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How My Business Changed as a Result of Covid-19 – A Look Back [THA 203]

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Jim Hayes is originally from North Carolina but spent time in various places growing up and has lived in the Monterey Bay area for the past 23 years. He grew up playing sports and spending as much time as possible in the outdoors; hunting and camping are among his favorite pastimes. After high school, Jim joined the United States Army where he served with elements of the Intelligence and Special Forces communities.

After completing his goals in the Army, he moved to the Monterey Peninsula, where he turned his focus toward becoming a golf professional. As a member of the PGA, Jim held the title of Manager of Instruction for the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, where he taught golf to individuals from around the world. True to form, after achieving what he set out to accomplish in the world of golf, Jim transitioned to the automotive industry, where he currently serves as General Manager of Pacific Motor Service.

His background keeps him dedicated to the building and development of the most important asset any company has: its team. With a strong desire to maximize the potential of those around him, Jim has created a leadership and personal development course that is attended on a volunteer basis by 90% of the company’s staff. Jim’s goal for the business is to optimize performance and maximize efficient profitability by using the fundamentals of business finance, strategic planning and by creating a culture built on a foundation of principle-centered leadership. Check out Jim’s other episode HERE!

Dave Martin is the Owner and President of Martin’s Auto Repair in Phoenix, AZ. His automotive career began pulling weeds on the shop property, then as he got older Dave moved into a station helper and gas attendant. Dave then became the shop manager before taking over the family business from his father in 2006.

Dave has worked to bring the business into the technology world, communicating with customers at their level with digital inspections, email, and texting. Dave also knows a key to a successful business has a team that has strengths he does not. Check out Dave’s other episode HERE!

Key Talking Points:

  • Consider OSHA both Federal and State to have dealt with the correct protocols for the virus
  • In California, if you get Covid-19 it is assumed that you got it at work in order to have it covered under a work comp claim
  •  Went to get customers cars, disinfected car both inbound and out-bound
  • Concierge service was very helpful.
  • Disinfection will continue, according to Dave Martin.
  • Shut down the waiting room and served customers at a table that was outside the business. In the Northern states that will not wok with winter
  • The world has never been cleaner. You get fewer colds.
  • Will we lose our resistance with our immune systems?There is a balance (Jim Hayes)
  • Via marketing, we told our customers it was OK to come into the shop
  • We drove convenience for the customer
  • Reached out for inspections especially if the car sat
  • Jim Hayes concentrated his marketing in a tighter distance from his shop. A mile and a half was his target.
  • PPP was helpful. It helped the confidence in the business alive for the team.
  • Jim Hayes. His business maintained about 70% of his business.
  • Fixed and maintained during downtime. Made improvements to the business
  • Kept the team informed to they participated and gained confidence in the future of the business
  • David Martin in Arizona did not have a second ware.
  • Jim Hayes did have a second wave of Covid-19 that is threatening many small businesses.
  • If you had bad business practices before PPP money and you did not change, you are going to come out with the same bad business practices
  • Dave made huge changes in 2008 when the last economic bust hit. He did not experience huge challenges during the pandemic because he had conditioned his business.
  • Jim is always re-evaluating and improving as part of their culture, so the pandemic did not affect the business as much as others.He is an adrenaline junkie.
  • Attrition if effective in business
  • Jim is losing clients because of the mass exodus from California, not from Copvid-19Some of Dave’s clients were younger and they moved back with their parents
  • Dave stepped up his leadership to help his team know that they could get through any challenges. We will be fine.
  • Jim. The reason you study and learn leadership is for moments like the pandemic dished out.
  • We are tougher because of the pandemic
  • Being an essential part of the economy brought value to the industry  


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This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com


This episode is brought to you buy Shop Marketing Pros. Your guides are Kim and Brian Walker with a rich history as shop owners and industry veterans. When someone searches for a shop, who are they finding? Your competitors? It should be you! The good people over at Shop Marketing Pros know how to drive website traffic and make Google work for you! www.shopmarketingpros.com

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      Most shop owners would agree that the independent auto repair industry has been too cheap for too long regarding its pricing and labor rates. However, can we keep raising our labor rates and prices until we achieve the profit we desire and need? Is it that simple?
      The first step in achieving your required gross and net profit is understanding your numbers and establishing the correct labor and part margins. The next step is to find your business's inefficiencies that impact high production levels.
      Here are a few things to consider. First, do you have the workflow processes in place that is conducive to high production? What about your shop layout? Do you have all the right tools and equipment? Do you have a continuous training program in place? Are technicians waiting to use a particular scanner or waiting to access information from the shop's workstation computer?
      And lastly, are all the estimates written correctly? Is the labor correct for each job? Are you allowing extra time for rust, older vehicles, labor jobs with no parts included, and the fact that many published labor times are wrong? Let's not forget that perhaps the most significant labor loss is not charging enough labor time for testing, electrical work, and other complicated repairs.  
      Once you have determined the correct labor rate and pricing, review your entire operation. Then, tighten up on all those labor leaks and inefficiencies. Improving production and paying close attention to the labor on each job will add much-needed dollars to your bottom line.
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