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Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19.  However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer.  People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers.

Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit.  Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does!

We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!

 

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  • Similar Topics

    • By Alex
      Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc.
      Some things to consider:
      Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains?  Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy!
      In the media:
      The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source
      “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
       


       
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      By Bob Cooper
       
      During difficult times like these it's important to look for creative ways to keep your shop's name in the minds of your community members. Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips that will help your shop build its brand recognition in today's climate. 
       
      1. If you have a shuttle or any type of vehicle that features the name of your shop, it's important to get that vehicle out in your community. There are plenty of charitable organizations you could partner with that may need delivery assistance, such as Meals on Wheels. You could also provide a shuttle service for local retirement homes and any other group that may need assistance getting around your community, or you could even deliver groceries or household items to these groups. Getting your business's name out there and helping your community will certainly help people remember your shop.
       
      2. Host an online course for people who are currently stuck at home. One specific idea is to host an online car care clinic for new drivers, teaching them things like how to maintain a car, how to deal with a flat tire, how to read and use their car's owner manual, and other similar topics. Not only will this help them learn vital information, but it will give them an indoor activity to focus their attention on, which I'm sure their parents will thank you for. 
       
      3. Now more than ever, it's important to have the right attitude each day. This is crucial not only for your own well-being, but for the well-being of everyone around you. A positive outlook will permeate throughout your staff and your community, and show people the type of business you have; one that views each day as a new opportunity to build a wonderful life and a wonderful company. 
       
      For additional help building a more successful auto repair business, feel free to give us a call at 800-204-3548 or visit the Elite website. 

      View full article
    • By newport5
      Is your business down 40 or 50% like many on this forum?  If so, I have an idea to help a bit now, but especially in the future. And even help the impression of our industry.
       
      You probably have more time available to spend with your customers. It’s the perfect time to build or cement a great relationship, to create that illusive trust with your customer, that’s mentioned in just about every trade magazine, but they never tell you how. May I suggest “The How” that I’ve been using for years? This will be handy now and in the future when this is over.
       
      Learn more about your customers. Become “friends.”  Talk about everything: the lousy situation we’re in, ask about their job, their kids, their past vacation, their future vacations, their weekend jaunts. Exchange good news. Exchange not-so-good news. Listen. Talk about what comes up.
       
      I treat our customers like friends, like former high school friends. And these friends know we have to make a profit (EVERYBODY knows that!)
       
      For me, it’s a given that we’re going to take care of their car. If they tell me their dad just went into the hospital or nursing home, we’re done talking about their car.  I ask, “How’s dad?”
       
      But still do your (digital) inspections. And write down everything, even the stuff that can wait six to nine months. This may affect the service writer or shop’s approval percentage, but so what! Your percentage will be lower, but you will do more work on the car this way. (Notice that I didn’t say you would sell more work. I don’t “sell.”) No decision now on the future stuff, it can wait.
       
      If their car came in with a problem, this is what will fix it (there’s no selling: this is the solution). I point out the other thing that needs attention now. There will be some explanation, but no selling: it needs it. No decision for the customer, actually.  Their car needs it.
       
      Next I say, “Here are the things that can wait six to nine months, but I want you to be aware so there are fewer surprises.” No selling, no decisions on their part. Plus, I’m the trustworthy guy who’s telling them they don’t need everything now.
       
      “Now let’s come up with a plan for these other things I found about your car.” I’m explaining, not selling. “You can do these now or in two or three months.” NOBODY wants to come back in two or three months so they are leaning in that direction, but no pressure from you.  They will probably ask; “What would you do?” I say, “If you hate bringing your car in, do it now.” (this is where you would bring in a little value, benefits and safety) Again, not selling, suggesting; letting them make the decision.  Notice that the first two issues didn’t involve them making a dreaded decision:  It needs this, doesn’t need that.
       
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      Now think about that phone call. There is only a little selling value or benefits: maybe some safety. So there’s no pressure on you, no bad news. You are the car detective, reading the cars clues and helping your friend thru this.
       
      When you take care of the customer in this fashion, you come from a place of trust, like taking care of a high school friend.
       
      You will be happier because that call back won’t be stressful, you will have more work, and they are more likely to refer your trustworthy, easy-to-work-with shop, which means even more work.
    • By CAautogroup
      Hello all,
      How (if at all) has COVID19 changed how you operate your automotive shop? Are you changing procedures in greeting customers? Offering special protection equipment or barriers? Are you now using plastic and disposable seat covers, steering wheel covers, etc? These were just a few thoughts running through my head since businesses are due to open soon. 
      Thanks in advance for your responses.
      Stay safe, healthy and well! 
       
      Nick
    • By AndersonAuto
      A bit of a clickbait title, but not inaccurate. The shop is doing amazing, and I haven't been here but a few hours here and there since last June. Prior to that I had been the shuttle driver and not much else.  I sold the shop to my manager, something that has been in the works for over 3 years. Spending the next couple days at the shop getting a few things settled (vendor accounts, recurring payments, etc) before the final handover on Saturday. I'm retired now at 55, and I won't have to work another day. My wife and I are moving onto our boat and we're going to sail around the world a few times.

      The moral of the story is that you CAN get there. You don't have to be particularly bright, I'm certainly not. You don't even have to be an amazing manager. There are thousands of shop owners who are better managers than I am.
      You do have to work hard. Way harder than the average guy, and a lot of guys work pretty hard. 
      You do have to be smart about your business. Don't spend money you don't have yet. Cash in the bank fixes a world of sins, make sure you have plenty. 
      You do have to take calculated risks. Business ownership is not for the meek. You'll have to take risks that the average guy would never dream of. Be fearless, but DO THE MATH before you jump.
      You do have to fully understand your financials. If you can't read a P&L and be able to see there's a problem that needs further investigation, you better learn how. Same with your KPI's.
      You do have to do great marketing, and lots of it. There are guys out there who claim they don't need to do any marketing and are swamped. Maybe there are, but I'm not one of them. Odds are you aren't either. Get busy marketing.
      And you do have to get good business coaching and listen to what they say. You could be stupid like me and wait 12 years before you finally get a business coach and start making money, but why would you want to do that? Get one now. If they don't pay for themselves many times over, odds are you didn't do the work to go with the advice.

      John


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    • 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. 

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      The most successful teams are those that build strategies through a collective effort.


       
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    • By Joe Marconi
      In my opinion, competition is actually good for the industry, and good for your repair shop too.  It keeps us focused and forces us to maintain pace with other repair shops.  It drives us to take a look at our own business to see where and how we can make improvements.
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      We sell service, not products. Yes, we sell water pumps, brake pads and air filters. And yes, those are products. But it’s the service we sell, the customer experience, which lives on well beyond the customer leaves your shop.

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    • By Joe Marconi
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