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    • By Joe Marconi
      This forum will outline the steps that I took the past three and half years, working toward my exit strategy.  I will outline each step, each week, to give you information that I know you will find informative and useful. Please note, these steps are the ones that I took, and your situation may differ. However, you will find so many similarities, that I am sure you will obtain a ton of great information.   Ok, here we go...
      STEP 1 - Get Your Business Ready to Sell Today
      You are never too young to begin thinking about your retirement or sale of your business. Work hard on your business to get it to run on its own.  For quality of life, and to grow a sucessful business, requires having the right people, the right systems, a knowledge of the numbers, and a plan.  Also, the more you are removed from the day to day operations, the more sucessful you will be and the more your business will be worth to a potential buyer. 
      Here's another important reason to get your business to run on its own: A health crisis may leave you sidelined for months or longer, or may even leave you disabled to a point where you cannot perform the necessary duties as a shop owner.  We all have heard of shop owners that either became seriously ill, were in a bad accident or passed away, leaving the business in a state that it cannot run by itself.  Or, not worth much because the shop owner did not take the necessary steps to build the business correctly and not having clean and accurate financials.  
      Begin today to start thinking about your business and when you want to sell, have family take over the business, or other options. Start getting all your financials in order, set your long-term goals, work on your business plan, review and refine all your systems and procedures, and talk to your family about your long-term plans. 
      With each step, you may need help from either an accoutant, broker, attorney, or a business coach. Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can everything on your own. 
      That's it for today- Next week I will discuss The Importance of Having Clean Financials and Showing a Profit
      Thank you and Stay Tuned! 
       
       
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      Got your attention? Please read on...
      In case you were hibernating the last year and half, you had to notice all the increases around you. From food, gas, utilities, taxes, insurance, etc., etc., etc. Not to mention all the training and tool investment we must make from now on, to remain in the business.
      I have been preaching this for decades: As an industry we don't charge enough, especially when it comes to labor. 
      While there are ways to increase labor dollars, for example: becoming more productive, making sure that we charge for complex testing and driveability; Base labor rates have to factor in as the most important KPI in your business.
      Do the math, get help from a coach if you need help calculating your labor rate.
      A real Down and Dirty calculation:  If you have one tech and you pay this tech $35 per hour ($42 loaded), then this tech has to bill $140 of labor for every hour worked.  ASSUMING THIS TECH IS 100% PRODUCTTIVE. 
      DISCLAIMNER:  THIS IS A REAL DOWN AND DIRTY QUICK CALCULATION, SEEK ADVICE IF YOU WANT A MORE ACCURATE REQUIRED LABOR RATE. 
    • By nptrb
      We ended Part 3 of this blog series with “Second Draw PPP Loan Application and Documentation Requirements”. As this second draw is being distributed, the rules are changing. I encourage you to check out the SBA’s website www.sba.gov or go to your local SBA office for additional information.
      You may also contact me if you would prefer to have a conversation with someone outside the government. My contact information is at the bottom of this post.
      Beginning Part 4, we start with expanding on this rule from the New PPP Regulations:
      For Second Draw PPP Loans of $150,000 or Less, Revenue Reduction Documentation is Not Required to be Submitted at the Time the Borrow Submits an Application for a Loan:
      This section is self-explanatory, but just a bit of clarification for you.
      When you apply for a loan in an amount that is less than $150,000, you may disregard the required documentation mentioned in the previous blog. There is a three-letter word that causes a pause here “BUT” “Must be submitted on or before the date the borrower applies for loan forgiveness, as required under the Economic Aid Act.”
      A second piece is that IF you as a borrower do not apply for loan forgiveness, you must provide this documentation to the SBA when they request it from you. So, be prepared.
      How to Request an Increase for a PPP First Draw Loan if the Borrower Returned All or Part of a Loan, or Did Not Accept the Full Amount Previously Approved:
      Here are the categories of borrowers that may reapply or request an increase in the amount of the PPP loan:
      If a borrower returned all of a PPP loan, the borrower may reapply for a PPP loan in an amount the borrower is eligible for under current PPP rules. If a borrower returned part of a PPP loan, the borrower may reapply for an amount equal to the difference between the amount retained and the amount previously approved. If a borrower did not accept the full amount of a PPP loan for which it was approved, the borrower may request an increase in the amount of the PPP loan up to the amount previously approved. You may use the SBA’s E-Tran Servicing website to request an increase in the PPP loan amount electronically. After the request, you are required to provide the lender with supporting documents for the increase.
      As of this writing, the SBA’s process for collecting information from borrowers was under development. This may be available when you apply for an increase in the loan amount as described above.
      Clarification on Borrowers that are Ineligible to Receive a Second Draw PPP Loan:
      Here is some language from the Economic Aid Act that describes borrowers who are NOT eligible to receive a Second Draw PPP loan. Read carefully please?
      A business concern or entity primarily engaged in political activities or lobbying activities, including any entity that is organized for research or for engaging in advocacy in areas such as public policy or political strategy, or that describes itself as a think tank in any public documents; Certain entities organized under the laws of the People’s Republic of China or the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, or with other specified ties to the People’s Republic of China or the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong; Any person required to submit a registration statement under section 2 of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 612); A person or entity that receives a grant for shuttered venue operators under section 324 of the Economic Aid Act; A publicly traded company, defined as an issuer, the securities of which are listed on an exchange registered as a national securities exchange under section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
      (15 U.S.C. 78f). Pay attention to the punctuation here. At the end of each bullet, there is a semicolon “;”. This means that if the first bullet does not apply to your situation, the next one or the next one, or the next one, OR the NEXT one may.
      We’re getting close to the end, but this section has some additional clarification of borrowers that will not qualify for the second draw PPP loan. Check out these are examples:
      You are engaged in any activity that is illegal under Federal, state, or local law; You are a household employer (individuals who employ household employees such as nannies or housekeepers); An owner of 20 percent or more of the equity of the applicant is presently incarcerated or, for any felony, presently subject to an indictment, criminal information, arraignment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction; or has been convicted of, pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, or commenced any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment) for, a felony involving fraud, bribery, embezzlement, or a false statement in a loan application or an application for federal financial assistance within the last five years or any other felony within the last year; You, or any business owned or controlled by you or any of your owners, has ever obtained a direct or guaranteed loan from SBA or any other Federal agency that is currently delinquent or has defaulted within the last seven years and caused a loss to the government; Your business or organization was not in operation on February 15, 2020; • You or your business received or will receive a grant under the Shuttered Venue Operator Grant program under section 324 of the Economic Aid Act; The President, the Vice President, the head of an Executive Department, or a Member of Congress, or the spouse of such person as determined under applicable common law, directly or indirectly holds a controlling interest in your business; Your business is an issuer, the securities of which are listed on an exchange registered as a national securities exchange under
      section 6 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78f); Your business has permanently closed.”  
      Again, same observation regarding the semicolons at the end of each bullet.
      Thanks for sticking with me and welcome to the end of this blog series. Whew, that IS a TON of reading.
      Again, I am keeping current of the changes as they happen, so if you want to talk, let’s schedule a time to meet soon.
       
