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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/30/2019 in all areas

  1. 6 points
    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!
  2. 5 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.
  3. 4 points
    I am not one to get political, and there are people that really need help in these times. Let me be clear about that. With that said, the added $600 in most cases has caused more of an incentive NOT to work. I don't know the answer on how to distinguish who clarifies for extra help, but what I do know is that when people can make more money for sitting at home, it takes away the human spirit to go out and make a difference every day through hard work and community involvement. It also does not sit well with so many of the essential workers that have worked through the virus crisis, and put themselves in harms way to keep American moving. How do feel about this? I know it's controversial. Let's be open, honest and civil.
  4. 4 points
    Yes i believe COVID19 is serious but
  5. 4 points
    With Mother Google literally tied to our hands, through our cell phones; are part margins becoming more difficult to achieve? Traditionally, shops use a 50% part margin, which they deserve. But, we live in a world today where part prices are so transparent that maybe we need to rethink this. Consider this: What if we concede on prices? Hold to a suggested list…BUT…raise our labor rate to offset the loss in overall profit. In other words, keep your parts prices at a margin the consumer will not question, but raise your labor to make up the part profit? This is being discussed around the country and there are shops that have implemented this strategy. We can’t give up our overall gross profit, so is this a viable option? Your thoughts?
  6. 4 points
    Tech pay is determined by the profits generated by the repair shop. Too many repair shops struggle and want to remain competitive, but don't realize that all too often we compare our prices to the masses that undercharge their services and repairs. I have seen this time and time again for decades. It has changed somewhat since I started in 1974, but we need to go further. Sit down and do the math. Determine all your normal costs of doing business: Your rent or mortgage, insurance, workers comp, utilities, tools, equipment, computer programs, training, advertising and all other ordinary expenses. Then add up all those monthly costs. These expenses occur without even making a sale. AND, you haven’t even factored in payroll yet, or payroll costs. Once you have this number, you will then have a better understanding of what you need to charge in order to pay all your expenses and to generate a profit….yes…a profit.
  7. 4 points
    Raise your prices and eliminate the bottom 20%. Work less make the same amount of money is one thought on how to move forward. Maybe your labor rate is way too low?
  8. 3 points
    We, automotive shop owners of America, must take the opportunity of a lifetime and turn it into a bunch of success stories. What opportunity? Look around you. The world is in turmoil. COVID-19, social unrest, uncertainty about the presidential election, the economy, how are we going to get out kids back to school, on and on and on. While the world is spiraling out of control, we have the power to make big changes to our auto repair shops. And it can all be positive! The Opportunity... First, the average age of a car in the U.S. is about 12 years old, attaining well over 200k on the clock. Second, Uber, taxis and limo companies are suffering. Guess why? Third, the motoring public in the foreseeable future will be traveling by car, taking road trips like they have never did before. Fourth, the roads are packed with motor vehicles, as more and more people prefer their own car as their primary means of transportation. Fifth, as the cars get older and older, more of them will be out of factory warranty. Sixth, independent auto repair shops have a vast amount of training, resources and replacement parts. Seventh, the overwhelming majority of cars being build and sold today are still internal combustion engine powered cars. If you factor in the expected average age of car these days, we can safely bet that those gas engine cars being sold today will still be on the road in 2033 and beyond! Eight, You need more? That's not enough! Get your plan in place. Get your prices in line with making a profit. Don't give anything away anymore (I am mostly referring to checking, testing, diags of any sort!) Offer world class customer service. Be a leader of your employees. Show the world what you are made of!
  9. 3 points
    And I will not consider a system that isn’t in the clouds because it simplifies hardware needs and eliminates backup issues.
  10. 3 points
    Sometimes I feel like I’m alone on a deserted island. I charge for diagnostic analysis. Why? Because I know what cost is to buy the tools, equipment, information systems, training and pay a technician to professionally and accurately diagnosis a check engine light, air bag, ABS or any other complicated problem. But, I feel a lot of shops are willing to give this up in hopes to get the work. In my opinion all they are doing is digging themselves in a hole. And, I have heard all the reasons: “If the customer gives me the job, I waive the analysis”. “I package the analysis into the repair, so the customer does not see the diag charges” “I will lose customers if I charge analysis” And the best yet: “It only took me 10 minutes to diag the O2 sensor, so I can’t charge diag labor”. Waiving the analysis is the same as a doctor waiving the x-rays and blood tests. They don’t do it, we should not either. I will also challenge those who “package” the analysis into the repair. You mean to tell me that after taking 1 hour to find a faulty mass air sensor, you will add the 1 hour to the 5 minutes it takes to install a new mass air? Come on, we all know the truth. And let’s address the 10 minutes it took to find the failed O2 sensor. Did it really take 10 minutes? NO, it took years of training, years of experience, the investment in the right equipment and the investment in the right information systems. Why we sometimes diminish what we are truly worth is amazing. No other profession does that. Sorry for being so tough on this topic, but business is hard enough these days and people question everything. If shops don’t realize what they are giving up, it makes it bad for all of us. Please tell me what you think. Agree? Disagree? Or any other thoughts....
