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    • By Joe Marconi
      The year was 1980 - the year I founded my company. And, like many new business owners, I didn’t have a clear understanding of what was needed to grow a successful business.  I thought that success would be determined by my technical skills and my willingness to wear the many hats of the typical shop owner. It wasn’t until I began to let go of trying to do everything that I realized that success is not just dependent on what I do, but by the collective work accomplished by the team. I eventually discovered that I was not the center of my universe.  After a few years in business, I began the transition from simply owning a job to becoming a businessman. And, while technology has reshaped our industry throughout the years—and will continue to do so—there is one constant that will never change: success in business rests largely on the people you have assembled around you.
      By the late '80s it was obvious that I was doing way too much. I looked at each role I had my hands on: shop foreman, service advisor, shuttle driver, bookkeeper to lot attendant. And, as long as I’m confessing all this to you, I need to disclose that I was also the shop’s maintenance person; making repairs to the bay doors, the slop sink and equipment. You name it, I did it. I was literally too busy to be successful.
      In order to lead my company, I had to first clearly define my responsibilities. These are working on the business, recruiting and hiring the best employees, becoming a leader of people and making sure that my business was successful. I also needed to fulfill the obligation I had to my employees. I realized that this required a deep understanding that putting people first is the best strategy for success. This was difficult at first because it requires working on things that have no immediate impact on the business. Unlike working in the trenches and having your hands on everything, working as a businessperson means that you need to spend time building for the future. The things that are most important to your success in business are the things that have a payoff down the road.  
      I also clearly defined the duties I should not be doing and assigned those tasks to others. This is a critical step for any shop owner.  Warren Buffett says that in order to be successful in whatever you do, it’s crucial to focus on the things that generates the greatest return and that you can’t do it all, and that means sometimes you have to say, “no.”  
      By the late '90s it became clear that the most valuable role I played in my business was that of coach. All the best marketing plans and the best business strategies mean nothing without a team of great people around you all pushing in the right direction. And that takes a strong leader. Not just a boss, but a leader.  Leaders inspire people. Leaders get others to reach down deep inside themselves and perform at their best because they are aligned with the leader’s vision. 
      Leaders inspire others through praise and recognition for the work they do. When people feel their work matters, they have a purpose. People are motivated by the heart, not the wallet. That’s not to say earning a decent wage isn’t important. But a focus on money alone is not a strategy for success. Focus on people first and profit will follow.  
      Spend time with your employees. Get to know them as people, not just the role they have in your company.  Find out what their dreams and goals are. And then find a way for others to achieve what they want out of life.  People cannot be motivated until they realize that what they do every day helps them to achieve what they want in their personal life.  
      There are other people in our business world that we must never forget. And that’s our customers.  If you were to ask me, who is more important, my employees or my customers? I would answer, “They are equally important.”  You cannot have a successful business without the right employees and the right customers.  
      One last bit of advice I can give you is to focus on your success, no one else’s.  Be very clear about the pathways you take and never forget about the obligation you have to others. Build a company culture of teamwork, quality and integrity.  Focus on what’s in the best interest of the customer and the people around you. Put people first, and everything else will fall into place.  
       
      This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on February 4th, 2020

       

      View full article
    • By Joe Marconi
      Not every shop pays flat rate; for many reasons.  So, many techs are on hourly pay.  There is nothing wrong with hourly pay, as long as you have an incentive program in place that promotes high production levels to avoid complacency.  For hourly paid employees I strongly urge you to have a pay plan that rewards production levels on a sliding scale.  
      As a business coach, I have seen too many times shops with low production levels and high tech payroll due to overtime pay. Overtime pay must not be used to get the jobs done with no regard to labor production.  Limit overtime and create a strategy that increases production and rewards techs with production bonuses.  By the way, there are many ways to incentivize techs, it's not all about money. 
      Overtime without high levels of production will eat into profits and if not controlled, with kill your business. 
      If your shop is an hourly paid shop, what incentives do you have in place to maintain production levels? 
    • By JustTheBest
      Hi!
      This week, I had a chance to review recent results with a private client (aka Car Count Hacker . You may find this surprising, specially when you find out the size of the shop. 
      I detail it all in this video.

       
      You can see the entire video here. I welcome your comments or questions.
      I welcome your comments or questions. 
      Hope this helps!
      Matthew
      "The Car Count FIxer"
      P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers! FREE Help to grow your Car Count, Income and Profit! 
      P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook
      P.P.P.S.: Have you registered in my FREE Training? "How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days"
    • By Ron Ipach
      === Free Online Training for Auto Repair Shop Owners ===🚨
      Okay... I can't hold my excitement in any longer because I just finished up the final details on my brand new workshop that I'm going to be offering over the next couple of days only...
      Register here  ==> http://bit.ly/2MNo2jC
      I'm going to cover the three most important things that you could ever do in your shop.
      These are the three things that the top shop owners are doing. They've mastered this and it's the sole reason why they are, well, BETTER than everybody else!
      Don't believe me?
      Sign up using the link and see for yourself!
      Register here ==> http://bit.ly/2MNo2jC
      I'd say it's the best training I've done in the 23 years that I've been doing these. Needless to say, I'm excited to show you. Reserve your spot to the free training by clicking the link below.
      Register here ==> http://bit.ly/2MNo2jC
      - Ron Ipach
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Many of you might have heard of fellow shop owner, Audra Fordin. Her shop is located in Queens, New York and is doing something outstanding for our industry. She has been recognized in the news media and in many trade publications.
       
      She started a web site called WOMEN “AUTO” KNOW. Not only is it brilliant marketing, she has created a program that is actually helping to improve the image of our industry.
       
      I urge you to check out her web site and “Take the Pledge” and join her organization. At the very least, you owe it to yourself and to our industry to find out what she is all about. Trust me, you will be impressed.
       
      Here’s the link to her site and her shop:
      http://www.womenautoknow.com/


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