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  1. Today
  2. Sherwin Williams is definitely the answer! Go to your local commercial store & they should help choosing the correct product!
  3. Yesterday
  4. Epoxied floors look great! We get compliments all the time and it is fairly easy to keep clean. I personally do not ever plan to have bare concrete floors in any shop for many reasons. I've used multiple DIY Epoxy products over the years and none of them held up to the chemicals or lasted very long. I found that Armor Seal 1000HS (purchased from Sherwin Williams) to be a very good product and has now been down for 5 years with minimal issues and still looks great. I know a few other shop owners that paid to have their floors epoxied and can tell you that theirs are going to far outlast my DIY epoxied floors. As with any other painting type of application, it is all about the prep work (and that is why I think the professionally done floors seem to be holding up better). My advice would be, if you are going to stay in that building for 10 years or more, pay the professional. If you are planning to move, I highly recommend DIY with the Armor Seal.
  5. The issue I've had recently is people ordering their tires online, and then wanting us to drop everything to install them today. My tire prices are competitive with all other shops around and even the big box store. I can't and won't attempt to compete with online prices for the tires. My mount and balance price is $80 for a set of 4 plus disposal and valve stems if required. My markup on automotive tires is a minimum of $20. When they buy online, they are in turn taking $80 away from me. Yes, I'll still install the tires. No, I won't drop everything to do it. Schedule at least a day or two in advance to drop off car and it'll get done same day. I'm not going to move a profitable job to the side for a customer that wants to bring his own steak to the steakhouse to save a couple bucks.
  6. HI Joe! Thanks for the response and point. I think the most important matter you brought up was .... You're 100% bang on. I never sold tires because there wasn't any money in them, so I can't speak to those matters but you're right. Tires aren't the complete job. Mount, balance, alignment, etc. is what the customer isn't thinking about. The most "mysterious" a system is... like A/C or Check Engine diagnosis - the more complicated it gets the more "ABC Auto Shops" mess with the price to get the job, regardless if they fix it or not! But with all that said, I think you said it best when you said "I sell relationships and trust". If all the other shops did that - I'd be out of work, so let's just keep this between us, okay! Thanks again! Matthew
  7. Last week
  8. Matthew, all great points. Which I do agree with. Before I would even entertain a price match, let's match it line by line. In the 40-plus years in this business, I have never seen a job matched up the same exact way. There is always something left out or the parts are not the same, or the warranty is not the same, or there's something else that makes their job different from mine. We all know how so many play the game. ABC Auto gives a customer a price for a water pump, thermostat, hoses and labor. The customer calls a competitor and asks, “How much is a Water Pump?" (Neglecting to mention all the extras) The competitor gives a down and dirty price on only the pump and labor. Which makes the "perception" that ABC auto is priced too high. With tires is worse. This particular company advertises online pricing for the tires only. When you book your appointment and arrive at that tire store, they then explain the labor to install, and upsell the wheel alignment. Often making thier price higher than mine or other shops. Here's the bottom line for me; I don’t sell parts and labor. I sell relationships and trust. And through the years, I have been successful with that strategy. I learned a long time ago that If I want to have a quality shop and afford to pay my employees a very good wage, I need to attract the consumers that appreciate the work that we do. Now with that said, if I get an objection about price, I will offer options. I find that when people are left in control and decide between A or B, and not yes or no….A Sale is Made. Thank you for the great conversation! This is how we learn and grow! Joe
  9. It's been 20 years since I did mine. It was beautiful for several years. Slowly over time wear and tear do get to the paint. It was a 2 part epoxy I believe made by Devcon. I recommend staying away from the water base stuff. I did my waiting room with it a few years ago and it didn't last very long, and the clear coat bubbled up. Here is what I can tell you. If you do any welding or cutting with a torch, it will burn holes. It will chip if heavy things are dropped on it. If you drag things across it, it will scratch, and it will yellow, and stain over time. For some reason washer solvent causes it to dry up and crack. Mine is looking pretty rough now, but it was great for many years. Scott
