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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/23/2020 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Tomorrow I will talk to my Banker and Accountant and will try to start a SBA Loan process. Do not have a choice at this point.
  2. 2 points
    UPDATE TO TEXTING: We did our 1st mass text blast ever. WOW! We did it to our regular customer base. The phone started ringing right away.
  3. 2 points
    Our March was super strong thru about March 13. Then I noticed about a 20% drop for 2 days. Then on Monday March 16, we dropped 80%. This kept up until Friday, then only down about 20%, then down 90% for 2 days, and on Monday, back to just a 20%-30% drop. We have a local radio show Wheels with Ed Wallace. He always has dealers on and they were discussing their repair business and it was pretty much mirroring what we saw. The drop-off seems to coincide with the Shelter in Place order issued by Dallas County (our local news source), as it was announced many days before taking effect. Our county, north of Dallas, is acting more sanely and issued a "Work Safe" order... aka social distancing. Regardless, auto repair and parts sellers are considered an essential businesses. I was contemplating shutting down Tue (today), Wed and Thur, but given yesterday, I'm open today. Not sure what comes next.
  4. 1 point
    Whatever your normal advertising and marketing strategy is, now is the time to tone down call to action advertising and promotions and communicate your brand to your community. In times of crisis, it’s crucial that your customers and community know what you stand for and there to help if at all possible. Contact your customers by phone, email, text, etc. Not to sell them anything, but to ask if they are ok. Let them know that you are thinking about them. Connect with them emotionally, like a friend or family member would. For many shops across this great nation, there will be significant sales drops. With the new financial package, there will be help on the way. Contact your accountant, payroll company, financial advisor, bank rep and find out about the help that is coming your way. We will get through this together.
  5. 1 point
    Yes Frank. I agree. I have been in business 40 years. Never before have I asked for helped or expected it. This is different. When Churches are closed, you know these are different times. Stay safe.
  6. 1 point
    Questions to everybody. Who is mass texting their customers? What company are you using? Cost? Complaints.? We do use e-mailing with over 50% opening. With the covid-19 we want to let all our customers know we are open, we are essential company and how we are doing business now? Keeping them informed. weekly.
  7. 1 point
    Agreed Joe. The most important part is communication. Get in touch with your customer. Let them know you are thinking about them. Let them know you care. And yes, (if you are) let them know you're open and available for them. My group of car count hackers have all reached out and have gone as far as telling customer what they're doing. I detailed it all in this video, and you're welcome to take notes and use the exact wording that I detail in the video. Stay safe. Keep calm. We ARE in this together! Hope this helps! Matthew "The Car Count Fixer"
  8. 1 point
    Shop owners, if you are having problems with cash flow due to the Coronavirus or even if you are not feeling the effects yet. It is always a good idea to make preparations to have enough cash on hand. With that said, the government has allocated 8 Billion to assist business owners affected by COVID-19 by offering SBA disaster loans and I am helping shop owners with filing their applications. Please see my article for more info.
  9. 1 point
    I am hearing this story over and over, and not just from our industry. I spoke to the local deli owner yesterday. Business for him is down 95%. He is working alone, and has one employee working 2 hours a day. He cannot pay his rent or his bills. The only thing that I can say is that this will pass. Right now is seems like the worst of times, and being in business for 40 years, and in New York, I can tell you that I am never seen anything like this. But, we will prevail. Talk to your banker, accountant, financial advisory. Get the help you need and make those hard decisions. You need to save the business first, then rebuild when things begin to get better. I know it may sound fruitless at this point, but maintain a positive and strong attitude. This will help your mind find ways to get through this. It will not be easy, but we will succeed.
  10. 1 point
    Agreed. We'll come back strong. Here's another angle on Corona Virus impact.... I needed to send out an (Westcreek) finance application for a customer's large repair bill today. Tried to do it and found that they are not accepting new applications. Finally read their notes and they are saying two things (my reading in-between the lines): 1) Your credit score today is NOT an indication of your ability to pay. We can no longer reliably judge/predict your creditworthiness. Maybe you were laid off yesterday, etc. and 2) We might soon have a cash flow problem on our already outstanding loans and need to keep a hold of our cash until we understand the impact. I would guess if these guys are pulling back on credit, others might be doing the same. New car loans?
  11. 1 point
    No one knows what will come next. Where we are in New York, it's the hardest hit state in the country. Things change by the hour and we are making adjustments as needed. We do not plan on shutting down, but we will adjust hours and staff as needed. Hang in there everyone, this is not our fault, we will get throught this.
