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Businesse Hours


Rambiss

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I'm very close to buying an existing auto shop and need an opinion or two about sales and hours of operation. The shop currently only works Mon to Fri, 8 to 5. What are your opinions on hours of operations and sales, obviously keeping profitability in mind.

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There are a couple of studies out that show the National Chains (Pep Boys, NTB, Firestone etc) do upwards of 50% of their business between 5:00 PM Friday and 8:00AM Monday. Do you want to limit yourself to 50% of the market?

 

Most customers can not do without their cars. I know everyone says their customers are loyal, but do they want to leave their car during the week for a "quick oil change" or "State Inspection"? Probably not.

 

What happens when they are at "whatever" shop and they need tires or brakes and the shop says "No problem, we can get that done while you wait." I would say a larger percentage than you would want say - "Ok"

 

We flex our techs schedules so that they work 1 Saturday a month with another day off during the week they work Saturday. I have 2 or 3 general service techs in on Saturday to do oil changes and other light mechanical jobs. We do not do bigger jobs on Saturdays, but often uncover bigger jobs that help to fill in the first part of the following week.

 

Offering loaner cars is another way to offset weekend hours, but that is not without a significant investment.

 

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While most of us would rather not work on the weekend, the fact of the matter is, weekends are the only
time many consumers have to take care of vehicle repair and maintenance.
NAPA respects the decisions of all NAPA AutoCare Center owners and realizes each owner must determine if
opening on Saturday would make business sense for their operation. The brochure included at the end of this
section serves only to provide information that may assist an owner’s decision. Below are some helpful tips to
consider.
Best Use
Review the brochure at the end of this section. Should you decide to open on Saturday, it should be treated
like a normal Monday through Friday work day, in other words, a full day. You can limit or eliminate
overtime by staggering your employees (Monday through Friday or Tuesday through Saturday).
Should you decide to open on Saturday, then stay open. You’ll not only need to retrain your existing
customers, but more importantly train your new ones. Some additional points:
• The business on Saturday already exists and is being enjoyed by national chains and OE dealerships
• 50% of the business of national chains occurs from Friday 5:00PM to Monday 8:00AM
• Over time, you run the risk of losing customers to competitors who remain open during hours more
convenient for the today’s consumer
• If being open Monday through Friday isn’t enough to make ends meet, then opening on Saturday
may be a great solution
• You can double your net profit by being open a full day on Saturday
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Posted at the service counter at my shop

 

We open usually around 7:30

But, sometimes as late as 9:00

The shop is open until 5pm unless I close early

 

Sometimes I'm here until midnight, but that doesn't mean I'm answering the door

Somedays I don't show up at all, but lately when I'm here, I'm here...

unless I'm somewhere else.

 

However, if I'm not here I'm nowhere to be found.

Thanks for being here, the managment.

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I advertise Saturdays open 9 - 1, but I dont turn off the open sign until I'm done and I often get slammed and work till 5. I'm slammed today, Saturday, and won't get home until late. Saturdays have typically been real good.

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There are a couple of studies out that show the National Chains (Pep Boys, NTB, Firestone etc) do upwards of 50% of their business between 5:00 PM Friday and 8:00AM Monday. Do you want to limit yourself to 50% of the market?

 

Do you have a link to these studies? I am very, very interested in reading these.

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Wes,

I don't have the raw data, I'll see if I can get it. The "processed" data is listed on the Napa Auto Care Member website. I haven't done a formal survey of my market area, but the eyeball test is pretty convincing. The National and Regional Chains in my area(NTB, Sears, Pep have Boys, Sullivan Tire, VIP Tire & Auto, Firestone) have empty parking lots during the week. On Saturdays you have trouble finding a parking spot. Our area is a bedroom community for the Greater Boston metro area. Many of our customers commute into the Boston area for work and are looking for the convenience of weekend service. If I don't provide it, someone else will. I have not opened on Sundays, and I hope not to, but I've learned "Never to say never".

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We used to be open Saturdays for years, I've found that my techs are much happier having the weekend off to look forward to as am I, I could work 15 hours a day seven days a week and there would always be something to do to keep me busy, family time and free time trump working the weekends for me.

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I'm not suggesting that you have to work 100 hours per week at your shop. Flex schedules like Frank suggested or like we do. The techs still work 40 hours per week, Depending on how you are staffed you may need to hire or develop additional service advisors but the business is out there to be had if you want it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think it depends on your area. Around here nobody is open on weekends except Walmart and Monroe muffler. Are they taking a chunk of my business ? Absolutely, but It's worth it for me to take a break. We could work 24/7 and still not get everything done, so we do what we can 8-6 m-f and try to have some type of life outside of work on the weekend.

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We are 8-5:30 m-f. We used to work every Saturday. I used to think Saturdays were money makers. But reality it just made high overtime, low productivity, and a lot of gas station work as I call it. We still work on Saturdays once in a while but its appointment only. I found that working my guys only five days a week they seem to be in a better mood and productivity is higher because they know if we hit our goals during the week we don't need to work Saturday.

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