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  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      The year was 1980 - the year I founded my company. And, like many new business owners, I didn’t have a clear understanding of what was needed to grow a successful business.  I thought that success would be determined by my technical skills and my willingness to wear the many hats of the typical shop owner. It wasn’t until I began to let go of trying to do everything that I realized that success is not just dependent on what I do, but by the collective work accomplished by the team. I eventually discovered that I was not the center of my universe.  After a few years in business, I began the transition from simply owning a job to becoming a businessman. And, while technology has reshaped our industry throughout the years—and will continue to do so—there is one constant that will never change: success in business rests largely on the people you have assembled around you.
      By the late '80s it was obvious that I was doing way too much. I looked at each role I had my hands on: shop foreman, service advisor, shuttle driver, bookkeeper to lot attendant. And, as long as I’m confessing all this to you, I need to disclose that I was also the shop’s maintenance person; making repairs to the bay doors, the slop sink and equipment. You name it, I did it. I was literally too busy to be successful.
      In order to lead my company, I had to first clearly define my responsibilities. These are working on the business, recruiting and hiring the best employees, becoming a leader of people and making sure that my business was successful. I also needed to fulfill the obligation I had to my employees. I realized that this required a deep understanding that putting people first is the best strategy for success. This was difficult at first because it requires working on things that have no immediate impact on the business. Unlike working in the trenches and having your hands on everything, working as a businessperson means that you need to spend time building for the future. The things that are most important to your success in business are the things that have a payoff down the road.  
      I also clearly defined the duties I should not be doing and assigned those tasks to others. This is a critical step for any shop owner.  Warren Buffett says that in order to be successful in whatever you do, it’s crucial to focus on the things that generates the greatest return and that you can’t do it all, and that means sometimes you have to say, “no.”  
      By the late '90s it became clear that the most valuable role I played in my business was that of coach. All the best marketing plans and the best business strategies mean nothing without a team of great people around you all pushing in the right direction. And that takes a strong leader. Not just a boss, but a leader.  Leaders inspire people. Leaders get others to reach down deep inside themselves and perform at their best because they are aligned with the leader’s vision. 
      Leaders inspire others through praise and recognition for the work they do. When people feel their work matters, they have a purpose. People are motivated by the heart, not the wallet. That’s not to say earning a decent wage isn’t important. But a focus on money alone is not a strategy for success. Focus on people first and profit will follow.  
      Spend time with your employees. Get to know them as people, not just the role they have in your company.  Find out what their dreams and goals are. And then find a way for others to achieve what they want out of life.  People cannot be motivated until they realize that what they do every day helps them to achieve what they want in their personal life.  
      There are other people in our business world that we must never forget. And that’s our customers.  If you were to ask me, who is more important, my employees or my customers? I would answer, “They are equally important.”  You cannot have a successful business without the right employees and the right customers.  
      One last bit of advice I can give you is to focus on your success, no one else’s.  Be very clear about the pathways you take and never forget about the obligation you have to others. Build a company culture of teamwork, quality and integrity.  Focus on what’s in the best interest of the customer and the people around you. Put people first, and everything else will fall into place.  
       
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on February 4th, 2020

       

      View full article
    • By Mark Johnson
      Do you ever worry that if the credit card you’re using to make business purchases isn’t in your business name that you won’t be allowed to take the deductions?
      The good news is, that’s not the case—even if you have a separate entity!
      This doesn’t mean you should mix personal and business expenses.
      When you take a personal credit card and use it entirely for business expenses, you are essentially contributing this debt to your business.
      You can use the card the same as if it was in the company’s name and deduct every business expense you purchase on it.
      This can be a great strategy, just like with auto loans, when the company is new because it’s harder for new companies to get lines of credit without an established credit history.
      So if you’ve got a personal credit card available for business expenses, feel free to use that card and benefit from all of the rewards!
      To learn more please call 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min

      View full article
    • By Mark Johnson
      To refresh, a business meal includes: meals in your area of business WITH a business colleague, or meals by yourself when you travel out of town for business.

      The key to making sure any deduction holds up in an audit is DOCUMENTATION.

      For meals specifically, there are five items you need on a receipt:
      1. The name of the restaurant
      2. The date of the meal
      3. The amount you paid
      4. Who you met with and their business relationship
      5. What business items you discussed

      The first three items are already on the receipt so you’re covered there.

