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How to Run a Successful Auto Repair Business


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I read this article online and decided to repost it to the community.....

 

How to Run a Successful Auto Repair Business

 

By Barb Nefer

 

As long as people rely on cars as their main form of transportation, there will be opportunities for success in the auto repair business. By following some important steps, you can run a successful auto repair business that provides a steady income

 

STEP 1: Decide whether you will open your own auto repair business or whether you will purchase an established business. By purchasing an existing auto repair shop, you will immediately have an appropriate location and equipment, and the experienced employees may choose to stay. If you start from scratch, you will need to find a high-traffic location, purchase or lease the necessary equipment, and hire a new staff of mechanics and other employees.

 

Step 2: State your ethical standards up front. Many customers are leery of auto repair businesses because they have a reputation of making people pay for unnecessary repairs or charging for work that is never performed. Have a statement of ethics printed, and hang it in a prominent place in the customer reception area. The ethics should be centered around being honest with customers, pledging never to overcharge them, and striving for their full satisfaction.

 

Step 3: Offer a guarantee. When a customer is paying for an expensive car repair, she wants some assurance that the vehicle will work properly or that you will take care of the issue if it does not. Offering a guarantee based on a certain period of time or mileage will show that you stand behind all work performed at your auto repair business.

 

Step 4: Treat employees well to eliminate high turnover. An auto repair business that has a constant turnover of mechanics will have difficulty maintaining its quality. This can give it a bad reputation and keep it from being successful. When you find good, reliable mechanics, pay them fairly and give competitive benefits to keep them from moving on to another job. Customers who build up trust with a particular mechanic will be glad to see him there the next time their car needs repairs.

 

Step 5: Resolve customer complaints promptly. Although there will always be some unreasonable customers, most will be willing to come to a compromise if you are willing to work with them. Discuss the problem without judging them or making them defensive, and ask them what they feel an equitable solution would be. If you agree that it's fair, you've got a resolution. If not, be prepared to give an alternative solution.

 

Step 6: Reward regular customers. Repeat customers are key to running a successful auto repair business. Not only do they provide income themselves, they also are likely to refer others to your business. Send out periodic offers for a free or discounted oil change, a discount on their next repair or some other goodwill gesture. While it may cost you in the short term, it will pay off in the long term by reinforcing customer loyalty.

 

 

Tips & Warnings

 

Joining a professional organization like the Automotive Service Association (ASA) demonstrates your commitment to quality and excellence.There will always be some customers who cannot be pleased. If a customer has an unreasonable complaint and insists on a totally unrealistic solution, you will have to refuse. Even though they may spread bad word of mouth about your business, it shouldn't hurt your success if the majority of your customers are satisfied and you have a good reputation.

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The artilce is ok, not too specific, too generic. I think most of the conversations found in AutoShopOwner have more relevance to every day business.

 

Ofcourse they do, but I think these are a good start for anyone who is not at the level.....let's say...you, or another sucessful shop is at.....and looking for some quick tips and things to be doing to get started.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      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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