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Hello from NE ohio


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Hello from NE Ohio,

I just found this site, great stuff.

I wonder how everyone is finding their business these days? This is the worst year I've seen in a long time.

I have a 12 bay tire store/repair shop doing about 1.5 mill in sales a year, 70% service/30% tires. This is my 33rd year in business. I started in 1979 with myself and 1 employee. I now have 2 service writers, three full service techs, and 2 tire techs. The average tenure of my employees is 20+ years.

From the late 90s thru 2008 my three techs averaged billing 6181 hours out of 6285 hours worked for a productivity of 98.3% It didn't matter what the economy was doing, we never were more than 50 hours plus or minus that number. Then the "great recession" started in late 2008 and things took a dive.

2008 6125/6317 96.9%

2009 5919/6325 93.5%

2010 5749/6305 91.1%

2011 5842/6331 92.2%

2012 3600/4211 85.4% projected thru this week

Actually, thru Aug of last year, we were on pace to bill about 6000 hours for the year, and I thought we were out of the woods, but things started downhill the last 4 months of 2011 with no end in sight.

I can survive at this level indefinitely, but we're not making much money. My logic tells me that this is just the economy because the slide coincided with the start of the banking mess.The thing I'm worried about is "is this the new normal?".

My question is, are you other guys seeing similar things? I can sleep a lot better at night knowing we're all in the same boat. I've talked to other shop owners in my area but no one seems to track their productivity. All they seem to know is what their total sales are. Hell, with tire, parts and labor rates up, my sales aren't off that much. In fact, they're up from a few years ago. But the hours always tell the real story.

One last comment. For some reason my tire sales have never taken a hit thru all this mess. Just service hours.


Edited by tyrguy
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Great Tire Deal

First off, welcome to the site. Its great to have you here. As a "younger" shop owner I look forward to getting to learn from your knowledge base. I don't track my numbers much and I am in the process of growing like crazy so I can't really compare numbers much due to this fact. Not complaining about anything except for the long hours and not much pay.

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Welcome aboard... I just found this site too, and it's really helpful.


I'm a "one guy" shop in a small town, and I have witnessed the slump too. Things have been especially ugly in the past two months. I've noticed that even the larger shops in my area that everybody has went to for decades have hardly any cars, but the tire guys seem to be getting by ok.


I think people are just putting off spending money on maintenence because the economy is uncertain. I look for things to pick back up after the election, when businesses and people will start to have some idea of how much cash they will have left to spend again. Until then for some of us it will remain pretty tight.

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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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