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New Shop Question - Car Count

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This is driven a lot by surrounding demographics.  Getting your car count to 150 in a densely populated area might not be that hard, but it will surely require a monthly advertising budget well over $1,000 a month your first few years.  Then comes the question of, are you doing 150 oil changes or 50 oil changes and 100 other services that lead to real profit and growth for your business.

I think guys focus too much on things like car count and not enough on providing a good service in a facility that is designed or flowed to handling this volume of work.  If you want to build a serious business, calculate how much work you can take on a day and actually finish.  In this calculation you have to remember that the things you advertise your business does, is generally going to lead to high volume, low margin work with really stiff competition.  Because we're all advertising on the items that draw int he most amount of people... tires, brakes, oil changes. Build on reputation and level of service and live mostly ignoring things like "car count".

Car count in theory is important, as it draws on the assumption that to raise revenue you need more cars.  While that is true, so is the service model.  Provide a service that people are impressed by and rely upon... and your car count starts to matter a lot less.  Even though proper execution on service will lead to an increased car count based on the hidden brand building you're doing with that model.

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Hi jfuhrmad! Good question but a little difficult to answer. Mostly because car count, profits, revenues will depend a lot on your overhead and fixed costs. 

With that said, I will respectfully disagree with parts of things CAR_AutoReports says. 

First of all, you didn't state what term the 150 was - so I am assuming it's per month, right? 
If that is correct, then just apply a little math. On average, there's typically 22 working days in a month. 150 cars/month would mean 6.8 cars per working day. That leads directly to another question. Can you handle 7 cars a day?? I'm serious. If you're a one man shop, don't forget you've got to answer the phone, move the cars, test drive jobs, quote jobs, write up quotes, and oh yeah... fix the car too!

I will say - and I have no idea what your background, experience or anything is - your target of 150 may be a little high. You may want to start by getting REGULAR; Maybe 2, 3, or 4 a day - and then figure out what you need to change to get the rest. 

I also disagree with CAR_AutoReports with respect to density and the area your shop is in. Again, some of this will rely on your reputation and what you've done already in the industry. My attitude is that I wouldn't want to be the first or second mechanic my customer thinks of - I WANT TO BE THE ONLY ONE THEY THINK OF - and that doesn't happen overnight. You've got to work on that and it takes time!
This short video explains it best!

Additionally, I DO agree with the type of work you target - but let's face it, there isn't a customer out there that KNOWS what they need - THE ONLY Thing they KNOW they need is an oil change. So don't crap all over the idea of getting customers to stop in to get that oil change. Because, when you think about it - no matter how good a tech you are - YOU CAN'T FIX THEM DRIVING BY YOUR DOOR!

In reality, I would tell you to re-think what your targets are - again, I don't know enough about you and your experience - and think about the ways you're going to get car owners to stop in. That's the first step to getting the work and the customer.

Hope this helps!


"The Car Count Fixer"

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Thanks for the answers.  I am an experienced shop owner looking to start another location.  Area is 100k+ people with $110k average income.  It's a unique circumstance but I need to get to 150 cars at $350 ARO starting from 0.  So, I need to know if this is possible, and if anyone has done that....how long did it take them and how did they do it?

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Just thinking... how far away the this new location from your existing one?? And, can you provide any clue about the current car count at your existing shop? Not trying to be smart - but are you currently doing 150 cars a month? Or, if you're willing to share, what is your current car count and ARO? Trying to put some details into this to help you the best. I also (I think) sent you a direct message - if you want to get on the phone and talk about it I would be pleased to help you any way I can. No sneaky sales pitch (too busy for that BS), but we can talk a little more in the open. The easiest way is to head over to http://askthecarcountfixer.com and let me know. 


"The Car Count Fixer"

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