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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/06/2020 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    This might not be popular.... No masks required at our shop, nor are we wearing masks. We see about 40% of our customers coming in with masks and very few (1 per week maybe) ask for us to wear gloves. And many of those with masks will take them off or have them on incorrectly or take them off to talk, but wear them when not talking. Most wait in the waiting room, but we have a handful that are waiting outside. Give it a few more weeks and this will go away as the Texas sun pops out. We do have hand sanitizer on the counter and keep our waiting room clean, even before this virus. We wipe down frequently used surfaces, but, IMO, this is largely a feel-good farce. We can't hide from a virus unless we behave like an operating room and are completely fastidious, wiping everything and changing gloves and masks after everything we touch. (My repair business is mostly drop-off. The waiting room is generally filled with waiters for Quick Lube Services). I've changed my marketing to call out our clean facility. We generally get compliments on cleanliness. Many are changing their marketing and some are opting for a higher-level of cleanliness such as seat covers, surface wipe downs, etc. I'm not seeing much of a call for this. Dealers were advertising this heavy on TV, yet they laid off almost all service staff. It didn't seem to bring the nervous folks forward. I know some shops that are selling a $50 sanitization service. We do our best to respect the wishes and needs of those that grace our doors. When people call in that sound worried, I generally recommend that they put the service off until later. In reality, I would not want to disappoint someone that truly needs or expects a higher level of safety than we can provide. I have noticed that those whom are more concerned will sanitize their cars themselves. They have wipes in the car and will wipe it down to be sure that it was done correctly. In truth, this is likely the best model for true personal safety. We assume that everyone wants social distancing and try to respect their space. I shake hands with those that are comfortable and this is more than you would think. To me, it seems that there 3 types of people: 1) Live Free or Die, 2) Cautious and 3) Scared. Personally, I won't go in a place the makes me wear a mask. (Ask me why I still need a haircut). Ever since the restaurants have reopened for dining in, we've started patronizing them. No longer patronizing take-out only. I fall squarely in the Live Free or Die camp. Luckily, I'm under no local rules that mandate social distancing or other behavior.
  2. 1 point
    Hello all, We have a rather small waiting room and have removed a few chairs to aid in social distancing (we now have only 4 chairs total). I wanted to know if your shop is requiring customers to wear a mask while they are inside the waiting area? How is your experience? Do you have a sign up on the front door stating they must wear a mask? Stay safe and healthy! Nick
  3. 1 point
    For many of us, it's been a wild ride the past few months. We had to take care of everything, making tough decisions, dealing with banks and the SBA and running the shop from the trenches. But, with things looking better each day, it’s time that we get back into the role of building and operating the company. For many, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. However, the sooner we begin to adjust and build for the future, the better off we will be. Shop Owners are among the hardest working people on the planet. We find ways to get through the most difficult situations. I have no doubt that the lesson’s learned from this crisis will make us stronger and more successful.
  4. 1 point
    Hi all, First time poster and glad to be here. I'm a 40 something entrepreneur not currently in the auto repair business but I've been exploring shop ownership for several years. Unfortunately, I've come up short using traditional business brokers to find a shop worth purchasing. To date, all that I've looked at have been overpriced and/or have some serious issues. As shop owners and managers, do you have any tips for finding a solid, well-run general auto repair shop (EBITDA/SDE of $250k-$2MM) to acquire? I would be grateful for any insights. Thanks, Mike
  5. 1 point
    I started using video to sell jobs back in 2008 when YouTube was new. I Email a .pdf estimate along with a sales video link to YouTube. In the video, I address the customer directly, show their vehicle & license plate. We only do transmissions and in the video, I tell my customer: What failed. What we're going to do to fix it. What we're going to do to keep it from happening again. Our close ratio went from 65% to 95% virtually overnight, no matter who the service writer is. Our YouTube channel now has over 2,200 sales videos on it. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/user/larrybloodworth
  6. 1 point
    Thanks for the share brother!
  7. 1 point
    We are holding steady and scheculed about 8 days out right now. The surge of new jobs may have dropped a little, but the ARO on the jobs coming in seems higher than normal. Hoping it holds out long enough to save up for a long dead winter, just in case.