  11. 3 points
    We use a wall mounted cell-phone locker to put keys in for after-hours pickups. SA will text the customer the lock combo.
  12. 3 points
    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
  13. 3 points
    AutoZone doesn't!!! LOL (That's the tiresome refrain around here) I've said it before, AZ has done more damage to the automotive repair industry than anything else in the last 30 years. Hatred for this company pales when describing my feelings for them.....
  14. 3 points
    Joe, I agree with your comments 100%. For most, it's the FEAR that's driving them to make decisions that don't make sense. They PANIC. Now, the drop in business is real, but like most others, it's a bump in the road. If we all simply rely on the hard facts (like WHO information) and stay away from all the FEAR and PANIC, we'll do fine. I posted about this too with the best advice I've got. You can read that here: Thanks again for your calm sensible approach and comments. Matthew "The Car Count Fixer"
  15. 3 points
    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!!!
  16. 3 points
    I have always wanted to ask this customer, "And did they fix the problem? If so why are you here?" Because you know that the shop either did NOT waive the fee or they didn't fix the problem or they don't want to deal with this customer any longer. I have also wanted to ask the customer who asks me if I do "Free Inspections" if they are willing to work at their job and not get paid for it. If you think about it, the customer is really our boss, on an average day we will have 2 or 3 or 5 "bosses". What they are telling us here is that they want us to do work for them for free. But let their boss ask them to come in and work for an hour or two and not get paid for it and what do you think their answer will be?
  17. 3 points
    I keep it short and nice. I tell people I have to pay the technician for his time spent working and testing for the correct repair needed to your vehicle. If I don’t pay him, he wouldn’t work here. I haven’t got any bad mouthing from it, but sometimes they just say OK thank you and hang up.
  18. 3 points
    It disturbs me to hear that you were ganged up on Facebook. We are professionals and need to conduct ourselves to a higher standard. We can all share and learn from each other. If someone disagrees, that's fine. But we need to be civil. I have been around for over 46 years in the auto business, forty of them running my own company, and I can tell you, the auto repair world has changed and we will see even more dramatic changes in the next five years. Sadly, for the most part, most shop owners have not gotten the income they deserve and it points right back to labor dollars; which has always been an issue. But now, it's the difference between keeping your doors open or shutting them down for the last time. Achieving your labor dollars to attain profitability is the only way to remain in business. We do more diagnostic testing than ever before in our history. And think about the jobs you do that require little to no parts: Removing a bumper cover to replace a side market bulb, Removing the bumper cover and radiator support to gain acces to a leaking 50 cent o ring at the receiver dryer. There is no way any shop can charge thier standard labor and remain in business. Let's please have an open and honest discussion and move forward!
  19. 3 points
    The ability to profit on parts started to erode in 2008, by 2015 we basically gave up on it, in 2018 in we streamlined our parts matrix to reflect higher labor vs higher part margins... 2019 was our busiest year yet.
  20. 3 points
    I believe tech pay will be going up rapidly, but so will shop labor rates. With the low unemployment currently, wages are going up in every industry. With the average tech pay of $41,000, if a tech was at work 40 hours a week all year he's only making $19.71 an hour. While that's a decent wage for many, most techs have to invest in a lot of costly tools. I was in a McDonalds a few months ago and saw signs all over the store advertising for employees with starting wage of $14 an hour. Of course my breakfast there gave me sticker shock also. The same will have to happen to the automotive repair industry or there will be no more techs. I see shops all around going out of business. It's not because of it being a profitable business. It's because the shop labor rates throughout the area are to low to be able to pay techs well enough to attract them and keep them while most customers gauge the cost of one shop vs. another entirely on the shops labor rate. Hands On says we have to have the same knowledge base of a doctor. Considering they only work on one make and two models, I'd say we may have to have a larger knowledge base in our profession. If we operated as doctors, we would also have a specialist for heater blower motors, and a different specialist for hood release cables and yet another specialist for brakes. The same tech that replaces the spark plugs wouldn't even consider working on the exhaust system. If we are going to keep techs coming to our industry, it will not be long before it will have to be an 80K or better per year profession. That will be achieved as shops either raise the average shop labor rate significantly or go out of business placing more demand on the shops that survive.
