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  • Business Name
    Parks Industries
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
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    Shop Owner
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  1. Marista, same here!! No not off topic, still sort of same topic and I am in your same situation. I am in the office, he is in the shop, 2 man op. I know our close friends realize it is just us but new customers don't know that. I actually just got off the phone with someone that asked if Parks could take a look at something "real quick" I responded by saying well we charge 1/2 hour minimum on checkout and our hourly rate is $95 an hour, when would you like to schedule that? He responded by saying "oh you cant fit me in today?" I said no we have customers scheduled for today and the rest of the week. So now that person will go to anther shop and either get screwed over or he will try the repair himself and have it sit in his yard for 3 weeks, either way is it safe to assume he might be back? If not was it really a big loss? If that person doesn't appreciate your time or schedule than should he really be a customer? My man and I have talked out how we communicate when situations like this come up. If it is a regular customer/friend that gives us a lot of business, then yes we might take a look at something "real quick" lol but if its your average joe shmoe who comes in once awhile and rides peoples coattails then tell that person it will be 1/2 hour charge minimum for checkout, he doesn't like it, let him go. Like in the Demartini article above: People who don't value their own time want to take up yours with small talk, and if you keep associating with people who talk small, you could end up with a small life. You'll find out what kind of people they are by putting a fee on your time and raising that fee regularly. If people really value your skills and time, they'll pay for it. "A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. I really like the written policy. that will help for keeping discounts in track for employees and immediate family. Thanks! I feel like this is true for us too, way too many connections being made daily to give a discount to everyone.
  3. I guess I'm going back and forth between "Should I be separating business and personal relationships?" OR "How could I separate business and personal relationships?" A little background info on our company. I am in the office and my guy works out in the shop, we live together and work together and have a great relationship. When we go home we are home, we leave shop talk at the shop. BUT now I have friends wanting to do business with us and messaging me about business matters on my cell phone. I think they should be calling the shop. If you want to ask me how my day was call my cell phone but other than that I am trying to run a business and don't have every waking moment to check my phone or facebook messages (I have since deleted my facebook and leave my phone at home). We have friends who work for us. We have customers who have been closer than family growing up, I have customers who are now good friends. If I give every "friend" a discount we wouldn't still be in business. I was looking more into this because we are going on our 3rd year running the shop and I really have no idea how to deal with this situation. I found two great articles, one on how to separate business and personal relationships, the other on how its almost impossible to separate business and personal relationships in today's generation. I'm linking the two articles and copying a little from each. https://drdemartini.com/writings_and_insights/becoming_your_best_in_business#content_top Raise Your Standard Anything you do consumes time. To maximize the value of your time, prioritize your interactions. People who seem less busy and want to consume your time may think you're being rude when you say no to their invitations, but busy people understand immediately that you're just choosing to prioritize and wisely manage your time. People who don't value their own time want to take up yours with small talk, and if you keep associating with people who talk small, you could end up with a small life. You'll find out what kind of people they are by putting a fee on your time and raising that fee regularly. If people really value your skills and time, they'll pay for it. "A man's growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends." - Ralph Waldo Emerson http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2011/05/11/why-i-dont-keep-my-professional-and-personal-relationships-separate/ I've been told numerous times to keep my professional and personal lives and relationships separate. But I don’t agree. I choose to work with individuals for the same reason I choose to build relationships in my personal life: shared values. And I firmly believe that it is a rarity to find someone who thinks and feels as you do, so when you do find that combination – why limit it to a ‘professional’ relationship? And thinking about it – what IS a professional relationship and what is the difference in a personal and professional relationship? I guess some would say a professional relationship limits conversations to more business speak; where as personal relationships and conversations can go anywhere from politics to religion and all through the spectrum. I’m unsure who everyone else has worked with, but the people I’ve worked with have certainly made their belief system known; and I like that. For me, “what you see is what you get” and I hope to work with people who are the same way.
  4. This has kind of been a hot topic here lately...how do you guys deal with family and friends? I am trying to run a business, as are the rest of you, how do you deal with people wanting "friend discounts" or family not paying their bills. It seems I try and separate business and personal relationships and in the process end up being the "bad guy". How do you deal with close friends as customers and try to give them a deal but not go out of business by them expecting it every time? Do you just not do business with family or friends?
