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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/08/2015 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Your solution for feeling burned out: By winning! As long as your losing in life or in business you will always feel burned out. Pardon me for stating the obvious but YOU SUCK as a business owner. You blamed the long hours, the bills, the taxes, the customers, the employees, you might as well say your god damned as well. Basically all the components of business are your problem. The common denominator is you! "All work, no play, little reward" Who's decision is that? Who's decision was it to go into business for themselves? So let's start there! It's ok everyone sucks at somethings. Especially when they are untrained. But first step is realizing it and taking responsibility for your condition. You are lacking successful business owner qualities. If you are not making money you suck at sales and marketing. If you are dealing with unreasonable cheap customers than you suck at handling communication. If your employees suck than you suck at hiring and training! If your taxes, bills and insurance are a problem than you suck at administrative know-how. If long hours suck for you than you suck at setting a schedule and prioritizing. Luckily no one has to suck forever. It's a personal decision to recognize problems and not do something about them. The above things that you suck at is a list of your homework of things to study, learn, apply and improve. I will empathize with you but you get no sympathy. Let's see how many of these things you can improve in a month. If you can fix a carburetor, you can fix your business. With Confidence In You, Andre
  2. 9 points
    Oh by the way I am a very rich man. I may not have $1,000,000 cash but I have a wife that I love and who loves me and we have been MARRIED 43 1/2 years. I have three wonderful children and nine wonderful grandchildren. I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, a warm bed to sleep in, and a full belly. I just got back from a trip to Fort Lauderdale where I dined like a king and stayed in a 4 star resort. I am healthy enough to get up and go to work today. I have a successful business. I have no complaints. Come to think of it in more ways than one I am a millionaire.
  3. 7 points
    I have spent the last 20 minutes looking at your website, advertisements, reviews, Facebook, google street images, and more. I have some definite profitable improvements in mind, and I am going to share them with you. If you have been there since 2000, you have lots of people that trust you, and you have plenty of room for much more profit!! You will want to build on that Big-Time!! "The shop has been known for cheap oil changes." *** How does the following sound? "My shop is known for precision front-end and undercar work and is a leader in computerized alignments." How about this?? "I know brakes and I perform long-lasting, smooth-stopping, and quiet brake jobs. "I can diagnose your "Service Engine" light for you and get it turned off after the necessary repairs and services have been completed." "We are known as the Go-To shop for Air Conditioning Service." Think about what it would be like to have from three to four alignments scheduled for one day, and you get them in and some need repairs and/or tires. I see that you advertise alignments and promote them on Facebook. When folks come in for an alignment, many times they are prepared to invest a lot to have their car repaired in order for it to drive and perform properly. When folks come in for a cheap oil change, their mind and pocketbook are on a cheap oil change. So....think about this!! Nobody else (I imagine) is doing $18.95 oil changes, so you need to up the price and add more benefits!! Walmart oil changes are about $35.00 and Jiffy Lube about $50.00. So when Miss Jones comes in for her oil service with safety inspection, you tell her up front: Miss Jones, you have been a great client of mine!! And I thank you for that!! I am going to give you better service than ever, because I have integrated a safety and maintenance inspection with our oil change services. I am going to use a checklist, inspect your car, and go over any needs with you. Your investment in this is only $29.95 plus tax. Please have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate while I'm bringing your car in the shop!! **** Note: 3 important sentences coming up: A client came in to my shop Friday with his 2011 Altima for an oil change service only. I told him that the factory maintenance recommended a belt, air filter, cabin filter, and trans. service. His invoice was $440.00. They won't all buy, but lots will, and that's what counts. Now notice that you didn't say that "oil changes" went up....you told her about the added benefits. ***PLUS most of the later model cars take 0W20 Synthetic motor oil and the Oil Change Services are usually $44.95 to $59.95. Be sure to ALWAYS SPECIFY the factory recommended oil because it's what the car and your cash register require!!! $$$ You will want to work on enhancing your train of thought from Cheap and Lowest Price to Precision, Performance, Smooth, Quiet, Vibration-Free, More Power, Long-Lasting, Straight, Hot for heat, Cold for AC. Practice selling the benefits and you will see MUCH HIGHER ARO'S, more satisfied clients, and MORE CA$H in the BANK!!! I'm ending for now, but please pay close attention to the above, start tomorrow, and have a CHANGED WEEK!!! I will be in touch!! Hi-Gear