  21. 3 points
    Hi Mark, Texas was under the gun to cancel our inspection program and before doing so, they commissioned UT to perform a study. Their results are public. We had on state representative in particular, who was pushing to get rid of it, living in my district, and we voted him out. Still had more. There were a total of 5 bills in this legislative session that were killed by our lobbying group. I can provide a bit of data that might let you see how Texas handled it and provide contact information of our lobbying group. Hope this helps. Some background on our Safety inspections. We are not that tough. Brakes, tires, lugnuts if visible, wipers, lights, horns, power steering, 1 mirror and exhaust leaks. No inspection of front windshield unless it is really bad. No disassembly is allowed, which implies no racking of cars, which means that we won't generally spot and eliminate rust bucket cars. So, braking test, then visual inspections of all other systems while on the ground. Tires are 2/32" (we've only heard rumors of snow elsewhere). Brakes must stop the car and no obvious safety issue noted. Much discretion allowed to the inspector, so if something is bad, it can be called out and the car blocked from passing. It could be over-ridden by a regional State Inspector Supervisor if protested, but they tend to do the right thing. All of this is done for a whopping $7. If you live in a SMOG county, then $18.50 more to get an ODB readout and a gas cap leak check. Annual cost here $25.50. News link: Study Results: And you may already know our lobbying group: Texas Vehicle Inspection Association 6101 Long Prairie Rd Ste. 744-240 Flower Mound, 75028 --brian
  22. 3 points
    The issue I've had recently is people ordering their tires online, and then wanting us to drop everything to install them today. My tire prices are competitive with all other shops around and even the big box store. I can't and won't attempt to compete with online prices for the tires. My mount and balance price is $80 for a set of 4 plus disposal and valve stems if required. My markup on automotive tires is a minimum of $20. When they buy online, they are in turn taking $80 away from me. Yes, I'll still install the tires. No, I won't drop everything to do it. Schedule at least a day or two in advance to drop off car and it'll get done same day. I'm not going to move a profitable job to the side for a customer that wants to bring his own steak to the steakhouse to save a couple bucks.
  23. 3 points
    Matthew, all great points. Which I do agree with. Before I would even entertain a price match, let's match it line by line. In the 40-plus years in this business, I have never seen a job matched up the same exact way. There is always something left out or the parts are not the same, or the warranty is not the same, or there's something else that makes their job different from mine. We all know how so many play the game. ABC Auto gives a customer a price for a water pump, thermostat, hoses and labor. The customer calls a competitor and asks, “How much is a Water Pump?" (Neglecting to mention all the extras) The competitor gives a down and dirty price on only the pump and labor. Which makes the "perception" that ABC auto is priced too high. With tires is worse. This particular company advertises online pricing for the tires only. When you book your appointment and arrive at that tire store, they then explain the labor to install, and upsell the wheel alignment. Often making thier price higher than mine or other shops. Here's the bottom line for me; I don’t sell parts and labor. I sell relationships and trust. And through the years, I have been successful with that strategy. I learned a long time ago that If I want to have a quality shop and afford to pay my employees a very good wage, I need to attract the consumers that appreciate the work that we do. Now with that said, if I get an objection about price, I will offer options. I find that when people are left in control and decide between A or B, and not yes or no….A Sale is Made. Thank you for the great conversation! This is how we learn and grow! Joe
  24. 3 points
    First off let me say there is a lot of good information from the previous posts. A little about myself stated working in this industry in early 80's as a apprentice for a German Car shop after completing the training I work for the shop for a few years. I started my own shop in1987 specialzing in only German cars at the age of 27 I knew how to work on cars but no idea on running the shop, it was a 5 bay shop on a busy street in a small beach town, the entrance was small and speed on the road made it difficult to enter and exit safely. Also I had to come up with $65k to buy the business, big mistake, never buy a business and if so the customer base in the automotive repair business is of no value, depending on the equipement it's pennies on the dollar at best. After a few years I had the opportunity to move to a different location about 4 blocks south, The shop was a bit smaller rent was less but the building did not face the street, plus I was sharing the building with other tenants so parking was a issue, Still struggling due to low car count, buying diagnostic equipement and lack of education on running the business and marketing. In 2000 I moved out of the area and closed the shop, I found a shop in my new town, which was a piece of crap with a crazy landlord but it was the only place available that fit my wants I was there 6 years and build a good reputation and applied everything I had learned earlier from running the shop to marketing. In 2006 I found the shop of my dreams 7500 building 1500 sq of office 6000 of shop space at first it was pretty good my landlord was sharing the shop space so rent was god and it gave me time to build the business, the building was awesome but it was a warehouse and not a auto repair shop so it had to be permitted here in California that set me back 30k but I was grossing 500k with 2 guys and myself so it was ok. Once the landlord left and I assumed the entire rent it became harder especially when a the would leave or I would have to let them go. Also due to the location of the shop it was hard to get customer to come in. I was not on a main road, there was a main road just down the street but still did not help me with drive by traffic. In 2009 the landlord sold the building to a group out of Korea and I was on the hunt again. I found my current shop a 5 bay shop on a busy road with easy ingress and egress. I have 2 techs plus myself, one tech is still learning but getting better