Quantcast
Jump to content
    • You can post now and register later. Already registered? sign in now to post with your account.
    • ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

        Only 75 emoji are allowed.

      ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

      ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

      ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


      Once you submit your question, a new topic will be created for you in our forums. Our moderators may move your topic to a more suitable forum category if one exists. Members will see your topic and be able to respond to your question.

    • This will not be shown to other users.
Sign in to follow this  
Joe Marconi

Article: Want To Find Your Pathway To Success? Focus On People, Not Process Or Profit

Recommended Posts

Since the summer of 1973, the year I graduated high school, until 1980, my goal was to become a world-class mechanic. On October 1, 1980 I put the key in the door for the first to my own repair shop and was ready to rock the world. “Bring it on”, was my motto, “There’s nothing I can’t fix.” Only to find that less than 10 years later I would be nearly broke; financially and emotionally.

 

The problem? I was a great mechanic, but not so great business man. While I could fix just about anything that rolled into my bays, when my business broke, I didn’t have the skills to repair the damage that would almost lead to my demise.

 

Failing has a great way of teaching us valuable lessons. I learned the hard way that the skills of being a mechanic have nothing to do with the skills of running a business. So, in the early 90s I switched gears and began my quest to learn the skills of running a business. I wasn’t totally ready to weld shut my tool box, but I knew that things had to change or I would not have a business to worry about at all.

 

Perhaps the hardest thing to change was my mindset that the business and its success were solely dependent on me. That no one could do as good a job as I could. I had this crazy idea that I was the best at trouble shooting, the best at repairing cars, the best at road testing, at selling, at speaking on the phone, at doing the books, even cleaning the bathrooms and fixing the roof.

 

To change meant that I had to give up control, hire and assign others to help and do the work that I thought could only be done by me. Little by little I handed over the reins to others. As I hired new people, I wrote job descriptions, policies and procedures.

Specialized training was implemented to teach each person to be responsible for their particular position and slowly but surely, it began to work. The tasks that I once thought could only be handled by me were now the responsibility of others. We became more efficient and we were finally growing.

 

Then came another turning point. Now that I was on the sidelines more, I could see things that I could not see before. This is where another awakening comes into play. I could clearly see when and how others failed at their jobs and I was not too diplomatic on how I told them how I felt. I managed my staff by the principle of “My way or the highway”. This, of course, was positioning my business on a collision course with disastrous consequences.

 

To make matters worse, I drilled into everyone’s head; the numbers and processes that were crucial to our success and made it clear that everyone is responsible to maintain certain productivity and sales numbers. If not, I would have to replace them. After all, I had a business to run; and numbers and profits were the only thing that mattered, right? Well, not exactly.

 

As I pushed for more sales and productivity I also pushed my staff farther away. Moral was suffering and we had a tough time meeting our goals at times. No amount of reasoning could reach the minds of the people around me. Until it dawned on me that my focus was on profits and process, not people. My relentless stream of numbers, stats, systems, procedures and reports was compromising the spirit of my business. I had forgotten that you should never put profit before people.

 

I knew that we had most of the building blocks in place; the only missing piece was culture. I stopped holding “numbers” meetings and starting having “people” meetings. At these meetings I asked for everyone’s input and to tell me what is right with the company and more importantly, what was wrong. I listened and changed our focus from a numbers-driven business model to a people-driven model. Lifting moral and creating an exciting and enjoyable workplace was the goal.

 

It took months, but the turnaround was dramatic. I had to put aside my hunt to find mistakes and mishaps and began a new mission to find people excelling and catching people doing things right, not wrong. I started a practice at the beginning of each week, which I still do today, to create a written list of each employee and write next to their name, something that I could praise or thank that person for. Throughout the week, I will make it point to speak to each employee in a sincere and positive manner.

 

Soon, all the issues we had reaching our goals were vanishing. By taking care of people, by recognizing their hard work, by thanking people on a daily basis, all resulted in higher sales and greater profits. I learned that when people are recognized and feel that their contribution to the shop matters; things begin to fall into proper order.