  4. 6 points
    I'm ready to see more positive posts on this forum, so I'm starting with one tonight! On Wednesday, a lady called and said she had a blowout and wanted her car towed in. Once the 2006 Buick Lucerne got to the shop we found that it needed a new tire. We had sold a set of 4 tires to her in July 2016 with road hazard warranty. So she's getting a free tire now on the house. Along with the tire purchase in July we also performed $1400 in repairs and service. So on Wednesday my technician jacked it up on the floor and installed the new tire. Then he told me he was putting the car on his lift to do an inspection. The car had been well maintained, but while doing his inspection he found that it needed repairs. It had a timing cover coolant leak, oil pan leak, rt. rear caliper leak, cracked serpentine belt, needed an oil service, and a couple of other things. I called her and told her that the tire needed replacing. She asked if it was warrantied, and I replied that I had good news....she had purchased warranty coverage and I was replacing it free. She loved that. Then I told her that we performed a safety inspection and told her of our findings. I didn't wait for her to ask "HOW MUCH?" I immediately told her that I could get started on the work the same day and it would be $2150. She then asked if I had something she could drive, and I told her I would provide her with a loaner car and could have her car ready by Friday. She asked if I could put the work on a credit card, so I said "SURE!!" Just come on by and pick up my Altima to drive while your Buick is in the shop. She got a ride and came by about thirty minutes later. Today she picked up her Buick and handed me her credit card. She was one happy lady, thanked me for finding what her car needed, and left smiling. Ladies and Gentlemen, I call that a VICTORY in MY LIFE!!! We need these victories daily in our businesses. Do you know any shops around your town that would have replaced her tire, done no inspection, eaten the cost of the tire, and would have been in a bitchy mood after eating it?? So remember, Be an Optimist, Be Positive, Be Excited, Service Cars Properly, Make Money, and Achieve a Victory in Your Life!! Thank you for listening, Hi-Gear
  5. 6 points
    I figured I would share this and I don't believe it is covered enough in the shop owners circles and thats about leadership qualities and what it takes to lead. In my shop I am trying to change the culture where all of my guys buy in. I preach team work and education. We invest a lot into our people and I am sure you guys do as well. Recently one of my Service Advisers just graduated Elite's Master Course which is a 6 month intensive service adviser / writer's course. The transformation I have seen from my guy is nothing short of amazing. It has been a group effort from management down to the technician in increasing our sales, adjusting our work flow policies and implementing all the crazy ideas I have. In passing his final exam I promised my service adviser I would take him out to an expensive steak dinner. After thinking long and hard about it I decided I was not doing the right thing. The other employees may see this as favoritism and as a "reward" which is not the intention of passing his course. Instead I made a decision to invite my whole staff to a dinner on us. In the invitation I took the time to acknowledge everyone for the good work they have been doing and that the reason why I wanted to invite everyone was not as a reward but as a celebration. We are a team and our successes and failures are shared as a group. I emphasis that everything they achieve in their professional and personal lives that make a positive impact are important to me and important to our company. Does it cost us money to invest in our team? Absolutely, this dinner alone is going to around $1000. Will it pay dividends in the future, for sure. It also feels really good to do for others. I believe acknowledgement, appreciation and team building is sorely lacking in our industry. One of my goals is to make our company the best place to work in the industry. Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of your customers. I am grateful for the amazing people I work with and I hope its an attitude that everyone strives to share.
