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27 in business for 6 years need help


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Just a little back story, have been in business for 6 years. Started from my house garage and grew to a 3 bay shop 2 years ago with one full time b tech. Very diverse shop we do a lot of collision repair,mechanical repairs,and used car sales with an inventory of 30 cars right now. when i first started, being so diverse helped keep the shop busy but now i am at the point where i would really like to perfect and enlarge my auto repair side of the business. i am very tired of throwing parts at cars and i know we are weak in the "CHECK ENGINE" world but i don't know how to make the jump to correct this. I know for a fact this will help my shop become more efficient and improve my used car business as well. ideally i would like to hire a Master tech who could help train the other tech and let me step into a manger position so i could buy more cars and be more aggressive in marketing the business, maybe land a fleet account. i just feel stuck with all these decisions and can't seem to decide which turn to take. i feel very lucky to have found this site and i am very excited to see what advise people have.

 

 

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It seems like you are in a position of "jack of all trades, master of none." You have 3 businesses going there from auto body, auto repair and car sales. There are a lot of guys who have done all successfully but everyone's path is different. To see the best results you definitely have to pick 1 and run with it. If auto repair is where you think the best opportunity is then awesome! If your issue is not having a qualified tech I would suggest to hit the ground hard on recruiting. Leverage any opportunity you have to look for a great tech. Once you have some candidates my suggest is to vet them thoroughly. Worse thing is to get into bed with a bad employee, trust me I know and most of the guys on here can attest to the pain you'll go through.

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If you are weak on diag, you need to hire someone that can. They're expensive but worth it. I just signed on a master tech and super excited. I have pretty good ability to diagnose but I just opened a second shop so I hired a master tech for the location I was at. It's a great peace of mind having someone that can do EVERYTHING.

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Master tech who could help train the other tech

 

I think this will be very hard to do.. In today's auto world there is so much that needs to be learned . Training is a full time job and it also never ends even for the best Master mechanics out there. In my opinion a Master mechanic is out there to make a living not teach. You may want to find a master mechanic then possible look for a few good guys a few years out of automotive school that have the background knowledge and have some practical experience in the field which can for the most part hold their own with a little guidance from your Master mechanic.. The business is only as good as its weakest person.. Just like a dog sled team it can only go as fast as it's slowest dog. just my opinion .

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If I had 30 cars in stock I would concentrate on turning my inventory and make a butt load of money in the used car business, and hire another B tech to do more work. It sounds like you have a gold mine right there.......you just will want to get everything running as smoothly as you can.

 

Hi-Gear

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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