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Hey Everyone,

Curious what everyone is doing for marketing and advertising. What have you found to be the best return for your money and where are you located?? Looking for some ideas for my auto body shop .

I have tried radio, yelp and yellow pages (never again).

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  • Similar Topics

    • By CAR_AutoReports
      Hey Everyone,
      I'm Ricardo from Complete Auto Reports.  You may have heard about the shop management software that we made at a shop in Linden NJ. 
      We've been really busy over the last year trying to refine the process at a shop through the software.  We have come up with something we think that people can and will benefit from.  We want to start with smaller auto repair facilities who are looking for something to transition out of paper and pen, as well as word documents and/or excel spreadsheets.  
      We've taken our software and made a free package that allows the following from any device with a updated and functional browser:
      Take appointments from your customers Digital Vehicle Inspections - Included in every service request and sent to each customer if performed Workflow - Pending, Under Process, Awaiting Approval, Approval Completed, Work In Progress, Completed Ratings - Customers can communicate ratings directly to you Messages - You can communicate with customers through the platform Customer App - All service history available, can schedule appointments with the app, transfer vehicle records to new owners Sales Reports 100% mobile - Works on everything from your 5inch iPhone to your desktop. 
      You can presently upload all of your customer information: name, address, phone numbers, email.
      Paid for versions offer parts ordering through PartsTech.com and Employeement modules that track employee time on jobs.
      Are there members here who are interested in trying the free platform to see if it's a fit for their business? Anyone interested in the paid for versions, can also get 60 days of free use and discounted rates available from our SEMA promotions.

       
      Our 3 plans can be broken down into these simple differences:   Free:  No inventory, no online parts ordering through PartsTech, only one photo/video per service request, one login, no employee management $50 per month (also have yearly options to save $): Includes online parts ordering through PartsTech and includes inventory, one login, no employee management $100 per month (also have yearly options to save $): includes everything with 5 logins to access the system. We often get asked, "What use can a bigger shop possibly get from the free plan?"
      With the free plan, you can take appointments digitally from your customers and then upload a copy of their receipt from your existing system to their profile in CAR. Reducing paper waste and creating a digital record for your customer to always have.  You can also use the free plan to send your customers a video or photo of the services you are performing, complete with billing the customer through the free plan at the end of the service.  These are all features that you pay for with add on systems, they are all available for free with us as you learn to adapt to smarter, more efficient technology.
      Data:
      The data you enter is yours, we do not have any agreements presently to share it with anyone and we certainly will never be sharing any personally identifying information with anyone.  Majority of the data we are interested in is to build better features to serve you better.
      Should you ever decide you no longer want to use our platform, your account will be available to you for free for one year at minimum.  In addition to that, we can and will provide you a complete data dump of all of your records within 72 hours of the request.  These companies that make it impossible to recover YOUR data is the reason for our open policy.  We want everyone to change their practices and we're leading by example.
      Cancellation:
      If you decide to cancel your subscription for any reason, all of your data can and will be exported and delivered to you via a USB stick you provide or through email in the way of an Excel file(s).  Additionally, you can access ALL OF YOUR information on our server for one year without any interference from anyone at CAR.  Most of you may not know, but I actually own a shop and if it's one thing I can not stand behind, it's these companies getting access to all of our information for secretive reasons or keeping us from having the very data that belongs to us in the first place.  You will never encounter this experience with us.
    • By Alex
      Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc.
      Some things to consider:
      Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains?  Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy!
      In the media:
      The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source
      “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
       


       
    • By Mark Johnson
      Shop owners, if you are having problems with cash flow due to the Coronavirus or even if you are not feeling the effects yet. It is always a good idea to make preparations to have enough cash on hand.
      With that said, the government has allocated 8 Billion to assist business owners affected by COVID-19 by offering SBA disaster loans and I am helping shop owners with filing their applications. Please see my article for more info.
       
    • By Mark Johnson
      Are you a Iowa shop owner? If you have been affected by COVID-19, have 2-25 employees and have a location in the state you can get a grant of between $5,000 and $25,000 from the Iowa Small Business Relief Grant Program. (If you are not from Iowa please tell friend from the state)   YOU MUST APPLY NOW! (Deadline is March 31, 2020)   So what information do you need?   A LOT!   ●   Most recent Income Statement ●   Revenue Loss Analysis ●   Most recent Balance Sheet ●   Payroll Schedule And Analysis ●   Funds utilization report ●   Fill out All Paperwork   You need to apply now because applications close March 31, 2020.   This is FREE money, don't let it pass.

