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Iv noticed over the years there are times when business/car count drops off by a huge amount all at once. Last year it was brutal in January and got worse in February. It got busier the 2nd week of March and was pretty steady the rest of the year with my best month ever in November then even topped that in December. But this year its back to the same. January came leads completely dropped out, February came and it got worse, just like last year. Now I know its just a waiting game and business will pick back up. Its not just me every shop in the area is completely empty. --- What triggers these pattern down turns? Has anyone ever figured that out? Thought?

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air filtration

As far as the northern part of the country, by January most people have done what they normally do to get their vehicles ready for winter so that kind of work isn't there. In January and February the weather is lousy so people aren't traveling as much. Less miles, less work needed. Also in these 2 months Xmas bills are coming due so we're still fighting Santa Claus. The only thing that helps during this time of year is SEVERE weather that breaks cars. The other time of year we see severe slowdowns is in September during back to school time.

Edited by tyrguy
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I agree with Joe Marconi and Tyrguy for what causes the slow done. January and February has always been very slow months for us also.  I send monthly newsletters to my customers and I will have a coupon insert for oil changes and other services. Any customer who hasn't been in over 6 months, we send them a oversize postcard with a $25 coupon good for any repairs and services. And of course we check and double check for other repairs and services needed when the car is on the lift and send then a picture and video of the problem. What had also helped us at times is we will post something on Facebook stating why service / maintenance is important and we will boost it for $10. We had people call us after seeing the post, ask questions, and we got them to make a appointment. And we currently have a mailer going out in the mail to a new customer list. My thought has always been to try something to get the phone to ring, than it is to wonder why the phone isn't ringing and do nothing about it. The person who received our newsletter or mailer in the mail may not respond, but that newsletter / mailer may sit on the kitchen or dinning room table for a couple weeks, and they may look at it again and think," I do need to get my car in for a service". And it does happen. Why? Because I have done the same thing. But there will be times no matter what you do, the phone just doesn't ring.

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  • 2 months later...

Have you ever called your own phone just to make sure it's working? I laugh because even the robo calling telemarketers dont call during those times. Its erie. 

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YEP.  I've always attributed it to the COLD weather around here (MI) and Holiday Bills.  Thank God tax refunds start coming in early March!  Always seems like a good time for employees who can to use some vacation time and go somewhere warm!

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I think "daves auto service" said it best. Overall, it's about being consistent. If it's newsletters, postcards, facebook - doesn't matter. Smart shops will do them all! But the key is being consistent. I agree, there are times when nothing makes the phone ring - but you can pretty much plan for those times (like Jan/Feb)

Besides, marketing and advertising isn't an expense if it returns as much as what it costs you. Yes, even if you spend $200 on a promo and only get $400 in revenues, it's better than doing nothing. 

Hope this helps!

Matthew
"The Car Count Fixer"

Get Car Count Help at YouTube.com/CarCountHackers
Like & Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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