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Hey guys, tear this idea to shreds for me I'm trying to find a competitive advantage (niche) and I came to a automotive shop that specializes in serving small business fleets. Plumbing companies, mowing and lawn companies, telephone companies and even used car lots! What you think?

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We focus a lot on fleets. We have visited about 30 businesses to sell our service. We have about 3 or 4 that bring their vehicles. They have been easy to work with and have had some very profitable jobs. Our only issue is getting more.

 

Seems most small businesses also have other small business friends, and a lot of those are auto repair. But go get some accounts just don't make it your only income.

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http://www.motor.com/article.asp?article_ID=541

http://www.ratchetandwrench.com/RatchetWrench/April-2014/Transitioning-Away-from-Fleet/

 

Those are two articles off the top of my head relating to fleet servicing.

The motor.com article is about selling to fleets profitably, and how to go about doing it on the business side.

The other one is a bit of a warning about what can happen if you focus too much on fleets, and what are some good proven methods of how to turn a good profit with them. This article states that 80% retail and 20% fleet is an ideal setup.

 

I think one of the most important things with fleets, is to offer some kind of discount (maybe not the full fleet discount) to all of the company's employees who want to bring in their personal vehicles as well.

This can be a huge car count booster, and if you do things right, it can still be quite profitable, and it's free advertising. If you do good work, word of mouth from that will spread like crazy.

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We do some fleet service, the phone company was a good customer, we worked on all their trucks and authorization was quick but they just moved to 45 days to pay and an out of state administrator so I'm not too keen on that anymore. Good luck with the used car dealers, typically they are the cheapest of the cheap.

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Fleet service has been good for my business, especially in slow times. I service fleets for a few contractors, an electric motor shop who does a lot of off grid power work and has 8 trucks, a landscaper, a realty company, and a couple snow plow businesses. Not a week goes by that I'm not working on fleet vehicles. Yeah there's some junk to work on but overall it's been well worth it. Got most of it through cold calls on the businesses.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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