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My Auto Repair Business is Losing Money

You bravely took the first step and started an auto repair business.  Entrepreneurship is rewarding but also scary.  Just as many things can go wrong as can go right.  The biggest “wrong” is losing money.

The first question anyone asks is, “How can my auto repair business be losing money?  It was doing so well.”  Losing money is not a matter of just one thing.  Usually it is a combination of things that somehow got overlooked.

Unfortunately for us, those things don’t show up at the beginning, or even in a form that is easily pinpointed.  It will take a directed effort to find out what is causing our business to operate in the red.  As soon as the money drain is noticed, finding it is a top priority.

Luck can play a part in our auto repair business.  Some think that this is a good thing, but luck will only get you so far.  When luck runs out, the business will suffer.

Insufficient marketing analysis will put the kibosh on your business profits.  Marketing research determines if you have a viable product or service that the consumer wants.  It is not easy to tap into a new market.  Even if you happen to luck up on something, analysis of the market will show if this will be a long or short ride.

Lack of a strong advertising campaign will eat into your profits.  With so many businesses out there, finding a new spin to sell a product is not easy.  Starting with one medium is okay, especially when money is tight.  But, as the business takes off, the only way it will survive is with a more diverse plan.  Limiting advertising is a bloodletting.  Slowly, your business is being drained of life.

Maybe you only have experience in one type of advertising.  Make it a point to learn others.  Connect with other business owners and learn their secrets to advertising success.  Customers are always looking for the latest thing to catch their eye.  If your business is not meeting that need, customers will flee for other venues.

What are your goals for your business?  When you hit a wall - and you might, new directions are in order.  Goals that are not clear result in a loss of business revenue.  Your money will disappear into that great abyss unless you branch out and use your current service as a stepping stone.

The business may start off as a service-based enterprise that meets the need for now, but where will the business go after that?  People always want more.  A business that can draw them in and keep giving them more options will stay afloat and become successful.

A business is more than one idea and one hook.  Filtering all your ideas and creativity into it over time equates to a business that makes money now and in the future.  If not, the business will lose money hand over fist.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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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