behavior.
  19. Hello all, We have a rather small waiting room and have removed a few chairs to aid in social distancing (we now have only 4 chairs total). I wanted to know if your shop is requiring customers to wear a mask while they are inside the waiting area? How is your experience? Do you have a sign up on the front door stating they must wear a mask? Stay safe and healthy! Nick
  20. All, Thanks for the tips and offers. I'm focused finding a shop in Central Texas for the foreseeable future. The journey continues!
  21. I have sent out three mass text messages using BayMaster which is my shop management system. Worked great, targeted all my customers and kept them informed that I am open and willing to help. Definite positive results and the cost is negligible. I am in New Jersey and it seems everyone has a friend or relative that Covid has taken. For that reason I do not send a marketing message since I have no way of knowing what the recipient is going through during these difficult times. Instead I send out messages indicating that we are available to help our customers even for non-automotive needs.
  22. I have $1.2M fully-equipped transmission shop looking for somebody to buy for very little in SLC, Utah. Willing to relocate? I own the property as well. I would be your landlord. https://youtu.be/tT6rNNI4Gdg 801-885-2227
  23. Email is & was important. And yes, more than ever texting is critical too. But what about in-app messaging and live chat? Better yet, what about all 3 of these mediums working seamlessly together? During a 4 part COVID-19 webinar series I'm hosting, I've been featuring guest speakers to share with us the importance of reaching smartphone addicted consumers remotely as #socialdistancing and #nocontact services gain in popularity. Even though part 1 is over, it's not too late to join in for part 2 coming up this Wednesday. May 27th at 12pm CST. Get your complimentary invite here. https://www.appfueled.com/webinars
  24. I started using video to sell jobs back in 2008 when YouTube was new. I Email a .pdf estimate along with a sales video link to YouTube. In the video, I address the customer directly, show their vehicle & license plate. We only do transmissions and in the video, I tell my customer: What failed. What we're going to do to fix it. What we're going to do to keep it from happening again. Our close ratio went from 65% to 95% virtually overnight, no matter who the service writer is. Our YouTube channel now has over 2,200 sales videos on it. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/user/larrybloodworth
  25. Sometime it just takes knocking on doors and talking to owners.
  26. Can you really get the car count you need in the middle of a COVID-19 LOCKDOWN? I wanted to share exactly what one shop owner did. I include the exact email he sent me that details HIS NUMBERS - and then show you exactly what he did - and even how much it cost him. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this helps! Matthew “The Car Count Fixer” P.S.: Get 100% FREE & UNLIMITED ACCESS to your own Private Text Number on the GO-MO Dashboard!
  27. Coronavirus has helped streamline video messaging, video conferencing, and just overall the act of watching video on various platforms. Large companies are creating weekly videos to message their employees and customers these days. Some of you may even be doing the something similar, and if not recording and sharing video, maybe at least communicating more through video. I was on linkedin and thought this video posted by @ncautoshop from L&N Performance Auto Repair was worth a share. 😁
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