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Jeff Monson

Free Member
  • Content Count

    23
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About Jeff Monson

  • Rank
    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Gateway Auto Tech
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
    None
  • Banner Program
    None
  • Participate in Training
    Yes
  1. We are in the upper mid-west. It has been a very strange year for sure. After a mild winter we were slow for a few months, spring was better, summer very spotty. Now August and Sept have been record months? I wish I could put my thumb on what is going on.
  2. Joe, you are not alone. I charge for analysis, always. We have to get paid for our time and our professional knowlege. What takes us a few minutes, may take others much more time. Should we sell ourselves short for this?? Heck no. We educate our customers on how, and why, they are paying for diagnosis and inspections ahead of time, makes life easier for me and my employees.
  3. Thanks xrac, little confusing, could you email the spreadsheet to me? [email protected] Thanks a bunch.
  4. So how do you put a value on your shop? I'm being put in a position where I can buy out my partner, putting a dollar amount on a shop seems like a hard thing to do. So if you guys were put in this position how would you come up with a value?
  5. Joe, What do you do with the customer that says "I just want to know what the code is" or "I just want the light cleared for now"? Is that done at no charge also? I'm just trying to see all the pro's and con's on this approach, not trying to stir the pot. I REALLY like the approach, and I can see myself doing this, and my reasoning is, there are a lot of places that are offering free scans, and I think it is just to get them in the door. Its a nice approach to keeping up with the competition and not joining them.
  6. I think you are right on a colts victory, my guess Saints 24 Colts 31
  7. My problem with that is what do you do with the easy ones? Do you sell yourself short? I totally respect you for going out and trying something new, I like the concept of it, I'm always looking for a new marketing strategy. Please share the "cons" if there are any yet. I think it would be hard to be disiplined enough to get what you have coming, when that "gross evap leak" comes through the door what do you do??? With a scanner in hand it would be VERY easy to just clear it, then tell the customer it was probably just a loose cap and send them on their way. "something for nothing?"
  8. Been a vikings fan since I was a kid, that was a really tough loss, the vikes beat themselves for the most part. Hats off to the Saints for getting at Farve, he was pretty beat up. I was really looking forward to a Manning vs Farve superbowl, 2 of the all time greats in a championship!! I'll be cheering for the Saints as they have never been to a bowl game......but IMO Manning is just too smart of a qb for them to handle. Should be a great game.
  9. My shop gets an hours worth of diagnostic charge quoted up front to the customer. If it turns out being a difficult diagnosis, we call the customer to let them know, and they can make up their mind if its worth more money, or to live with it. (95% ok more time) . Not all diagnosis are the same, as is no dental procedure is the same or no doctor visit is the same. Educate our customers to this and life is a lot easier. Being proactive instead of reactive in our industry is a great tool. It really burns me though that my local parts supplier ( who wants ALL my business and to be 100% loyal to him) reads SES codes for free!!! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. I know most of his customers are the do-it-yourself type of customers, but it is really hard to explain to my customers why we charge for diagnostics. Dia charges have always been a battle in our area, there is a local shop that is advertising on the radio "free diagnostics" "no charge to look at your car" in our area right now. I think he is on the ropes big time, and he is spending a lot of advertising dollars to promote free work???? I just dont get it. I guess that is why there are professional shops and the shade tree shops. I'll stick to my guns on diagnostic charges, if we lower are standards then we are no different than the other 75% of the shops out there.
  10. I like both your stories and how they were both handled, Joe, If a customer is given a detailed estimate and the work is performed in a timely matter and all was ok'd by the customer, then I stand very firm when a complaint on pricing occurs. These customers are not the ones we desire as business owners, they help pay the bills but......are usually more of a pain to deal with than they are worth. I feel the blower guy was handled correctly also, I will swallow a little dia time to rid myself of a cronic complainer. I think your service manager made the best decision for your company. Its a good thing there are enough good customers to keep our businesses afloat, dealing with the price checkers and the complainers constantly would put me to an early grave.
  11. Another vote for mitchell, we have used manager for 13 years. Its a very stable software, very easy to navigate through and the learning curve is not bad at all. You can generate just about any report you will ever need for accounting purposes also. Cost would be well below 500/ month even if you have a multiuser agreement.
  12. We see a handful of them but also, only for basic maintenance. I had the opportunity to try to dia a no charge complaint on a Civic this last summer, was kind of cool but scary all in the same token. Turned out to be a problem with the stator in between the transmission and the engine, the customer decided to ditch the car. The hybrid customer in my area is about the same as yours, mostly tree huggers trying to do what society has told them is "right". I think the hybrid will be a short lived concept on the road to finding the perfect path for transportation. They just dont pencil out well, and god forbid when you need a battery you will have to resharpen that pencil.
  13. You definately need to educate your existing customers that you now offer complete auto repair, otherwise the "I didnt know you did that" mentality will stay in their minds. Being know as a glass shop and not a repair shop may be a hard reputation to overcome. Word of mouth is always your best advertising so get your current customers talking. Signage on a busy street is also good, just make sure its highly visible and your business name sounds like it is qualified to fix cars as well as replace glass.
  14. ND here, and we are put in group plans by blue cross blue shield but I'd like to know if there are choices.


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