he came to me with little training but over the last 2 years he has come a long way, the second tech had his own shop but got tired of all the B,S so now he is working for me which is great. At the current shop my landlord is great that's a big deal for me, he painted my building a barn red so you can't miss it coming up or down the street. which has increased my bottom line. So some of the hurdles I have run into that you need to consider Money, how much in reserves do you have, you will need it to buy what ever this shop does not have, parts and equipment lifts, filters, fluids, air compressor diagnostic tools especially if you want to specialize. Plus all the licensces requied,, shop insurance workman comp ect. Techs, really hard to find good techs they all say they can work on cars, but as someone said if they make a mistake it could cost you your home, your business. You need to do extensive back ground checks. I've had tech steal from me lie to me walk out on me, I've had them disaapear come in wasted do not stand for any of that. Shop management tools there are a lot on the market you need to find something that is easy to operate and keeps in contact with your customer base. I use Mitchell shop manager with a few add ons this send out reminder text thank you text automatic but at a cost. You will also need either Alldata or Prodemand in helping with repairs Mitchell has labor and maintance programs build in to help with pricing. Insurance and workmans comp. Very important if you get caught without this fines are $1500 per employee in California Paying techs there is flat rate and hourly. In flat rate the tech gets paid on how much he can produce. If a job books out at 2 hours and the tech does it in 1 hour everyone wins but if it takes him 3 hours he looses. Flat rate is tough, the tech is working against the clock, especially when it come to diagnostic stuff or if there is no work he does not get paid. Hourly is tough on the shop owner because if the guys are sitting around waiting on parts or no work then they are burning your money, but at the same time a good tech and busy shop will more then pay for himself on a hourly system. Here in Ca it is not legal for techs to be on a flat rate system, they must have a min. of $1600 take home every 2 weeks. for a 80 hr work week. Shop is your shop currently zones for automotive repair best to check with the local city planning department. At my current shop that has been a auto repair building for 20 years I went to apply for a license at this shop and was told it was not approved for auto repair, I was shocked but after going through some old documents at the permitting department I found paper work stating that it was allowed. Advertising there are plenty of things out there they all say they will increase business but the truth is 99% IS A WASTE OF MONEY. Things like cheap oil changes free tire rotations brake specials will bring in cheap customers one time and will only return when you have the next special. I use a company called WOW cards this advertises to my customer base which you want to do when you get there. Very affordable and great results. Mudlick mailiers expensive but they send mailers to a specific area and or car type. Of course a good website is important too There are plenty of shop management training classes be very careful of these, they promise a lot and deliver a lot less then promised plus very costly. Most will offer a free seminar which are usually very informative also some of the suppliers like World Pac offer classes on car repair shop management ect Hire a good book keep and accountant, I have a bookkeep that comes in 2 to 3 time a week to input to quicken and filing then once a year send everything to the accountant. Also do not fall behind on any state local or federal tax payments Coming from a DYI background is hard but not impossible, you will have a pretty sharp learning curve, try and find good techs, buy good equipment, and good tools that will last you10 15 years, find good suppliers extremely important and keep the shop and office and waiting area as clean as possible goes a long way with customers especially if your a new shop . Good luck
  25. 3 points
    We've been busy working on several specific features and enhancements over the last month. We have a few items that will be released between now and Mid-November. Looking forward to sharing that with everyone. We are also removing the free plan. If you signed up for the free plan, it will still be available to you. However we will not be allowing new accounts to use the free plan. We are working with a few members on getting their accounts setup and moving into the platform. With that has come months of use and product training that we have provided to them. So anyone who is seriously interested, we are able to provide you with several months for free as we prepare you to switch over. We are grateful for the members that have given us a chance here, even if you didn't sign on. Every relationship has proven invaluable in fine tuning our product for the better.
  26. 3 points
    You have to be as smart as an electrical engineer, with the knowledge base of a doctor, working in conditions similar to a garbage man, for the same salary as a garbage man.
  27. 2 points
    From as far back as I can remember, labor has always been an issue. As and industry, we have struggled to get paid properly for the work we do. And those shops that understand how critical labor is, are the shops that have done quite well. In today's auto repair shop world; Getting the right labor dollars is no longer a buzz topic or debate- Labor dollars will be the salvation of your business. Labor translates into profit, and will also allow you to build for the future and to attract the quality people we need in our industry. If you don't know what your labor should be, you need to find out. Don't call ABC Auto, down the street to ask him. The odds are he did not do the math. Plus his expenses are not the same as yours. Depending on what you pay your techs, your overhead, and knowing your numbers will determine your labor rate. I can tell you that there are shops that are paying techs a very good wage and those shops are getting $135 to $150 per hour, and more. That is not a typo. And there are shops that have multi-tier rates. So, for Diag and labor jobs that have no parts associated with the repair, their labor is much higher than their standard labor. It's fair, it's honest and it's time we all raise the bar. Please, do the math, get help and make sure your labor is right for your shop.