  6. 6 points
    Ok, I am back. Like I was saying, Do not expect anyone to help your vision if they don't understand it, or if you don't communicate it. Set realistic expectations, there are only 24 hours in a day, don't overextend yourself or your resources beyond their capabilities. Comprehend that there are bad people out there, bad as in malicious, predatory, evil, don't put up with them, avoid them if you can. There are also toxic people, just like you would not let a thief into your home, do not let toxic people's ideas and attitures pollute your mind, or steal your dreams and ambitions. Do not spend time on idle thoughts, grudges, or ill desires, they will harm you. Commit to your cause, and do not look back. You are a leader, you must lead, those that will follow you - need you to lead. Know that knowledge is potential, it needs action, to make things happen. On the other hand, action without knowledge is dangerous action. In sum, choose to be successful, think successful, act successful. Your attitude is the engine that powers the outcome of your actions, knowlege is the potential, action is the consequence of your thoughs. I hope these words help to alleviate your burn-out. -Harry
  7. 6 points
    The biggest business problem is that on the small business level of automotive repair and the auto body industry there are too many criminal enterprises and transactions. They can be recognized easily by "pay me cash and I'll save you the tax." Also by paying employees off the books. Quoting dealer parts and selling cheap aftermarket parts instead. Selling not needed or untimely repairs, etc. Claiming to have installed parts but didn't, etc. Misdiagnosis seems to be big in the automotive repair area too. So on and so forth. The reason this industry is so suppressed financially and distrusted is because there are too many unethical shops, unethical employees and unethical transactions creating unethical customers. I'm willing to bet that if we went to 10 shops in an area, 7 out of 10 would have these unethical practices if not more. How do you build trust or get a customer or employee to trust you when your blatantly waving a pirate flag stating I'm willing to break the laws of the land and I'm doing it so you can save the tax? I'm willing to get arrested, go to jail, pay tremendous penalties, and this sacrifice is all for you the customer. It would take a jackass on both sides of this transaction to believe this fairytale to be the case. Selfishness has created criminality. If the shop owner is afraid he/she can't eat his piece of bread because he has to pay more taxes when he shows more money, or pay employees more money off the books to save money, then that shop owner is losing his game as shop owner and trying to win by cheating instead. So let's stop lying to ourselves about what has been created in our industry. To many people believe the automotive repair industry is a racket. So to reiterate, the biggest business challenge is playing in a slanted game with an unfair playing field. Picture this, you are playing a game of monopoly with family and friends. You think you're good or should be good. You realize though no matter how good you are or should be doing, you are losing. The guy next to you has more money and/or properties and you wonder how. You catch a glimpse at the right moment and you see his slight of hand towards the cash box. You say, "This person is a thief". "This game is a joke." And that is what your customer says and thinks as well when you give them a glimpse of your criminality. From that point on he/she thinks that everyone in this game is a thief or has the potential of being a thief and the whole game is distrusted and goes to hell. The customer you created, who is now criminal also for partaking in these unscrupulous activities of save the tax goes shop to shop looking to save the tax, get the deal, or take advantage of a losing and unsuspecting shop owner. So the lack of consistency and standardization in the automotive industry is a problem I see. Automotive repair shops should play by a consistent, predictable, and scrupulous set of rules that customers can trust. Cheaters don't have that, they have fear based systems and pricing. Through that fear they resort to unscrupulous activities. Through unscrupulous activities they create distrust in an area, activity or industry. That area, activity or industry then gets suppressed financially or oppressed by the government. It then appears to become less lucrative. But that is only the case for those who don't know how to play the game right. In order to win in life you need to have self-confidence and self-respect. When you have self-respect and self-confidence you have power. People believe in you and people trust you to do the right thing and are willing to pay you to do the right thing. We get paid very well and handsomely at my shop. We attract many high end clients. I have never marketed to any of these people. They have been referred by other high caliber individuals. I am proud of this. I bought my first shop and cleaned up the previous owners BS and criminality, business doubled the first year and then doubled the second year from the first years numbers. I did that through ethical practices. I bought the next shop over and did the same thing. Both of these places were dumps from the get go. I am buying another shop a few blocks away that has been sold twice in the last few years. How am I doing it? Ethical practices. Self-confidence. Self-respect. Ethical environment - people, places, things. So my solution is: Have some self-respect and do the right things. Take survival actions. You will feel strong. Have the self-confidence to believe in yourself. That you can make it in an honest manner and do it and keep on keeping on with honesty and integrity. Create an ethical environment that you can trust in and people around you can trust in. This is how you make it in life and in business. Try it for a week, the worst thing that can happen is you feel better about yourself and like a more able human being.
