We are a small rural shop; my guys are on salary and average 55-60 hours a week. Between the salary & bonus plan I think we are fair on our pay. We only charge 65.00/hour for mech work but our main shop is a tire shop, so we don't get into much other stop besides brakes or light mech work. The shop stays very busy that we some nights must stay late to get everyone taken care of. 1 employee focuses on the mech. part & helps with tires, the other is mainly tire & office sales & paperwork. There are a few times a month that the tire guy will need to do an afterhours call from anything from a jump start to a tractor tire repair. I want to compensate him for his extra work but not sure how to figure something simple & fair. I also don't want to make it something that they will start running more after ours because they will get more pay then if they were able to go out & do during reg business hours. Anyone with idea what they do hate to give profit away we still need to pay for the truck & fuel?
Justin Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Automotive, Cornelia, GA. He is excited about the future of this industry with autonomous vehicles and the role the independent repair shop will play in that arena, and with the changing landscape how we are going to have to be nimble and adapt to stay relevant.
Leadership is something that is extremely challenging to him but rewarding when done right. He had some leadership failures and wins which are adding to his growth in that area. His biggest challenge right now is the same thing that he is working on and that is building a great team. In the last 18 months, he had gone from leading himself and one other to leading 6 and still adding to keep up with growth. Find out more about Justin’s episodes HERE.
Barrett Automotive Website HERE.
Key Talking Points
Justin’s toolbox has been at the business for 11 years, since the beginning- wants to be able to bring it home and work on the business instead of in the business 2 weeks of working in bays to catch everyone up turned into 6 weeks Saw production gaps between some of the technicians- was able to work side by side and teach younger technicians how he plans his work and gets it done. See if you can combine work orders. Realized the need for more SOP’s for the shop to follow for both in the bays and in the office Downside- losing focus on business Had technician from dealership lined up to come work in business to replace his spot- technician ultimately decided to stay at the dealership. When the technician told Justin he was staying, Justin left things on very good terms to keep an open door for possible future. A customer came in for his BMW evacuate the refrigerant so he could replace the compressor- was back in the shop within an hour and a half time. Justin and the service advisor were impressed and asked about his experience. He loves working on cars but never worked in a professional setting. Gave him an application and is currently working in the shop on a trial basis. Considering implementing an apprentice program for him.
Thanks to Justin Barrett for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP’s HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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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. The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.
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By Joe Marconi
It's hard to believe that it's almost a year since COVID-19 hit. And for many businesses, and repair shops, it's been a challenge. While many areas around the country have not seen a downturn, there are other areas that have been harshly impacted.
Areas such as mine have seen a decline in miles driven per customer of up to 50% or more. Just consider working from home, the drastic decline of going out to dine and other activities, a decrease in after-school activities, a decease in youth sports, buying online and every other action that has become the norm, and it adds up to a negative impact for so many shops.
NOW, you know ME. I always put a positive spin on everything. At this too shall pass. COVID-19 will be behind us and we need to prepare for great times ahead.
I urge everyone to focus on people: Your family, your employees, your customers, and the community.
With regard to your customers, they will remember you and their experience long after the water pump or mass air filter you replaced in their car.
If you are having a decline in sales, here a few tips: Establish your new goals, look at your expenses, reevaluate your breakeven, make sure your labor and part margins are in line. BUT, never forget that your most important strategy is the culture of your business.
Lastly, cherish every minute with family. This Crisis has brought Clarity. And let's never forget the things that money cannot buy.
Barry Barrett, a Certified EOS Implementer
As an EOS Implementor in his company, Business With Purpose brings dedicated support to Leadership and Sales teams in all types of organizations, helping them structure the six key components of their business to make it operate with the best processes for their specific industry, using the EOS Model.
Barry’s energy is contagious no matter if he is in a session with a client, giving a keynote address, or rolling up his sleeves in a workshop. Barry is a business coach with his positive mental attitude, incredible work ethic, and determination for excellence, his results-oriented approach is matchless.
Barry is driven, caring, and passionate; traits that he uses to help his clients grow their businesses in a positive way. Find Barry’s other episodes HERE.
Key Talking Points
People- 80% of business issues stem from85% of the world lives in the quadrant “good at their job, but don’t like it.” Find people that share your core values- everyone values things differently, if they don’t share the same core values it doesn’t make them a ‘bad person.’ Kicking vs pulling back- would you rather have an employee you need to pull back vs someone you have to ‘kick?’ Discovering your core values- pick 3 people you admire most in your organization (if you had 100 of them you could take over the world), if not in the organization then 3 people in your life you admire. If you cannot choose 3, then really consider who you surround yourself with and who you hire in your business. RPRS- right people, right seatRight people- fit the culture and share core values Right seat- get it (born to do the job), want it (want to come to work every day), and have the capacity to do it (tools, time and training)Wrong person, right seat/right person wrong seat Being the right person to implement EOS- love people (if you don’t love people then you can't lead, abundance minded, more afraid of status quo than change ExpectationsUnmet expectations lead to frustration Most owners aren’t clear about their expectations How is overrated, who is underrated Completing and working a job is easy, finding the right people is hard Having the right people at your business means you can teach them the “what.” “Who Not How” by Dan Sullivan If you have enough money you don't have a problem If you don't have enough time you won't have enough money You can’t make more money by spending more time doing the “what” People that have freedom of time generate more money
Thanks to Barry Barrett for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page, highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser, and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode is segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
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Join the Ecosystem - Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
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NAPA AutoCare’s PROimage program makes it easy for you to make the most of the NAPA brand. A PROimage upgrade lets you maintain your shop’s identity as a reliable, locally-owned business while letting your customers and potential customers know you’re partnering with NAPA, the most recognized and trusted name in the automotive aftermarket. AutoCare Centers that have completed a PROimage exterior upgrade enjoy an average 23 percent sales increase during the first year. You can also choose to go PROimage on the interior and transform your customer waiting area from merely utilitarian to warm and welcoming. You can even get a free look by visting www.NAPAAutoCare.com and clicking on the NAPA PROimage link under the NAPA PROimage tab. Of course, the AutoCare site is also the place to go to find out about all the advantages being part of the NAPA family has to offer.
