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andresauto last won the day on November 5 2015

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About andresauto

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    Experienced Poster

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  • Business Name
    Andre's Automotive
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. Simple numbers. Straight talk. Big profits! By Greg CrabtreeIt is an honest and simple book by an ethical accountant. The Thinking Book By L.Ron Hubbard. This book is the best bang for the buck to raise awareness for employees and entrepreneurs alike. It is so simple and enlightening. Good to Great By Jim Collins Raise the bar! There are many great books out there. But these immediately came to mind and for the sake of not being overwhelming I would start by purchasing and reading/studying these three.
  2. What improvements have you made? What has changed?
  3. Take a sheet of paper and write across the top: THINGS I'M DOING WRONG. Create a list of at least 20. No less than 20! And if it's more than that, you'll be better for it! For example: 1. I drink too much Dr. Pepper 2. I show up too late or close too early. 3. I don't brush my teeth in the morning. 4. I avoid customer interaction. 5. I fart and burp in front of too many customers. It does not matter what you write. What matters is that it is TRUE FOR YOU. It is things that you innately know are wrong with and for your business. It is not what anyone else says is wrong with your business. IT IS WHAT YOU KNOW FOR YOURSELF! If your customer says your price is to high and you feel your prices are to low, than we know that for your customer, prices are to high for him/her. We don't care about others opinions. We care about YOU here and YOUR business. It could be: I attract the wrong types of customers or I laugh to much and people do not take me seriously or my technicians are not professional in dress and manner and don't inspire confidence or I steal from my business by not separating my personal income from my business income or I don't handle my tax liabilities in an honest and ethical manner or I waste time watching the ducks mate outside instead of ordering parts efficiently or none of the above. It must be REAL for YOU. It's your subjective point of view of what is wrong. After you are done with your list, pick out the top five most destructive acts toward your business and confront those only. Forget the other 10 million for now, we'll get to those later. Out of the top five, you can put them in respective order of importance or most easy to handle. The key is to individuate and acknowledge all points of contention and destruction against the prosperity and growth of the business. Get that together, post them or pm them and we'll take it from there. Nothing is too difficult to solve but confusions are often too difficult to confront leading to failure. Let's confront this. -Andre
  4. Thank you! The key to growth and building a great shop is to persevere through human disappointment. Whether its employees or customers or wife and kids, realizing that no human being is perfect and many will disappoint you, will allow you to breathe without losing confidence in humanity. You must always believe there is someone out there that can do "your" job for you as good or better than you or else you will be stuck in a certain job post forever. As for running a shop in your 50's, that's a matter of establishing what running a shop looks like to you. Running a shop to me is looking at statistics and seeing what's prospering and what's floundering. Who's doing their job and who's wasting shop time. All that, can be monitored through statistics and accountability and then handle or terminate accordingly. It's a revolving door of confidence and disappointment. But if the door gets stuck, you get trapped. And many give up to their disappointment. In order to step back successfully you must know your business inside and out and keep statistics on any and all products and sub-products necessary to creating and running a great business. If it's essential to the running and functioning of the business someone must be held accountable for that product and sub-product through statistics. Whether it's runs to the dumpster or closing appointments, it's kept statistic insures its continuance and improvements or monitors it's negligence and demise. I'm 37 years old. People think I'm lucky. I just think I do things intelligently so things work out for me. Do not rely on luck, embrace your intelligence and what makes real sense to make real profits in the real world. -Andre
  5. Since we are limited on cash we need to be more creative.There is a Mechanical Aptitude Test that I found at the Google app store. This will work for now. It's called Mechanical Test Trainer by ApPro services. Download it. Get familiar with it. Use it. You will have to administer it from either your smart phone or a tablet. It will give you a very basic idea of mechanical aptitude. I would have every single person interested come in and take it. This is a very different "aptitude test" than the the one I administer but we have different needs and wants for employees at this point with a significant deviation for pay plans. So I have to be alot more thorough than you do. You need to keep things lean and simple for now. DO NOT HIRE ON THE SPOT! Think things through, use good judgement! Any questions, just ask. Print out a generic job application from online and have every prospect fill one out. Make sure there is a spot for references of previous employment. ALWAYS CHECK REFERENCES! Since you will not be giving personality tests, charecter references will be our insight. When interviewing: Look presentable, professional and respectable during interviews. Handle yourself with certainty, confidence and friendliness. DO NOT COME OFF OVERWHELMED! You are not desperate, you are intelligent at making decisions here. Appearance: Clean pants, clean shirt, clean boots and well groomed. You want to look like an Executive not like Sloppy Joe's hack shack slave laborer. If anyone throws you off with a question just acknowledge them for asking and let them know you are still working out the details in your mind and move on. Disregard comments or stupid statements. Pay attention for clues and indicators of bad habits or potential trouble. And if you get a bad feeling about someone, trust it and do not hire them no matter how desperate you are are how qualified they seem to appear. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER speak to an employee or prospect about your financial well being or lack thereof. Their business is doing the job you are paying them for, NOT advising you nor sympathizing for you! All an employee should be thinking about at work is his/her own work and not worrying about the finances of the shop. This is just the recruiting and hiring phase. The next phase is hatting a newly hired employee, expectations, policies, agreements and pay.