  8. 5 points
    One Penny at a Time One year I thought I’d try something to drum up some new business. I’ll try a cash discount for large jobs. Maybe this will bring in those new customers. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but as they say, “The best laid plans of mice and men….” certainly got involved on this little adventure. The cash discount was going to run for a month, just to see if it was going to work. All expectations looked promising. Jobs from a few weeks earlier had been contacted and informed of the new promotion to see if they’d like to reschedule that big job they were putting off. Almost all of them set an appointment before the promotion deadline. Soon, the shop was bustling with new activity and jobs were getting stacked up waiting for an open service bay. Unfortunately, as usual, there’s always one sourpuss who has to ruin all the fun for everyone else. Mr. Gripey came to the shop for an engine swap. He was your typical bargain hunter/never going to be a regular/always had a complaint type customer. As he put it, “I’m going to be your number 1 customer, if you can get me done on time.” I assured Mr. Gripey that everyone is our number 1 customer here and we would do everything we could to get him done, within reason, in a timely manner. It was just another Ford Ranger V6 engine swap. Nothing different from any other V6 Ranger we’ve done. That is except for Mr. Gripey, of course. His periodic snooping and interrogating questioning of the mechanic (and his mentor) about the job was relentless. It never fails, you get a snoopy-arrogant person barging in on the work the outcome is the same. It spells d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r every time something like this happens. I was prepared for the inevitable and personally took on the job of double checking every part, every fastener, and every existing blemish on the vehicle just to be sure there was nothing Mr. Gripey could question once the job was completed. The engine slipped back in place without a hitch, and every nut and bolt was torqued down to specs. Everything was going as planned, except for one small detail. The promised date of delivery. Because of the work load and the arrival of the replacement engine, we missed his scheduled time of departure from the service bay by one whole day. This was all the fodder Mr. Gripey needed to begin his wrath of expletives and insults as to how awful we’ve made the entire experience. Was I surprised? No, not at all. Now he wanted an even bigger discount than what the promotion had offered. I offered my condolences and gave a bit more off the top of the cost of the job. That wasn’t good enough. He wanted it for free now. Of course, that’s not going to happen. Now, he has decided to refuse to pay for the job. Several days passed between unanswered phone calls and messages left for Mr. Gripey to return for his vehicle. The daily reconnoitering of the service bay when his truck was being serviced came to an end too. The mechanic and his apprentice mentor were relieved to move onto the next project. Me, I was still stuck with the task of collecting the balance on the job. Which, is usually a rather pleasant experience filled with smiles and thank yous followed by a check, credit card, or cash. But, not this time. A week has gone by and Mr. Gripey hasn’t made an entrance yet. Time for one more phone call, but this time with a little added incentive. Mr. Gripey is going to be informed about storage charges for keeping his little pickup behind locked doors and that the charges would keep adding up until he showed up. He was given a grace period until the end of the week, and if we didn’t hear from him by then… the storage charges would start from the day of this phone call. It’s no surprise, Mr. Gripey managed to show up at the shop that very afternoon. “I’m here to pay my bill and get my truck out of your $&^#*!!! shop,” he said, in a very disgruntled manner. I gave him the total and said, “That’ll be cash, sir.” I wasn’t about to give this guy a chance to walk out with the keys with anything less than a paid in full with good ol' “American currency” and a completed repair singed off. Mr. Gripey turned around and went out to his car and returned with three large bank bags. He tossed the bags onto the counter and said, “Here ya go. Count it if you feel like it.” The bags were full of good old American currency alright, all of it … … … entirely pennies. “I’ll take my truck now. If you don’t mind,” Mr. Gripey said. I looked at the pile of coins starting to pour slowly out of the split open bag and looked back up at Mr. Gripey, “Uhm, sir, this is legal tender alright, but this is no way to pay your bill. But, in your case I’ll accept the payment only after it has been fully counted,” I said to him, trying to stare down his angry gaze, “So, just have a seat and I’ll get this counted and when it has been counted I’ll gladly hand the keys over to you.” Mr. Gripey hadn’t planned his little caper out as well as he had thought. He thought I was just going to hand the keys over and I’d be stuck with several hours of counting pennies while he was long gone with a smirk on his face thinking he just pulled a fast one on a repair shop. The fact is, he wasn't getting the keys until I had every last penny was counted. With some help from the crew, we sat in the front office counting each and every penny one after another. And no, I wasn’t about to give the guy the satisfaction of taking the bags to the bank and have them counted. I wanted him to sit there waiting the hours it took to have it all hand counted. It was by far the best bonding time I had with the crew. As we counted we talked about jobs in the shop, what was coming up next, tools, where we wanted to be in the next few years, our families, kids, and pastimes. Indirectly, Mr. Gripey did us all a huge favor by allowing us all to have a few hours of time together away from the wrenches. We kept at it until we finished and never once did we remain quiet or stop for breaks. By the time the last penny was counted we were all tired of stacking pennies. We could finally get up from our chore and get Mr. Gripey out the door with his truck and warranty paper work. His warranty has expired a long time ago and if it was no surprise, he never did come back for even an oil change. I’ve been paid with all kinds of things over the years. From a stack of Susan B Anthony coins to a case of beer. But, this was the first time anyone paid for an entire job with sacks full of pennies. Just for the record, if there is a next time… I’m not counting all those pennies again. I’ll let the bank to do it and make the guy come back the next day. Just don’t tell Mr. Gripey that. He still may need another lesson or two on how to act civil at a repair shop. Even if it is one penny at a time.
