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
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.
Bill Nalu is President of Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, Michigan and has been in business for 30 years. He collaborates with industry professionals, in building today’s “high-tech/old-fashioned” customer service system. Bill has been a big contributor to the podcast and he currently serves on several industries and educational advisory councils including AutoValue/Bumper to Bumper, Dorman Industries, and Cardone. Listen to Bill’s previous episodes HERE.
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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. AAPEX 2021 is in the record books and lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on Las Vegas in 2022. Mark your calendar now … November 1-3, 2022, AAPEX - Now more than ever.
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By ASOG Podcast
Looking through the videos taken at #aapex and #sema. This event is simply can't-miss.
By Joe Marconi
Exit Strategy-Step 4- Hire & Retain Great People
Your personal talents and skills will only get you so far in business. If you rely just on what you can achieve alone, you will eventually plateau and never achieve your potential in business. The fact is that in order to achieve your personal success, you need great people around you. Having a strong team promotes greatness, This is because of the exchange of great ideas and also due to the different strengths people bring to the organization.
Look for superstar employees. You may have to pay them more, but they are worth it because of what they bring to your company, and great people create great companies.
Now, your job does not end once you hire the superstars; this is when you job begins. You must do all you can to retain them: Coach them, mentor them, let them spread their wings, and empower them to take ownership of their positions.
You success is dependent on the success of others around you. A business, built and run with superstar employees, will be more attractive to a potential buyer and add much needed profit to the bottom line, while you're in business.
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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 Joe Marconi
There is been a lot of discussion lately across this nation about raising the minimum wage. I am not going to debate that issue today, but I will go on the record that I believe it may affect our industry and how we pay out technicians.
With companies such as Wall Mart, McDonalds, Starbucks, Chipotles, and many more increasing wages, this will send a message to the workforce that wages need to be more in line with the needs of the worker.
Pay scales for techs are all over the map depending on where you are in the country. But, the age old issue is that we need to attract quality entry-level people to our industry. With chatter that entry-level positions in the fast food chains and other big box stores may exceed $10.00 per hour and even reach $15.00, we need to take a look at what we pay our people.
The bottom line here is truly the “bottom line”. Shop owners cannot simply raise wages unless the shop’s profits are enough to support the raise. Shop owners need to take a long hard look at their pay plans and ensure that you offer competitive wages, but importantly, offer a work environment and career paths that will attract quality people.