By Joe Marconi
One of the lessons from COVID is for repair shops to have a strong cash reserve. Shop owners need to budget their money each week, and allocate money to different bank accounts, such as payroll, operating expenses, taxes, etc.
Another account I would recommend is to have a Cash Reserve account, where money is allocating each week, and not touched unless their is a emergency, such as an economic downturn and or if an economic emergency occurs in your area or with your company.
While no one could have predicted the affects from COVID 19, I think we can all agree that being cash strong is a viable strategy.
You should have anywhere from 3 to 6 months of covered expenses in a separate bank account. I know, I know....it's a lot of money. Start slow and build each week. Anything set aside is better than nothing.
Of course, to have a reserve means that you need to have the profit to put away. Right? Well, another reason to know your numbers, revisit your pricing and make sure your labor rate is enough to support your payroll, operating expenses and have enough left over to set aside money for the unexpected.
Trust me, you'll be glad you did.
By Joe Marconi
The strength of your company relies on many factors, and one of the most important is having a great set of systems and procedures in place. Systems and procedures bring consistency to your customer service, and to your repairs. While I am not a fan of creating a company with employee clones, having everyone in your company on the same page, sharing common goals is crucial for overall success.
In terms of selling your company, having systems and procedures in place is an advantage when potential buyers are interested in your company.
Please remember, it doesn't matter where you are in your business career, you are never too young to start planning for your exit strategy. And, perhaps equally important is that by preparing your business for sale will actually help build a stronger and more profitable business.
Stayed tuned for more tips on Creating Your Exit Plan.
By ASOG Podcast
Brian Walker of Shop Market Pros explaining what makes them different at the TOOLS Conference 2021.
By ASOG Podcast
ASOG Podcast LIVE from TOOLS 2021 - Adam Rath on Leadership
Bob Cooper, Founder/President of Elite Worldwide Inc. A native Ohioan, Bob started his career as a technician in a struggling, Cleveland Ohio shop that he later purchased and build into one of the most successful shops in America. As a successful shop owner and experienced drag racer, in Cleveland, he started a second business and began doing performance driveline work for many of the nation’s top fuel racers. It wasn’t long after he and his family sold their Cleveland home and businesses, loaded up their race car, and moved to southern California where he developed shops that gained national recognition.
Having a passion to help other shop owners, in 1990 he founded Elite; the industry leader in helping shop owners build more profitable, successful businesses, that allow them to reach their personal goals, and elevate the industry at the same time. Bob was one of the first to predict the dealership's plan to target the service business, he predicted the trend toward maintenance, the explosive growth in remanufactured components, and the trend in leasing. He is also the creator of the most commonly used sales procedures used by the top service advisors in America.
He has been nominated for entry into “Who’s Who in American Business”, he is a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association, he is recognized as one of the nation’s leading authorities on both personal and career success, and he is committed to the principle of never putting money ahead of people. In addition to speaking at many of the major industry events, he has spoken worldwide to many Fortune 500 companies, private banking groups, universities and the United States Army.