  6. Do you and your father operate two separate businesses with two separate corporations on the same piece of property, or are you 50/50 partners on the same property and same corporation? Or some other agreement or disagreement? The main point is who is the final decision maker on day to day operations? Can you effectively execute a plan for the shop with executive authority? If not that is ok, just another barrier to overcome and work out. Also, is your lag time due to lack of working capital that creates a parts delay? Is it turn around time from you dad's machine shop? Does your father have his own employees or is he a solo act as well? Added on: To be successful as a partnership you both must be in alignment with the shops vision, present and future.
  7. Let's start simply by saying that this location has been a profitable and functional repair shop started in the 70's when grandpa owned it. Let's acknowledge that the property is paid off in full by grandpa. Thank you grandpa! Let's say it has a name and a reputation and a customer base. (Though we don't know what your active customer base actually is.) Let's acknowledge that through hard work and perseverance you have been keeping your shop alive as an army of one since 2009. You deserve accolades for that! We know that your surrounding population is 21,000. Let's say that out of 21,000 we have 5000 reachable drivers. Let's say that out of 5000 reachable drivers only 1000 people like you. You would need to create $500.00 in labor per customer per year to reach your goal of 500K per year in sales. You have 2 workable bays for now per this equation. You work 5 days a week, 250 days a year. You need to produce 1000 per bay per day x 2. You work from 8 to 5 with a one hour lunch break. You have 8 hours to produce 1000.00 per bay. That would bring your labor rate to $125.00 per hour. Yours is $70.00 Let's go back to your goal of 500K. What do we have to do to make this happen? Per your labor rate. We have $70.00 per hour per one man. We will put your efficiency at 8 hours per day equaling $560.00 per day per person. You have a $1440.00 dollar per day deficit towards your goal of 500K at maximum efficiency. You will need four people minimum to get you to your goal. I don't want to overwhelm you here but you cannot keep on going the way you are going and expect to see any gain. As of right now you are taking on both mental and physical burden of running a business. You must unburden yourself. You need to strategically hire here. The first person you will need is a mechanic or mechanics assistant. I am assuming you are in your 20's. Hire someone that you are senior to in age at this point so they don't take advantage of you or try to invalidate you. Exactly 50% of the people we interview have gone out of business. You don't need that, they will put you out of business too with their failing ideas. As you get more secure as a business person you can handle and disregard incoming stupidity. What you need is a willing and able human being with reasonable aptitude and IQ. You cannot tell through basic conversation if that is the case with most people. You cannot afford to hire on the basis of like or dislike alone. I would post an ad on Craigslist to start for $20.00 or whatever they charge. I would write - Now Hiring mechanics and apprentices. Pay is minimum wage and production bonuses. You do not want to pay anything more than minimum wage (Ohio $8.10) at this point. On bonuses you will only want to pay for produced billable hours paid over 20 hours produced. So if a guy produces 20 hours for the week in billable hours, pay him an extra $6.90 per hour when they hit the first 20 hours. And then an additional $6.90 per hour produced and billable over 20 hours. So now your paying him $15.00 per hour as a starting mechanic. If he produces 40 hours per $15.00 great. If not you are only paying him $8.10 per hour at the end of the week for his 19 hours produced though 40 hours "worked". You need to limit your risk of lack of productivity and/or lack of efficiency while at the same time unburdening your work load. You will need to make first payday on a one week delay. That will allow you an extra week to collect and get employee pay together. You can reduce the payday lag time down the line. But for your intents and purposes while still complying with the law this is what is necessary. I have not included parts revenue or tax as part of the equation for gross income. Just gross labor revenue. HIRING IS YOUR MOST CRITICAL STEP AT THIS POINT!!! Not cleaning. Not more space. HIRE ONE PERSON immediately and get them productive. They don't have to be the perfect employee. They just have to be able to breathe, look, listen, understand directions and work effectively to unburden you. You will have to help them in the beginning, and that is ok for now. Efficiency will come way later and at a different level than you are playing right now. Let me know when the first step is complete! POST AN ADD IMMEDIATELY! HIRE IMMEDIATELY! There is a sequential pattern that must be followed here. PS- Trust me on the minimum wage thing. If you have any hiring questions, just ask. I will assist you. I also do not want to hear that you cannot afford to hire because you definitely cannot afford NOT to hire someone.
