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Are There Any Jobs Your Shop Won't Do?


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  • 1 month later...
On 1/9/2022 at 11:39 PM, Obsidian Motors said:

Are there are any repair jobs your shop prefers to not do for whatever reason? 

I just saw this post.  Interesting question.  I was a shop owner for 41 years, and rarely refused much of anything. BUT, I also new the limit of my employees. The key thing to remember, from my perspective, is that you must make sure you do the job efficiently and make a profit, and do it well enough to be considered a professional repair or service. 

We did stay away from jobs we felt were not aligned with our talents and with our expertise. For example, undercoating, rust proofing, some electrical work, anything to do with accessories: Radio, Navigation, etc.  

 

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9 minutes ago, xrac said:

Any time we have ventured to after market accessories we have regretted it. 

Yes, Agree. During COVID, a customer wanted us to install aftermarket brakes, calipers, rotors and exhaust.  What a nightmare.  We took it in due to lack of work during the pandemic, but it wasn't fun. 

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14 hours ago, bracketracer said:

In my northeast rust belt area, I tend to avoid doing brake and fuel lines.

 

Rusted through brake and fuel lines are common in the rust belt.  I always used a different labor rate, and always informed the customer that unforeseen issues  will most likely arise.  If I had my choice, I wouldn't touch them, but many of them were key customers. 

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I have owned a shop for fifty years and I think that knowing when to say no and pass on a job is vital to success. When I first started it was easier to try to be everything to everybody because I had youth on my side plus we were working on vehicles that were easier to repair. GM, Ford, Chrysler and AMC made up 90% of our customer base with Toyota and Datsun (now Nissan) just entering the scene. We rarely saw a European car in those days. As vehicles became more complex we began to realize that it would be very difficult for a small, three tech shop to become proficient with every vehicle that came in. We got burned a few times by getting involved in jobs that were too complex or too time consuming. We are also blessed with a busy location which allows us to be more selective. So fast forward to 2022 and we have people in our area with Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s that I will not touch. Convertible top problem on any car - No. Involved electrical problem on a Jaguar or Land Rover - No. Windshield replacement on any vehicle - No. Involved, 8 hour heater core on any vehicle - No. Intermittent problem that I feel will most likely not end well - No. Transmission work on any vehicle - No. Installation of aftermarket radio, remote start, theft alarms - No. Any kind of work on motor homes, large trucks and busses - No. I could probably keep going and add another 25 more items that I would say No to but I will stop at this point. Saying “No, I am sorry but I can’t help you with that particular problem, I suggest you bring it to the dealer” allows me to concentrate on the jobs that we are good at, jobs that don’t put a physical strain on my older techs that have been with me for over 40 years, jobs that allow us to be profitable. I fully understand that many of you possibly need to say Yes because if you say No there may not be any other job. As I noted, we have been blessed for 50 years with a busy location that provides us with more work than we can handle so this, more than anything else, allows me to be this selective. With that said I can’t help but think that as these vehicles continue to become more and more complex everyone, busy or slow, will be getting familiar with explaining to customers that they need to go to the dealer for various repairs. 

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8 hours ago, JimO said:

I have owned a shop for fifty years and I think that knowing when to say no and pass on a job is vital to success. When I first started it was easier to try to be everything to everybody because I had youth on my side plus we were working on vehicles that were easier to repair. GM, Ford, Chrysler and AMC made up 90% of our customer base with Toyota and Datsun (now Nissan) just entering the scene. We rarely saw a European car in those days. As vehicles became more complex we began to realize that it would be very difficult for a small, three tech shop to become proficient with every vehicle that came in. We got burned a few times by getting involved in jobs that were too complex or too time consuming. We are also blessed with a busy location which allows us to be more selective. So fast forward to 2022 and we have people in our area with Bentley’s, Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s that I will not touch. Convertible top problem on any car - No. Involved electrical problem on a Jaguar or Land Rover - No. Windshield replacement on any vehicle - No. Involved, 8 hour heater core on any vehicle - No. Intermittent problem that I feel will most likely not end well - No. Transmission work on any vehicle - No. Installation of aftermarket radio, remote start, theft alarms - No. Any kind of work on motor homes, large trucks and busses - No. I could probably keep going and add another 25 more items that I would say No to but I will stop at this point. Saying “No, I am sorry but I can’t help you with that particular problem, I suggest you bring it to the dealer” allows me to concentrate on the jobs that we are good at, jobs that don’t put a physical strain on my older techs that have been with me for over 40 years, jobs that allow us to be profitable. I fully understand that many of you possibly need to say Yes because if you say No there may not be any other job. As I noted, we have been blessed for 50 years with a busy location that provides us with more work than we can handle so this, more than anything else, allows me to be this selective. With that said I can’t help but think that as these vehicles continue to become more and more complex everyone, busy or slow, will be getting familiar with explaining to customers that they need to go to the dealer for various repairs. 

50 years! Wow! That fact alone means other shop owners should pay attention to your post.  

It all comes down to what fits your business profile, and no other shop owner can you what's right or what's wrong.  With that said, I do agree with you that being everything to everyone is a setup for disaster.

Great discussion everyone!

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Good Day!

We are a Brake and Front End shop!

We do oil changes, state vehicle inspections, suspension work, alignments tune ups, cooling systems, what I call "basic maintenance".

I have learned to say "No" for the fact that we  have small location, the property itself won't allow us to do some of the big jobs.

we are an in & out shop 

We have 4 bays, 1 for alignments, one for state vehicle inspections and 2 for brakes and suspension and anything else within our capabilities. 

we are a 2 man show, but we work fast and efficiently to where we don't delay our customers more than we need to.

We have become a Suspension Specialist shop, most of our revenue comes from alignments and suspension work. 
The big jobs are for the big shops, where they have room for the cars and more techs, and the cars stay over night. 

 I hate to take a car and don't deliver within the time.. 

Some of our customers want us to do odd jobs out of scope of work, but time is a very valuable commodity, we take a big job and then I have to either turn down work or don't deliver the big job on time.

I just don't think is fair! the big jobs put a lot of stress on us because we want to finish them on time.. and some time we end up loosing time and money...

My next addition to our list of services will be the ADAS. The camera and sensors calibration goes a long with our scope of work...
I am still studying the process... not many places down here in Brownsville, TX doing that type of services yet..

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4 hours ago, juanpablo4219 said:

Good Day!

We are a Brake and Front End shop!

We do oil changes, state vehicle inspections, suspension work, alignments tune ups, cooling systems, what I call "basic maintenance".

I have learned to say "No" for the fact that we  have small location, the property itself won't allow us to do some of the big jobs.

we are an in & out shop 

We have 4 bays, 1 for alignments, one for state vehicle inspections and 2 for brakes and suspension and anything else within our capabilities. 

we are a 2 man show, but we work fast and efficiently to where we don't delay our customers more than we need to.

We have become a Suspension Specialist shop, most of our revenue comes from alignments and suspension work. 
The big jobs are for the big shops, where they have room for the cars and more techs, and the cars stay over night. 

 I hate to take a car and don't deliver within the time.. 

Some of our customers want us to do odd jobs out of scope of work, but time is a very valuable commodity, we take a big job and then I have to either turn down work or don't deliver the big job on time.

I just don't think is fair! the big jobs put a lot of stress on us because we want to finish them on time.. and some time we end up loosing time and money...

My next addition to our list of services will be the ADAS. The camera and sensors calibration goes a long with our scope of work...
I am still studying the process... not many places down here in Brownsville, TX doing that type of services yet..

It sounds like you have determined your true business model and your strengths. I believe this is key to be efficient, which leads to success. 

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