  8. 1 point
    Is your business down 40 or 50% like many on this forum? If so, I have an idea to help a bit now, but especially in the future. And even help the impression of our industry. You probably have more time available to spend with your customers. It’s the perfect time to build or cement a great relationship, to create that illusive trust with your customer, that’s mentioned in just about every trade magazine, but they never tell you how. May I suggest “The How” that I’ve been using for years? This will be handy now and in the future when this is over. Learn more about your customers. Become “friends.” Talk about everything: the lousy situation we’re in, ask about their job, their kids, their past vacation, their future vacations, their weekend jaunts. Exchange good news. Exchange not-so-good news. Listen. Talk about what comes up. I treat our customers like friends, like former high school friends. And these friends know we have to make a profit (EVERYBODY knows that!) For me, it’s a given that we’re going to take care of their car. If they tell me their dad just went into the hospital or nursing home, we’re done talking about their car. I ask, “How’s dad?” But still do your (digital) inspections. And write down everything, even the stuff that can wait six to nine months. This may affect the service writer or shop’s approval percentage, but so what! Your percentage will be lower, but you will do more work on the car this way. (Notice that I didn’t say you would sell more work. I don’t “sell.”) No decision now on the future stuff, it can wait. If their car came in with a problem, this is what will fix it (there’s no selling: this is the solution). I point out the other thing that needs attention now. There will be some explanation, but no selling: it needs it. No decision for the customer, actually. Their car needs it. Next I say, “Here are the things that can wait six to nine months, but I want you to be aware so there are fewer surprises.” No selling, no decisions on their part. Plus, I’m the trustworthy guy who’s telling them they don’t need everything now. “Now let’s come up with a plan for these other things I found about your car.” I’m explaining, not selling. “You can do these now or in two or three months.” NOBODY wants to come back in two or three months so they are leaning in that direction, but no pressure from you. They will probably ask; “What would you do?” I say, “If you hate bringing your car in, do it now.” (this is where you would bring in a little value, benefits and safety) Again, not selling, suggesting; letting them make the decision. Notice that the first two issues didn’t involve them making a dreaded decision: It needs this, doesn’t need that. If your inspection has 5 things, they will do 2 to 4. If the inspection has 8 things, they will do 3 to 5 – with no selling. You are their friend, you are advising. List everything! Now think about that phone call. There is only a little selling value or benefits: maybe some safety. So there’s no pressure on you, no bad news. You are the car detective, reading the cars clues and helping your friend thru this. When you take care of the customer in this fashion, you come from a place of trust, like taking care of a high school friend. You will be happier because that call back won’t be stressful, you will have more work, and they are more likely to refer your trustworthy, easy-to-work-with shop, which means even more work.
  9. 1 point
    I've stayed open and at least one day per week, I would see a spike in car count and I was hoping that it was an indicator, but then the next day, right back down. Nothing consistent, since about March 15. Running about 41% of normal car count, but total revenue is lower than that. This week, we've been consistently up.... about 57% of normal car count. But I'm now gun-shy and not sure whether or not this is a sign. Next Friday, Texas is starting to open up. I doubt that this soft opening will help much. We need to fully open up and get people back to work.
