By Joe Marconi
The strength of your company relies on many factors, and one of the most important is having a great set of systems and procedures in place. Systems and procedures bring consistency to your customer service, and to your repairs. While I am not a fan of creating a company with employee clones, having everyone in your company on the same page, sharing common goals is crucial for overall success.
In terms of selling your company, having systems and procedures in place is an advantage when potential buyers are interested in your company.
Please remember, it doesn't matter where you are in your business career, you are never too young to start planning for your exit strategy. And, perhaps equally important is that by preparing your business for sale will actually help build a stronger and more profitable business.
Stayed tuned for more tips on Creating Your Exit Plan.
Bill Haas is the owner of Haas Performance Consulting LLC, with 40 years of experience in the automotive service and repair industry. Clients now have access to Bill’s solution based focus, expertise, unique perspectives and in-depth knowledge of the industry. Services available include business management seminar development and delivery, keynote presentations, business consulting, performance coaching, and strategic planning facilitation. His career includes time as a technician, shop owner, technical trainer and most recently on the staff of the automotive industry’s oldest and largest association representing automotive service and collision repair businesses. .Bill received the Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) credential from the Automotive Management Institute in 1996 and has been a member of the Automotive Management Institute’s faculty since 2002
Listen to Bill's other episodes HERE
Key Talking Points
Successor struggle- when every day is a struggle “Advanced Financial Strategies for Peace of Mind”- what is it that you need to pay attention to in business? KPI’s need to be reviewed every day, don’t wait until the end of the month. It needs to also be shared with employees. “If you don’t share, they don’t care.” Don’t make decisions without data- it lets you know what you need to work on and prioritize. Strategic thinking instead of working on many things at once. How do you know what to fix? Pause and do analysis. Make cars count vs car count. Coaches change clients- is this someone who is willing to put words into action? You need an investable business in order to retire- can’t wait until the end to start working on your business You have to want to change yourself and your business. If not don’t hire a coach or even join a networking group Focus on one particular area of concern, get it right, then move on to the next. Stop the smorgasbord of quick fixes. You can’t wait to fix the business when you want to sell or retire. It takes a few years depending on the depth of the struggle P & L statement- don’t ask your accountant how the business is doing, don’t rely on them to take the pulse of the business. Most accountants have clients in all different industries, they don’t know how to “fix” your automotive service business. Ask them to perform one job and that is to minimize your tax liabilities. Finances in your business is just a big math problem to solve Labor rate- gross profit percent on labor, labor parts split, hours per repair order Sales forecasting and budgeting- have goals, targets and expectations Connect with the show:
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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. AAPEX 2021 is in the record books and lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on Las Vegas in 2022. Mark your calendar now … November 1-3, 2022, AAPEX - Now more than ever.
This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm
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By Joe Marconi
Exit Strategy-Step 2
Have Clean and Accurate Financial Statements
The value of your business will be determined by your net profit, cash flow and a strong balance sheet. Having clean and accurate numbers will be more attractive to a potential buyer, especially if your business shows growth over time. While you may value your loyal customer list, and your tools and equipment, it's the profitability of your business that will be used to determine how much someone will pay for your business.
As an added benefit, having clean and accurate financials will also help you through tough economic times, and if you ever need a bank loan.
Get your books in order and work hard on your business to show a profit.
By Joe Marconi
I was attending a recent TECH NET council meeting a few weeks back and one of the topics discussed was Exit Strategies. One of the members spoke about finding a key person in your company, if there is no one in your family to consider.
There are many shop owners out there that are near retirement. It would be a good idea to share a few ideas. I know many shop owners may not even have a plan. My lawyer approached me about a year ago and insisted that I sit down with him to plan out my future. I am 59, been in business for 34 years and been in the auto repair business since high school. If your story is similar to mine, it's something we need to start planning.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGkhhxMj0jY Emily Sundstrom- Service Advisor, Valley Auto Electric, Covington, WA. Her career in the automotive field started about 13 years. She was hired to “just” answer phones. It quickly turned into something for which she had a passion for. She enjoys doing it every day. The passion comes from taking a stressful, unexpected situation and turning it into an experience that leaves the customer feeling confident, educated, empowered, and respected. She has acquired multiple certifications from ASE, ATI, Wa. State Emissions, Elite Master’s Program, and Ami. Aaron Woods- Extra Mile Auto Care, Stillwater, OK. Since opening X-tra Mile Auto Care in 2018, Aaron Woods has proven himself as a rising star in the automotive aftermarket service industry. His professional values of integrity, continuous improvement, help first, and maintaining "above the bar" service, contributes to X-tra Mile Auto Care becoming the highest regarded automotive repair service in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Clint White has been passionately immersed in the Automotive Industry for over 25 years. He is a Service Advisor Coach & Shop Consultant with CWI and currently holds multiple ASE certifications. He began his career as a Technician at a local two bay shop in 1995 and over the course of the next two and a half decades honed his sales, technical, and management skills while living in Washington & S.E. Idaho. During his journey, he has never stopped learning and has been blessed to work for and with those who value education, training, and coaching. In everything he does, Clint is focused on people and excellence! Whether it be coaching & training Service Advisors to sell with passion & integrity or working directly with Shop Owners to improve team accountability and streamline process implementation, Clint’s passion is to elevate the Automotive Industry across the nation to ensure every customer consistently receives the highest level of service. Previous episodes HERE Key Talking Points Qualities- driven, goal-oriented, inner drive, help first mentality, ambitions in life “build own company within the company.” How would you treat your customers if this was your company? Building relationships and memorable experiences. Do customers remember their names? Sale is an end result of the transaction, focus on things leading up to the sale- establishing trust, presenting value in services, educating. Taking uncomfortable situations/panicked customers and reassure them so they let their guard down. Always want to grow. The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni- humble- the absence of ego, acknowledge weaknesses and address it, hungry- what are you doing to improve yourself? and smart- Shows empathy to others, demonstrates intuition when interacting with others Power of Vulnerability book by Dr. Brene Brown - understanding the difference between sympathy and empathy 7 habits of Highly Effective People book by Stephen Covey- seek first to understand then to be understood Read the room- socially and interpersonal awareness Listener qualities- hear and understand customers, giving solutions, empathy Face to face relationships- body language, tone of voice, picking up key cues Service advisors and technician relationship- ask questions, know what you’re selling and why, pressure regulator-bring it down to common knowledge, demonstrate the need for service- language customer understands, what will happen when left neglected DVI and service advisor- a new way to present information, builds value but doesn’t take human interaction away. Sell with confidence. It’s a tool, not the only tool. Holding onto service advisors too long- face of company and when the wrong person is in that seat it can be detrimental to the company. One unhappy customer can lose 10K in sales per year. Trust is the hardest to gain and the easiest to lose. Be proactive, not reactive to toxic situations. Finding service advisors and developing them- professional groups, customer service based sales industry, hospitality industry, restaurants A special thanks to Emily Sundstrom, Aaron Woods and Clint White for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Youtube Email Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Join the Ecosystem – Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE. Buy Carm a Cup of Coffee This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com This episode is brought to you by Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.comClick to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio