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    • Hi Noah Harrison! You didn't speak much about your experience in auto service/repair or body work - so that could be a problem. Look, you don't have to know HOW to do the work yourself - but you DO have to  know what a good job is and what isn't a good job. Without knowing more about you, you have to start at the beginning.  1) Selecting a location is important and being sure that you comply with local by-laws, that you can obtain permits and things like that.  2) Staff - again, depending on what you're trying to do - staffing usually is a problem. That means not only getting the staff that knows what they're doing - but that you can work with. Additionally, you'll need to know what experience you'll be looking for. There's a huge difference between an oil change tech and one that can do electrical diagnosis on import vehicles.  3) KNOW YOUR NUMBERS - When you get close to opening (or you have a plan) what is it going to cost you on a DAILY BASIS. This get's the numbers down to the nitty gritty. When you know your costs that well, you'll know how much you'll have to do just to break even - nevermind profit.  4) Where are you going to get customers... because there won't be a rush of customers just because you opened. That means you better have a marketing plan to start "working" your area - and I'll tell you right now, getting new customers is going to be the MOST EXPENSIVE thing you'll do in your business.  There's a ton more I would be willing to share, but it's a little hard not knowing anything about you, your experience and what you're trying to accomplish.  Let me know and I'll do the best to steer you in the right direction! 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! 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 - The Complete Roadmap to a Million Dollar Shop!"  
    • Hi, Natalie here. You have a great selection of tools on hand that will cover every job a customer will bring into your shop. Whether it’s Mac Tools, Snap-on, OTC, or Wright, the right tool for the job is priceless. The tools we’re talking about in this post are for finances, but the same strategy holds true. If you’re planning to do your own bookkeeping, the right tool for your financial job is also priceless. They can take what may appear to be a daunting challenge and save you a ton of time. You’ll be back to running your shop before you know it. Stick around until the end and I’ll outline what’s in my bookkeeping toolbox. Here is an overview with some suggestions on how to choose great financial tools Here are the top 10 categories: 1. Accounting Software QuickBooks has been the go-to software for accounting for decades. There are online tools that may be a better option for you. The most popular choice is Xero and the numbers of small business owners that are using Xero is increasing. Compare several and pick the one that is both robust and flexible. According to the 2015 edition of the Business News Daily’s Buyer’s Guide here are the features you should look for:  Invoicing  Expense Tracking  Client/Vendor Contact Management  Billing and Recurring Payments Automation  Quote and Estimate Creation  Tax Preparation  Multiple-User Access  Payroll Processing  Mobile Access  Integration with Programs Such as Point-Of-Sale Software, Credit Card Processing, and Google Apps 2. Budgeting Tools Creating a budget is the cornerstone of your shop’s financial success. Staying on task within your budget is equally as important. If your accounting software has this feature, you may already have the proper tool to create that budget. If your preference is a tool dedicated to this task, a recommendation is PlanGuru. 3. Payroll Management System Payroll management can occupy so much of your time and mistakes are easy to make. Look for tools that streamline the payroll process and cut costly errors. A tool that integrates with your other tools is another feature to look for. Some tools like SurePayroll can calculate and pay payroll taxes. Simple. A couple of other tool suggestions are ZenPayroll and ADP. These combine payroll and HR functions in one. 4. Agile Billing Speed and flexibility in your billing process means quicker cash flow back to you. With a tools like FreshBooks or Bill.com the billing process will be quicker and give your customers an easy experience. Improving the billing process will serve you and your customers better and shorten delays in receiving payments. 5. Financial Dashboard The dashboard gives you a quick look at your shop’s financial health. See at a glance if your shop is thriving or surviving. Tools such as LivePlan or InDinero give you clear visuals and show you if you’re starting to go off course. Then you can take the actions to keep moving towards your financial destination. 6. Cash Flow Analysis Your accounting software should have cash flow statement capability. As with the budgeting tools there are specialty tools for cash flow tracking. A couple of suggestions are Float or a simple spreadsheet. These give you patterns from the past to offer a forecast of your shop’s financial future. 7. Inventory Management This is all about efficiency and tracking. From the purchase of parts and consumables to generating sales reports and low inventory alerts, this is a very valuable tool. A couple of cloud-based options are SOS Inventory and Scout’s top Shelf. 8. Expense Tracking Those tiny expenses can quickly add up and may be hard to track. Using an expense report tool such as Expensify or Xpenditure makes this much easier. Track those meals, gas, and incidental expenses by scanning receipts and typing in cash expenses. Some tools have the capability to link to mobile devices helping to track these instantly.. 9. Business Credit Card A business credit card, when used properly has several benefits  Improve your shop’s credit history  Earn higher credit limits  Receive rewards and discounts  Manage employee cards (ease of tracking expenses)  Boosts employee morale due to convenience and trust 10. E-commerce Solutions Imagine your customer paying for their oil change before the service is completed. They need a couple of quarts of oil to tie them over. It’s easy to buy them online from their trusted repair shop. Many businesses have seen an increases in cash flow since the beginning of the pandemic by using E-commerce solutions. These are powerful and create revenue streams that you may not have thought of. 11. Three Rivers Bookkeeping With my 5-years of experience, these are the tools I use:  Accounting software – QuickBooks  Payroll Management System – ADP  Agile Billing – bill.com  Financial Dashboard – LivePlan I’m passionate about books and service to my clients. If you’d like to have a conversation about tools and why I selected the one’s above, contact me. I can also outline the services I provide and why adding me to your team may make perfect sense to you. Saving you time and headaches is the value I bring to you, the Auto Repair Shop Owner. View full article
    • ·     When? December 3-5, 2020   ·     What? Online 3-Day Event + 6 Months of Coaching   ·     How? Call (800) 204-3548 to enroll   ·     Enrollment Deadline: November 20, 2020 The Elite Masters Program offers 3 days of intensive sales training, followed by 6 months of sales coaching to ensure that your shop sees permanent results.   All training and coaching is delivered by Ratchet & Wrench All-Star Award winner Jen Monclus, and has been proven to increase sales by an AVERAGE of $10,750 per month after the training!   Better yet, this is a rare opportunity for your advisors to receive the initial 3 days of training online, so you can save on travel and hotel expenses.   This is your last chance to enroll in the course beginning Dec 3-5, so to reserve your advisor's spot, just give us a call at 800-204-3548 or click below to learn more.   About our Masters Program
    • So I have a towing business and I’m looking at opening a repair/body shop, trying to figure out how to go about getting into that industry. any input helps thanks in advance!
