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How to find a successful shop owner to shadow?

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We started a shop about 2 months ago and I'm looking for some wisdom from the experts! How do I find a shop owner willing to share their wisdom?

-How would I find the successful shops?

-How do I approach them and ask?

-Would would be willing to let someone shadow you?

-How much time do you think is fair to ask for?


A little background on me: I started a same day delivery service with my wife 8 years ago, we sold/merged to a larger outfit, I stayed on and then I started a garage to maintain our own fleet of 30 vehicles (not as a business but at cost), then opened a separate auto repair business to further leverage our resources that we already had in place (tech's, experience, tools, etc).


I fully intend for this venture to be very successful. I have dreams of duplicating the system and developing entrepreneurs in house to go start their own shops as a franchise.


Any thoughts/advise are much appreciated. Our shop for those interested is called "That Auto Shop". We only have a facebook page so far: http://www.facebook.com/thatautoshop


Thank you! Scott Kristiansen

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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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