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Absentee Owner?


CAautogroup

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Anyone else an absentee owner here? If so, how do you handle employees and daily work when you are not present? Things seem to be the complete opposite when I am not at the shop- cars are not check throughly, no motivation to sell additional services, cell phones used, techs sit around and relax when not busy, messy work environment etc.

 

 

Also, what do you do when the cash is short at the close of the day or when a tech renders service on a vehicle but does not charge for it- taking longer on the job than what we charge the customer?

 

 

Any thoughts or opinions regarding this matter are greatly appreciated.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

 

John

 

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Water Proof And Self Adhesive

I am here almost everyday and sometimes find it difficult to run this type of business. I cannot imagine being an absentee owner and expecting someone else to watch over my business the way I do. With that said, many auto repair facilities are run in that manner and flourish. I think Joe give some good advice in regards to clearly defined positions and your expectations in regards to those positions. Make sure everything is written out, never assume, it is a killer~!

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  • 1 month later...

I also recommend reading the "E Myth", by Michael Gerber. It's a book that explains; Just because someone is a great mechanic or a great chef, does not mean they can run a business, the skills of running a business are vastly different.

 

Thanks, Joe. Just ordered this off Amazon ($1.99 !!).

 

To add to your advice and franchise comment ... it's all about setting up systems and expectations. The reason that franchises and chains have taken off so well is that they have fine-tuned systems in place on how to do EVERYTHING. How to greet customers, how to answer the phone, how to move the work order through the system, how to sell additional work, etc etc etc.

 

One thing you may have noticed about franchises is that they rarely hire the best. Typically, they hire the mediocre. Not the best, not the worst. Just your average employee. And they make a TON of money this way. Why? Simply put, franchises have developed systems. They have expectations for their employees. They are not "winging it" every single time. Rather, they know their process and the follow it, day in and day out.

 

This means that an owner can have 15 different franchises and only spend 10 minutes a month in each one of them. They run themselves. I know a franchise owner with 15 different oil change shops that he calls his "mini oil wells." Whether he is awake or asleep, these little "oil wells" are always pumping money. His store managers know what he expects of them, and he gives them the freedom to do it.

 

I'll end this monologue with an example. I worked as a tech under the manager of a franchise who would go on vacations every so often. Every time he left, the front counter sales team would fall apart. The shop would get dirty. Techs would lose motivation. etc. etc. You've experienced it. Every time he came back from vacation and saw it all, he would say, without fail, "Man!! This place just falls apart without me!!" And I would always reply to him, "The mark of a good leader is how things run when you are not present." He didn't like that much ...

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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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