  28. 2 points
    I use a Yellow Jacket "trap" (38080) on every car I recover. I'm running a Robinair 34788 NI-H and have not had any trouble in 5 years. I recover from low side ONLY (less oil come out) and the trap has not missed a drop. The machine never recovers oil. I intentionally recover my own cars without the trap to test the machine once a year. Oil recovery works fine then. The machine needs a tiny amount of oil to keep the solenoid seals lubricated. I believe 90% of the vehicles I service have sealant in them. The little test kits are not worth the trouble IMO. I do not use them. They are not accurate enough for me and take too long to test. It is difficult to find straight refrigerant in the DIY auto stores. Almost everything has oil and sealant... I have NEVER seen the sealant fix a leak but I have seen the sealant take systems out. The usual culprit is a membrane that the American manufactures like to use as a debris screen. The tiny holes in the membrane get clogged with the sealant and you find ALL of the oil in the system on the feed side of this membrane. GM SUVs with rear AC are the worst culprits. The tiny screen is inside the liquid line at the bulkhead fitting in the rear. Most techs don't know it's there as it is not a normally changed part (and it should be). A Murray part # for the little screen is 39335. It looks like a 1/4 scale orifice tube screen. The liquid line front to back has enough volume for the entire oil charge. If you have a plugged one and you don't change it you will have a comeback within a year. Rear AC will be wimpy as well. GM condensers with a replaceable dryer cartridge (Cadillac SRX) also have a super tiny membrane inside the dryer that will clog. Symptoms are low pressures on both sides, piss poor cooling, and a viciously hot discharge line. There is a TSB regarding this. If you refuse to service your customers cars because they might have sealant you are destroying your relationship with those customers. We have to service the systems and educate the customer. Occasionally I hit a system that has been massively over oiled. The sealant is everywhere. I will commonly replace compressor, condenser, orifice/TXV, dryer/accumulator, and discharge line. I will over flush remaining lines and evaporator and offer NO warranty. I haven't had a comeback on ANY of those but I believe I have been lucky. Customers will seldom pay to have the entire system replaced and see the shop as an "over charger". They will not come back to you for the other things they need. My Robinair machine's manual states "any leak sealers found inside the machine voids all warranties"... I run a shop in Texas that specializes in AC repairs.
  29. 2 points
    No. Not gonna happen in my place. It's just another surface to clean. Before doing that, I'd set up a service writing kiosk on my sidewalk and conduct my business outside. But I'm in northern Minnesota in an area where we already did social distancing even before it was cool.
  30. 2 points
    I believe we all WISH there was a system that worked! My suggestions: Schedule Mondays and Fridays light, for the breakage over the weekend and the need for their cars for the weekend. When making appointment, look into recommendations: such as, pads at __ % or __ mm. Check mileage for spark plug replacement. Get tentative approval for the above when they drop off their car to keep your tech busy. Include extra time for check engine lights for diagnosis and parts replacement time. Try to get some cars for 2 days so you can juggle.
  31. 2 points
    Two weeks in a row of an increase. Went from 41% for about 4 weeks, to 57% last week, to 63% this week of normal. Regular street traffic is up. I found myself being frustrated having to share the road with other commuters, but then realized that it was actually a good thing. I listened to the DFW Radio show, Wheels, and all of the car dealers on today's show were reporting increases in traffic. Mind you, many of these same dealers laid off many technicians. Here it seems that car sales have been doing ok for being down (they do state numbers sold on this show). However, they were noting that the used car market was upside down due to a weak auction scene, so some mentioned that they were sitting on trade-ins waiting for a chance to unload them. Of course, couple this with Texas starting a limited restart yesterday. Dallas car dealers are by appointment only and in our county, they were not required to shut down. We do have 1 nail salon in Dallas open defying Dallas' shutdown order. We do have one suburb city, Colleyville, that opened restaurants with social distancing (this city is in compliance). On a brighter note, I had one lady spend her $1200 stimulus check and a bit more on a long-overdue timing belt and repairs. We were appreciative of being stimulated.
  32. 2 points
    This post is getting us a decent amount of cars. Obviously the price is right, but this has been shared 42 times and over 10k have seen it. We've gotten a lot of five star reviews from it including one from the township fire department. NAPA is providing the oil and filter. I’m providing the labor. We haven’t tried to sell anything else on the customers car, just informed them. About 50% got other work done and the others have said they’ll definitely be back
  33. 2 points
    From Minnesota, that looks pretty solid still.
  34. 2 points
    Our shop is located in Orlando- we have decided to stay open . Business is down Considerable. Worst in 38 years. We feel it is important to stay open for our fleets and Department of transportation accounts. We furloughed our part time tech @ the onset . More out of concern for his age and health concerns . As long as we can bring in enough revenue to meet payroll and contribute to rent we will remain open . We have enough retained earnings to ride out the storm. We spoke with our banker about the payroll loan his response was it is a loan do not think otherwise. As we shy away from debt we will not pursue at this time. You really need to educate yourself on the fine details. Top line sounds wonderful but my gut reaction is it it sounds to good to be true is it ?