  8. You are thinking to small, you are producing to small. So your goals need to be extremely specific. You don't have to post them here but you better right them down specifically so you know EXACTLY what you are aiming for. And you need to look at them EVERY SINGLE DAY! You need to know them like you know your mirror image. This is the only way to have anything. KNOW IT, WANT IT, GET IT!
  9. First let me mention that I am not a consultant nor have any intention to become one in the future. But I am willing to help you because you need it and you cannot afford to pay anyone anything at this point. It is crucial that you follow directions to become a viable and solvent business. After you become a viable and solvent business, which in fact should not take longer than 1-3 months depending on your level and speed of execution you should sign up with Elite or Elon Block to propel you further. Ok, let's begin: What do you want to have? You will need both personal and business goals. Your goal(s)? I'm not asking what do you think is possible to have. I'm asking what end product can you imagine in your wildest dreams you as a successful individual and as a business owner could create if you had no limitations or excuses. Remember you are not your business and your business is not you. You are two separate entities. Business is business. Personal is personal. Your business does not need a wife. And your personal life does not need a new dyno. Remember you can have anything. Big fishing boat. 12 children. $1,000,000, etc. They are your envisioned goals. They don't have to seem probable at this point.
  10. Ok, got it. If you were to complete those 2 jobs occupying your lifts right now, how long would it take to get 2 more cars on those lifts to cause the same problem you have now? How many incoming phone calls and walk ins do you get on a typical day with interest for your services? Do you enjoy communicating with people or do you consider talking to others, especially customers, a necessary evil? Do you cower from the idea of communication when you encounter new people? Do people like you? How are people finding out about you and your business now?
  11. Ok, got that. Are you on a main road and are you surrounded by a residential or an industrial area? What percentage of your business is retail and what percent is wholesale?
  12. Ok, got it. City population? Parts stores locale? Rent per month? Total business overhead monthly?
  13. You can get it on the right track. What are your present time resources? 2 bays, what else? What can you do today? What kind of jobs can you do today with no barriers with the knowledge, tools and equipment you have? What will make you money now? What is the population in the city where your shop is? What is the distance of your 3 closest part distributors? Are they local parts stores or national chains?
  14. Your biggest problem is you are wasting your time on too many non profitable actions. If your hourly rate is $70.00 an hour and you worked 8 hours a day. You should be making $560.00 a day in labor. If you worked 250 days out of the year you would make $140,000 a year without any parts sold or marked up. So let's assume you made $75,000 last year. If you did then your labor rate is effectively $37.50 per hour. If you made $50,000 last year your labor rate is $25.00. If you worked more than 250 days last year your hourly rate is obviously less than the above figures. If you are including parts with your double digit income you very well could be working for less than $10.00 per hour. So quit screwing around and get back to work and reality. This sounds more like a hobby than a business. You need a goal, a purpose, a plan and some discipline. What you have is a floundering start-up. If you were my employee I would tell you to audit your day. That's what we do with a below standard production level employee to see where the time is being wasted and document problems/reasons/excuses. Then either handle or terminate.
  15. Hi Mike, Thank you for the response, a few more questions of interest below. Does it record incoming and outgoing phone numbers and dialogue? How far back does the phone number registry go? Does it keep statistics on new customers and can someone manually label whether the phone number that called in was an advertisement, inquiry, appointment, job applicant, or quote? If so can notes be added along side? Can you set up a virtual receptionist? Can messages be remotely accessed? Conditionally, how much storage is there for messages? What is the lag time of message left to message left visibility? How many incoming phone calls at a time can it handle? Does it work with Ooma? Is it a completely wireless system? Can I call customers directly from a cell phone via Pro Call so the shop number shows up instead of a personal number? Conversely, can it forward from the Pro Call program to a cell phone showing customer data? And if so can I set up appointments through a cell phone? If it can forward, how many phones can it forward too? This system would have immense value for me if it can record all incoming and outgoing phone calls while recording all dialogue and simultaneously keeping statistics on the purpose of each phone call whether automatically or manually. And if appointments can be set any day and anytime remotely through a shop cell phone from one central program., I'm trying to differentiate it's cababilities and limitations in relationship to the phone provider while assigning value to who for what. With interest and enthusiasm, Andre

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