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So Right now I am in a 30x30 space with a small office and one lift. We do everything from engines and transmissions to power steering lines and alignments. At the end of July we will have an addition completed to our building that is going to be an additional 30x60 I was thinking 15x30 for office and 45x30 for 3 more bays making it a total of 4.

 

Here is my conundrum, The guy that i use to take care of my transmission stuff is the tranny guy at the dodge dealer by day and moonlights as a Transmission rebuilder. This transmission rebuilder has asked me if I would rent a space to him in my addition. Now he is a hard working S.O.B. that wants to open his own shop one day but needs a stepping stone. He is also the kind of guy i would let run my business.

 

So the question is do stick to my plan of a total of 4 bays and a larger office or 5 bays and a small office. And would you allow someone like that to work out of your shop.

 

Also on average how much space do you give each of your technicians. I was thinking 2 techs to 3 bays would make for a nice work environment.

Edited by John Pearson
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  • 2 weeks later...

The issue of renting to someone is the potential impact his work may have on your business. The customer will not separate his work from yours, they will just identify the building and your name. If he does a job that doesn't meet your quality standards, you will pay the price. I would either hire him to do transmission builds for your customers, bring him on as a partner, or help him find a small location somewhere. These situations always look good in theory, but they always seem to end up in a bad way. If he is doing work for his customers, you have no say in the quality of his work, when he works, or how he works...he is renting the space. Safety, housekeeping, tools, money, customers, and time are all factors that matter a great deal. Basically its like getting married to someone who squeezes the toothpaste, when you prefer to flatten it from the bottom. If you do decide to let him rent, I would have all this lined out in a contract or agreement.

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The customer will not separate his work from yours, they will just identify the building and your name.

 

I completely agree with this. It is only a matter of time before reviews for his work start showing up on your review pages.

 

What you want is a clean, consolidated brand name in the customer's mind for you location. i.e. "Let's go down to Pearson's on the corner, they do great work." Instead, you are going to get, "Let's go down to that spot on the corner where they do transmissions and some other auto work."

 

Believe me, I know. When we bought our shop, 3 bays were an auto shop, 2 bays were smog inspection, 3 were a window tint shop, and 2 were a car wash. Try to reconcile that in in your mind ............... the outside of the building looked like someone barfed a rainbow of vinyl logos against it. 4 competing brand names with multiple offers for every service imaginable.

 

I have rented part of my shop before and from experience I am going to strongly suggest this.... DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I'd love to hear some stories on this one.

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I completely agree with this. It is only a matter of time before reviews for his work start showing up on your review pages.

 

What you want is a clean, consolidated brand name in the customer's mind for you location. i.e. "Let's go down to Pearson's on the corner, they do great work." Instead, you are going to get, "Let's go down to that spot on the corner where they do transmissions and some other auto work."

 

Believe me, I know. When we bought our shop, 3 bays were an auto shop, 2 bays were smog inspection, 3 were a window tint shop, and 2 were a car wash. Try to reconcile that in in your mind ............... the outside of the building looked like someone barfed a rainbow of vinyl logos against it. 4 competing brand names with multiple offers for every service imaginable.

 

 

I'd love to hear some stories on this one.

 

 

Your wish is my command!

 

Back when I first started out I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was doing. At the time we were in a 3 bay shop converted gas station very small, 1500 sqft which is still not insanely small for my area. The rent was high at $3800 and I we were not doing so well financially so I decided to rent out a bay. The bay was actually an addition to the building and it had its own motorized gate. I put an ad out on craigslist and found someone to rent the space for $1600 a month.

 

At the time we were only working on BMWs and this person told us he specialized in Nissans, Mitsubitshi and he worked on some BMWs. We had a discussion about how since we only worked on BMWs that as long as there is no interference with our work and customers there shouldn't be any problems. Amongst many many many other things I had to deal with between this tenant and I, the major problem was that people would confuse out shop with his. BMWs would pull up and by the time their vehicle was on his lift I would walk outside look at the car, look at the customer and shake my head. The customer would then do a double take and realize he went to the wrong place!! I had discussions, arguments, etc with my tenant and he didn't seem to understand what he was doing wrong. I'll never forget what he said, "I am not going to turn away a paying customer."

 

In 3 years he ended up going with long bouts of no business, getting physically assaulted by one of his customers and generally sat around for months with no work. He was also 1-2 months late on his rent due to his lack of business and the best decision I made was to not give him any advanced notice when I finally left my old location otherwise he would have ditched me on even more rent.

 

Moral of the story is DON'T EFFING DO IT!

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We rent to a transmission rebuilder and that is all he does. He runs a reputable business and has insurance and is busy all the time. The building has 7 bays and his two were added on specifically for his transmission business so there is a wall between the two business with separate entrances. It has worked out well for both parties and we both send each other business.

Gary

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      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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