  35. 2 points
    Although we are not out of this yet it does seem that there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel which I am very thankful for. Hopefully repair work will pick up as our country starts to come back on line and recover. Unfortunately that may take longer than we think and already I am hearing radio spots from large dealers in my area informing the public (possibly my customers) that their service department is open for business. Radio spots aren’t cheap and unless you blanket the air waves your regular customers may never hear your message. Our shop management system, BayMaster, recently released an update which allows me to send mass text messages and the timing for this new feature could not have been better. It took me less than five minutes to compose and send out a short text message to over 500 of my customers indicating that we are open for gas, open for service work and our revised business hours. Almost everyone in our area has reduced hours so I feel including that information is very important. Most of our country is shut down and our customers do need to be reminded that we are open. The response was almost immediate with inquiries about state inspections, oil changes and various other service work along with many customers expressing their gratitude for us being open and available if needed. If your shop management system is capable of sending out mass text messages I strongly suggest using it.
  36. 2 points
    "My banker just told me that 1099s don’t count because 1099’people are eligible to apply themselves. I had quite a bit of 1099 last year and it don’t count." Exactly, I was never a Banker, but I am an accountant by profession and Business owner/Mechanic by trade. therefore we should focus on how justify/paper trail to our expenses.. Tell your accountant to run your 2019 P&L and look at your expenses and go down the lines.. if u get the loan, that's whats going to cover along with payroll if any employees. That will give you and idea. Also do the pay roll for those that are employees, just to get an idea and be familiar with what the banker is going to request. if you keep receipts it's justifiable, Ex: lease agreement, utilities at the time, the Bankers are still getting familiar on the process itself. I bank with Wells Fargo and my banker didn't know much. I knew more than him... The process it's barely going to get in place/done by the government and then given to implement to the banks and then to us... In my humble opinion, we might get the EIDL first than the PPP We have to be Patience JP
  37. 2 points
    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.
  38. 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.
  39. 2 points
    A few days makes a difference. We got all our work done that was here and I closed the shop today. It hurts me, I enjoy working. I enjoy talking to people. I like steady income. But I couldn't sleep the last couple nights worrying what if? So that's that I paid my help a couple weeks time off and I got enough groceries for a couple weeks so I'm just going to chill out and do nothing and just hope we get this thing under control quickly.
  40. 2 points
    Thank you Joe for putting things into perspective for us. We appreciate your thoughts, especially in a time like this.
  41. 2 points
    THIS IS DIFFERENT I know, I know. Yet ANOTHER message about the Coronavirus. But this one's different. Let's get to work. Here’s What I know: 1. What's going to happen: Things are going to get weird. Then they will get better. It's a new virus. It's contagious. It gets people really sick. A small percentage of those people die. That sucks. 2. What is "everybody" going to do? People are going to continue to panic and then they'll stop. They're going to panic for two reasons. First, because this is a new virus and it's pretty nasty and that's pretty scary. Second, because of the media ...specifically social media. It's full of anecdotal "reports" ...and light on facts.We humans like to pass on "information" without checking it out. And traditional media (the news) gets paid for viewership ...and nothing drives viewership like FEAR. In my opinion, World Health Organization is probably the best place to get your info about this situation. 3. What this means for Your Repair Shop: The best answer I can give you here is ...IT DEPENDS. The best advice I can give you is actually a quote from one of my long time mentors, Mr. Jim Rohn. Mr. Rohn once said… (this isn’t a direct quote, but you’ll get the gist of it)... “You can not change the direction of the winds. You can change the setting of your sails.” Are you going to spend your time browsing social media, watching the news all day, and talking back and forth with people about this situation? Or are you going to FOCUS on business? I'd suggest you focus on business, avoid crowds, and wash your hands. If you step up and LEAD them, you'll stand out. (And it's good Karma.) Think about it this way. Most of your competition will be following the herd and doing the whole "let's sit around and talk about the corona virus ...while simultaneously browsing social media and reading stuff about the coronavirus...while simultaneously watching the news for updates on the coronavirus thing. That means they're NOT promoting. They're NOT in front of the market. They're NOT in the game. What I'm doing personally: 1. Avoiding large crowds, washing my hands, and keeping my immune system strong. 2. Not paying attention to anyone other than non-biased expert health organizations. That means no social media.No news media. Just the facts. 3, I’ve got new free training being released in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted. If you have any specific questions or need some help right now - it’s 100% totally free to talk to me about your specific problem. Just AskTheCarCountFixer.com Stay safe - Talk soon! Matthew “The Car Count Fixer” P.S.: You could take this FREE TRAINING: How to Double Your Car Count in 89 Days. Over 2 hours and 20 minutes of video on demand. P.P.S.: Join me on YouTube at Car Count Hackers! FREE Help to grow your Car Count, Income and Profit! P.P.P.S.: Like and Follow Car Count Hackers on Facebook
  42. 2 points
    Virginia's Governor in his 2020 budget proposal has included elimination of the state's vehicle safety inspection program. In addition, a state legislator has introduced a bill doing the same. I serve on the board of the Virginia Automotive Association, a group of over 200 independent shops who have banded together to lobby in the interests of our industry. VAA has ponied up a a $25000 increase in the lobbying budget to fight the move. As a shop owner, I have mixed emotions on the subject, but if I were gambling I would bet that the program will go away. On one hand, it's kind of nice that the state's motorists are forced to bring their cars to a shop once a year, giving us an opportunity to make them life-long customers. Also, it has created a cadre of technicians in the state who have been vetted and background checked by the state police. On the other hand, there are a litany of negatives inluding customer resentment, anger when their vehicle fails, uneven management by the state police who oversee the program due to limited resources. Some shops are "by the book" while others are "sticker mills" who will pass anything. Unfortunately, VAA and others have been unable to produce hard statistics that show that the program .makes a difference in highway safety. The big studies I have found blame driver error for the majority of accidents. What is ironic is that just this year VAA won a long battle to get the inspection fee raised from 16 to 20 dollars. The legislature convenes in January to enact laws that will take effect in June. I would like to hear how other Virginia shop owners feel and I would like to hear from other states that have witnessed termination of these programs. Mark Anderton
  43. 2 points
    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
  44. 2 points
    All in, my guys get over $80k per year. That includes the whole picture, salary, tool allowance, health care, IRA contribution etc... We're in Westchester County NY and the labor rate is 113 and going up. I can't seem to attract techs either. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places, maybe not offering enough, maybe no one is out there... I wish I had the answer. One thing i do know... my labor rate will be higher this week and I'll be paying closer attention to parts margins.