Listen to Bob's other episodes HERE
Key Talking Points
Why we all need to have clearly defined goals- establish your goals for the next year. Only 3% have defined goals. People that have goals are happier, healthier, and live longer lives. They earn on average twice the income vs the people who don’t have goals. Most people don't know what they don't know- 97% of people talk about their day-to-day lives and don’t talk about goals. People also don’t know how to set goals, fear of failure and fear of rejection. We are born with 2 genetic fears- falling and fear of loud noises, all other fears are developed fears. Many are faced with a fear of public speaking, which is a developed fear as well. Was the day successful or not successful with reaching goals Short-term goals are not used for economic gain- the purpose is to change the behavior of people. Make yourself wonder what you could do differently to reach the goal next time. Short-term goals should be daily goals. In order for short-term goals to effectively influence behavior, they only need to be reached 51% of the time. Monthly goals- the problem is you’re only rewarded for hitting that goal once every 30 days. You also risk slowing down if reaching the goal early or giving up if not close to hitting goal. Increasing sales 15% - set daily sale goals and daily car count goals, always make sure they are tracked in descending not ascending way. If your goal is $5,000 for the day and you sell $1,500, draw a line through $5,000 and rewrite $3,500. It is a new adjusted goal. Goals should always be in front of you instead of what you’ve accomplished. Write your core beliefs, what are the things that are most important to you? 8-10 core beliefs. Look at it 2-3 days later and constantly work on it for the next month. You cant set effective goals if you don’t first know who you are as a person. Share your goals with a spouse/someone who fully supports you, find the common goals together. “Give up goals” can be shared with everyone. Hiring employees is like getting married. Getting married is easy, staying married is hard. Don’t let your employee “fall out of love” with what they are doing. Don’t be afraid to set breathtaking goals, realistic goals for short-term and mid-term goals. Long-term goals should be life-changing/inspiring. “Given the difference in creativity and intelligence, I will always opt for creativity. Because anything mankind can imagine, mankind can create.” Albert Einstein Goal Setting Checklist found HERE
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Check out today's partner:
The NAPA Smart Sign, previously known as Digital Menu Board, gives your shop a professional, state-of-the-art look and feel. It’s a great way to educate and inform your customers about needed repairs and service, plus increase awareness of your current promotions. NAPA AutoCare Center that have installed a Digital Menu Board found one out of five consumers ask for a repair or service they’ve seen on the board. Targeted promotions resulted in double-digit increases. You choose the content from a library of auto care service and repair topics. The latest NAPA national promotions are downloaded to you automatically. And with the Digital Menu Board it’s easy to change your services, prices, and video content anytime you’d like. Talk to your servicing NAPA store to find out more.
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By Joe Marconi
Back in my day, you didn't get a lot of praise from your boss. And, you never really looked for it either. You did your job, and the only way you knew you were doing a good job is if the boss didn't reprimand you. It was different back when I started, 1974. Times have changed and the way we manage people has changed too.
If you want to motivate people, make sure you praise them when they do a great job. Be sincere and be honest with your praise. People crave positive feedback from their leaders. By giving praise often, your employees will feel good about themselves. Their self-esteem will get a boost and they will be more likely to repeat that great job again.
Now, this is not to say you should ignore when things go wrong. But make sure you give at least 5 to 8 "at-a-boys" to every one reprimand. Trust me, fill someone's emotional bank with sufficient "at-a-boys", and they will be more willing to listen to you when they drop the ball.
By Joe Marconi
Most of you probably already know what I am about to say: The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop. I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs? Well, that's important too, of course.
For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car. Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot.
What the customer does see (or experience) is how she was treated. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Plus, great service advisors also motivate the technicians, because great advisors are also great leaders of people.
Think about this...Six months from now, your customer will not remember the fuel injection relay or the mass air sensor that was replaced....but she WILL remember how she was treated.
And trust me, that OE-quality fuel injection relay install by a certified A-level Master tech using Snap On tools and a Launch Scanner IS NOT the reason WHY your customers return to you....She returns because of the level of service your provide.
By Joe Marconi
Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19. However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer. People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers.
Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit. Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does!
We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!
By Joe Marconi
I remember being at a meeting with my staff where I voiced my opinion on an important issue. When I was finished, I asked if everyone was in agreement. Everyone nodded their heads yes.
After the meeting, one of my service advisors told me that half of the employees did not agree with me. When I asked why did they agree, he replied. “You’re the boss, you intimidate others.”
This made me think about my leadership style. Being unapproachable will prevent you from hearing other opinions; which is important to the success of the company.
When speaking with your employees, ask a lot of questions. Avoid giving your opinion until you have heard from others. Praise suggestions and the opinions of others, and thank others for speaking up.
The most successful teams are those that build strategies through a collective effort.
By Joe Marconi
As shop owners, we sometimes feel that we need to answer every question and handle every situation. While you need to be proficient as a business owner, you also need your employees to think for themselves.
Empower your people to solve problem. Ask them for their opinions and don’t be too quick to jump in on every situation. The more you jump in and solve their problems, the more they will rely on you. This is not to say you don’t have their back; but a team functions best when everyone takes ownership of their position and takes responsibility to take care of problems.
Will employees make mistakes? Yes. But there isn’t a shop owner on this planet that has a perfect record at making decisions. We all make mistakes.
As a shop owner; teach, mentor and coach. Include your employees in on decisions that relate to their job position. When employees feel you trust them, they will begin to solve their own problems. This will set you free to work on the things that will bring you greater success.