  9. 5 points
    How Long is a Labor Hour? Did you ever stop and wonder how long a labor hour actually is? I’m not talking about time ticking away on a clock. I’m talking about the actual time spent on a repair vs. the labor guide’s suggested time. Personally, I’ve never had a job that started and finished exactly to the second of the given labor time. It’s not like the labor guide’s hourly chart is set in stone, or that they’re wrong, but when it comes to getting paid it sure seems like they are. Any mechanic will tell you that a labor hour can stretch to half a day if a lot of research is involved, or it can last 15 minutes. Most labor guides typically don’t take into account how much research, diagnosis, equipment setup, or the time it takes recover your 10mm socket that just fell down into the motor. Time, as they say, is money. If you don’t think so, take your car to any bodyshop and read off the labor charges. You’ll find the labor time is divided into a 1/10th of an hour. However, in the mechanical repair shop, seldom are the labor costs scrutinized as they are when dealing with insurance companies. Even still, I’ve never once been asked to break down the mechanical repair labor into diagnostic time and the actual physical labor when giving an estimate. Estimates are usually quoted by the R&R labor time for a particular repair. Generally, that doesn’t include diagnostic time. Even though the book time has been calculated out, it’s still not a complete guide and certainly not the Holy Grail of the repair industries time clock. Try sticking with an estimate for changing a starter that’s listed as one hour job. More than likely the estimate is only going to be quoted straight from book of a one-hour labor charge and not any diagnostic time included. Even with all the technically advanced diagnostic tools a professional mechanic has at their disposal there are still people who can’t understand why diagnostic time should be included in the labor estimate, even though it’s not part of the R&R for the component. In their mind, (as I’ve been told numerous times), the mechanic should already know what’s wrong when they pull their car into the shop. What’s worse is the price shopper who calls from shop to shop looking for the cheapest repair. I’d bet to say the cheapest quote is probably nothing more than the R&R labor time for whatever part they’re concerned about. However, nobody mentioned anything about the crusted connections at the battery, or the leaking valve cover that’s coated the starter in oil, or whether you’ve installed aftermarket headers. Not to mention any diagnostic time, because the real problem isn’t the starter at all. On the other hand there are the stop watch aficionados. You know, the people who literally count the seconds of every minute and are bound to argue over any labor time discrepancies on their invoice. The mechanic’s entire career, (in their way of thinking), is strictly turning bolts and slapping on parts. These tick-tock-time-keepers, watch their timepieces with precision and inevitably use “time” as the only determining factor for the cost of a repair. For instance, let’s say the book time said an hour, and everyone involved agreed upon the charges, but the mechanic got it done in 25 minutes. The argument has always been that the cost of the job should be no more than the time it took to do it. Should the mechanic be penalized for doing his job proficiently and having completed it early? Where does it say he should give the job to the customer at some discounted rate because he can beat the book time? Doesn’t seem right at all. But, what if the same job that was quoted for an hour has taken four hours to complete? Who pays for the time difference now? So in a sense, a labor hour isn’t an hour at all. It’s an arbitrary amount of time that may or may not be exactly 60 minutes. If it was as accurate as some people believe, then theoretically you should get an estimate for that hour’s labor, pull up to the repair shop, and walk out in exactly 60 minutes with the job completed. Not a second sooner or a second later. Yea, good luck with that one. Like most trades mechanics get paid by the hour, however it’s not like you punch a time clock in the morning, work all day, then collect a 40-hour paycheck at the end of the week. Most mechanics work on flag time. Realistically, let’s call it what it really is… piece work, (the piece being the car). Very few mechanics are offered an hourly pay and a guaranteed 40-hour work week, (although there are some places that use a combination of both flag time and hourly pay). More times than not, a mechanic ends up eating a whole lot of labor time for problem solving. Whether there are rusted bolts, bad connections, illusive intermittent problems or poor information from the get-go, something is going to use up time which eventually won’t go towards a paycheck. Any time money and people are involved in the same situation, and you’re dealing with something that’s not widely understood, such as the modern car, it’s up to the mechanics and the repair shops to make sure they do. Customers also need to understand that this is a business based on suggested labor hours and not a time clock. There needs to be a reasonable amount of trust in the labor guide estimates from both sides of the counter. Because, it’s hard to say how long an hour of labor really is.