 

I still work on the numbers, the systems, the policies, the procedures and everything else a shop owner needs to do. I set goals and establish deadlines. But, what I won’t do is forget about people. Helping people around me and getting others to achieve their personal success, is my focus. No one is an Island, and leaders need great people around them. Do we still have challenges and problems? You bet we do. That will never go away. But, we are far better off today than we once were.

 

As shop owners, our lives are filled with daily challenges and maintaining a positive attitude tests our fortitude and character. There will be those days when you will question is it all worth it. After all, who gives us a pat on the back when we need it? Remember, we have chosen a life to lead and help others. And while it may seem difficult to see at times, helping others prosper and making others feel good about themselves will truly become our own pathway to success.

 

Click here to view the article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Topics

    • By tylerl
      Hey guys looking for a little advise for people that have been in my situation. We are a smaller shop but really starting to transition to doing more volume in the past 2 years. Been in business for 10 years now and currently have 2 full time tech's and myself. I manage most of the office and service writing stuff and even occasionally help wrench in the back when required. Looking to hire a service advisor soon to help with the work load on the counter.
       
      Currently we just use a a mix of excel spreadsheets for invoicing and customer history, as well as Google calendar. My questions is will I see a big benefit from moving to a all in one management program? Is it worth the monthly fee's for a smaller outfit like mine? 
       
      Should mention we are in the powersports arena (mostly boat repair with some other rec equipment) so some of the platforms out there are not 100% tailored to our industry with the ones that are not offering up everything you would get out of a automotive program. Thanks in advance for the help!
    • By AutoShopOwner
      Massachusetts voters are deciding in this year’s election on whether they---and not the vehicle manufacturers---have control over the repair data generated by the vehicle they purchased.
      The Auto Care Association and the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality (CARE) have supported efforts by the Massachusetts Right to Repair Committee to obtain public support for ballot Question 1, which would give the consumer choice in vehicle repair. 

      “While the battle has been hard fought and expensive, the Auto Care Association is pleased that the most influential publications in the state have seen through the negative advertising campaign being funded by the vehicle manufacturers and have unanimously urged their readers to vote ‘yes’ on Question 1,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “We trust that voters in the state will agree with these publication that the right to repair is important and that advances in vehicle technology should not be used to limit the ability for owners to have their vehicle repaired by the shop of their choice."

      These “‘Yes’ on Question 1” endorsements include: 

      The Boston Globe on Oct. 13 declared, “The reason the new Right to Repair measure should pass is simple: It is inherently unfair for car manufacturers to have sole access to a vehicle’s mechanical data, because it gives their dealerships an advantage over independent auto-repair shops. That ultimately hurts consumers, because with limited options come higher prices.”

      The Boston Business Journal on Oct. 15 maintained, “Without the ability to repair cars equipped with wireless electronics, repair shops will see declines in business in coming years as car owners are forced to get repairs done at more expensive dealerships. In the end, more of the millions of dollars that Bay State residents spend every year to fix their cars would go to out-of-state manufacturers. More neighborhood car-repair shops will go out of business."

      The Sun Chronicle on Oct. 21 stated, “…we think the opponents of the law have done themselves no favors by overhyping the risks it poses. For example, the ‘No’ campaigners lean heavily on a statement from ‘Jane Doe Inc.,’ a Massachusetts advocacy group against domestic violence and abuse. But, on its website, that group now says its position on the referendum has ‘evolved’ and, while saying it’s staying neutral, complains that it’s wrong to use the fears of abuse survivors to promote a political position. For that alone, we think the opponents of Question 1 deserve to get their comeuppance at the ballot box.”
      The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 21 stated, “Question 1’s opponents had ample opportunity to explain why this lobby should keep a monopolistic grip on your car’s telematics. They instead spent their campaign dishonestly fear-mongering in an attempt to distract consumers from asking why carmakers should be able to flout the spirit of the extant Right to Repair law to drive more repair jobs to their dealership garages. Hopefully voters will see through this charade.”
       
