Jump to content

In Need of a Coach / Mentor

Recommended Posts

Here's a little background info on my business.


My father purchased an existing body shop (just the customer base and equipment, the building was a rental) in 2009 for a very decent sum. Two months later we were informed that we had to pack up and leave, because they were going to build a CVS on that property. So we had to put the equipment (1 bend-pak lift, 1 paint booth, 1 mixing machine, and 1 frame machine) in to storage.


Fast forward to the end of 2012, a building opened up for sale on one a main street in town. My father and I signed the lease and moved in January of 2013. Almost 2 years down the road, here we are. My father is doing his own thing, I am left running the business. We have one technician, and one part time helper and myself. I do the management, front desk, phone calls, bills, cleaning, pretty much wearing all the hats. Business is growing steadily and surely but I feel like I need a mentor or coach. I pay myself only so often and not nearly enough by any standards. And I can't afford about 1,500 / month for coaching. Is there anything I can do for now? Thank you in advance!


P.S. Questions / concerns / opinions welcomed.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great Tire Deal

Here is my constructive criticism and I hope you will take it as such.


If you are in the auto repair business (as an owner) the excuse of "I just can't afford $XXX" is a crutch and its a lie. You are lying to yourself. How do I know this? Because I was lying to myself for years using the same excuse. The real question is can you afford NOT TO. You said your business is steadily growing which is great. In my opinion however if your business is growing but you can't afford $1500 on something you perceived to be a need and a necessity to grow your business something is terribly wrong. Some of us are blessed with mentors who never ask for a dime. Most of us however have to seek professional help that cost $. It is also in my opinion that I'd rather pay to have someone that is professionally accountable in helping me succeed that someone that is treating coaching as a pet project.


Every time I have invested in training I have seen gains. Since September I'd taken the RLO Guerilla Shop Management online course and have signed up with Elite as a coaching client. I've seen a 20-30k increase in sales a month since then. I have always had the philosophy if something costs me a $1 to make $2 then I'm with it. Since I have made the investment in my business and education I've seen far more than a $2 return.


Now I am far from perfect and I have a LONG way to go. These have been my personal experiences so take them for what you will. If you have a passion to succeed and you want to do the right thing then $1500/mo for a little direction is a drop in the bucket.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add to xrac's comment, starting with classes is a great way to break into training. I can only speak from my experiences but the first classes I partook were with WorldPac. They put on a Service Advisor's Class that last 2-3 days. It was incredibly helpful at the time since I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.


Elite's one day sales class is awesome as well. If you are lacking in sales skills you really need to check their class out.


Once you get an idea of what it takes to be profitable and to run a shop, I'd also suggest RLO's Guerilla Shop Management 12 week course. Great investment.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mspec's post is my story as well. $1500 is one good ticket each month. What is expensive is making mistakes until you are either out of business or finally forced to admit that good training is cheap. The best athletes in the world have coaches, so should you.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, I want to acknowledge you for having the awareness to realize you need help.
And then, having the courage to ask for help. This is a huge step you've taken here.

As others have already pointed out, coaches are necessary if you want to take your business
to the next level. It's because from a business owner's perspective... "we don't know - what we don't know."
We're just too close to the situation.

However, committing to a big monthly payment - without feeling certain that what
may have worked for others - will also work for you, can be scary, especially when
cash flow is already tight.

Here are some things I recommend business owners do when choosing a
coaching/training program...

The biggest thing to do is: to make sure you are in alignment with the core philosophies
of the program. In other words, all coaching and training requires a shift in your thinking
and doing things differently.

It just boils down to deciding if the program is a good fit for the way you want to treat
your customers and run your business.

Bottom-line: selling to today's customers in today's economy is way different than it was
just a few years ago.

Today's customers no longer tolerate all of the pushy, salesy, objection handling and
high-pressure sales tactics. And will not hesitate to take their business up the street
and/or tell others on the many review sites if they feel like they are being taken advantage of.

What that means to you is: I recommend before investing ANY money, you interview or
somehow get a taste of the core philosophy of any training company you might consider.

The last thing you want to do is to spend time or money - only to find out, the training
goes completely against how you want to run your business.

There's never been a better time to own an auto repair business than now. When you
position your business properly, you end up being known as the only shop in your area
that can be trusted when it comes to auto repair and tires. Once that happens, you

own your marketplace.

Again... congratulations on taking the first step in getting help.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations on deciding to seek some outside help. Many professionals use a consultant. You need an objective viewpoint from an experienced and trusted advisor that has your best interest and the best interest of your organization at heart. An objective viewpoint is critical to understanding your shop beyond your in house staff and family advice. You must do something differently to effect real change. Time, money and effort spent on improving and learning is an investment. Your website is awesome, and lots of great reviews on Google plus. You obviously care alot about your shop and your clients.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your great responses and constructive criticism. It's amazing having people like this to turn to and learn from. My business wouldn't be anywhere near what it is today without ASO.