  12. 1 point
    My Thoughts on the Coronavirus and Business In my 40 years in business, I have lived through many economic downturns. From the stock market crash of the late 1980’s, the housing bust of 1990’s, the tragic event of 911 and the great recession of 2008. This is different. The fears and the realities of the coronavirus has affected us all. And some areas of the country have been hit harder than others. In all other situations, I fought like hell to make a difference and beat the circumstances. Again, this is different. I am not an alarmist, not a defeatist and I do not get sucked into the sensationalism of the press. Just today, I heard a sports announcer on a talk radio show advise her listeners to stay at home, don’t go to work, don’t go to the movies, don’t go out of the house and isolate yourself from other people. Is this rational? I can’t do that. I am an automotive shop owner. What I do matters to my family and the community. I…WE….need to be there to ensure that the doctors, nurses, police, public officials and everyone else has their transportation ready to perform. Stay home? Us? Is that an option? But again…this is different. This afternoon, I was getting ready to go to Church; 4:00pm Mass, when my wife got an alert that Church as been canceled. Wait; let me say this again real slow…Church… has…. been…canceled. Fear has a way of eating at the fabric of our rational being. I fully understand the reality of what is happening. This virus will take people’s lives. But, do we run away in the face of a threat? Is this who we are? What do we do? Close our businesses for a few weeks? A month or two? How many of us can afford that? We all know the answer to that question. As automotive shop owners, technicians, service advisors and all the other valuable employees of this great profession, we need to take the proper precautions. Do all you can to protect yourself and your family. If you decide to continue to operate your shop during this challenging time, have a meeting with all your employees. Take the proper steps to protect yourself, your employees and your customers. Business may get ugly for some. My company has taken a 40% drop in business the past three weeks, directly contributed to the coronavirus outbreak. I write this to tell you how I feel; not to decide for anyone what to do. I will not force my employees to do anything they feel would put themselves or their families in harm’s way. For me, I intend to fight. I will take care of myself, take care of my family. But there are too many people depending on what I do, and way too may years behind me to hunker down and wait this out. Stay safe, stay healthy. Take this situation serious. But please don’t give up. We will prevail and we will get through this together. We are the hardest working, most resilient, toughest people on the planet. Let’s show the world and this virus who we are!
  13. 1 point
    My location is in Bergen County NJ about 25 minutes outside of NYC. Statistical reports released today show that NYC has the highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the USA. Our county has the highest number of confirmed cases in NJ. The severity of the situation in our area has prompted authorities to invoke travel curfews and close all non-essential businesses. Gas stations and vehicle repair are both considered essential services. Examples of non-essential services which are now closed are: malls, gyms, bars, barber shops, nail salons, clothing stores, movie theaters, wedding venues, department stores, gift stores, card stores, toy stores, furniture stores, shoe stores & most corporate offices. Pre-schools, public & private schools, colleges, churches, mosques, synagogues and public playgrounds are all closed. Eating in restaurants is not allowed but take out, curbside pick-up or delivery is allowed. The entire state and neighboring states are on a tight lockdown leaving most streets and highways quiet with little or no traffic. One of my techs is 67 and my brother/partner is 70. We decided it was best if they both stayed home because their age predisposes them to a possible worse outcome should they contract the virus. Both of these key people decided to stay home as bay work slowed down which worked out well. We have gas and repairs and our gas volume has dropped about 75%. I have several attendants that requested a leave of absence due to age, pre-existing medical conditions and also family pressure/fear. The loss of gas attendants came as gas volume eroded so that presented no problem. The closing of all non-essential businesses caused a self regulating slow down of both available business and available staff in a very timely manner. The authorities in our area are predicting that things will continue to get worse in the weeks ahead so I certainly could see the need to reduce hours or possibly close as less and less people venture outside their homes. I am having a meeting with my staff tomorrow and I will give them the opportunity to weigh in on matter. If my remaining staff members are willing to continue working and our customers continue to need us I plan to remain open.
  14. 1 point
    We have went to four days Tuesday-Friday. We will see what it is like after this week. Currently shop calls are being forwarded to my phone so I can speak with them and hopefully schedule them for the days we are open.
  15. 1 point
    Read my negative fb or Google reviews they are all because I charged someone to "just look" at their car. That's why people are shy to do it. I charge for diagnosis. My doctor charges me for it. My dentist charges me for it. My electrician charges me for it. Every professional on earth charges for their expertise. I do the same. Toughen up folks.
  16. 1 point
    Alex, we have seen a 40% drop in business the last three weeks. The worst drop in business in my 40 years. I made a post, by the way, under Joe's Tip. Here's is our plan: We have daily meetings with emoloyees to maintain our aim to keep oursleves clean and our customer's car clean We wipe down customer's cars before we get into them. The areas we are in contact with. We launched more radio spots to let people know that we are taking precautions, we will santize your car before and after we work on it. We are also promoting that we will pick up and deliver your car if you wish not to come out of your house We are offering a Deep Cleaning of the HVAC system at cost, $39.95...Usingb BG Kits. We purchased cases of small hand sanitizer and are gvivng them out to our customers No overtime and we may need to cut hours. No non-essential spending I have advised my employees to also not to spend any money now, unless necessary I have some employees take vacations now, We need them when business returns Don't panic Stay postive PRAY! Let's share our ideas and beat this thing!!!