      For more information about the Right to Repair ballot initiative in Massachusetts, visit massrighttorepair.org.
      Source: https://www.autobodynews.com/index.php/northeastern/item/21245-right-to-repair-ballot-initiative-endorsed-by-major-massachusetts-news-publications.html?start=1
    • By Elite Worldwide Inc.
      Keep Your Shop's Summer Momentum Going! 
      Elite's Supercharge Your Shop, a series of 4 live online courses for shop owners, starts Sept 14th! 
      Learn to master your shop's numbers, recruit the top techs & advisors, maximize employee productivity, fill up your bays with your ideal customers and more!
      These live online courses will be taught by industry superstars Joe Marconi and Kevin Vaught, who have both experienced extraordinary success as shop owners, so everything you'll learn has been proven to generate extraordinary real world results!
       You have the option to either enroll in the whole Supercharge Your Shop course series, or pick and choose the individual courses that will help your shop the most. Here's the course schedule:
      Sept 14-15 - Mastering Your Shop's Numbers and Cost Control
      Sept 16-17 - Hiring America's Top Techs & Advisors
      Sept 21-22 - Maximizing Employee Morale, Productivity and Profits
      Sept 23-24 - Filling Up Your Service Bays with the Ideal Customers
      To enroll in the complete series of these 4 live online courses, just visit our Supercharge Your Shop Page to reserve one of our last openings!
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      We, automotive shop owners of America,  must take the opportunity of a lifetime and turn it into a bunch of success stories. What opportunity?  Look around you. The world is in turmoil. COVID-19, social unrest, uncertainty about the presidential election, the economy, how are we going to get out kids back to school, on and on and on.
      While the world is spiraling out of control, we have the power to make big changes to our auto repair shops.  And it can all be positive! 
      The Opportunity...
      First, the average age of a car in the U.S. is about 12 years old, attaining well over 200k on the clock. 
      Second, Uber, taxis and limo companies are suffering.  Guess why?  
      Third, the motoring public in the foreseeable future will be traveling by car, taking road trips like they have never did before.
      Fourth, the roads are packed with motor vehicles, as more and more people prefer their own car as their primary means of transportation. 
      Fifth, as the cars get older and older, more of them will be out of factory warranty.
      Sixth, independent auto repair shops have a vast amount of training, resources and replacement parts.
      Seventh,  the overwhelming majority of cars being build and sold today are still internal combustion engine powered cars. If you factor in the expected average age of car these days, we can safely bet that those gas engine cars being sold today will still be on the road in 2033 and beyond! 
      Eight, You need more?  That's not enough! 
      Get your plan in place.  Get your prices in line with making a profit. Don't give anything away anymore (I am mostly referring to checking, testing, diags of any sort!) Offer world class customer service. Be a leader of your employees.  Show the world what you are made of! 
    • By Joe Marconi
      Most of you probably already know what I am about to say:  The Service Advisor position is the most crucial position in the shop.  I know, I know, what about the mechanical work done by the techs?  Well, that's important too, of course. 
      For the most part, customers spend their hard-earned money and most of time don't really know or see what was done to their car.  Let's face it, the customer can't see the water pump or T-belt. And most of the time, the customer does not feel any difference with the car as they drive out of your parking lot. 
      What the customer does see (or experience) is how she was treated.  And that makes all the difference in the world.
      Plus, great service advisors also motivate the technicians, because great advisors are also great leaders of people. 
      Think about this...Six months from now, your customer will not remember the fuel injection relay or the mass air sensor that was replaced....but she WILL remember how she was treated. 
      And trust me, that OE-quality fuel injection relay install by a certified A-level Master tech using Snap On tools and a Launch Scanner IS NOT the reason WHY your customers return to you....She returns because of the level of service your provide.
       


  • AutoShopOwner Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...