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Put 2020 Behind you, Build a strong shop for 2021


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Affected by COVID is an understatement! What's really surprising is the number of people this affected - and not just in a "business" way. Everyone has a personal story - good or bad.

I think one of the biggest lessons learned (overall) is that we all seemed to get back to what really counts - the people! In the heat of a busy day, we all tend to take a lot for granted.

But when it comes down to it, no matter if they're the "penny pinching" customer or the so called "bottom feeders" - everyone has a goal and from what I'm seeing. the goals are changing and there's more respect for those, even if their goals are different from ours.

Here's to a safe, healthy and prosperous 2021!

Matthew
"The Car Count Fixer"

 

Edited by JustTheBest
correct spelling ;)
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Joe is correct that Covid-19 has affected everyone to some degree. Our gas volume is still off by 30-40% which is both a concern and hardship but repairs have been good so I feel very fortunate. There are a handful of varied businesses that have prospered during Covid such us drug chains, Urgent Care facilities, testing labs etc. Sadly there are so many businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters, hair/nail salons, catering halls, fitness centers, hotels/motels ..... that have closed up permanently. A shopping mall near me has a severe failure rate with 40-50% of the stores shuttered for good. A Hilton in my backyard closed permanently. Huge corporate office buildings in my area still lay dormant with all employees working from home. The overall business climate is still very poor in our are and concerns me.

To answer Joe’s question as to what lessons I have learned - Adapt to change as quick as possible, do not financially over extend yourself, realize and react to untapped opportunities, increase and improve communication with customers and employees and be thankful to be able to come to work every morning because too many people are unable to do that.

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On 1/11/2021 at 9:58 PM, xrac said:

And it keeps on affecting. One of my techs and yours truly have tested positive.  I have the shop with no one to enter the building except people that I have no symptoms and are waiting on test results. Trying to clear out cars that are in the shop so people don't go days or weeks without them.  Maybe not perfect but I think it will be effective.   So far it only feels like a mild head cold.

As if getting Covid is not enough you also have to try your best to finish all of the “in progress” jobs and contend with being down for an unknown amount of time. Running a small business has it’s rewards but I bet right now you wish you could just go home and get paid for hibernating under the covers like the majority of the population has done. I wish you and your tech a quick recovery.

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13 hours ago, Joe Marconi said:

I know what you mean, and I get it.  Shop owners, techs and other auto-related employees in our industry have always been on the front lines. We come to work in the middle of a snow storm, go to work when we feel sick, and try to drum up work when it seems impossible during an economic downturn. We work in conditions that makes us cold in the winter and hot in the summer. For once, it would be nice to hide and get paid for it.  It's just not us. But, I get it.

Joe managed to capture an accurate description of our lives in a few sentences. I bet everyone read his words and thought “Wow...that’s me....that’s my life”. Given that should we really wonder why our trade struggles to find qualified employees? 

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      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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