  10. 1 point
    I have begun to plan the next 30-60 days from a staffing perspective, making the assumption that we will receive a PPP loan that will cover 60 days worth of payroll and some expenses. I wanted to find a way to do some "what if's" as it applies to staffing levels during the 8 week "expense period", that any PPP Loan forgiveness, will be based. I suspect we will be be funding our PPP loan by the end of this month, since the time between receiving a loan number and funding of the loan has been set at 10 days maximum. I expect the banks will use up 5 or more days of the 10, just getting loan documents together. It will probably happen pretty fast. I tried all the calculators below and attached. Each has some strong points. I suggest starting with the Inuit (quickbooks) link directly below. I suspect they are the most likely to keep this tool up to date. Might help with planning, as your PPP loans start to get funded If you are looking for forms, notices and/or policy documents, the link at the bottom has a good assortment It does not sound like forgiveness is going to be a "gimme", and will require above average record keeping. The professionals I listen to daily are telling the same message as we heard on the IMDA webinar. Keep the funds segregated and make transfers or transactions in such a way as to make them easily match to qualified expenses. My guys are telling me that the funds from the PPP Loan should have their own bank account or at least sub account, to transfer funds out of. It is the banks we borrow from that will be setting bar, and it sounds like they will be setting it hi to cover their ass, and make sure they get paid. Does not sound like the banks are going to stick their necks out at all, if we haven't done our part. It is sticky enough that CPA's are being warned against acting as "agents" on PPP loans on behalf of their clients. Getting a PPP loan may be a "no-brainer", getting forgiveness, likely not. Intuit® Aid Assist: Navigate Government Relief Programs Intuit® Aid Assist: Navigate Government Relief Programs A free tool that helps small business owners navigate the complexity of federal relief to get access to help whe... Other calculators and lender list below. Fairly well done, excel based calculator attached https://growthzilla.com/covid-ppp-loan-forgiveness-calculator https://www.calconic.com/calculator-widgets/sba-loan-calculator/5e8069a85d2cd70029057ecb https://smartasset.com/insights/ppp-loan-lenders Forms, Notices, Policies https://sescomgt.com/services/covid-19 Accounting Tips https://evergreensmallbusiness.com/ppp-loan-accounting/ Randy Lucyk Midas Kalkaska 231-258-2889 PPP-Loan-Forgiveness-Calculator w example.xlsx
  11. 1 point
    Hello everyone. First and foremost, we hope that you, your family, your team members and your business are doing as well as one can expect in this new reality that is taking us down an unbelievably difficult time in our history. We have some updates and some news we want to share with you. News: While the world has come to a halt, we have certainly felt the change in direction at our facility in Linden NJ. However, the average RO numbers we are seeing, are nothing short of remarkable for the work we have put into this endeavor. We are the least expensive system that offers the ability to invoice customers (Digitally and Paper) with a full DVI system attached to it. Our plans start at $69.99 and $119.99 for a 5 team member facility. You will not find a better value anywhere in the industry for shop management than what we offer with one system. Updates: Removal of Completed / Completed & Paid From Plain View: When you press the dashboard icon, you may notice that you are missing a bunch of Service Requests. You're not missing them, they have been hidden from plain view and can easily be brought back. Notice anything new, like that red line of text? Note: This list EXCLUDES Completed service requests. Clicking on it will cause it to turn green and read: Note: This list now INCLUDES Completed Service Requests. Hours & Minutes: Jobs that run over 24 hours, no longer display "Days" that correspond to hours. Easy Check - Add New Customer: In an on going effort to improve our process, we have added "Add New Customer" to the "Easy Check In" flow. This will allow you to add anyone not on the platform, and then proceed to add their vehicle and start a service request or make a future appointment. Administrators Can Now Delete & Reopen Service Requests: Based on learning more about how we each function every day in our facilities, we have decided to add the ability to soft delete service requests from appearing in the list that employees see. With that also comes the ability to to correct a mistake on an invoice, without reaching out to us. A snapshot of the service request is taken prior to being reopened. CAR Mobile Display: We've been working really hard on our mobile display as well. There are no pages that should require you to pan right anymore. Everything should be contained within the window you are in on your mobile device. We are continuing to make significant strides in our product, through your crucial feedback. We appreciate every bit of advice you give us on how to make CAR better for you and the community overall. Please don't hesitate to share with us.
  12. 1 point
    I think you should have them let you play boss for a month or two and see how it goes before you buy it. I'm not sure sure about this business or shop but chances are you're going to be in for alot of surprises.
  13. 1 point
    Many shops are experiencing a slower than expected spring in pockets around the country. The shops that are doing good are those that are proactive with sales and vehicle inspections. If you wait for the customer to come to you and tell you to service or repair their car....good luck. You must view every car as opportunity and looking at the entire car. Also, every car in your shop today will need future service and repairs. Make sure those cars come back to you. Book the next appointment and plan out their total car care. I don't have all the answers, but sitting on your hands and wondering where the work is not a viable strategy.


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