I started a business idea & funded everything to get the business going. It has boomed faster then I expected, i still own & run the shop from the outside but I have 2 family members that have grown the shop from the sales & service from the inside & have been paid a weekly check plus sales bonus checks above any local shop. I have the idea that over the long haul I will recoop my investment & time. I have told them the more we grow the more you will earn pretty simple plan. The company continues to grow every month so I'm not worried about location & all the other things that go into what is my business worth. My question is if I would sell to 1 of them how would I figure a fair price. Mind you I personally have yet to gain a profit from the business myself. I draw a small check but it goes toward bills that it took to get the company started that came out of my own pocket. My quick simple thought was Equipment+Inventory+ (Net profitx3)= Selling price to walk away. I would like to know others I feel I should gain on taking the risk & putting my personal family finaces on hold, but also feel I don't want to cause family issues that I was trying to cheat a family member that would say the business would be nothing without them.
By Ron Ipach
All auto repair shop owners should know the importance at this point of having an auto repair website for the shop. This idea was brought to me by a client who sent me an e-mail letting me know that she's going to be updating her website, which is a really good idea - If your website is old or if you don't have one, you really do need to have a newer updated website.
I suggest that for everybody. Her question was really to the point, how much should she spend on a website and how important, really, is having a website right now?
Let me go ahead and cover the second question first:
How important is having a website? It's important.
You really do need to have a website. It's not nearly as important as everybody makes it seem, especially with the guys who want to sell you a website, but the reality is, you doneed to have a good website. Most people will go to your website and check you out a little bit before they choose to do business with you.
It's similar to people reading reviews. Everybody looks at a review before they decide who they want to do business with. They're going to review you. If you've got good reviews, chances are they're going to check out your website. If you have an auto repair website that's made by a six year old, ten years ago, and it looks like crap - chances are that's going to turn them off.
It doesn't take a whole lot of time, money, or effort to have a professional looking website, an updated website. It is important that you do have it because people will check you out online. Ever since I started doing my Car Count Daily videos, I've had a lot of people checking out my website. It just goes to show, when people find you they want to know more about you. That's why it's important you have that good, and updated website.
How much should you spend and how much time should you spend doing it?
Not a lot because the reality is, most people aren't going to find you by searching for an auto repair shop in their area. There's just too much competition. Unless you really want to jump into that fray and work with search engine optimizers so that you're at the top of the page all the time - most shop owners don't have the time or money to mess with that. You just need to have a good looking website. You can get a cheap website. You can get one made for $500 and that's pretty much all you need to spend.
I know it will be easy for most people in the industry to argue with me on this, especially with the people who are providing websites as a service. The reality is, you want a good professional looking website, but the majority of people are never going to find it. The only people who are going to find your website are the ones that are actually typing in, doing a search for you.
I wouldn't spend a ton of time on there. The reason why I talk about this in the way that I do is I find that too many of my clients are spending entirely too much time putting together the perfect website.
They spend hours, and hours, and hours with their designer and back and forth, back and forth for the perfect website that the majority of people are never going to see anyway, or it will be difficult to get it in front of the right customers, at the right time.
Put your time, and effort, and money where people are really going to find you. I'd suggest market more to your current clients than market to people that have never seen you before, which is what your website is essentially doing in the automotive repair industry. You're marketing to people that don't know you and chances are they're never going to find you anyway, even though you have a beautiful, well-made site. The better looking your site is, doesn't get you to the top page of Google or the main search engine. Put your money, and time, and effort in things that really matter - like your marketing.
Have a good, professional looking website, but you don't need to spend thousands of dollars and hours putting that together.
-- Ron Ipach (a.k.a Captain Car Count)
President/Founder of Repair Shop Coach More articles and content like this and originated through Ron Ipach's Car Count Daily campaign Auto Repair Shop Owners, Managers, and Automotive Industry Professionals are invited to join 'Car Count Daily Boosters' LinkedIn group to provide resources and gain insight on boosting car count DAILY and filling up the bays in their shops.
I recently did a drivabilty repair on a 1999 Bonneville, a week after all was done the customer called to share his concern about the price of the MAF we replaced. I told him there we many out there and the only ones we have positive results with were the AC Delco new ones. He stated he could buy the same thing for less of course. The sensor cost me over $250 and my margin is 39%. Am I out of line charging this?
And how do you handle price objections similar to this?
I am putting this in Non-Automotive Discussion, but my price shopping experience relates to how customers feel and may relate to sometimes in purchasing vehicle maint. and repairs.
