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Curious which banks you guy use and are the best for small businesses? In terms of features and lack of fees. Interestingly enough, this has been a tough one to google, as most "small business bank" articles are focused on the lending-side, not the ongoing operation side.

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  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      I can't speak about all businesses in my area, but the repair shops are doing ok. In fact, most had a normal or near normal summer.  A few weeks back we had a major storm that knocked out power for nearly the week. That killed the week. But aside from that, we had a very good June, July and August.   With a miserable March and April, this was a great morale lift and financial boost.
      The only  down side is the affect COVID is having on other businesses, like restaurants, deli's, sport businesses and other businesses. Will this have a trickle down effect on our industry.  No one can tell for sure.
      I will be shoring up my finances and preparing for the unknown. 
       
       
       
    • By Alex
      Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc.
      Some things to consider:
      Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains?  Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy!
      In the media:
      The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source
      “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
       


       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Today is the first day of summer, and we are still dealing with the dreaded COVID-19.  However, there are positive indicators that business will be better than expected this summer.  People will be taking more road trips, will avoid airplanes, trains and Ubers and will take to the roads in record numbers.
      Gear up for a great summer and look for opportunity with each vehicle visit.  Perform those multipoints as if your business depends on it….why?....Because it does!
      We have a lot to be thankful for. Keep positive, be a leader and thrive!
       
    • By newport5
      Is your business down 40 or 50% like many on this forum?  If so, I have an idea to help a bit now, but especially in the future. And even help the impression of our industry.
       
      You probably have more time available to spend with your customers. It’s the perfect time to build or cement a great relationship, to create that illusive trust with your customer, that’s mentioned in just about every trade magazine, but they never tell you how. May I suggest “The How” that I’ve been using for years? This will be handy now and in the future when this is over.
       
      Learn more about your customers. Become “friends.”  Talk about everything: the lousy situation we’re in, ask about their job, their kids, their past vacation, their future vacations, their weekend jaunts. Exchange good news. Exchange not-so-good news. Listen. Talk about what comes up.
       
      I treat our customers like friends, like former high school friends. And these friends know we have to make a profit (EVERYBODY knows that!)
       
      For me, it’s a given that we’re going to take care of their car. If they tell me their dad just went into the hospital or nursing home, we’re done talking about their car.  I ask, “How’s dad?”
       
      But still do your (digital) inspections. And write down everything, even the stuff that can wait six to nine months. This may affect the service writer or shop’s approval percentage, but so what! Your percentage will be lower, but you will do more work on the car this way. (Notice that I didn’t say you would sell more work. I don’t “sell.”) No decision now on the future stuff, it can wait.
       
      If their car came in with a problem, this is what will fix it (there’s no selling: this is the solution). I point out the other thing that needs attention now. There will be some explanation, but no selling: it needs it. No decision for the customer, actually.  Their car needs it.
       
      Next I say, “Here are the things that can wait six to nine months, but I want you to be aware so there are fewer surprises.” No selling, no decisions on their part. Plus, I’m the trustworthy guy who’s telling them they don’t need everything now.
       
      “Now let’s come up with a plan for these other things I found about your car.” I’m explaining, not selling. “You can do these now or in two or three months.” NOBODY wants to come back in two or three months so they are leaning in that direction, but no pressure from you.  They will probably ask; “What would you do?” I say, “If you hate bringing your car in, do it now.” (this is where you would bring in a little value, benefits and safety) Again, not selling, suggesting; letting them make the decision.  Notice that the first two issues didn’t involve them making a dreaded decision:  It needs this, doesn’t need that.
       
      If your inspection has 5 things, they will do 2 to 4. If the inspection has 8 things, they will do 3 to 5 – with no selling. You are their friend, you are advising. List everything!
       
      Now think about that phone call. There is only a little selling value or benefits: maybe some safety. So there’s no pressure on you, no bad news. You are the car detective, reading the cars clues and helping your friend thru this.
       
      When you take care of the customer in this fashion, you come from a place of trust, like taking care of a high school friend.
       
      You will be happier because that call back won’t be stressful, you will have more work, and they are more likely to refer your trustworthy, easy-to-work-with shop, which means even more work.
    • By Joe Marconi
      New York Governor announced yesterday that the stay-home order will remain in effect until May 15th.  With so many consumers not driving and so many businesses closed; sales will be a struggle for the next  4 weeks or more.  Many Auto Shops across the country will be in the same boat.
      Ok, that's the bad news.  The good news is that you are a shop owner, and no stranger to making tough decisions and finding solutions to the most complex problems. I know this is different, but truth is we are all learning together, and we will beat this.
      With that said, you will be called upon to remove the emotions from the situation and make the decisions that are best for your employees, family and for the business.  You will need to look at your average sales and projected near-future sales and adjust your payroll accordingly.  I hesitated for a few weeks, but then made the tough decision to cut staff to get my payroll in line with current sales. It had to be done.  
      You will also need to look at each line on your Profit/Loss statement and see where you can shave any expenses. Even a few percentage points can end up saving a lot of money at the end of the month.
      Lastly, have daily meetings and let your remaining staff know what you are doing. Let them know that the number 1 goal is the health and welfare of everyone. Number 2: Ensure the business thrives, not just survives.
      You are tough....now go make those tough decisions! 
       


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