      We are currently helping business owners to access this grant.   For more info please call us at 1954-324-0803 or book an appointment at https://calendly.com/markjohnsontaxplanner/45min
      View full article


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    • By Alex
      Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc.
      Some things to consider:
      Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains?  Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy!
      In the media:
      The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source
      “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
       


       
    • By Joe Marconi
      I will never forget the day I met Carlos. It was 13 years ago at a small business conference in New York City. The conference drew business owners from all types of industries throughout the greater New York area. Carlos was sitting next to me at orientation. The day was lined up with guest speakers, workshops and networking opportunities. By the third networking break, Carlos and I were hitting it off. We traded war stories, discussed business challenges and brainstormed new ideas. Carlos owns two Italian restaurants, one in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn. His first restaurant was founded in 1986 when he was 27 years old. I finally asked Carlos, “What’s your background? Did you go school to become a chef? Did your family own a restaurant? Do you enjoy cooking?” Carlos turned to me, smiled, and said, “Joe, I am going to let you in on a little-known secret: I have never cooked a meal in my life.”
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      In the first 10 years, I grew my business primarily with my hands, my strength and my determination. At the end of that decade, I hit a wall. Thankfully, that wall knocked some sense into me. My business was largely dependent on my abilities and what I could produce. After analyzing my business and realizing that it had plateaued for a number of years, I had to make a tough choice. It was time to put down the tools. I had to learn a different set of skills—the skills of running a company. This proved to be the right choice for me.
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      There are shop owners that were never technicians, and do quite well. It’s argued that they have an advantage over technician-turned-shop-owners. A technician’s brain is wired to look at the problem at hand, create a solution and move on. An entrepreneur looks at business from a different perspective: always looking to the future, at growth and what other greater things can be accomplished.
      I remember many years ago meeting a very successful shop owner from the west coast at a trade show. We were both standing at a booth that displayed emissions-related products. I picked up a sensor, turned to this shop owner and asked what he thought of the new air fuel ratio sensors. He replied, “I wouldn’t know an oxygen sensor from a spark plug.” I kept silent. This shop owner was, and still is, well known in the industry—and very successful.
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      Carlos and I still keep in contact with each other and he still owns and operates his restaurants. Carlos called me the other day and told me that he actually had the opportunity recently to work in the kitchen at one of his restaurants. Perhaps even entrepreneurs can cross over into the world of technicians. I’m betting it did a world of good for Carlos.
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2018


      View full article
    • By Joe Marconi
      We allow visitors to read the first post of each topic. To read this post, please login or register for a membership. 
    • By Ron Ipach
      December spells the end of 2018, and hopefully you're wrapping up what was a fantastic year for your auto repair shop and business.
      Now… it’s time to start thinking about how to make 2019 an EVEN BETTER year. (Heck, let’s go ahead and plan on making it your best year ever! Right?)
      By attending for this special Live Online Webinar, you're going to get the proven 4-step process that will practically GUARANTEE 2019 to be a blow-out success for you.
      With these four steps, you’ll be able to…
      👉 ==> DOUBLE your take-home pay (Yes, that’s not a misprint. I’ll show you how.)
      👉 ==> Magnetically attract more (and even better!) customers to your shop
      👉 ==>  Easily sell your services at higher prices than your competitors
      👉 ==>  Find, hire, and keep that elusive tech you’ve been searching for
      👉 ==>  Put the fun back into running your shop!
      If you're interested... there is absolutely ZERO cost to attend this training.
      All you'll need is 45 minutes of your day set aside in order to watch this webinar live.
      For the dates, times, and registration details,  CLICK HERE

    • By Stevens Automotive Service
      After looking and reading some posts Here are some quick answers to some of them.
      Charging for Diagnostic time... Absolutely and is easy done. 
      Fleet Customers.. Absolutely if you have the man power and shop to handle them. Be careful , you can loose them if your not equipped to support the amount of work. Do your homework.
      Damage and misfortune to a customers vehicle while in your care... If it's your fault just fix it. If not assess and address it quickly, the sooner the better. 
      Know your Business not just part of it... Know it inside and out. Knowing your fixed cost is a must. 
      Spend Wisely ..It takes money to make money keep it balanced , don't invest without returns.
      Advertise Wisely....Quick example : If you are around a large place of business where people work , Hospital, Shopping Mall, Manufacturing Plant Etc there are just a few suggestions of gaining customers for next to nothing cost, to attain those customers. A promotion on a business size card and NO, you don't have to discount a thing. 
      Dealing with employees ..On cell phones , drugs etc whatever you don't address you condone!  
      Hope this helps  Need help with anything, I am a phone call or email away !
      Dan Stevens 
      Stevens Automotive Services  
         
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