  10. 5 points
    I got a call the other day from a shop owner who happens to own a repair shop in the town I live in. He told me that a new Advance Auto Parts store has opened up down the road and they want him to buy from them. I asked him how he felt about buying from Advance Auto Parts. He told me that he really has an issue due to all the signage in front of the store: Free Wiper Blade installation, Free Battery Testing, Free Battery Installation, Free Alternator Testing and Free Starter Testing. There’s even a sign that says, Loaner Tool Sets Available! I don’t know how you feel, but as a shop owner I cannot align myself with a company that devalues the work we do. It’s hard enough to generate a profit these days, but to compete with the same business that wants me to buy from them? That’s insane. Advance Auto Parts claims that they target the DIY, not my customers. But the truth is, everyone sees and hears their advertising. So my customers here the “Free message” over and over. And, let’s not kid ourselves: If Advance Auto Parts can convert a few motorist to try to do auto repairs themselves; that would be just fine for Advance Auto Parts. All at the expense of the auto repair shops. The bottom line here is truly the Bottom Line. Advance Auto Parts has to answer to Wall Street and its investors. I have to answer to one person…myself. And I will not compromise my beliefs for anyone or any company. So Advance Auto Parts and Tech Net, say goodbye to someone that has been a life-long friend.
  11. 5 points
    If our community here at AutoShopOwner has helped you in your business or in another way, please share with a post in this topic. There is nothing better than word of mouth and testimonials, some of which I'd like to post on our main page (coming soon). 🙂
  12. 5 points
    If I didn't have 200K laying around, I would probably not take on another shop. I like to have a good cash cushion for unexpected slow downs or any occurrences that may pop up. Having a good cushion allows me to sleep at night. I am currently building a new 8 bay facility that has an additional 8 covered bays and the only stress I have is dealing with the city and the contractors. I am not too worried about any cost over runs because I have cash set aside. The way the new shop is set up is I am actually relocating a current shop that is sharing space with another business I own. I let both my manager and lead tech buy into the business at 20% a apiece, I set up a new LLC to facilitate this. There is a buy sell agreement as well as protections for me and them as well. I had an attorney set up all the documents. Both of the employees have felt that I have always been generous to them and that this was a great opportunity to own a shop without having to come up with a couple hundred thousand dollars. They have both been with me over 10 years and they had to put cash in the deal, the business financed the remainder of their buy in for 10 years. They each draw a salary plus benefits and then they share in the net profit. I currently draw $1K a month for the little accounting and paperwork that I do. Now they are owners which has a psychological effect because they treat the business a little different and there is something to be said for being able to say "I am an owner". I let them be involved in all decision making as well as the sales forecasting, budgeting hiring and firing. Some people say I was crazy for thinking about and doing this when I started discussing it. I just felt like if they could share in the wealth then I don't have to worry about someone stealing them and the other employees are aware of the overall deal. I still get 60% of the profit and the actual payback on the buy in. Their loans are funded by the 20% share of profit they receive at the end of the year. They only own part of the operating business and I own the real estate and all major equipment which is leased to the operating company. So I make money on the lease as well. I do not get very involved in day to day operations as they handle it all. I have a 10 year plan for them but I have also talked about speeding up the plan as well as sell them the real estate at some point. Shortly after the new location is in operation I will probably acquire or build another location as I have 2 more individuals who I may set up on a similar same plan. Remember cash flow is king.
  13. 5 points
    My invoice now reads: Diagnostic and Troubleshooting 89.95 I believe I will now make it read: Troubleshoot, Test, and Analyze $110.00
  14. 5 points
    I have 7 tow trucks available. Brian has 4, Jimmy has 2, and Jerry has 1. 3 telephone #'s....7 trucks. Zero expense until I call one of them, but then it's Zero expense, also, because the customer pays for the tow and I mark it up and make money. Forget about buying a tow truck and concentrate on your ARO, GP %, profitability, customer retention and acquisition, and putting lots of money in the bank. Hi-Gear
  15. 5 points
    Very polite and elegant way of putting it. I call em leeches. Of course, they all have an excuse why life, the man, or whoever, keeps holding them down. When both parties attacked Trump, I knew he was the right guy.
  16. 5 points
    You know, if I were younger, I would whole heartily agree with you. But now that I am older, and as a businessman, I am aware that our whole economic system is political. That's why they used to called the subject "political economy". See Adam Smith "Wealth of Nations." "Political" has not been left out of the subject theme by accident but by purposeful design to avoid addressing the subject by its true nature. The Political class do not want the majority of small business people getting involved into politics because it would muddle the interest of the large multinational patrons. So, by all means let's talk about politics in the context as to how it affects our economic well being, how regulation and tax policy affects all of us and who we can support to help us butter our own bread.
