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Joe Marconi

July 1, time to review your Repair Shop’s Business Plan

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No matter what the year has been, this is the half way point for the year and time to review your business plan for 2016. This is also the time when you review all your 2016 goals, both personal and business. Assess where you are and make the adjustments needed to achieve those goals. Dont worry about the last six months if it did not live up to your expectations. Make the needed course corrections to maintain your focus and make sure you align those corrections to what you need to achieve your objectives. Lastly, remain positive, know the numbers of your company and create strategies that are in line with your goals.

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    • By Joe Marconi
      Each year at this time I advise shop owners to set aside time to look back at the current year and start planning for the year ahead.  The more due diligence you perform, the more successful you will be.  Below is a short list of things you need to do.  Remember, the time you spend now, will pay off next year.
      Review all your numbers, year to date - Did you hit your goals?  Arrange a meeting with your accountant and review your projected sales and determine any tax implications Speak to your accountant about investing in any end-of-year equipment purchases or any other large purchases in order to save on taxes. Please do not listen to your tool truck guy or equipment reps. Sometimes having cash reserve is much more important that reducing taxes Have a meeting with your key employees; determine what you will need in the coming year and begin to create a budget Set your new goals for 2018 and beyond, both personal and business Create a Wish List, those things your would like to accomplish, both in business and personal - This will help keep you focused  Consider needed future training for all employees Review all insurances: Life insurance, liability, etc. Perform a facility inspection: Identify any needed work, upgrades, OSHA concerns, etc Create an emergency crisis plan in case something happens to you or a key employee; and make sure your loved ones and family have a copy of the plan 
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      By now you have a pretty good idea how 2016 will end up. Are you going to achieve your business goals? Your personal Goals? That’s not to say you can make up ground or work hard to do even better. But, as we close the third quarter for 2016, it’s time to review the year, revisit your goals and start planning for 2017.
       
      It all starts with reviewing your financial situation. Set up a meeting with your accountant. Discuss your 2016 projected sales and profits. Don’t wait until 2017 to do this. There are many tax implications that need to be addressed before the end of the year. In addition, you need to review all your expenses and payroll in order to reestablish your breakeven sales number; and to also create your 2017 budget.
       
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      Planning for the future is planning for success. And while there is no “perfect” plan, not planning is a path to eventual failure.

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      I was speaking with a shop owner the other day about an issue he is having with technician comebacks. After a series of questions, the reason for the comebacks became clear.
       
      At the start of the year he implemented a very aggressive growth strategy, putting a lot of emphasis on quotas, sales and labor production. The strategy also included increased bonuses for the service advisor and techs for hitting certain goals.
       
      Now, at its core, this is not a bad strategy. However, the focus was on quotas,sales, profit and production. What was lacking was a process to ensure that quality was maintained, and basing sale decisions on what is in the best interest of the customer.
       
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