  17. 1 point
    Your lead tech is not performing up to expectations. Shop production is slipping and you’re not sure why. You hear through the grapevine that some of your employees are wondering when they will get their next pay raise. After a few agonizing weeks of pouring through reports, you make the decision to give across-the-board pay raises. Almost immediately, you see a boost in production. The shop is more upbeat and all is well. Your decision appears to be correct. Three months later, your shop is once again struggling to meet its sales and production goals—and morale has slipped, too. I have seen this scenario all too often. And, while there are times that we need to give pay raises, if your shop is struggling to meet its sales and production goals, increasing pay to improve business is not the answer. The reality is you have deeper issues. Let’s address employee compensation first. You must pay people a competitive wage with the opportunity to earn more. There should be incentives in place to reward your employees for reaching their personal and team goals. And, there needs to be a process in place where your employees understand how and when they will get a pay raise. However, in terms of long-term company growth, a focus on pay alone will never be the formula for success. In other words, throwing money at a problem is a short-term fix. It’s putting a Ban-Aid on a more serious injury that requires much more care and attention. About 10 years ago, Mercedes-Benz was struggling with its customer experience at many of its dealerships. In response to this, Mercedes decided to increase pay incentives, implement new policies and training programs. No improvements were realized. Mercedes top executives could not understand why customer service was not up to company expectations. After all, this is Mercedes, a car company that represents quality and sophistication. Why were their dealer employees so indifferent? A senior leader at Mercedes recognized the problem and stated, “Pride in the brand was not quite as strong as we thought, the level of engagement with work was not as deep as we thought.” Mercedes finally realized that until the employees at Mercedes genuinely cared more, no amount of money, policies or training would make a difference. Understanding the need to get front-line people more engaged and take pride in their work, Mercedes began to invite its dealer employees to spend 48 hours with the model of their choice. To experience not only the amazing performance and mechanical attributes of the vehicle, but also that they can turn heads as they drive through their neighborhoods or when they drive into the little league parking lot. Mercedes also built its Brand Immersion Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in 2014, where hundreds of employees go each year to spend time getting to know how the cars are built, gain a deeper understanding of the brand, the history of Mercedes and experience the legacy of the company. According to Philippa Green, brand immersion trainer for Mercedes-Benz, “The ultimate goal is to engage their hearts and minds around the brand. We’re teaching them about our legacy.” As business owners, we track KPIs, set goals, work on marketing and refine our business plans. We also ensure that we provide our employees with adequate training and a well-equipped environment. These are the essentials of our business. However, we must never overlook the importance of your employees taking pride in their work. And, pride comes from employees knowing who you are, what you stand for, what you do for your community and for the industry. Giving people pay raises can motivate them. But the bounce you get from that is short-lived. Once people have gotten over the excitement of the raise and made the financial adjustments to their lifestyles, the raise is long forgotten. If there are no other intrinsic motivators, then shop morale, production and employee engagement will fall right back to where it was before the raise. Anyone who knows me and has read my articles, knows how much I preach about leadership. The theme of this article also has its roots in effective leadership. You, the leader of your company, have the power to transform the people around you. Focus on the person, not the position. Recognize when your employees do things that are from the heart. Promote your company’s brand, vision and legacy. These are the keys to a long-lasting company. This is what will improve morale, not a pay raise. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on March 1st, 2020
  18. 1 point
    We hear all too often that the "other shop they went to, does not charge for diagnostic testing" or "waives the diag if the customer agrees to do the work" This may have happened years ago, but I really can't see this has common any more. Shop owners know the costs of complicated diagnostic testing. And shop owners know that 2 hours of testing has no part profit, so in order to maintain your hourly gross profit, you need to charge. And depending on your labor structure, many shops use a multi-tier labor rate to offset those jobs that have little to no parts for a particular job.
  19. 1 point
    When customers balk at a diagnostic fee, I just tell them the diagnosis is usually the most time consuming part of the job. I use the analogy that if the car was brought in for an evap leak and I spend the time to smoke test it and find a leaking gas cap, I still need to be paid for the diagnostic time not just the time it takes to replace the gas cap. I charge an hour for driveability and electrical diagnosis($99.00) and a half hour for other stuff. If someone doesn't want to pay the fee, they're probably going to be a pain in the butt about the repair cost as well.
  20. 0 points
    Our business was awful in January and February. The last two weeks we have been swamp but Alfred I am with you. I too expect everyone will stop spending money and going out very soon.
  21. 0 points
    With everything closed some folks take advantage of the extra time to get their car fixed. We've been busy the last couple weeks but I expect everyone will stop spending money and going out very soon. I must say that this year has been the slowest on record since we opened in 2010. I just paid the lowest tire bill I've ever had in 10 years. Maybe it was fear of the virus in January and February who knows but we didnt sell very many tires this quarter that's for sure.


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