    • I believe he just called us "old guys"! (and rightfully so!) Welcome and congrats on your new shop opening. You truly are from a small town, which does come with a certain uniqueness, as it applies to operating an automotive service facility. I recently shared the following with a group of shop owners.  I believe you can find value here if you chose. They require  an email address to download the resource listed, but it seems well worth it, and no one has contacted me or solicited me as a result. I have no connection to any of the firms or individuals listed, but I am a fan of good content and simple brilliance. I would concentrate on the book to start. It is filled with core information you will need. Imo, the portion on scaling your new business may be especially useful. Here was my message published elsewhere: "As we look to transition our business to the next generation, I have been assembling resources that I believe might be helpful in ensuring their success. Occasionally one of these resources jumps towards the top of the stack as it applies to core foundational reminders. This book is one of those. https://paarmelis.com/your-perfect-shop-book-download/     It is more of a targeted short story written in large font on a small page format, and an evening read. . The author is a veteran CPA from a firm that specializes in automotive repair shops. They claim 450 auto repair clients, and they do have some impressive stores listed as clients. I like this organization. I have reviewed a few of their podcasts and webinars and they speaks/articulate well.   Many of us can find some value here, if we chose.  The link below is to a webinar I came across that was put out by one of this firms young CPA's, interviewing an industry coach on a cash flow system that I had not previously heard of nor ever given much consideration. As the concept took hold, I immediately thought "simple brilliance". I have now done what I do, which is to dig into the digital footprint of this "Profit First" concept and underlying for-profit industry. It is essentially the commercial version of the "consumer side industry" built around the teachings of Dave Ramsey.  None the less, even after many hours of scrutinizing, I would still call the core foundation of this concept "simple brilliance".  Typically, as most stores transition to the next generation of ownership, there can be a substantial change in the reserve cash a business has to operate on. This is one of the places this concept would make a real difference. The other is situations where a business has been in place for many years, but mostly has underperformed from a profit/cash perspective.  For those that are not aware, overall we have a profit problem in this industry. Not everywhere, not with everyone, but I would suggest it is more common than not.  The webinar is based on a cash flow process that has been lacking in my business for my entire career. It's an hour long and they really don't give you a good picture of it until you are almost an hour in. It is based on this concept:  SALES MINUS EXPENSES=PROFIT---WRONG! SALES MINUS PROFIT=EXPENSES---CORRECT!!! I actually burst out laughing when this slide came up. It seems so simple and made sense to me immediately(because I had watched the webinar up to that point) My goal is to make my successor better at running a service facility then I am, and more successful then I am.  I have spoken to two of my banks and have appointments with both to discuss further. I meet with Chris Cotton (the coach in the webinar) and we may use him for implementation. He no longer participates in the "for-profit based" company that Profit First is built around, but like me, he believes in the underlying core concept.  Early warning. NO ONE likes the part about the bank accounts, but i would contend that it is indeed our bank account balances, we pay the most attention to. " https://paarmelis.com/webinar-the-profit-first-method-for-automotive-shops/    " Randy Lucyk
    • Hi all, I stumbled across this forum while researching my new new auto shop I plan on opening 1/5/21. I have experience in business, quick lube, service writer, but limited technician experience. Im located in a small town (5k) in Missouri.  However, due the age of current shop owners in town, there is a lot of opportunity. Hope everyone has had a good week!  
    • Today is Veterans Day. An important day when Americans honor and show appreciation for all who have served in the United States military—in wartime or peacetime, living, or deceased. Thank you to all the Veteran for your duty, service, and commitment to preserving our nation’s liberties and freedoms.
    • I think @bantar touches on everything that matters about data in this new world we live in.  The most services you are using in today's business world, the more people have your data.  So it's really not just your SMS, it's your SMS and everything it enables for you.  Backups are important, but remembering that having things your way, always comes at a cost.   What's happiness in a Management platform?  Only you can decide.  Somethings have trade-offs others are "must have".   Every platform comes at a sacrifice of time, cost and how much data do I want to share with other platforms and companies.   If you want to consider new software, you really have to decide on how you want to run your business.  Then start reading up on the available options and understand what each enables or doesn't. That's where happiness lies.

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