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Taking Over Dad's Business, first steps?


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Hello everyone, I am 28 years old. I have been around the industry since I can remember. I watched my dad run the business for the past 25 years.

 

He is turning 65 and wants to retire. There is a lot that needs to be changed in this business. I am a little bit overwhelmed where to start...many of my suggestions have fallen on deaf ears since he would always say "you can do it." Well that opportunity is coming...

 

I will be around here a lot, and also tapping on as many sources as I can as I transition...

 

A few questions and concerns:

 

Our Master Technician

He ran the place for the majority of the time as the owner/operator, smog technician and lead diagnoser with two or three head technicians. In the past 8 years he hired a very capable head technician whose pay is flat rate and has steadily gone up. I have always said to put in a more robust payment plan in order to keep him involved in all aspects of the shop, rather than having him rake in hours on easy brake jobs. Well he always wants more pay, and recently one of our heavyline guys quit due to "bad chemistry" quoting him. Well our master technician was logging 45-50 hours because of it and now wants a 33% pay raise. I am not sure how that is realistic and said let him walk. While Dad is contemplating that he is "still worth it." He is an excellent diagnoser, probably one of the best in the city, always finds work...but I seriously doubt he will walk into another business and get what he is getting paid now, let alone after his raise. Finding a replacement will not be easy, since the craigslist prospects have been mediocre at best. Is paying a technician $100k take home unheard of, it seems preposterous to me.

 

 

Procedures, lack thereof

For the most part, he ran this place by sheer grit and a very agile mind, once he got too busy he couldn't keep it all under control. The place is chaos as soon as we get busy. Where do I start? The office is a mess, the lot is a mess, the curb appeal is minimal, the office is towards the very rear of the lot which I always thought was a bad thing. Customers park in the front, walk past most of the work areas...often times disrupting technicians. Where does one start? A full revamp, or chip away at everything slowly?

 

I know I have a lot of work on my hands, but I think the tough part will be changing things. The place makes money, but I think there is a lot of room for improvement and also without going through the chaos. I understand hard work, but making things easier and more efficient is my goal.

 

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