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My Thoughts on the Coronavirus and Business


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Joe, I agree with your comments 100%. 

For most, it's the FEAR that's driving them to make decisions that don't make sense. They PANIC. 

Now, the drop in business is real, but like most others, it's a bump in the road. If we all simply rely on the hard facts (like WHO information) and stay away from all the FEAR and PANIC, we'll do fine. 

I posted about this too with the best advice I've got. You can read that here: 

Thanks again for your calm sensible approach and comments. 
Matthew
"The Car Count Fixer"  

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Thank you Joe for the well written post. I have weighed the option to close as I'm sure many of you have. Here are my thoughts; I am fortunate enough to be able to go a few months without worrying about the financial repercussions but I do worry about my customers. My shop is in a rural isolated area and I would feel terrible not helping people that need emergency services. We fix flat tires and broken cars every day. We aren't doing upgrades we are getting cars back on the road. 

I certainly clean the counter more frequently but life goes on for us. 

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A few days makes a difference. We got all our work done that was here and I closed the shop today. It hurts me, I enjoy working. I enjoy talking to people. I like steady income. But I couldn't sleep the last couple nights worrying what if? So that's that I paid my help a couple weeks time off and I got enough groceries for a couple weeks so I'm just going to chill out and do nothing and just hope we get this thing under control quickly.

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I'm sending my two employees home today, and will do my best to keep them paid. My family and I live in the same building the shop is in, and so in order to keep them and us safe, we have decided to take a couple weeks off kinda. I'll still work and try to keep enough cash flow to not close my doors permanently. I to am concerned for my customers vehicles and their needs, but for time being, I'll have to do what I'm able to do without my help. 

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Interesting that no one has brought up the subject of parts availability. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if we start seeing spot shortages of parts in a matter of days, not weeks, and I fully anticipate that if we "flipped the switch" tomorrow and informed the world that it was okay to come out and play, that it would take many, many months for repair parts and tire inventory to return to normal. I'm anticipating a storage lot FULL of vehicles awaiting alternators, tensioners, water pumps, front end and brake components, PCM's, you name it. We don't make anything here anymore in our beloved country. We sold our soul to the devil years ago and now we are going to reap the "rewards". Too bad we have helped develop the economies of our adversaries on the other side of the world rather than our struggling neighbors here in our own hemisphere. You know, the hard working people who share our values (or what USED to be our values--hard work, sacrifice, providing a better future for our children, etc.), worship the same God, and speak the same language? Alright, alright, at least it's Latin based but you take my point. Forgive my rant, I'm just afraid of the debt TSUNAMI that is headed our way and the way in which those who wish us ill are going to take advantage of our greed and short-sightedness. Hold onto your butts, it's going to be a bumpy ride. Just my dos centavos worth.

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On 3/30/2020 at 9:31 AM, moyersauto said:

@Hands On Has offering this service helped generate business?  

I got a few responses but nothing overwhelming.  FNGJWS I do wonder if the parts are going to stop rolling. I know the dealers around me let go of every single car salesman, and half their service center staff, half or more of the parts staff.

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I think we can COUNT on it (parts shortages). Oh, that and higher prices. Having said that, I believe we'll be well positioned as an industry because as the government slows down the printing presses, people will fix up 'Ol Betsy rather than buy a new car they can't afford. Debt is dumb and cash is king but anyway you slice it, it's a house of cards.  

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      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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