  45. 2 points
    When I mentioned this exact thing on a Facebook auto shop owners group, I was basically ganged up on by an angry mob fueled by one idiot shop owner who said I was a you tube mechanic newbie idiot. His words, not mine. Actually I’ve had a successful shop for over twenty years, but have always been forward thinking. As long as dinosaurs such as that shop owner exist in this industry we’ll never move forward. Face it, parts margins are shrinking and it’s time to adapt. I’ve been looking at ways now to get more labor out of the job and not worry so much about the parts. Any ideas would be welcome as I’m just starting to experiment with this.
  46. 2 points
    Right on CAR!!! This is the way to do it! The POS industry should be enhancing their core platform rather than abdicating the creation of these features to others. I abhor overlay software systems. When you use a 3rd party software package, they have to store data in a separate database, while at the same time communicate with your POS system. Now you have twice the chances for something to go wrong as either can have a bug that breaks the system. If you terminate the service of an overlay program and keep your POS, the historical data in the other database is now gone. Please note: I'm not critiquing any of these overlay software products. They add value for some shops. I only have one software vendor to contact when I need help and this simplifies my life. Instead, I'm critizing the POS vendors and/or recommending selection of a modern POS system. The system that I use has customizable DVI, but no ability to store pictures. They integrate with a 3rd party overlay system(s), but, IMO, the fees are insane compared to the value provided. Our system makes it really easy to capture needed work and present it to the customer.
  47. 2 points
    I don't think all of auto repair is a commodity, even though I agree with your assessment that customers treat it as a commodity. To be really clear, here are the commodities that I see within what we do, that translates into price shopping: Tires - There are a plethora of competitors in the space, what advantage can the small shop have? You have to actually install them regardless of where they are purchased. Smaller players have an insanely difficult if not impossible time trying to compete here. Brakes - Long been a safety item that was commoditized by cheap materials providers and the marketing companies that operate in our space. Nearly impossible to compete here as there is no telling how low anyone is willing to go. We have a car wash that advertises pads and rotors for $225 down the street from us. Oil Changes - Another item that was commoditized by quick service facilities. Although, if you do some homework these days, you will find the quick lubes are the most expensive game in town and their entire game is upselling. Customers are starting to notice this. Exhaust - Used to be a serious commodity where a lot of small shops would lose out on the sale to a Meineke or Midas with pipe bending equipment... but better materials like stainless steel, hit these businesses with abrupt changes in market dynamics and many of them found it difficult to initially find their new position in a post exhaust service world. This is happening to the Quick Service routine and that is why you are seeing the Quick Service facilities become the one stop shop for all commodities within our industry; Tires, Brakes, Oil Changes and now even filters (cabin & engine). Everything else, although treated like a commodity, it really isn't much of a commodity. It's more a service calculation, or lack there of. What makes them a commodity in the customer view is that a large portion of the industry is in the business of undercutting everyone for the quick sale instead of trying to build long term value. This is a pain point that will likely never stop happening in our lifetime. Especially as the cream work starts to dry up and shops begin to suffer from not staying current with tools and procedures. For example, the A/C work you did... A/C is far from a commodity, especially when vehicles have a smaller version of a house system, wrapped up between the front and rear bumpers. You wisely made a choice, likely based on local competition and your local market to address it in a manner that would bolster your credibility. Your choice may also have been a result of having the right equipment and experience. But each market is different, even though customer behavior is not. We get plenty of calls for "water pump" or "radiator" or "hose" quotes. We're just not interested in competing in an arena where we are blind bidding based on what one person may have indicated is wrong with the car. We also don't subscribe to the logic of, "Give them a cheap number to get them in the door and then we can adjust." We think that is the most deceitful of practices and participating in it, makes you complicit in what ruins this trade. We are also seeing interesting shifts in consumer behavior where customers want to fix older vehicles that we advise them not to. Not only do they want to, they are insistent that you help them get this sorted, because we're the local expert they rely on. We've had to get really crafty in how we procure parts and negotiate the price for said parts and then the selling angle to the customer. We had to get crafty, because we knew if we weren't... we would lose a customer for life. Personally I think that customers have too much of a choice in parts these days as there are too many combinations of good, better, best... and they aren't all interchangeable and even worse... we're seeing even the better and best parts have poor quality which