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.
Jason Molinar- Newest Industry Apprentice Graduate at McNeil's Auto Care
Pete McNeil is a second-generation family-owned business that started out as a Volkswagen specialist. They quickly recognized their potential for all makes and models and expanded their service offerings. During this time, they joined the NAPA AutoCare program, expanded their footprint in the Salt Lake valley and became a pillar in the automotive repair industry.
In 2018 alone, McNeil’s expanded their Sandy location to 16 bays to help accommodate their growing business, training center and partnership with local schools for the continued growth of their apprenticeship program. During this time McNeil’s also took advantage of the Interior ProImage program and remodeled their entire showroom! This included new counters for their 4 Service Advisors, new epoxy flooring, signage, and upgraded comfortable furniture and fixtures! This is truly a place where their customers can relax while having their vehicle repaired.
In addition, Pete opened a 2nd location in Riverton, Utah in May of 2019. Pete is very involved in the community both locally and abroad He is active in the local Church Youth Conference, Angel Hands, which assists people with disabilities.
Very active in youth soccer with contributions and cars washed to raise money for Sparta-United. He has donated time and resources to “Sandy Pride” which helps residents clean up and beautify the city.
Jake Sorensen- 2019 NAPA ASE Technician of the Year and 2019 Ratchet + Wrench All-Star technician of the year. He is an ASE Master technician with L1,2 and 3 advanced level certifications. He is the shop manager and diagnostic technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT where he helped develop an apprenticeship program that is registered with the U.S. Department of Labor. This program has graduated several high-performing automotive technicians and was used by NAPA Auto Care as a template for their automotive apprenticeship program. Jake also developed the curriculum for an automotive course that he teaches at an adult education high school.
Brad Christianson- NAPA Sales Person
Special Guest Jason Rainey- Vice President, NAPA Auto Care
Key Talking Points
Jason- from pharmacy to an auto technician Spent 10 years as pharmacy technician out of high school Realized he didn’t enjoy his job or looked forward to it anymore Always had a love for cars (especially Jeeps) and started learning about how to fix them Took a maintenance and light repair class at a local college and loved it Saw an advertisement for McNeil’s apprentice program, interviewed for it and received the apprenticeship Larger pool for industryYou don’t need to only focus on hiring out of high school students or someone that has previous experience in the auto industry Hire for attitude not skillset- they will learn skill during the programCommitment and willingness to learn qualities Napa Apprenticeship Program- built in collaboration with Jake and Pete9 stages, 2-year program with 4 ASE certifications National program and approved by Department of Labor Receive apprentice tool kit worth $3500 Register your shop at www.napaautocare.com, resource tab and employee recruitment ROI calculator- customizable with also a gross profit impact chart Currently, 451 total registered apprentices participating in the program Mentor- willing to invest time and effortEveryone learns differently and at different paces- it will be a continual learning curve for both mentor and apprentice Shop owner needs to see the benefit for an apprentice program Previous apprentices turning into mentors Unrealized revenue When Jason was completing stage 7/9 during the program the profit for the shop in that category was 13K 2021 Jason has generated 47K on his own first two months Family sacrificesWorking 2 jobs at the start of the program with a newborn at home Was rewarded with hard work and could quit the second job after a few months AdviceTake advantage of the training (free and paid) “Pizza night” weekly during virtual Vision training There isn’t a technician shortage, there is a shortage of qualified technicians Takes 2 years for apprentice graduate to complete the program so keep the cycle going Learning doesn’t stop after 2 years- continue training, career-pathing and goal forecasts Learning is contagious- other seasoned technicians at the shop realize they need to continue learning as well Grows individuals and families A special thanks to Jason Molinar, Jake Sorensen, Pete McNeil, Jason Rainey and Brad Christianson for their contribution to the aftermarket. Books Page HERE Listen to all Remarkable Results Radio, For The Record and Town Hall Academy episodes. Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Instagram Youtube Email
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We are in desperate need of techs. I tried Indeed and was very dissatisfied with the "talent" they sent us. I am considering Find A Wrench they post on Indeed as well as Zip Recruiter and some 90 other companies as well as social media. Has anyone tried them or ACT Auto Staffing?
Hey guys, I haven't posted in a year or two since I sold my 39 year old tire store/repair shop. Life is wonderful [if a bit boring], and I haven't regretted my decision to sell for one second. Every month I go to the shop, say hi to all my old employees and collect the rent. Anyway, today I experienced the other side of the counter and it wasn't pleasant. I still have my vehicles serviced at my old place when back in Ohio and they treat me like part of their team. But when at my condo in Florida I don't have that luxury. I have my 2002 Mini Cooper down here and it was due for an oil change. Additionally, the check engine light had come on last weekend and there was a belt chirp. I called the shop my friend had suggested [they specialize in BMWs] to make an appointment. I asked for a morning appointment and explained that my friend would pick me up and we would find something to do for a few hours. When I dropped the car off I explained that the check engine light had gone off but I still wanted them to pull the codes. So I left thinking oil change, pull codes, change belt ....... figured they'd call me by 10;30? to get authorization for the belt. Well at 1:52 I hadn't heard from them so I called them to see what was up. They said the oil change was done, and the tech was pulling the codes. I asked about the belt chirp and she said she didn't know so she put me on hold and went to check. When she came back on the phone she said they hadn't looked at the belt issue yet. I voiced my displeasure explaining that when I ran my shop if a customer had a 9AM appointment for the services I requested we would be calling them with a report within an hour or two. Her reply was "we don't do things that way here". She said she would call me when they knew more. I finally got a call at 3:48PM. She explained the codes they had pulled and then said they agreed it needed a new belt and they thought they should also have a tensioner on hand in case they needed that as well. She said they could order the parts and I could make another appointment to have them installed. REALLY? I had a 9AM appointment for an oil change, codes pulled, and most likely a new belt installed and they couldn't get that done in 7 hours, 6 if you take an hour out for lunch? The shop is 35 minutes away and they don't have loaners so another appointment is a pain. I don't think I will be going back. I nearly broke my long standing rule of never posting a bad review about a business but I just can't do that. I'm getting rid of some of my frustration by telling you guys about it.
If any of you guys are in my area I'm looking for someone to service my Mini. I am in Fort Myers Beach and would to like to find someone in the Naples area.
I want you to invest in this episode, beginning to end. It is one of the most important topics we can discuss today. You’ve heard me say that apprenticing will be an essential strategy to fill the technician ranks. We need to collectively engage a reliable apprentice program at every professional shop in North America.
This is an episode where there is a lot of ‘HOW TO’ discussed. With me is Mike Davidson, shop owner and creator of an apprentice program that has been put through all the rogers. Mike is president of Industry Essentials. Also speaking is. Pete McNeil and Jake Sorenson from McNeil's in Sandy, Utah who created their own apprentice program and it was picked up by NAPA nationally.
This episode will help you get started. There is a lot in here to understand and learn. Yes, we need to do this, but there is no super easy button that makes it happen. I challenge you to commit to an apprentice program and engage a willing ‘student’ who wants to become a journeyman technician.
The show notes page contains a link to the PowerPoint slides and links to important sites to help you start. You can find our guest’s other episodes and the key talking points for this episode at https://remarkableresults.biz/e605/