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Great Tire Deal

Sorry, I can be a smart a$$ at times. I guess I'm a little tired of hearing about cheap oil changes.

Not that is should make you feel better but I have heard from my account rep at world pac the slow start to 2017 is not regional. My trans guy says everyone in the area is slow as heck. It has felt slow around here and we have not had any winter to speak of but the numbers show differently.  Although not setting the word on fire we are up 4% Feb/march this year over last.

Having been doing this for so many years I dont really sweat the slow times anymore. Give us time to maintain the loaner fleet and spruce the shop up a bit. It'll pop....

 

 

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Slow here in the Akron/ Cleveland area. Overall, 1st quarter was down 12-13 % from last year. But most of that is in tire sales. Service GP is only down about 5%. But by not hiring a tech last May when my long time [37 year] tech retired we are saving close to a grand a week in wages. That helps.

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Last year we had a very ebb and flow kind of business, then around September we changed marketing strategy for the coming year. We exceed our best year quarterly sales by 12% this first quarter. Pulled a lot of new customer from the dealers that are having scheduling issues.

We have been very proactive in getting this new business, if we had not actively targeted our prospects I am sure our sales would have suffered. 

It is a very much more complicated business atmosphere, but I think if things slow down for new car dealers we should fare much better soon. http://www.zerohedge.com/print/592110

Morgan Stanley: Used Car Prices May Crash 50%

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Im in SC and its hit or miss. Luckily we've managed to stay busy every day, there's always something to do. Ive been busy and seen a lot of other shops slow and ive been slow when others are swamped. Its just the nature of this business sometimes

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I had a soft January. I was 30K down from January '16, but January '16 was an exceptional January. Since then we've recovered and we're up 26K over last year, and my GP% is up 6% as well. Overall car count is up 7% YTD.

This month feels soft, but the first part of April always does. We're up 16% month to date over last year, but I need more to continue making up for January and hit my 11% increase over last year by the end of the year.

On cheap oil change marketing I might add. 😀

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18 minutes ago, xrac said:

I think the effect of Obama Care is slowing business down.  Premiums are up across the board. Mine are personally up over 20% from last year. Some people are having to pay back subsidies that they claim earlier but didn't deserve. Some are paying penalties.  All of this affects discretionary income and they have to cut somewhere.  These affects along with tax time definitely drags business down. 

Auto repair is not discretionary income. It is necessary if we are to have our freedom to move about.

That being said I hate to create excuses when we are slow. I have been in business for 30 years and there have always been ebbs and flows in this business. That being said my business has very rarely gone backwards ( maybe 4 years out of 30) and has always grown. I no longer freak out when it is slow I usually find a project for us to do while we wait for things to pick up. When starting a project it almost always picks up before we finish.

I have also learned when we are busy to not get caught up in the moment and keep my owners duties at hand and have plans in place to keep that next slow period as brief as possible.

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Best way I've found to jump start business?

Bring your own car into the shop, and tear it apart so it's stranded on the rack and tying up a bay. The shop will instantly fill and you'll be in desperate need of that rack. Every friggin' time.

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One last thing. When its slow, it just means each one of us has less cars to fix. There are still cars in each shop so you just have to figure out how to get the cars from your competitors shops into yours :) and then you'll be busy and they'll be making excuses!

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26 minutes ago, xrac said:

That is very true or send someone home!

There are times when I would love to send someone home but I have resisted the temptation. I can honestly say that in 38 years I have never laid someone off for any amount of time. Now, have I let someone who wanted to take the rest of the day off go home....you bet.

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  • 2 years later...

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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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