  10. Hi Joe! I understand what you're saying - but I respectfully disagree in one way. First of all, I know tires are NOT a profit center. Additionally, you're correct about the discount tire suppliers online. Nobody in a repair shop with real world overhead could compete. But the issues I ran into with my shop was that I often offered a 100% price match guarantee - for the same job. Let me explain. I did a lot (and I mean a lot) of A/C repairs. I even had local retailers that would just send the car to us because "adding a little refrigerant" didn't work. When doing a quote for a repair - typically a large repair like compressor replacement - ($6-7-$800 or more!) I would always tell my customer that I wouldn't just MATCH a competitive price - but I would BEAT IT TOO! - But only on the identical job. Here's the rub. When doing compressor replacement, most shops don't (and won't) bother to do all the steps. No high side flush - no expansion valve or orifice tube replacement - no drier replacement - or any of the other supporting services. They would slam a compressor on the car and then hope for the best. In other words, if you want the job done right, there wasn't anyone who would beat me for the SAME JOB. After all, we did 8-10 big a/c repair jobs a day! We had a system that worked. So with respect to tires, I get it. You can't compete with the online retailers - and I wouldn't ever suggest that a shop does. But when it comes to other work, you have to be able to communicate to your customer that you WILL match the price - FOR THE SAME JOB! When you dig into it, you can quickly see where other shops cut corners. In fact, a shop could even make this part of their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) where they "Won't be beat!". That's beyond the scope of what we're talking about here - but it can work. Hope this helps! Matthew "The Car Count FIxer" P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers! FREE Help to grow your Car Count, Income and Profit! How to get $9,780.39 in Bottom Line Profits! P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook P.P.P.S.: Have you registered in my FREE Training? "How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days"
  11. Monday is Veterans Day. Let's honor and thank those who served in the American Armed Forces
  12. The other day, a customer asked my service advisor, if he would price match a set of tires. This customer got an online quote from the internet; a local TIre Store know for discouting tires. My rule, I don't price match. My prices are competive and fair. Would you price match just to get the job, and sacrifice profit? Remember, no one really knows the true cost of any service or repair until the car is in the shop. So, internet quotes are not set in stone.
  13. Painted floors do make a difference, but depending on the process, it can be quite expensive. There are many different products too. Do your homework.
  14. The mild fall appears to have caused a slow down for many shops. We have seen this before. But, winter tempertures are here, and the threat of snow will boost repair shops.
  15. Welcome to ASO, check out this forum: https://www.autoshopowner.com/forums/forum/37-management-software-web-sites-internet/ also this topic on SMS systems:
  16. Earlier
  17. Steve Jobs of Apple, Howard Shultz of Starbucks, Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, and coutless other successful business people all preach....focus on quality and value, not price. Price is what you pay....Value is what you get.
  18. Shop owners, you have a little less than two months before the end of the year. And that means it's time to start thinkning about your Tax Planning for 2019. Don't procrastinate on this. Meet with accountant. Review the year, review profit. Consider things such as major equipmenet purchases and other major investments you made in 2019. Look at bottom line profit and determine if you set aside enough cash to pay your taxes come April 15, 2020. One thing, Cash is King, So, before you purhase any major equipment before the end of the year, listen to your accoutant, not the Tool Sales-person. In many cases, it's better to pay some tax and hold on to cash for a rainy day. A little planning now will save you big time in 2020, and also help you sleep better!
  19. Getting your techs to maintain a consistency in work flow is always a battle and probably has much to do with individual habits. My approach has been to create a good work environment with employee communication. ( Taking time to talk with employees about their interests / family. Compensation: I have chosen to use a lower hourly rate with a higher commission based on book hours. Shop hours are M-F , 8-5pm (40 hours) This gives techs a full weekend / family time. Shop worked many years 6 days per week and longer hours. In today's environment I found it better to totally end overtime.