is leading to higher failure rates. But customers don't see your side of the headaches, they just want their car fixed for the least possible price and if you don't help them fulfill their needs... someone else will. It's also hard to explain to all customers that they maybe making a poor choice trying to save $200 on materials, only the ones that really trust you understand. Sometimes, even the ones who really trust you... are going to learn the hard way. When that happens, you may have lost that customer for good... even if you end up being right. The worse is, when they get lucky and their gamble pays off... you will always be the one who tried to rip them off. It's not easy and the only advice I have is... talk to your customers, educate your customers, and treat them how you would expect to be treated if you were in their position. Second, be very thorough in everything you do. We've gone to great lengths to make sure customers are satisfied. Up to and including, making appointments at the dealer for recalls and getting them done for the customer while the vehicle was in our possession. "I know a shop owner who basically locks himself in his office and let's the service advisor handle customers - even when they ASK ABOUT HIM!" With regards to this... A shop owners time is the most critical element in his entire business. The entire point of the service advisor is to act as a buffer, while it may be overdone at times... I can only tell you that it is immensely difficult to focus on a task at hand when you are stopping to treat every customer personally. A good team helps you carry this burden and as they successfully do so... they become the face of service alleviating the pressure on the owner to still be at the forefront of operation. No business in this industry can grow to a million in sales annually with the owner trying to grow the business and personally attending more than 30% of workflow and depending on the goals... even 30% might be a lofty number. With regards to standing out, there are a myriad of ways to do so. From thank you cards to follow up phone calls to holiday appreciation. Standing out helps you stay on your customers mind... but it does not do much to mitigate the price wars we are all facing. This industry is shifting from a high parts margin business to a full rate for service business, where parts are going to be a nice supplement but labor prices must pay for everything and have a net profit built in. Customers are wiser and even when they aren't... they have access to parts cheaper than you do all too often. All of which is designed to sell product and ruin your reputation if you are working on becoming the lowest bidder vs the place that fixes it right the first time and prevents come backs. I have dozens of examples of jobs that we were able to sell, because I would rather make money on labor than parts.
  48. 2 points
    Shop owners, you have a little less than two months before the end of the year. And that means it's time to start thinkning about your Tax Planning for 2019. Don't procrastinate on this. Meet with accountant. Review the year, review profit. Consider things such as major equipmenet purchases and other major investments you made in 2019. Look at bottom line profit and determine if you set aside enough cash to pay your taxes come April 15, 2020. One thing, Cash is King, So, before you purhase any major equipment before the end of the year, listen to your accoutant, not the Tool Sales-person. In many cases, it's better to pay some tax and hold on to cash for a rainy day. A little planning now will save you big time in 2020, and also help you sleep better!
  49. 2 points
    HI Joe! Thanks for the response and point. I think the most important matter you brought up was .... You're 100% bang on. I never sold tires because there wasn't any money in them, so I can't speak to those matters but you're right. Tires aren't the complete job. Mount, balance, alignment, etc. is what the customer isn't thinking about. The most "mysterious" a system is... like A/C or Check Engine diagnosis - the more complicated it gets the more "ABC Auto Shops" mess with the price to get the job, regardless if they fix it or not! But with all that said, I think you said it best when you said "I sell relationships and trust". If all the other shops did that - I'd be out of work, so let's just keep this between us, okay! Thanks again! Matthew
  50. 2 points
    Well said on all points Traffic patterns are woefully underestimated in their importance, Imo. They become glaringly clear once you spend 50k (and more) on direct mail and then do a "sales by carrier route" evaluation. Once you overlay "carrier route spends" on a radius map, a lot of what is obvious is common sense. Are there geographical or road/highway barriers between your location and those "high value" neighborhoods? Is work, shopping, medical, ect. primarily in a different direction from those neighborhoods, that puts your store outside their normal travel routes? If they don't have another reason to stop in your area, then you will likely be a second choice. Only time and consistently delivering a higher value service overcomes this to any degree, but normal traffic patterns is still more important, Imo. I do not believe we can buy any report that demonstrates the likelihood of traffic passing your store actually being inclined to pull in. If there was, I would love to hear about it. I believe our original poster for this thread has gotten a clearer picture of our industry. As I have seen time and time again, their old job starts to look a whole lot easier then what we do everyday Thank You

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