      The last two, a best practice is to jot them down on the receipt right when you make a purchase and then snap a picture of that receipt so you have it!

      Remember, you want to pay as little tax as possible and also have those deductions HOLD UP if you get audited!

      Please take the proper steps to document your meals guys.
      To learn more about this and other tax saving strategies please call 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at 
      https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min

      View full article
    • By Mark Johnson
      He had been working with his accountant for 6 years. That’s over $134k in over-payments.
      The reality is most CPAs only do tax preparation not tax planning, there is a HUGE difference!
      I am offering free tax planning assessments to all group members.
      Where we will look at:
       Deductions review & Strategy planning Legal Entity Optimization Retirement Option & Plan to Hit Extra 1M by Retirement Insurance Review & Assets Protection TCJA (Trump Tax) Review  Message me direct or book your slot on my website.


      View full article
    • By Joe Marconi
      The mild fall appears to have caused a slow down for many shops. We have seen this before.  But, winter tempertures are here, and the threat of snow will boost repair shops.  


  • Similar Tagged Content

    • By brian lorenzo
      I have an opportunity to rent a 3rd location in a fairly busy area with a lot of potential. Problem is the current shop that is there owns the building and is moving 3 1/2 miles down the road will be the land lord. 

      Is this a good idea? anyone else have this situation?
    • By Elon Block
      Hi everyone,

      In case you hadn't heard, here's something you need to be aware of...

      AAA is making some changes, in the way they are doing business.

      Within the last few years, AAA has decided to build their own company-owned facilities.

      Here is a link, with an example of search results, drivers will see when they type in a zip code:
      http://bit.ly/2bk7prG

      Pay special attention to the search results marked (AAA Owned Facility).

      The facilities are impressive and are gaining traction:
      http://midatlantic.aaa.com/Automotive/ClubOwnedRepair/Aboutus/New

      As you can see, their slogan is, "Auto Repair From A Name You Trust".

      This is genius marketing, on their part...

      Because customers equate the AAA logo, as a shop they can trust.

      The other major change they've made is...

      The new requirements for the AAA certification renewal.

      Many shop owners did not read the fine print or notice the changes to the agreement.

      In other words, the fine print requires certified shops to give AAA access to the shop's customer database.

      The biggest concern is if you give them access to your customer database and then, they open a AAA Owned Facility, in your backyard...

      They now have a built-in customer base they can market to.

      What that means to you is...

      This a major conflict of interest because now, they have all of your customers' information, which they can use to actively market and essentially steal your customers.

      So, this is something to be considered, in deciding to continue to be affiliated, as a AAA certified shop.
    • By Elon Block
      Hi everyone,
       
      New blog post on this very important topic here:
      http://www.autoshopowner.com/blog/16/entry-190-did-you-see-the-latest-goodyear-tire-rubber-announcement/
       
      All major pricing changes like this one, affects everyone in the auto repair industry.
    • By Elon Block
      New announcement from Michelin. Looks like they're getting into the online game with a new and
      different approach to making it easy for the customer to do business with them. There are a number
      of interesting things in the website's FAQ's that caught my eye.
      http://www.moderntiredealer.com/news/story/2015/08/michelin-pilot-program-sells-tires-online-and-offers-concierge-service.aspx

      Even if you're not a tire dealer, this move is a game-changer, What are your thoughts on this?
    • By ncsvoboda7
      Hey guys,
       
      So I am still working on a business plan for a central Kansas startup shop and I am looking around and am thinking to myself, how on earth am I going to rise to the top and be better than every Joe Shmoe that knows how to turn a wrench and has a garage on that busy little corner lot.
       
      Before I go any further in planning my business, I want to decide whether or not I can compete with all the different competition and I would really like everyone's input on this.
       
      We have everything from the "best price in town but here is a Ziploc with some extra parts we didn't know what to do with" to the "would you like a refill on that shade grown Columbian imported coffee?" shop in town.
       
      Where can I fit in? How do i build my own niche to make money and gain market share? What can I do to compete or rise above the rest? How can I stand out from the rest and nudge my way in to gain some share in the auto repair industry?
       
      I am planning for a slightly higher end shop, I don't want to be the lowest price shop in town for sure but I also don't quite want to be the most expensive. I want to charge a little more for a quality job, great customer service and a few extras like maybe pickup and dropoff services or free coffee and cable in the waiting area. How can I make sure I can succeed in an already saturated and very competitive market?
       
      Thanks!
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