The Back Story:
I have been on vacation since June 8th in southeast Europe. I am leaving in two days to go back to the United States. I am here with my wife who is a huge animal lover. To make a long story short their a huge stray dog problem in Europe. Dozens of stray dogs in every village, town, and city you go into. The town we are staying in has a population of around 80,000 and is pretty densley populated. We seen one particular dog the first few days we were here. My wife commented on how ill he looked at that time. Fast forward two weeks later and we seen the same dog again, this time almost dead. He couldn't pick himself up off the sidewalk, was very low on energy and strength and appeared to be dehydrated. I picked him up and walked home with him. We fed and watered him, and took him to a vet to get medication and later shots when he was healthy enough. I couldn't find an appropriate home for him so I decided I am taking him home to the United States with me. I figured I would just bring him on our airplane, but found out later he was too big to fit into the largest cage that is acceptable on the airplane. So I had to go to plan B, fly him on a seperate cargo plane.
I started contacting cargo brokers in the area. As a private individual you cannot just book cargo yourself, it must go through a cargo company. The first company I found was located in Turkey. They were going to fly my dog out of Skopje Macedonia (2.5hrs driving from where I am), send him to Istanbul, and then to Washington D.C. That is the most common route for cargo in this area back to the U.S. The cargo agent assured me that the dog would be fed and watered on layovers. I waited a week for a quote from this company and when I got the quote I almost fell out of my chair, 4300 Euros which is nearly $4800 with exchange fees.
I called around to another company who could not complete the transaction because my dog would have to go into Bulgaria which is a EU member. The EU has some rabies blood test that needs done after vaccination but their is no lab in Macedonia to complete this test at the moment. So I called a Cargo company from the Skopje Macedonian airport. Once again the booked route was from Skopje, to Istanbul, to Washington D.C. The price estimated was 1100 euros. After a few days of talking options and the broker looking into customs requirements the price went to 1580 Euros. I selected this broker and went this route. I didn't get a chance to get into contact with anymore brokers due to time constraints (over a week being wasted by the broker in Turkey).
During this mission to get my dog back to the USA I felt like a customer calling around to auto repair shops trying to price a service. I also rediscovered as to why a customer may feel on the defense whenever talking to a company for a service. I found one price nearly 3 times the amount compared to the competitor. There was also a 40% increase in price from my estimated price to the actual price. I don't know the actual reasons for the price increase, if it was increased due to customs and airline fees, or if it was the broker sensing I was determined to get my dog to the USA and he wanted to profit off of my determination. I also remember why I got into this business, I was an avid DIYer and came from a family of DIYers that rarely sourced out work. I generally DIY projects, and with this one "project" I felt "weak" because I had to rely on somebody else to complete this task for me.
Lots of rambling, I don't know what of this pertains to a customer psychology when choosing a service, I thought I would just share my story.
We’re not the cheapest guys in town. There – I said it. But we’re not downright unfair, and we do a good job at offering over the top value to those we hope to serve. In any market or industry, there are three distinct categories of customers, the price conscious, value conscious, and the quality conscious. Sadly, the price conscious folks seem to be the most discussed in forums.
We had a young lady come to us 2 years ago for service when she had a breakdown. In addition to the way her concerns were addressed from a technical/mechanical standpoint, she received such over-the-top treatment (I think her initial invoice was about $300), that her review of our company online indicated some key points in our company's mission statement, validating our effort to serve our market in the way we set out from the beginning. This, alone, made us dance joyfully. (I know…picture that, will you…)
A month later, she cancelled an oil change appointment...actually, I think she was a "no call, no show". When we called, we found that she had fallen ill with the flu. As she was local, and exactly the kind of customer we knew we wanted to be of service to, my service writer took it upon himself on his lunch to buy her a get well card, some hot soup, and a balloon, and deliver it to her door that afternoon. Total cost? About $10. Weird, I know, but seriously, how awesome do you think SHE felt about it?
What happened after that, and over the next 2 years was nothing shy of amazing. She has, without failure, come in EVERY FRIDAY with a plate of fresh, homemade cookies for us to leave out in our lobby for our other customers to share. Every week, for two years and counting! He cookies initially sat next to a well-articulated, printed letter she wrote, expressing her gratitude for “these weird mechanics who always seem to be more interested in the people who come in than the money they are hoping to make.”
As it turns out, she had a rotten experience with her last mechanic, and as we’ve all heard the story, vowed she’d never return there. Apparently they just didn’t seem to care about her…they only wanted her money, and over time, it became more and more evident to her & her family. Zig Ziglar (paraphrased) said that you can have everything you’ve ever wanted in life if you’ll just help enough other people get what THEY want. He’s right. We focus on serving the people that come in, not the “almighty dollar”. Focus on the needs of people, and the money will ALWAYS follow, I promise. Focus on the dollars, and you may make a few…but you’re falling short of your potential.
By the way, the customer described herein is married, has 3 college aged kids, and an elderly parent living with her. 6 cars. Six. In the last 2 years, we’ve collected almost $12,000 dollars from them for services provided, including 2 engine jobs. And she couldn’t care any less about the coupon in the paper at my competitor offering $10 off an oil change.
Just one man’s story.