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HarrytheCarGeek

New research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows just how easy it is for cash-strapped borrowers to get sucked into a vehicle title lo

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  • Similar Topics

    • By nptrb
      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
    • By Joe Marconi
      If you received an SBA PPP loan, you need to contact your bank/lender to find out specific information regarding loan forgiveness. Because banks and lending institutions handled the PPP loan, a specific bank may require different information. 
      I just viewed an hour and half video from my bank about the PPP Loan forgiveness applications, and it was a little overwhelming.  For me, I will seek outside help with this. 
      Just perform your due diligence. 
      Any feedback from anyone would be appreciated.  
    • By Joe Marconi
      Due to COVID-19, many repair shops experienced a severe economic downturn, some with a drop in sales over 50%.  Without a strong cash reserve and/or SBA funding help, many shops would have gone under. 
      My 40 years as a shop owner has taught me to always have a cash reserve.  However, never would I have ever imagined a downturn like the one with COVID-19.
      So, how do we plan for the next financial crisis.  And, it will happen. Perhaps not as bad as the the virus crisis, but it will happen.
      Here are a few things to consider: Have a separate, and hard to access, cash reserve bank account that has least two months of expenses. Also, secure a line of credit for at least one to two months of expenses.  Also, know your numbers, keep payroll in line, and make sure your prices are fair to you too, not just your customers.  Keep in good standing with all your vendors and keep your credit score high! 
      The bottom line here, is truly the bottom line.  To weather the next financial downturn, you need a strong balance sheet and net profit to the bottom line.
      What other strategies are you considering or implementing? 
    • By jinjabred
      Hello all,
      Just curious if any shops occasionally leave keys in vehicles upon customer's request that have already paid.  If not do you have other solutions for after hours pickup? 
    • By FROGFINDER
      Anybody offering vehicle pick up and drop off service at customers home or workplace? How is it going? 


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