By Joe Marconi
From what I am hearing from my fellow shop owner friends, the shops in my area, Northeast (New York), auto repair shops are busy and steady. However, there is a feeling from many shop owners to be cautious about the future.
Things that give shop owners concern: Inflation, the cost of living affecting the consumer's ability to afford auto repairs, dissatisfaction with the current administration, and possible recession.
By Eric Roberts
Firstly let me say that I an just a regular guy from the UK who is the owner of a seven bay service centre/garage. I am not a financial expert. The dreaded inflation is upon us again. For the guys as old as me then this is nothing new. Back in the 70,s we had 15% inflation, but we all got by and lived for better trading days. Here in the UK we have always looked up to the USA because of your business prowess. So what do you guys look out as your worst enemy!
When prices are going up then I find that the gap opens between rich and the poor's disposable income. So this question will effect garage owners in different areas. My garage is in a poor area with many immigrant families who drive cars. So this means we have to be more flexible with pricing. Finding out if your customer can afford that service ! For this reason we devised a three tier service pricing structure. This has also the effect of not loosing your profit margins.
The lowest price should include an oil and filter change and a general vehicle check over. This way we find the customer will perhaps be able to afford a service and your profit margins wont drop. This is just one small idea that we carry out! What do you guys do in these times of high inflation ?
By Joe Marconi
Most communities have a variety of repair shops, dealerships, and franchise models. Do you consider them the competition, or colleagues?
Do you think it's worth it to get to know other auto businesses in your community? To share and exchange business ideas and strategies?
Guest Host and Shop Tour with Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX. Four years ago Todd left his medical sales job and became the new owner of TC Auto Service.
Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX.
Key Talking Points
Was in medical device sales but looking to make a change. His great grandfather, grandfather, and father were all in the automotive business Was a customer of the business and bought the business from the owner (who was 80 years old) Senior tech has been with the business for over 30 years- loves to teach and help others, maintains quality. He is a mentor for apprentices. ‘Running out of concrete' as they started growing- purchased satellite location 7 lifts total Look at productivity by technician weekly- scoreboard with names listed, fun competition Drive through lanes with vehicles- 3 lanes
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Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
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By Joe Marconi
There seem to be mixed opinions on what Business System is the best. And also, not all business systems fit a particular repair shop model.
There are a lot of new players in the past few years: Auto Leap, Protractor, Teckmetrics, Shop Boss, Shop Monkey, and more.
Are you happy with your system? What features are important to you?