  20. RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 2019-- Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE: AAP), a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider, has launched a new learning management system designed to provide training programs that grow an automotive professional’s knowledge and skills throughout their entire career. Advance regularly serves more than 26,000 individuals in North America each year with training courses offered through the company’s Carquest Technical Institute (CTI) and Worldpac Training Institute (WTI) programs. Training from Advance now combines courses available online and in the classroom from CTI+WTI into an integrated training solution, giving aftermarket professionals access to a robust library of technical training and business management education. Career Pathways, which feature a structured set of online and classroom events to establish mastery of technical and business competencies, are currently targeted to the General Service Technician and Professional Technician, with Senior Technician, Master Technician, and a number of specialist programs coming by the end of the year. “Delivering quality training is critical to addressing the technician shortage facing the automotive industry,” said Chris Chesney, Senior Director of Customer Training at Advance. “Integrating the expertise and curriculum of CTI+WTI into a centralized, easy-to-use platform enables Advance to go to market with an unrivaled training program. No matter what stage a person is in the life of their career, training is crucial to their long-term success.” Shop owners can track the progress of their technicians and staff through Career Pathways specific to the type of work they perform at their shop. Training participants receive certifications within the CTI+WTI platform as they complete training programs and advance in their career. “The advancement of automotive technology requires that our industry has access to leading edge training to keep pace with modern vehicle systems,” said Rob Morrell, Senior Director of Customer Training at Worldpac. “CTI+WTI’s new learning management system enables national accounts and independent shops alike to help attract, retain and grow talent.” CTI+WTI have hosted more than 45,000 training events in the organizations’ 20-plus year histories. For more information, visit CTIonline.com or WTIonline.com. About Advance Auto Parts Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider that serves both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers. As of July 13, 2019, Advance operated 4,912 stores and 150 Worldpac branches in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Company also serves 1,250 independently owned Carquest branded stores across these locations in addition to Mexico, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and British Virgin Islands. Additional information about Advance, including employment opportunities, customer services, and online shopping for parts, accessories and other offerings can be found at www.AdvanceAutoParts.com. View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191101005436/en/ Source: Advance Auto Parts, Inc. Media Relations: Darryl Carr T: (540) 589-8102 E: [email protected] Investor Relations: Elisabeth Eisleben T: (919) 227-5466 E: [email protected]
  21. Joe, you make terrific points. I find payroll and motivation to be my largest challenge outside of finding good, reliable talent. I have spoken with accountants, read article after article, and even spoke with the US Department of Labor about payroll, FLSA and overtime. Unless you're a dealer you cannot pay Flat Rate to your Technicians as their only means of income that is exempt from overtime. If you're an independent shop you can pay a guarantee but if your staff work more than 40 per week you MUST pay overtime. Any overtime also needs factored into any production bonus. It's a hard formula to create. I'm going to lower my hourly rate to my guys and pay them a higher per hour rate when they eclipse labor hours in a pay period. It's going to upset one of my longest working Techs because he's comfortable with his hourly and overtime income. The hustle is gone from his step, thinking, attitude. Wondering what flat labor hours per week we should be using as a threshold.
  22. I'm curious on this one as well. Thinking about doing something to make ths shop look better this coming spring.
  23. Has anyone painted the shop floor ? Looking at what products actually work and can withstand all the chemicals and chipping. Thanks in advance !
  24. I love them. Over 100 new reviews in 3 months. I don't use the inspection, so I can't confirm the comment that you have to bypass anything. I also didn't have to leave a cc for the free trial?
  25. Help i need shop keepers insurance now. I have no claims in the last 3 year and 1 for $400 5 years ago. We went thru a rough time and paid the premium on the last day of when they sent notce. They won't renew .on going through Keller Stonehenge for pen n national .I have a 2 bay shop for over 10 years what a shock
  26. Pay is tough flat rate pay is the tech racing the clock and they must keep a flag hours if they beat the clock great if they take to long then they loose and sthe same goes for when there is no work great for the shop because you don,t have to pay them but bad for the tech. hourly is good for the tech but if your not busy then tough on the shop. Hourly plus incentive anything over x hours produced tech gets a bonus,I do anything over 10k a week and each tech gets a bonus that week. A time clock is also important I anything happens any dispute you will proof .eShop insurance in super important the more the better plus workman comp We also use Mitchell shop management great system and with add ons like bolt on gives you a lot of options Buying shop lifts just be careful some can have problems but buy new when you can. Paying yourself put yourself on a salary but check with a accountant on how to do this.