      Natalie Paris 
      https://threeriversbookkeeping.com/
      907-331-0208
      [email protected]

      View full article
    • By carmcapriotto
      Bob Greenwood, AMAM (Accredited Master Automotive Manager) is President and C.E.O. of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC). AAEC is a company focused on providing Business Management Resources and Development for the Independent Sector of the aftermarket industry. AAEC content and technology is recognized as part of the curriculum of the Fixed Operations Diploma and the Aftermarket Degree courses taken at the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College located in Barrie Ontario Canada. This school is the leader and only college in Canada that offers an automotive business education. AAEC is also recognized by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), located in North Richland Hills, Texas USA, allowing 80 credits for successful completion of the AAEC E-Learning portion of the site towards the 120 credits required to obtain the reputable Accredited Automotive Manager (AAM) designation.
      Bob has over 40 years of Business Management experience within the Independent sector of the automotive aftermarket industry in North America, consulting Independent retail shops on all facets of their business operations. His 18 years of running his own local consulting and accounting firm in Ottawa, Ontario Canada created some of the most productive and financially successful entrepreneurs within the Independent sector today.
      Bob is one of 150 Worldwide AMI approved instructors. He has created Business Management development courses for aftermarket shop employers/managers, Jobbers and Jobber Sales representatives which are recognized as being the most comprehensive, industry-specific courses of their kind in North America. His courses address the creation of measurable bottom-line profitability and not just developing activity to keep busy, by covering the very detailed nuts and bolts issues that are required to be clearly understood by every level of the industry if an independent shop is going to financially prosper and enjoy a professional future. Bob’s previous episodes are HERE.
      Link to Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC) HERE.
      [email protected] - email for the full list1-800-267-5497 to discuss any questions Classic Episodes
      Episode 571- Bob Greenwood with Chris Cloutier: Industry terminology, time to change it  Episode 387- Bob Greenwood Eric Ziegler Key Talking Points:
       