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If you want to become a successful independent auto repair shop, it’s essential that you have your sights on not only developing a long-term strategy for expanding your customer base but also pivoting in a way that has sustaining momentum.
The key to accomplishing this strategy is not by focusing on gigantic steps, but by achieving a steady stream of small efforts, which means using effective and trusted tools that are specifically designed for you as an auto repair shop owner. Fully utilizing your Google My Business (GMB) page is an efficient way to grow your business and we can tell you why you need to be using it to be competitive.
GMB is a free and completely verified online listing service that uses best practices for getting new customers in the door. Are you the type of business owner who uses an online marketing and branding strategy? If not, you should!
LEARN MORE about how to optimize your GMB page.
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By Joe Marconi
Do customers really have clear expectations when they arrive at your shop? Think about it. Who is responsible for setting clear expectations? Consumers may have a preconceived idea about what to expect, but when it comes down to what or who sets the expectation, it's the shop's responsibility.
Great customer service is created by the shop and its people. The consumer will judge that experience, but they don't create it, you do.
We may think that the consumer will tell us what they expect from us. I think it's the opposite.
Henry Ford once said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
By Joe Marconi
First, I would be the last person to tell anyone that car counts is not a measurable and important KPI. Every shop needs to know their needed car count and what their sweet spot is. And then use that KPI to understand other important KPI's - ARO, Labor margin, part margins, etc.
Now, with that said, the industry in general, has and will see, a decline in the amount of times your customers will visit your shop. It was not that long ago when we had customers bring their cars in 4 to 5 times per year. That has changed. Plus with COVID and many people not using their cars as they used to, we cannot rely on trying increasing car counts. We should, rather, making sure that we make every vehicle visit...COUNT.
Here is my strategy to drive up sales per visit, while promoting the right culture with your customers:
Ensure that the customer experience is the best on the planet! - Give every customer a reason to return back to you. Perform a complete MPI on each vehicle, but find out the particular needs of customers. What is their car used for? Get your entire staff to understand that the customer is everything and their safety and their car care needs are most important. Promote your Culture of taking care of people, not sales - Believe me, sales will come and so will the profits. Promote vehicle maintenance, safety, and reducing the overall cost of owning their car. NOW HERE'S THE TOUGH ONE: PLEASE BOOK THE NEXT APPOINTMENT AT CAR DELIVERY! Doctors do it, dentists do it, boiler service companies do it, hair dressers do it, nail salons do it, ..even chimney cleaning companies do it! It's not hard, just do it. Hope this helps. Thoughts???
By Joe Marconi
Got your attention? Good. That's the power of advertising and marketing. I know many of you are affected by COVID and experiencing a downturn economically. Studies have shown that the businesses that maintain advertising during downturns do better with market share and sales when the economy returns to normal.
Maintaining your marketing presence is a lot easier and less expensive than playing catch up when things get better.
I know the reality of tough times. Do your best to maintain your advertising during tough times. You will get back what you invest.
By Joe Marconi
Most of you probably already know what I am about to say: The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop. I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs? Well, that's important too, of course.
For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car. Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot.
What the customer does see (or experience) is how she was treated. And that makes all the difference in the world.
Plus, great service advisors also motivate the technicians, because great advisors are also great leaders of people.
Think about this...Six months from now, your customer will not remember the fuel injection relay or the mass air sensor that was replaced....but she WILL remember how she was treated.
And trust me, that OE-quality fuel injection relay install by a certified A-level Master tech using Snap On tools and a Launch Scanner IS NOT the reason WHY your customers return to you....She returns because of the level of service your provide.
By Joe Marconi
I remember being at a meeting with my staff where I voiced my opinion on an important issue. When I was finished, I asked if everyone was in agreement. Everyone nodded their heads yes.
After the meeting, one of my service advisors told me that half of the employees did not agree with me. When I asked why did they agree, he replied. “You’re the boss, you intimidate others.”
This made me think about my leadership style. Being unapproachable will prevent you from hearing other opinions; which is important to the success of the company.
When speaking with your employees, ask a lot of questions. Avoid giving your opinion until you have heard from others. Praise suggestions and the opinions of others, and thank others for speaking up.
The most successful teams are those that build strategies through a collective effort.