P.S - If anyone is ever in Harrisonburg, VA or going through on I-81, please stop by. I'd love to meet as many of you as possible.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree completely with what was posted above. I am the problem in my business. A bad year emotionally and financially has me completely upsidedown and its either pay the money and follow through and make the changes or let it go. You have to be willing to invest the time to actually do what the coaches say. That's a hard thing to do when you spend 60 hours a week at the shop trying to make enough money to keep the lights on. Forget getting paid yourself or keeping current on other bills. My advice to you, get the help now before you get yourself into my position or as Joe mentioned above you end up on that place. Its sucks big time. I have used and am currently using Gary Gunn at Turn Around Tours. Like was mentioned above, don't just pay someone with a hipe session if they are not what you really want your business to be.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know the collective mind yields the best ideas. Fresh perspectives and new ideas. I would like to make the same offer mspecperformance did, If anyone is interested in bouncing ideas off each other feel free to PM me. I enjoy working thru challenges and getting to the goal. I know there is so much we can learn from one another!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

      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.
  • Similar Topics

    • By Changing The Industry
      Reacting To "Silverstein: Business as Usual Must Die"
    • By Changing The Industry
      When A Customer Tries To Bring You Their Own Spark Plugs #carrepair
    • By carmcapriotto
      This week, Jamie Hasty from Southeastern Employer Services Corporation (SESCO) joins Hunt to discuss HR and employment law topics for auto repair shop owners. Jamie provides expert advice on managing overtime, understanding exemptions, and maintaining compliance with labor laws. This conversation is essential for any auto repair business looking to safeguard against legal pitfalls and ensure proper payroll management. It includes:
      Important discussions on managing overtime and understanding exemptions. Practical advice on maintaining compliance with labor laws. Tips for auto repair shop owners to avoid legal issues and manage payroll effectively. https://sescomgt.com/  
      Thanks to our partners, NAPA TRACS and Promotive
      Did you know that NAPA TRACS has onsite training plus six days a week support?
      It all starts when a local representative meets with you to learn about your business and how you run it.  After all, it's your shop, so it's your choice.
      Let us prove to you that Tracs is the single best shop management system in the business.  Find NAPA TRACS on the Web at NAPATRACS.com
      It’s time to hire a superstar for your business; what a grind you have in front of you. Great news, you don’t have to go it alone. Introducing Promotive, a full-service staffing solution for your shop. Promotive has over 40 years of recruiting and automotive experience. If you need qualified technicians and service advisors and want to offload the heavy lifting, visit www.gopromotive.com.
      Get in touch with Jamie Hasty: https://sescomgt.com/
      Paar Melis and Associates – Accountants Specializing in Automotive Repair
      Visit us Online: www.paarmelis.com
      Email Hunt: [email protected]
      Get a copy of my Book: Download Here
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • By carmcapriotto
      Matt Fanslow discusses the importance of understanding technicians' value, open communication about compensation, and collaborative problem-solving.
      Show Notes
      Dutch Silverstein - Straight Talk to Technicians [E018]: https://mattfanslow.captivate.fm/episode/018 Dutch Silverstein - Straight Talk to Technicians - Part 2 [E046]: https://mattfanslow.captivate.fm/episode/046 Challenges Faced by Managers and Owners (00:01:30)  Demand for Better Compensation (00:02:43)  Assessing Value and Increasing Compensation (00:04:28)  Honest Conversations and Fear (00:05:54)  Hierarchy and Fairness (00:10:16)  Improving Communication and Grace (00:15:52)  Achieving Collective Success (00:18:12)  Recognizing Flaws in the System (00:19:28)  Taking a Step Back to Move Forward (00:20:58)  Accepting Criticism and Turning It into a Positive (00:22:05)   
      Thanks to our Partner, NAPA Autotech napaautotech.com
      Email Matt: [email protected]
      Diagnosing the Aftermarket A - Z YouTube Channel HERE
      Aftermarket Radio Network: https://aftermarketradionetwork.com/
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Water Proof And Self Adhesive
    • By carmcapriotto
      The Weekly Blitz is brought to you by our friends over at Shop Marketing Pros. If you want to take your shop to the next level, you need great marketing. Shop Marketing Pros does top-tier marketing for top-tier shops.
      Click here to learn more about Top Tier Marketing by Shop Marketing Pros and schedule a demo:https://shopmarketingpros.com/chris/
      Check out their podcast here: https://autorepairmarketing.captivate.fm/
      If you would like to join their private Facebook group go here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/autorepairmarketingmastermind
      In this podcast episode, Coach Chris Cotton from Auto Fix Auto Shop Coaching addresses the negative impact of pride in the auto repair industry. He offers strategies for shop owners to overcome pride, such as staying open to learning, seeking feedback, and embracing change. Cotton stresses the importance of building a strong team, networking, and setting realistic goals. He advocates for a balance between pride in one's work and humility, underlining its significance for business success, personal well-being, and family relationships. Shop Marketing Pros is also featured, promoting their marketing solutions for auto repair businesses.
      The Introduction (00:00:00) Introduction to the podcast episode and a brief overview of what to expect. The Impact of Pride on Auto Repair Business (00:01:43) Discussion on the detrimental effects of pride on business decisions in the auto repair industry. Manifestations of Pride in Business (00:02:53) Eight ways pride can manifest and cause problems in auto repair business, including resisting change, ignoring feedback, and refusing help. Strategies to Overcome Pride (00:09:51) Strategies to keep pride in check, such as staying open to learning, seeking feedback, and hiring a coach or consultant. Conclusion and Sponsor Acknowledgment (00:13:19) Closing remarks, encouragement for growth, and acknowledgment of the sponsor, Shop Marketing Pros.  
      Connect with Chris:
      [email protected]
      Phone: 940.400.1008
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
      AutoFixAutoShopCoachingYoutube: https://bit.ly/3ClX0ae
      #autofixautoshopcoaching #autofixbeautofixing #autoshopprofits #autoshopprofit #autoshopprofitsfirst #autoshopleadership #autoshopmanagement #autorepairshopcoaching #autorepairshopconsulting #autorepairshoptraining #autorepairshop #autorepair #serviceadvisor #serviceadvisorefficiency #autorepairshopmarketing #theweeklyblitz #autofix #shopmarketingpros #autofixautoshopcoachingbook
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio

  • Our Sponsors

  • Create New...