      We need to better understand our target clients. Who are they? Why do they buy? What do they really want? What is our internal gameplan as a company to build a long-lasting trustworthy relationship?
      Building client base business vs customer base business- clients have relationships and trust with the business. Building relationships takes time, you can’t do it while understaffed. One service advisor for every 2 licensed technicians. Educating the client takes full conversations- manage their vehicle based on how they use it and expectations of vehicle.  
      There's a need to improve focus and productivity, we need to create a culture of commitment and accountability and we must deal more effectively with non-performance. Do we believe in accountability as an important part of the business culture?
      Business culture- what do you stand for? Team concept in business that everyone wants to be a part of, everyone's opinion counts including feedback. Employees are working on their career instead of working their ‘job’ because they want to be a part of the business. Committed and accountable to each other. 
      Accountable- what are we doing on behalf of the clients and how do we measure that? Measure it in billed hours per repair order. Are we producing the right billed hours as a team daily, weekly monthly?
      We need more clarity and consistency from the top- is management fully accountable to the business?
      Leader of the discussion for team- clarity, and consistency in message, explain it properly, have a discussion on how you see it and how the team sees it. Daily discussion 5-8 minutes keeps the team engaged 
      We need to create true two-way communication throughout our organization
      Owners often use generalities instead of specifics when engaging with the team. Don’t be afraid of discussing numbers- only confidential numbers are on your balance sheet. Let your team understand how income works and how they each affect it. Educate your team on the business in every aspect
      Ask about your employees- mutual respect and care about their life outside of the business
      Our industry is changing quickly- redefine and reinvent some aspects of the business. Are there specific courses we must take to clarify our industry and business knowledge?
      Education is everything- technical, business, front counter, etc. Has to be ongoing. Technician minimum 100 hours a year of training, management 6-8 days a year of training. You need to plan out courses/training for the year ahead of time.  
       
      Resources:
      Thanks to Bob Greenwood for his contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast. Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers. Find every podcast episode HERE. Every episode segmented by Series HERE. Key Word Search HERE. Be socially involved and in touch with the show:
      Facebook   Twitter   Linked In   Email
      Listen for free on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, iHeart Radio, Spotify, Podchaser and many more. Mobile Listening APP's HERE
      Join the Ecosystem - Subscribe to the INSIDER NEWSLETTER HERE.
      Buy me a coffee
      This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve.  The Virtual AAPEX Experience 2020 is in the record books. Virtual AAPEX lived up to presenting leading-technical and business management training from some of the industry’s best and brightest. Now set your sights on the homecoming in Las Vegas in 2021. Mark your calendar now … November 2-4, 2021, AAPEX // Now more than ever.

      This episode is brought to you by Shop-Ware Shop Management. It’s time to run your business at its fullest potential with the industry’s leading technology. Shop-Ware Shop Management will increase your efficiency with lightning-fast workflows, help your staff capture more sales every day, and create very happy customers who promote your business. Shops running Shop-Ware have More Time and generate More Profit—join them! Schedule a free live demonstration and find out how 30 minutes can transform your shop at getshopware.com/carm

