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  • Similar Forum Topics

    • In-House Training is needed too, sometimes more

      We know the value of technical and sales training, but what about in-house training.  What I am referring to is review policies and procedures.  By reviewing in house written procedures gets everyone on the same page, improves production and also improves quality in the repair process. A simple process such as everyone following the same procedure for a cooling system problem will add to the overall shop's production and in the long run procedure a better quality job.     

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

      • 0 replies
      • 153 views
    • A healthy repair shop business starts with a healthy mind and the right people

      The day to day operations of running a business can take its toll on anyone.  To be a business owner means to address problem after problem and finding the right solutions. Sometimes the decisions we make will be the right ones, sometimes not.  If we are not careful, this emotional roller coaster we call being in business, can make us focus too much on the negative, and not the positive things that happen in our lives. With nearly 4 decades as a business owner, I can say with certainty that one of the basic building blocks of being successful in business is having the right team of people around you and getting yourself in the right frame of mind.  You need to find and hire great people. But once you have them, you need to do all you can to take care of them, train them and make them successful in order for you to be successful. Is it easy? No. But it is essential. Most important; you need to treat each day as if it were a gift from the heavens and base your entire perspective from a position of strength and remaining positive.  I know it’s not easy, but I can tell you, it works.  

      By Joe Marconi, in Joe’s Business Tips For Shop Owners

        
      • 12 replies
      • 1,118 views
    • Article: Nothing Beats A Full House - - - Play your cards right and you come out a winner

      Nothing Beats a Full House   There’s days, even weeks (depending on the time of year) when a pair is pretty good.  Then there are days when three of a kind ain’t bad.  But in my book nothing beats a full house.  I’ll bet you thought I was talking about poker, didn’t ya? Nope, I’m talking about the automotive repair business.  When the shop is humming, and the jobs are flowing, and business is brisk, that’s when I know I’ve been dealt a winning hand. It might mean coming into work really early or staying late, but at the end of the week it’s a pretty good feeling to know you’ve played your cards right.   There’s been many a day that closing down the shop early is better than being dealt jokers or cards that won’t play.  The phone isn’t ringing, the shop is empty, all the tools and service bays have been cleaned, and all the shelves are stocked, but not a single car in the service bays.  Those are the days that even a pair sounds good.  I’d even settle for pulling one decent card out of the deck on those days.   “It’s feast or famine,” a good friend of mine told me.  He’s a realtor, and his business is the same way.  One day everybody is calling, and the next day you have to pick up the phone just to see if there’s still a dial tone.  (Boy, do I know it, I certainly can relate to that.)  There is a pattern to all of this chaos though.  It took me years of running a shop to figure it out, and I’m sure the same thing happens in every part of the country, just like it does here in the southern part where I live.   Take the holidays… no, seriously… take them. There a joyous time to be with family and friends, but it’s not that great if you’re making a living servicing cars.  It never fails when a holiday is on the calendar you can bet it’s slow.  But, the day or so before a long weekend holiday you can guarantee it’s going to be packed at the repair shop.  Seems everybody waits to the last minute to get the car ready for a trip and everybody wants their car done… RIGHT NOW!  I pretty much know those are the days I’m coming in early and staying late.    Then there’s when school starts… listen close…can ya hear the crickets out in the shop?  I know I can.  Usually the week or two before school starts everything slows to a crawl.  Oh you might get a couple of pair, maybe three of a kind but it’s doubtful you’ll get a full house.  As soon as school is in session the cards start to fall in the right place again.  It’s a sure bet the shop is going to be full for the next couple of weeks.   Of course there’s Fair week.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the Fair, I think it’s pretty cool, but not from a business stand point that’s for sure… it’s the week to fold your hand.  Nothing ever happens Fair week.  In my early years there was one Fair week that I’ll never forget.  I had one car for the whole entire week… yes… one and only one car.  However, it was a super huge job that nearly took the whole week to finish.  (Funny how things work out that way.)   Temperature and the weather have a lot to do with what cards you’re dealt in this crazy world of auto repair.  Heavy snow or monsoon rain means… stay home, fold em’.  Now a light rain, one of those steady down pours that doesn’t seem to end has a different affect.  The shop slows, but the phone rings constantly.  The usual caller will tell me something like this; “Yes, I’m having a problem with my wipers can you fix them?”   I’ll answer, “Why yes, we could get you in right now.”   “Oh it’s raining, but as soon as it lets up I’ll bring it in.”   I know better than to assume they’ll be in on the next sunny day. As soon as the sun comes out they forget all about their wiper troubles.  I guess it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things.  Although, I’ve learned to get their phone number, and call them the next day and remind them of their previous call and set an appointment to get it in the shop.  Surprisingly enough, it works.   Now the temperature, that’s a real fickle issue.  Too hot or too cold does some strange things to cars. Usually means it’s going to be busy.  Then again if it’s a “room temperature” sort of day… it’s probably not going to be that busy.  There are the calls of course, there’s the “stop by the shop and chat about it” kind, and then there are the ones that just want to pick your brain and price check everything.    When it comes to creature comforts in the car, it’s a safe bet on those high or low temperature days those systems are on the top of the repair priority list.  Wouldn’t be the first time someone has come in the shop with their brakes metal to metal, but they’re not worried about that… that A/C is a must.  Now in the winter months it’s the heater, or the defroster, or the wiper blades that froze to the windshield the night before and they didn’t bother to clean them off… they just turned them on, and now... oops… they don’t work at all.   The one ace in the hole that does take the edge off of the ups and downs of the seasonal changes is to have a back burner job sitting in the corner of the shop.  Maybe a restoration project or some personal toy you can pull out of moth balls for the guys to fiddle around with when it’s slow.   All in all, doing this job is a great reward; it’s a great career choice.  You meet some really interesting people from all walks of life in this business.  A lot of them become regulars, and stop by no matter what the temperature is or whether or not the Fair is in town.  Ya just got to play your cards right, know when to fold them and know when to hold them.   When it’s slow you might tend to dwell on things and think you’ve done something wrong, but then things pick back up and you forget all about those thoughts.  You’re taking a gamble in just about any career choice you make, automotive repair is no different, and when someone asks, “How’s it going?” I always answer with, “It’s slowly getting busy or busy getting slow.” A couple of cars in the morning, maybe three of a kind later that afternoon, whatever there is that’s the hand you’ve been dealt for the day.  But, in this game of auto repair… nothing beats a full house.  
      View full article

