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!
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!
We have a rather small waiting room and have removed a few chairs to aid in social distancing (we now have only 4 chairs total). I wanted to know if your shop is requiring customers to wear a mask while they are inside the waiting area? How is your experience? Do you have a sign up on the front door stating they must wear a mask?
Stay safe and healthy!
By Joe Marconi
For many of us, it's been a wild ride the past few months. We had to take care of everything, making tough decisions, dealing with banks and the SBA and running the shop from the trenches. But, with things looking better each day, it’s time that we get back into the role of building and operating the company.
For many, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. However, the sooner we begin to adjust and build for the future, the better off we will be.
Shop Owners are among the hardest working people on the planet. We find ways to get through the most difficult situations. I have no doubt that the lesson’s learned from this crisis will make us stronger and more successful.
I currently employ a mechanic and friend who has been with me for about 20 years. He was formerly a transmission rebuilder, but we have switched to mostly reman units and have no need for a rebuilder. His pay has remained the same despite his value declining. I am currently paying him roughly $100,000 a year. The problem i'm having is that his skill set is not near that pay level anymore. He does light diagnostic and basic managerial work, but I am not confident enough for him to run the shop for more than an hour. With the current state of the industry our numbers have gone down a bit over the last two years. While still being profitable, I can't help but think about the extra income that would be available by terminating this employee, I just dont know how to do it. Any advice on how to do this? I like him as a person and have known him a very long time, but I feel his is paid about twice as much as he is worth. Any help wouldbe greatly appreciated.
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Help i need shop keepers insurance now. I have no claims in the last 3 year and 1 for $400 5 years ago. We went thru a rough time and paid the premium on the last day of when they sent notce. They won't renew .on going through Keller Stonehenge for pen n national .I have a 2 bay shop for over 10 years what a shock
By Biff Tannon
I am a mobile mechanic currently with safeco, but my local agent quit using them because their prices went up substantially.
I need some recommendations on learning more about garage keepers insurance. Like basically where to start, how to shop for it, any information would be helpful.
To give you a little background on where I am coming from: My brother and I are taking over the business, our father is 69 and is working his way into retirement. He has done a great job on teaching us how to run a shop, we are both very good service managers, however we have little experience on the business end of things. The reason that I am so interested in insurance is at the end of last year we were dropped by our underwriter, not for too many claims, just because, well I don't really know why. I think it had more to with the insurance company and the direction they were heading. Anyway our insurance guy scrambled to get us insurance at the 11th hour and needless to say we are paying out the nose.
We have 2 locations and do general automotive repair. The kicker is, we also have 2-3 service trucks and do on site tire repair for semi and construction tires. Yes, I know, there is my expensive insurance issue. However we have never paid this much before and I think part of it is who we are dealing with.
With all that being said I am trying to be proactive and learn as much as I can, so that maybe when it is time to renew we can get this expense a little more inline.
Any help and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
I'm looking at renting a location to open a new shop and the owners are asking me to carry 2 million general aggregate, 1 million per occurence. 100,000 fire damage liability and 5000 medical.
In speaking to a few agent they seem to think it's a bit high.
Can ya'll post what you typically carry on your shop?