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Five Tips for the Busy Season

The busiest season for most auto repair businesses is the winter.  When your auto repair business has defined highs and lows, capitalize on those highs by working a strategy during the lows.  Here are five tips to help you prepare for the busy season when business is slow.

The slow period is not a time to panic or take a break.  Business will pick up and you can be ready with a few simple preparations.  As an auto repair shop owner, seeing the big picture is a constant struggle.  But, we must continually work on our perception to see into the future.  Without the benefit of a crystal ball, use the five tips below.

1.  Beef up your mailing lists.  The heart of any business is its customers.  Be sure that your website has a place for visitors to leave their information so that you can communicate with them.  Let customers know when you add new features to your website and your storefront.

2.  Develop an email campaign.  Most people who are linked to the Internet have an email account.  If they are like me, they probably receive a ton of junk mail also.  But, they do check the titles of all the mail to see exactly what it is.  Use that to your advantage and create directed emails with catchy titles to peak their interest.  Don’t send too many — just enough to keep your name in their memory so that they think of you when the busy season rolls around.

3.  Find new clients.  We always put out feelers when we are starting our business to create a customer base.  Once we have something to start with, we forget that this is still a useful way to bring more clients in.  Were there potential clients who didn’t come on board initially?  Sending cards to these potential clients lets them know you are still interested in having them on board.

4. Networking, networking, and more networking.  There is never a time that networking is not in fashion.  You never know who you might meet.  Maybe your auto repair shop could benefit from a partnership with a new supplier or wholesaler who is willing to dropship products for you.  Setting the wheels in motion when business is not so demanding puts you in the position for the big payday when the business picks up.

5. Learn a new skill.  Business is about meeting the demands of the customers.  A customer who can get all the services they need from one provider won’t want to deal with one who only offers one service.  Increase your services and more clients will come.

What are you doing in the slower periods?  Preparing now for the future will pay off handsomely.  Let the ideas flow and lead you into new directions.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      My son is not in the automotive industry. He is in the commercial real estate business. However, the workplace problems are the same. Recently, his frustration with the heads of the company reached an all-time high. When I asked him why he doesn’t speak up and let the leadership know how he is feeling, he responded, “Anyone who has voiced concerns or issues has been viewed as weak and incapable of doing their job. I don’t want to be viewed like that.” This is an example of a toxic work environment.
      If you are a shop owner, you are a leader. And leaders must be approachable. That means that you are willing to hear the concerns of others and have them express themselves. It also means that while you may not agree with someone’s perspective on an issue, it is their perspective, and that viewpoint needs to be recognized and respected.
      Make it known that you want to hear the opinions of others. Literally, ask for input from others. And thank those that speak up. Now, I am not saying that you need to act on every concern or opinion. That would not be realistic. But just listening may be enough. And you never know, someone in your company may have an idea that you never thought about and even improve your business.
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