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By nptrb
      We ended Part 2 of this blog series with “Calculation of Average Monthly Payroll Costs for NAICS Code 72 Entities That Qualify as Seasonal Employers or as New Entities:” This is another great reason to check out the SBA’s website www.sba.gov or go to your local SBA office for additional information.
      Beginning Part 3, we start with expanding on this rule from the New PPP Regulations:
      “Bankruptcy Prevents Borrowers from Receiving a Second Draw PPP Loan:”
      The Interim Final Rules (IFR) state that if your business is in bankruptcy, you will not be approved for a PPP loan. Congress gave the SBA to defer that decision to bankruptcy judges but did not choose to exercise that option.
      Again, don’t shoot the messenger please? I was shocked by this decision myself. I encourage you to look at the language from the IFR but will not insert them here.
      Here’s a quote from the IFR to give you a taste.
      “If the applicant or the owner of the applicant is the debtor in a bankruptcy proceeding, either at the time it submits the application or at any time before the loan is disbursed, the applicant is ineligible to receive a PPP loan.”
      There is more that discusses the timing of when you file for bankruptcy and that’s where the hairs start getting split. If you find yourself in this possible gray area, check out the IFR.
      There is a new way to account for a 25% reduction in revenue that will qualify you for a second PPP loan. Here’s the language:
      “A borrower that was in operation in all four quarters of 2019 is deemed to have experienced the required revenue reduction if it experienced a reduction in annual receipts of 25 percent or greater in 2020 compared to 2019 and the borrower submits copies of its annual tax forms substantiating the revenue decline.”
      Here’s the idea. If your shop had a reduction of annual receipts (when comparing 2019 to 2020) while in operation in 100% of 2019 and 2020, then you meet the criteria. Another wrinkle is that you must have already qualified before taking the revenue reduction into account. The IFR does make this simpler than it was before. If you want to find out the reasons the SBA created a variable method of figuring their reduction in revenue, check out the IFR or we can have a conversation. I’m here for you.
      Lastly, you can still qualify for the second draw when you have a reduction of 25% in revenue by proving that you had the reduction in one quarter of 2020 when compared to the same quarter in 2019. For example, if you had the revenue reduction in the 1st quarter of 2020 when compared to the 1st quarter in 2019, you qualify.
      Here’s the second and last topic for this blog. My eyes are starting to cross so hang in there. 
      Second Draw PPP Loan Application and Documentation Requirements:
      If you are wanting to make application, you should do that as soon as the application is available. It may be available now, so check it out.
      The IFR did specify the documentation requirements, so here we go.
      The documentation standard is essentially the same as the first draw PPP loan. If you meet these requirements, no additional proof of payroll costs is required. These requirements come straight from the IFR:
      If the applicant:
      (i)used calendar year 2019 figures to determine its First Draw PPP Loan amount, (ii) used calendar year 2019 figures to determine its Second Draw PPP Loan amount (instead of calendar year 2020), and (iii) the lender for the applicant’s Second Draw PPP Loan is the same as the lender that made the applicant’s First Draw PPP Loan. When you meet the standards from above “Additional documentation is not required because the lender already has the relevant documentation supporting the borrower’s payroll costs.”
      Even if you do meet the standards from above, the IFR allows lenders that latitude to request additional documents if the lender “concludes that it would be useful in conducting the lender’s good-faith review of the borrower’s loan amount calculation.” Here some plain language. The bank can ask for more documents to review your calculation of the loan amount.
      When you are asking for a second round PPP loan that is greater than $150,000 you have to submit documents that are “adequate to establish that the applicant experienced a revenue reduction of 25% or greater in 2020 relative to 2019.” An example of the documents is:
      Relevant tax forms, including annual tax forms, or Quarterly financial statements or bank statements if relevant tax forms are not available. Hello Ms. Bookkeeper, do you have a handle on this stuff?
      I’m confident I do, so if you want to talk, let’s schedule a time to meet soon.
      In part 4 of the series, we’ll start with:
      For Second Draw PPP Loans of $150,000 or Less, Revenue Reduction Documentation is Not Required to be Submitted at the Time the Borrow Submits an Application for a Loan:
      See you back here for Part 4.
      Natalie Paris 
      https://threeriversbookkeeping.com/
      907-331-0208
      [email protected]

      View full article


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      `Twas the night before Christmas and all through the dark
      Not a car was still broken, all those plugs had there spark
      Wrenches were stashed all snug in there boxes
      While me by myself was having Christmas party leftovers, some bagels and loxes
      Out in the lot there was such a clatter
      I sprang to my feet and yelled Hey what's the matter!
      Now what to my blood shot tired eyes should appear
      But some crazy old guy with sleigh with reindeer
      He approached the front door with a smile so bright
      I quickly unlocked it and turned back on the office light
      Excuse me kind sir but I am having some trouble
      The left rudder on my sleigh has started to rumble
      The balancing was wrong pulling much to the right
      Those reindeer have been working too hard, this cold night
      I have so much to do and little time to do it
      Could you could please get right too it!
      Without saying a word I went to work right away
      Too bad the alignment machine had no specs for a sleigh
      Meanwhile the reindeer were prancing around
      That Rudolf and comet what a couple of clowns
      In a matter of time the rudder was straight and the alignment done too
      I helped him load up all the presents, but one
      He wanted to pay me, but cash he had none
      I hope it was from Sears a one half inch air gun
      He started the sleigh by calling their names
      Come now, Dasher! , Prancer and Blitzen!
      Get off your butts Comet and Vixen!
      It started to idle and float in the air
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      I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
      Happy Christmas to 'AutoShopOwner', and to all a good-night!
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