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Make this year the year to look to add more services to your sales arsenal and increase your marketing strategies. Be innovative.

 

Here are few suggestions, let’s hear from other shop owners and add to this list:

  • Create a lube bay and offer while you wait service.
  • Purchase flush machines
  • Start doing detailing work
  • Consider buying an alignment machine
  • Sell a few used cars
  • Offer a late night for service work
  • Carefully consider opening Saturdays
  • Solicit to other shops and body shops for work they don’t perform.

Let’s add to this list and make 2009 an banner year!

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  • 1 month later...

Studies have shown that Thursady night would be the best day to have a late night. It depends on your local community. If your shop is in a business district, where people commute away back home, then late nights and Saturdays may not work.

 

But, being there when the customers needs you, is top priority.

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Is your competetion open Saturdays? What are your reasons for not being open? Just wondering. I see you have 2 late nights. I'm just trying to get a handle on where the industry is headed. All major national chains are open Sat, many are open on Sundays.

 

I can't help thinking that the motoring public wants the choice of weekend hours. They are too busy durning the week.

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Is your competetion open Saturdays? What are your reasons for not being open? Just wondering. I see you have 2 late nights. I'm just trying to get a handle on where the industry is headed. All major national chains are open Sat, many are open on Sundays.

 

I can't help thinking that the motoring public wants the choice of weekend hours. They are too busy durning the week.

 

I struggle with this as well. My business mind says I should be open but....

 

I was open on Saturdays from 9 - 1 for 3 years. Some Saturdays were good and some were not (If I did not work those Saturdays were usually not so good). When I started closing on Saturdays my gross sales did not go down. I felt that since I was losing 4 hours on Saturday I would extend my hours during the week 4 hours so that is how I ended up open late for two evenings. It has taken awhile for it to catch on but I do get some business by being there late. Even if no work comes in after 5 it allows us 2 nights a week to get other work out so these days can be more productive. I definitely like this schedule better than working weekends.

 

I do have competition open on Saturday. Tire stores, Walmart, Sears, Ford dealer, Honda Dealer, Toyota Dealer, Express Oil Change and others. I might possibly go back to a Saturday schedule when my kids get a little older but right now I enjoy the time off and if I can make enough during 5 days I plan to keep it that way. My emplyees are much happier not working Saturdays and most customers will schedule during the week. We try to make it as easy as possible with free shuttle service or even a free rental or low cost rental depending on the service.

 

You have to draw the line somewhere we could be open 24 hours a day.

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I think you hit on a great point. I too value family and time off. That's why we work so hard.

 

If the burden to work 6 days a week is on your shoulders, it will not work. We have adopted a rotation schedule so everyone has time off. I don't want to work 6 days a week, and I don't expect my people to do it either. But, I firmly believe that we need to be there for our customers.

 

We are open Mon thru Fri 5-6 and Sat 8-3.

 

Your thoughts?

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I think you hit on a great point. I too value family and time off. That's why we work so hard.

 

If the burden to work 6 days a week is on your shoulders, it will not work. We have adopted a rotation schedule so everyone has time off. I don't want to work 6 days a week, and I don't expect my people to do it either. But, I firmly believe that we need to be there for our customers.

 

We are open Mon thru Fri 5-6 and Sat 8-3.

 

Your thoughts?

We also had a rotation schedule but I still think there is a degree of burn out. I also think that since we were here only half a day employees tend to think it is not a day to push hard. I found that when I wasn't here they would tend to say that (whatever car came in) is too involved for Saturday and they would only take oil changes, tires, brakes etc.... Which is OK if there is enough of it but if it is slow we needed to get what was there. When I worked I would have better days even though we would probably not get out at 1 as scheduled. This was not the case on a week day I could leave and they know what needs to be done but since Saturdays were 1/2 days and reduced staff I think it was a coast day unless I was there. I am sure this is probably a lack of effective management and could have been overcome. I just got tired of it and I had other shops across the country telling me not to open on Saturday. I do not regret closing except I understand that the market may drive us to open at some point. Back in my teens I used to work for a grocery store and they were closed on Sundays but due to competition I think that is unheard of now days for a grocery store but then again look at chick Fil-a they are all closed on Sundays so it is possible to be successful without following all the trends if you offer a great product and value when you are available.

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My fear is that we has independents may not be able to compete in the market because we not perceived as a convenient has your tire stores and national chains. I don’t have the answer, but I do know that when I started a while-you-wait policy and took in customers without appointments, my car counts went up. And Saturdays have become a premiere day for us.

 

But, this is my decision and it works for me. Every shop owner must decide for themselves what it the right thing for their business.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Make this year the year to look to add more services to your sales arsenal and increase your marketing strategies. Be innovative.

 

Here are few suggestions, let’s hear from other shop owners and add to this list:

  • Create a lube bay and offer while you wait service.
  • Purchase flush machines
  • Start doing detailing work
  • Consider buying an alignment machine
  • Sell a few used cars
  • Offer a late night for service work
  • Carefully consider opening Saturdays
  • Solicit to other shops and body shops for work they don’t perform.

Let’s add to this list and make 2009 an banner year!

 

Several good ideas there. However, a lot of shops fall into the trap of trying to do too many different things and being all things to all people. The focused specialists appear to be doing the best right now (as they always seem to do).

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All great suggestions, my additions:

 

* Take a look at your facility, what image does it portray to the public

* Consider consumer clinics

* Host car care clinics or charitable events at you shop

* Get invloved with the community

* Join the local chamber and network with local businesses

 

Let's keep this going....

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I think you hit on a great point. I too value family and time off. That's why we work so hard.

 

If the burden to work 6 days a week is on your shoulders, it will not work. We have adopted a rotation schedule so everyone has time off. I don't want to work 6 days a week, and I don't expect my people to do it either. But, I firmly believe that we need to be there for our customers.

 

We are open Mon thru Fri 5-6 and Sat 8-3.

 

Your thoughts?

 

You're open at 5 am? Do you have a night drop box? I believe that these days Saturdays and one late night is important, although I'm not doing that right now... :P

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Soory, that's a typo: 8:5 mon thru fri.

 

And, I agree, Sat is an important day and we need to consider at least one late night. A local dealership just opened up on Sundays and I heard they had nearly 30 cars that day. This should tell us where the industry is headed. We may not like it, but we may not be able to change it!

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  • 3 months later...

I agree. To compete in this tough arena, we need to play with the big boys. We have gone to a rotation basis, to give techs off a day during the week and a Saturday every few weeks. This is what we need to do. It’s the way the business is in these times. Our Saturday sales are all gravy for us. We usually hit our numbers for the week by Friday. Saturday is gravy day.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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