By Joe Marconi
I have been contacted by many shop owners about the decision to close or not. In most cases across the nation, Auto Repair Professionals are considered essential workers. Which means that we can stay open for business. However, even though we are essential, I personally will not demand my employees to come to work. If business fails because of this virus, it will fail in the short term. We will all eventually find a way to come back and rebuild our businesses.
Things are changing by the hour, and that makes our decisions as leaders even more difficult. I don’t want to get sucked into panic, but I don’t want to turn a blind eye to the fact that we are in uncharted territories and that we are all learning from this crisis together.
The decision to close your business is yours. There is no wrong or right decision here. The safety and well-being of our families are our number one concern. If it makes it any easier, make your next decisions from the heart, not from a business standpoint. Be strong, be a leader, and know that we will get though this.
When the dust begins to settle, we will have learned a lot about business and even more about who we are are as a culture and a society.
I cannot tell you what I am doing tomorrow. I plan on having a meeting with my staff, and a decision will be made to stay open, cut staff, cut hours or perhaps another scenario will surface. I will keep you updated and try to bring a little sanity to everyone during these crazy times.
You are all leaders; you are automotive shop owners. You are the toughest of the toughest. I know you and I will prevail through these troubling times and I look forward to the future when we can all look back and say…”We may it through, and we’re better off for it.”
I'm throwing this out there to help those shop owners who are taking a beating. What do you guys do to remain positive? Recently we've had a couple backyarders open up undercutting every legit shop around, and customers are believing the magic promise of something for nothing. Others are going on a long trip in 15 minutes and want a full checkup for piece of mind, but no money. Then there's the guy who's inspection ran out 3 weeks ago about the same time his windshield broke and the steel came out of the tire, yet now he has an emergency at 5:45 on Friday because we won't give him a sticker.
Its really starting to be difficult to just grin and bear it. Maybe I'll take up drinking.
By Jay Huh
"The Net Result" "You have to check your numbers everyday. If you're not... you cannot be profitable." Nice to see a familiar name and shop in this months issue!!
Awesome average RO stat btw. Someone contacted me today actually from R&W for one of the "solutions" articles.
I'm ready to see more positive posts on this forum, so I'm starting with one tonight!
On Wednesday, a lady called and said she had a blowout and wanted her car towed in. Once the 2006 Buick Lucerne got to the shop we found that it needed a
new tire. We had sold a set of 4 tires to her in July 2016 with road hazard warranty. So she's getting a free tire now on the house. Along with the tire purchase in
July we also performed $1400 in repairs and service. So on Wednesday my technician jacked it up on the floor and installed the new tire. Then he told me he
was putting the car on his lift to do an inspection. The car had been well maintained, but while doing his inspection he found that it needed repairs.
It had a timing cover coolant leak, oil pan leak, rt. rear caliper leak, cracked serpentine belt, needed an oil service, and a couple of other things. I called her and
told her that the tire needed replacing. She asked if it was warrantied, and I replied that I had good news....she had purchased warranty coverage and I was
replacing it free. She loved that. Then I told her that we performed a safety inspection and told her of our findings. I didn't wait for her to ask "HOW MUCH?" I
immediately told her that I could get started on the work the same day and it would be $2150. She then asked if I had something she could drive, and I told her I
would provide her with a loaner car and could have her car ready by Friday. She asked if I could put the work on a credit card, so I said "SURE!!" Just come on
by and pick up my Altima to drive while your Buick is in the shop. She got a ride and came by about thirty minutes later. Today she picked up her Buick and
handed me her credit card. She was one happy lady, thanked me for finding what her car needed, and left smiling. Ladies and Gentlemen, I call that a
VICTORY in MY LIFE!!!
We need these victories daily in our businesses. Do you know any shops around your town that would have replaced her tire, done no inspection, eaten the
cost of the tire, and would have been in a bitchy mood after eating it?? So remember, Be an Optimist, Be Positive, Be Excited, Service Cars Properly,
Make Money, and Achieve a Victory in Your Life!!
Thank you for listening,
By Joe Marconi
According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, more baby boomers are buying new cars that were designed for consumers in their 20s and 30s. Cars brands like the Toyota Scion, Fiat, Chevy Sonic and Kia Soul were all cars originally targeted for the younger generation, but have attracted consumers over age 55.
Last year, car buyers over the age of 55 accounted for more than 40% of all new car sales. Buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 represented only 12% of new car purchases.
For the younger generation, it’s a matter of economics and priorities. They only have a certain amount on discretionary income, and buying a new car is not at the top of the list. And, unlike the baby boom generation, there isn’t the emotional connection with cars as with prior generations.
The Y generation, those 18 to early 30s, will become the largest demographics for marketers in the coming years. Car makers will have to change future marketing strategies in order to attract the next generation. In the meantime, the older generation will continue their love affair with cars, at the delight of the car makers.