  17. 5 points
    A really good place to start is to treat them like you're really interested in helping them. Not saying you don't - of course - I don't know you and have never met you. But what do you think of this; "Hi Mrs. Smith, glad to see you. Do you want to buy more than what you came in for?" Upselling right off the start is probably not the welcome more want to hear. I think it was Disney who said it - something like do what you do well - and do it so well that people will tell their friends about you. I know you're not Disney, but think about it. Help them first - the money will follow. Hope this helps! Matthew Lee "The Car Count Fixer"
  18. 5 points
    We do code reads for free. Diagnosis costs $90. "What's the code?" "P0430" "what's it need?" "Diagnosis".
  19. 5 points
  20. 5 points
    I can't tell you everything we did, I can tell you some of the big ones. 1: go above and beyond with every customer, educate them and treat them as much like friends and family as possible (don't cross the free line) 2: communicate proper expectations, and notify them on plan changes as soon as possible. 3: Admit when your wrong. Always be as honest as possible. 4: If it breaks and it's your fault, fix it. And tell them it was and honest mistake. 5: explain in as much detail as possible the issue and educate them. Teach them how the system works. 6: make sure to do thorough look inspections when you see the car, inform the customer with out being pushy about sales. (I think we all forget, when customers come to us - regardless of how ridiculous an expectation it is - they expect us to find upcoming failures so they don't while driving. The more of these you catch the better. 7: don't be nervous about the price, don't over think the price. If your nervous about what your charging you can bet they are picking up on that. Honestly, for me it all comes down just be a quality repair provider. We are a small 2 bay shop. We don't advertise outside of our website, Google listing and a Facebook page. We are telling customers 3-4 weeks before we see the vehicle, and we're turning down work we don't want. My point in this ridiculous and long post is simple, don't over think increasing aro/car count - if your being a quality shop, and treating your customers right it won't be long until you realize aro/car count are great tools to stay on top of the performance of the business. But focusing on them may give you tunnel vision that sees the customers wallet without seeing the customer! Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
  21. 5 points
    Hello all! New to the forum but would like to chime in. Our shop has only been open for a year but we do alright. Here is my advice on what I am finding to be the most important, most of which are marketing (an aspect most shops neglect): 1) Logo and Branding - our logo was professionally designed to look modern yet sophisticated and will stick longer in a person's head. Our shop walls also match the color and all of our documents have our logo. We were lucky that my cousin is a graphic designer so didn't spend much on this but I know there are a lot of reasonably priced designers out there. We get so many compliments on our logo/branding....which means so many customers want stickers, windshield banners, shirts, etc...its all advertisement and then people will start to hear about your shop from random places and remember seeing that logo. 2) Updated Website - I see a lot of auto shops that have very outdated looking websites. However, websites are usually the 2nd thing new customers will look at when they find you on yelp or Facebook first. We use our website to showcase our shop, lobby/office, let customers request appointments and quotes. We get most of our appointment requests via our website, which is awesome because it gives us time to come up with accurate quotes. Also use our website to show what events we're going to, post blogs of photos of past events, show all of our pricing, show our bios and photos of us. I find that people like transparency....there are reasonably priced sites that have beautiful templates: Wix, Squarespace, Shopify. 3) Clean & organized shop - First thing new customers say when they walk in is wow, your shop is clean. We make sure we set time each day to clean and organize. Our clean floors make any photo of our shop look great. Customers think if we take care of our space like this, we take care of the cars as well. Also our office is modern with plants, TV with Roku, Wifi, coffee machine, free snacks, car books to read, phone charging station, we bought a cheap counter top and brackets from IKEA to put by the window so that customers can work on their laptop while look into the shop. 4) Social Media - we are very active in social media and we dont spend a dime on it. Instagram: great for photos, and tagging...just had a new customer come in today and said he found out about us on Instagram (tagging works!) Facebook: we get a lot of engagement here. Post photos of cars we're working on, blog entries that link to our website, events that we are going to, we message customers here if they do that to us first. We tend to get a lot more likes when we are more personable, show them that we are humans 5) Network like crazy - we go to a lot of events, and we host a lot of events/BBQs as well. We work on a lot of track cars, so we go to the track a lot. We paid about $1k for a canopy, large flag, and tablecloth with our logo on it. That was kinda pricey but it made its money back. A lot of people say they knew about us first because they saw us at the track. Some people walk up to us just to ask what we do. So even though we're there to have fun and track our cars, we are still advertising. If not track, we go to meets, drives, car shows. 6) Treat everyone (including vendors and other shops) with respect, regardless of the car they drive or how much money they spend at your shop. One customer said he comes back because he gets better vibes from us than any other shop. Another customer tried to tell us we should try to takeover another shop's customer base and we replied that we're not about that, and we are all just car enthusiasts trying to make a living--there are enough cars to go around--that customer replied well, thats why i love coming to you guys. Always stay humble, never bad-mouth anyone and people will always remember that. Hope that helps!