      By Gonzo, in AutoShopOwner Articles

      • 3 replies
      • 259 views
    • U.S. House unanimously approves sweeping self-driving car measure

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-selfdriving/u-s-house-unanimously-approves-sweeping-self-driving-car-measure-idUSKCN1BH2B2?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews   WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House on Wednesday unanimously approved a sweeping proposal to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls by putting federal regulators in the driver’s seat and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles. The House measure, the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually. Representative Doris Matsui said the bill “puts us on a path towards innovation which, up until recently, seemed unimaginable.”   ...

      By HarrytheCarGeek, in General Automotive Discussion

        
      • 2 replies
      • 580 views
    • MEN ARE JUST HAPPY PEOPLE

      MEN ARE JUST HAPPY PEOPLE This needs no explanation - and is a fun read, no matter your gender. Men Are Just Happier People! What do you expect from such simple creatures? Your last name stays put. The garage is all yours. Wedding plans take care of themselves. Chocolate is just another snack. You can never be pregnant. You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a water park. Car mechanics tell you the truth. The world is your urinal. You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky. You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt. Wrinkles add character. Wedding dress - $5,000. Tux rental - $100. People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them. New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet. One mood all the time. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat. You know stuff about tanks.  A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness. If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend. Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack. Two pairs of shoes are more than enough. You almost never have strap problems in public. You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. Everything on your face stays its original color The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades. You only have to shave your face and neck.  You can play with toys all your life. One wallet and one pair of shoes - one color for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look. You can 'do' your nails with a pocket knife. You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache. You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.  No wonder men are happier! NICKNAMES If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.  If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.  EATING OUT  When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.  When the girls get their bill, outcome the pocket calculators. MONEY  A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.  A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale. BATHROOMS  A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.  The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items. ARGUMENTS  A woman has the last word in any argument.  Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument. FUTURE  Awoman worries about the future until she gets a husband.  A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. MARRIAGE  A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.  A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does. DRESSING UP  A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, or get the mail.  A man will dress up for weddings and funerals. NATURAL  Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.  Women somehow deteriorate during the night. OFFSPRING Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.  A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house. THOUGHT FOR THE DAY  A married man should forget his mistakes. There's no use in two people remembering the same thing!              

      By xrac, in Non-Automotive Discussions

      • 3 replies
      • 675 views
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