By Joe Marconi
For many shops, business during the winter can slow up due to a number of reasons. What I have found that works is to schedule a flood of service reminders and past recommendations to go out during the months of Jan and Feb. Maintaining touch with your existing customers is a great way to keep your shop top of mind, and it may just bring in a little extra work too.
Any winter marketing tips to share?
By Joe Marconi
There is a large repair shop in the mid Atlantic states (they want to remain anonymous) that just formed an alliance with a local new car dealer to service their used cars. I will change some of the details; a request from the shop owner. But, the story brings up a few interesting facts. And, the big news is: This shop is profiting from this relationship!
The shop owner was approached by the GM of the dealer to service some of the used cars they have been taken in on trade and want to sell. The dealer techs are not trained and not familiar with the different car lines, being a Chrysler-only dealership. Due to the shortage of cars these days, the dealer is taking in on trade, all makes and models and wants to sell the used cars. And we all know profitable used cars are.
The repair shop performs a multipoint, which they get paid for, and then they do many of the services and repairs, which includes tires, brakes, wheel alignments, oil changes, air and cabin filters, wipers and other simple services. Most of the cars are newer cars, and the work can be done by a GS tech.
I don't know the pricing, sorry. But, I am interested to see where this goes.
Imagine, a new car dealer asking an independent repair shop to service and repair their used car fleet???
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.
Key Talking Points
Justin Fricke, CarTime Auto Center, Dundas, MN
Stocks around 100 cars on lot for used car business in the same building The car buying experience has changed- the market isn’t full of new vehicles anymore, prices continue to increase month to month Justin started as a technician and is now part-owner Program through junior and senior high schools called Career Tech Education- job fair day of different businesses with displays. As a business, go to schools and ask about their programs available. Consider field trip to the shop Where do kids fit? Stereotypes around the trades need to be broken in school. Don’t push the kids that are the “bad students” into the trades. It is no longer a secondary career path. Also has detail shop- $200 for full detailing inside and out Connect with the show:
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