  22. 5 points
    Carbtech27, this is a priceless post for you. I'll be honest, I am too selfish to go out on a limb and advise anyone other than my children like Andre has done here. I have just a wee bit quible with it, he pointed out the obvious to you for those of us that have been through it, he didn't really tell you how to come out of it. Like he pointed out, first you must accept responsibility for your own condition, and the culprit for that condition you find yourself in is your mind set. You need the proper training to have the knowledge to prosper. First step, stop acting like a victim. Second, understand even the best people that love you and have the best intentions toward you will present obstacles in your life. You must overcome that. Only you know what you want for you, and if you don't, you will always end up lost and burned out. ( I know this by my own experience, even when extremely financially successful you can feel lost and burned out.) Third, charge the proper amount for your goods and services that will allow you to live a comfortable life. Do your numbers, know your numbers, if you do quality work at a cheap price you will not enjoy your work, you will end up feeling cheated. And if a customer comes back for warranty work, you will not want to deal with that customer. On the other hand, if you charge a premium, you will gladly take care of your customer because he is a source of value. Fourth, give and be charitable only with things you can afford to give and be charitable with. Take care of youself first, then your family, then others as you have in excess; this includes your precious time and knowledge. Fiifth, be strong enough to ask for help, study, seek knowledge, pray or meditate and ask for guidence, strength and wisdom to overcome all obstacles. Learn to give thanks and praise, learn to receive graciously and gladly. Six, learn to communicate, learn to listen and detach your emotions as you hear constructive criticism. There is more, but I have to run a conference call with my people for now.
  23. 5 points
    Answers are in exact order as asked. I am. Initially zeal, not insight. No partners. Different for now. Took over existing shops and cleaned house to make sense of operations. Either way would have been fine with me. Cash Down Payment and Mortgage. Own properties. Self-confidence. Believers and supporters. Know-how. Paying attention. Intention to be successful. Unreasonablness, not making excuses, taking full responsibility for all success and failure. Doing things that make sense, not doing what's popular. Communicating clearly and concisely. Being able to hold a position I believe in. A market place trained by tricks and gimmicks. An illusioned market place. Supportive spouse that believes in me and allows me to make mistakes without ridicule or regrets and constantly pushes me toward improvement. People that hold my vision when I'm tired, burned out, or practically dead! A tainted and rising scale drug induced society that perpetuates what they see on TV instead of reaching toward the stars to better themselves and mankind. A society where apparencies trump actualities. Bad advice. Lack of due diligence. Pitfalls are subjective. One man's pitfall is another man's stronghold. Experience / Know-how; Personal inherent unwillingness. Lack of know how. A small business is an extension of its creator and management. If the creator and management is weak, so is the business. If the creator/manager is disorganized, so is the business. If the owner/manager is fiscally sound due to proper handling of income, so is the business. Don't waste time with losers. Losers only know how to lose and want to tell you I told you so while they are killing your game. Massive income comes from ethics, communication, sales, efficient well handled overhead, fully functional administrative lines. Everything that is in good good standing in the first location will have to be carried over to the next location. Anything and everything that is not handled, ignored, succumb too and avoided will be perpetually amplified to the subsequent locations and will become a greater monster to slay. I will add and update this post, but in short and for now, this is my quick response. I'm a business enthusiast and I am a continual and predictable success. There are many more people here that have built empires through willingness and know how. Hopefully they will chime in. Additional thoughts: I read a book called The Peter Principle about 10 years ago which stated how people hit the ceiling at their own level incompetence. For some people that can be owning one business, for others it may be 100. Know-how is attainable as long as one is willing.
  24. 5 points
    Depending on the job and the customer. If its a one off customer and you know its going to be a problem, I would definitely pass it along. If it is one of your good customers, the ones that spend money with you on maintenance and repairs and tell their friends all about your shop then yes you have to bite the bullet and take care of them. I always tell my guys what is important about our jobs is not repairing cars. That is a given. Its how we take care of our customers and leaving them with a great experience. One that will create a circle of business in which they always come back and tell all their friends. The real challenge is to find all these great customers! They are out there, we just have to find them.
  25. 5 points
    We tell them to come back if the system fails. I don't want/need to look at it if it's working OK. As a side note, our techs are required to soap test the ports after servicing. It's amazing how often you create a leak just by putting your hoses on the ports.