  5. We had to tow it out, but he is a good friend of ours, and is helping us with the process and wouldn't release the car even to the police, but advised them that she never raised a fuss when it was taking up space in our shop, but since having it towed hhas raised hell, the cops understood. Never wanted to have to contact authorities but now she is refusing to pay the bill. I will contact an attorney and see what he says about Colorado law, thanks!!
  6. First off customer okay'd job on 11/21, advised what needed to be done and customer kept avoiding my calls. Called her about every week, then about two weeks ago called her and left a message (she didnt answer, surprise surprise) and advised that if she didn't pay the remaining bill what we did on the vehicle and pick it up, then we would have it towed at the end of the day on Friday two weeks from then. Never called, never showed, had it in our shop for 3 months. The towing company had to contact the authorities in so many days so its not considered a stolen vehicle, then customer calls my tow guy and bit#@%S out his son, then they call the police. So now do I have to call the police or take it to small claims court?? Does the mechanics lien actually work or stand up to authorities or the court? How much can one shop charge for storage fees? its been in our shop since November, I could charge that, it has taken up our 2nd rack and lost us money. Now they dont want to pay the bill or the tow fee, how do I go about this, please help Thanks AK
  7. Great advice! I love the post, I would like to add something if I could I used to have a sales rep position long time ago, and my boss and mentor said the three best words to incorporate in selling anything... Proven Love Guarantee Proven You want to convince your prospect that your product or service is already tested and proven. It would really scare most people if they are to find out that they are the first to test at their own risk of time and money. Love Bring out emotion in your prospect. For example: “Don’t you love the idea of having plenty of free time with your spouse and watching your children grow up?” and “You would love this program, because it can buy you the freedom to travel.” Guarantee Let your prospects know that you shoulder ALL of the risk, and they can test-drive your service or simply sample your product for the next 30/45/90/180 days. Some even offer a lifetime guarantee. This is how confident you are in your offer, and it can clearly show to your prospect. I found an article that is along the same lines http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/discover-10-proven-power-words-that-are-guaranteed-to-get-you-advertising-results-and-make-you-money-1653584.html ~Amanda
  8. So I got an email not too long ago from our tire distributor stating this: As you know, President Obama signed a three-year tariff on China-made consumer tires back in 2009. The duties were in addition to the base 4% tariff which has been in place for years. The three-year tariff went into effect on September 26, 2009 and has now expired. As of September 27th of this year, any products not already processed by customs are no longer subject to the tariffs imposed by the Obama administration. This change will undoubtedly cause some disruption in the market prices for Chinese import tires over the coming weeks. In addition, this event could have an impact on pricing other product lines and price tiers. In light of the tariff expiration, distributors like ourselves have been forced to review and make modifications to our return policies. As a result, effective today, new returns on all Chinese imported tires will be credited at the lesser of price paid or current selling price. If you have any questions, please contact your *** representative in your local distribution center. On behalf of everyone at ****, thank you for your understanding of this policy change, in the face of this unusual industry situation, and thank you for your business. Soooo today I was quoting tires and on top of a NTF (New Tire Fee) that I have to charge customers, a FET fee came up on a certain types of tires, that I had never seen before, so I asked and it meant a Federal Excise Tax, which is understandable as tires come from out of the states but how did I never come across that before? Can someone explain all of this to me in laymans terms?? I know there are a lot of pros and cons to obamas tire tariff, but how does this affect us in our industry? So many fees and taxes, and how do I cover myself with all these fees? Anyone else know about this whole Obama ordeal, I had never heard of it until I got the email from my tire distributor....
  9. Thanks Joe, that is our number one priority is customer service, you said it all. thanks~! And i really like your site ASO * * * Thanks TN!
  10. thank you for all the feedback! it helps a lot. Its harder explaining it to my other half/ business partner about price markup still and trying to be competitive and stay in business
  11. And I guess I meant how are other people holding their head above water in this business in this economy right now...

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