  27. First off let me say there is a lot of good information from the previous posts. A little about myself stated working in this industry in early 80's as a apprentice for a German Car shop after completing the training I work for the shop for a few years. I started my own shop in1987 specialzing in only German cars at the age of 27 I knew how to work on cars but no idea on running the shop, it was a 5 bay shop on a busy street in a small beach town, the entrance was small and speed on the road made it difficult to enter and exit safely. Also I had to come up with $65k to buy the business, big mistake, never buy a business and if so the customer base in the automotive repair business is of no value, depending on the equipement it's pennies on the dollar at best. After a few years I had the opportunity to move to a different location about 4 blocks south, The shop was a bit smaller rent was less but the building did not face the street, plus I was sharing the building with other tenants so parking was a issue, Still struggling due to low car count, buying diagnostic equipement and lack of education on running the business and marketing. In 2000 I moved out of the area and closed the shop, I found a shop in my new town, which was a piece of crap with a crazy landlord but it was the only place available that fit my wants I was there 6 years and build a good reputation and applied everything I had learned earlier from running the shop to marketing. In 2006 I found the shop of my dreams 7500 building 1500 sq of office 6000 of shop space at first it was pretty good my landlord was sharing the shop space so rent was god and it gave me time to build the business, the building was awesome but it was a warehouse and not a auto repair shop so it had to be permitted here in California that set me back 30k but I was grossing 500k with 2 guys and myself so it was ok. Once the landlord left and I assumed the entire rent it became harder especially when a the would leave or I would have to let them go. Also due to the location of the shop it was hard to get customer to come in. I was not on a main road, there was a main road just down the street but still did not help me with drive by traffic. In 2009 the landlord sold the building to a group out of Korea and I was on the hunt again. I found my current shop a 5 bay shop on a busy road with easy ingress and egress. I have 2 techs plus myself, one tech is still learning but getting better he came to me with little training but over the last 2 years he has come a long way, the second tech had his own shop but got tired of all the B,S so now he is working for me which is great. At the current shop my landlord is great that's a big deal for me, he painted my building a barn red so you can't miss it coming up or down the street. which has increased my bottom line. So some of the hurdles I have run into that you need to consider Money, how much in reserves do you have, you will need it to buy what ever this shop does not have, parts and equipment lifts, filters, fluids, air compressor diagnostic tools especially if you want to specialize. Plus all the licensces requied,, shop insurance workman comp ect. Techs, really hard to find good techs they all say they can work on cars, but as someone said if they make a mistake it could cost you your home, your business. You need to do extensive back ground checks. I've had tech steal from me lie to me walk out on me, I've had them disaapear come in wasted do not stand for any of that. Shop management tools there are a lot on the market you need to find something that is easy to operate and keeps in contact with your customer base. I use Mitchell shop manager with a few add ons this send out reminder text thank you text automatic but at a cost. You will also need either Alldata or Prodemand in helping with repairs Mitchell has labor and maintance programs build in to help with pricing. Insurance and workmans comp. Very important if you get caught without this fines are $1500 per employee in California Paying techs there is flat rate and hourly. In flat rate the tech gets paid on how much he can produce. If a job books out at 2 hours and the tech does it in 1 hour everyone wins but if it takes him 3 hours he looses. Flat rate is tough, the tech is working against the clock, especially when it come to diagnostic stuff or if there is no work he does not get paid. Hourly is tough on the shop owner because if the guys are sitting around waiting on parts or no work then they are burning your money, but at the same time a good tech and busy shop will more then pay for himself on a hourly system. Here in Ca it is not legal for techs to be on a flat rate system, they must have a min. of $1600 take home every 2 weeks. for a 80 hr work week. Shop is your shop currently zones for automotive repair best to check with the local city planning department. At my current shop that has been a auto repair building for 20 years I went to apply for a license at this shop and was told it was not approved for auto repair, I was shocked but after going through some old documents at the permitting department I found paper work stating that it was allowed. Advertising there are plenty of things out there they all say they will increase business but the truth is 99% IS A WASTE OF MONEY. Things like cheap oil changes free tire rotations brake specials will bring in cheap customers one time and will only return when you have the next special. I use a company called WOW cards this advertises to my customer base which you want to do when you get there. Very affordable and great results. Mudlick mailiers expensive but they send mailers to a specific area and or car type. Of course a good website is important too There are plenty of shop management training classes be very careful of these, they promise a lot and deliver a lot less then promised plus very costly. Most will offer a free seminar which are usually very informative also some of the suppliers like World Pac offer classes on car repair shop management ect Hire a good book keep and accountant, I have a bookkeep that comes in 2 to 3 time a week to input to quicken and filing then once a year send everything to the accountant. Also do not fall behind on any state local or federal tax payments Coming from a DYI background is hard but not impossible, you will have a pretty sharp learning curve, try and find good techs, buy good equipment, and good tools that will last you10 15 years, find good suppliers extremely important and keep the shop and office and waiting area as clean as possible goes a long way with customers especially if your a new shop . Good luck
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