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Making the Big move to be an Offsite owner


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New member here, glad I found this site , it has some great info. So here is my story ( short ?). I have decided to get out of the backroom finally after 21 years of owning a shop ( I was told to do this 20 years ago by business proffessionals but working with my hands and hanging out with my employees is what I enjoy ). I was wrenching during the day and doing everything else (HR, marketing, bookkeeping, etc) on my free time. I did this big move 2 weeks ago and I am finding it a little difficult to say the least, but for now , looking in from the outside ,I can already tell it was a good move . I have 9 employees, have access to Mitchell system remotely, getting a camera system installed so I can access whats going on remotely also ( the shop is already cramped so an onsite office isn't feasible ). I have handbooks for managers, writers, techs , and lube techs. I have been fine tuning the handbooks for the better part of the 2 weeks that I haven't been there. So far my crew has done well but I am still apprehensive about what's going on when I am not there. I think the handbooks are key, getting the guys to follow the guidelines in the handbooks is another story. I am building an accountability system using Google drop box to help the guys out daily with check lists pertaining to the handbooks but don't want to overload them. Any input or links to info would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Great Tire Deal

Joe, thanks for your input, I appreciate it 100%. We do have separate monthly meetings for the techs, writers and lube techs. I went in yesterday actually because I still work every other Sat. as a tech. don't think to many customers will miss me because a lot of them I always think my manager who has been with me over 10 years is the owner ( sometimes I wish we was, lol) because I was always in the back turning wrenches. I am setting up goals for improved car counts and will review them with the crew weekly. I have also added 3 more cars to loaner car program so we will have 5 and have implemented other changes in the 2 weeks to achieve my goals. My crew is my second family and the respect we have for each other should make the transition easier because they like working for me so they respect what I have to say and I always respect what they have to say. The handbooks and the daily check sheets pertaining to the handbooks should keep everyone on the right page. I guess my biggest worry is I am overloading them because although I was a tech there was a lot of decision making done on the spot while I was there and now I am leaving it up to them. I am adding this decision making to their handbooks ( which some of them have already doubled in content ) and don't want to overwhelm them. Again, thanks for input Joe and enjoy your Sunday.

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Thanks for the good wishes, it will take time for sure. Every time a thought pops up pertaining to this offsite owner transition ( shop liability concerns, inventory control, employee theft concerns, how to handle angry customers, etc.) I email that thought to myself with my phone. Lots of emails from myself lately. Happy Monday and Have a Great Week.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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