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gandgautorepair last won the day on January 19

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About gandgautorepair

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Business Information

  • Business Address
    3410 Fruitvale Avenue Ste B, Bakersfield, California, 93308
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. Employee Discount/Sales

    Make them feel special and keep them happy. The few dollars you'll make on employee markup is totally insignificant to your bottom line. How the employee feels about you is WAY more valuable.
  2. Radio Advertising

    We have stayed away from radio because in our market it's too broad a reach, we market to an area closer to the shop. However, we have started a small budget with a popular radio show on a Christian radio station where both of the DJ's are our customers, and we are getting a good response. In you're smaller market area, I would think it could be effective and worth doing.
  3. Profitability "sweet spot", is there such a thing?

    Well, that's a lofty goal. There is such a thing as stress and burn out, and I would be concerned with employee turnover. With a small staff turn over can kill you. I don't work in my shop, so I need happy, well trained people who will stay a long time. Turn over means I might have to go back to work. I finally feel safe with 2 full time service advisors, and an admin person who was a CSR and can back up service write if needed, and a porter who has also been crossed trained to be able to write a ticket and handle some parts processes. My goal is for me to be safe not working there, and that means the right combination of people, and enough business to support that level. I don't know if there is an answer to my question. I respect the experience of the people on this forum so I thought I'd throw it out there and see what can be learned. I'm dealing with goals about where I want this business to go, what to grow or not to grow too.
  4. BNI

    I've been in BNI for 5 years now, and it is very much worth it. Like someone else already said, I think most of the people will refer to you when they're talking to someone who is having a problem or mentions something about needing service. I doubt they would bring it up just to bring it up and make a referral. While I do get referrals from the group, my biggest return is from the people in my group, some of them have fleets. Not sure how you spend 5-6 hrs a week. Well, if you're new to the group and are doing lots of one to ones that would take up some time. I really enjoy our group, good friends and great learning about other industries. BTW, if I had to pick one of your questions it would be the first one.
  5. I will respectfully disagree with what looks like you're boiler plate response. I think you're outlook will go the way of the dinosaurs. Don't have enough time to invest in a long response, but a couple of comments. The whole picture and review idea is wonderful, but the people who see it are already in the shop and so are already "new customers", does nothing to attract new customers. Sure, it can add credibility along with everything else we do to add credibility and get our first time customers back in. BTW, we have a 60% return rate on first time customers. I get constant comments from customers who saw us on Facebook, they love the info and interaction. I've made a bunch of videos, and while the dollars are difficult or impossible to track, the word of mouth response is frequent and very good. This is a social media world we live in, to say it has no value or is not worth some investment of time is to have you're head stuck in the sand. I find you're comment about branding inaccurate. Building a brand is not expensive. You include your branding in everything you do, including all those things you do that you can track. If you don't brand all those things you can track then you have a very short sighted, immediate profit view of marketing that in itself will be more expensive over time. Branding through social media is extremely inexpensive, and effective, and while it can take some time it can also be fun. While we don't have hard trackable numbers, from asking people when they come in how they heard about us, we have determined that the dollars we spend on Facebook and Instagram have the same dollar for dollar return as the dollars we spend on Adwords. I'll continue to do my periodic mailers, which work, and I'll continue to do my mailers and follow up with my existing customers, which work very well, and I'll continue to do Adwords and social media. BTW, we averaged 28% new customers in 2017, and like I said previously we're getting 60% of those to return. I'm sure if I watched your video it would be valuable and I'd learn something, but at this time, no thanks.
  6. Google Reviews

    Yes, I include in my response to those bad reviews all the things we do, things that are our values, and hope for the best. I have actually had people come in and say that they chose us because of reading a few bad reviews, it added credibility to our many hundreds of good reviews.
  7. Looking forward and thinking about business goals for the future, I'm wondering if there is such a thing as a sales volume, personnel, or facility sweet spot for profitability. I'm in a semi-retirement mode already, so having profits to spend is a priority over simply growing the business for growths sake. I really enjoy being in business and planning and reaching for goals, but wondering about what those goals for the business should be. I've reviewed some industry financial data without any clear conclusions, but I'm wondering what folks here think or have seen or experienced. A little about where I'm at currently. I started this business from scratch 7 years ago. We currently have 8 employees and did 1.3 in 2017. Any wisdom from you who have been doing this longer?
  8. Do you ask for reviews?

    If you're going to position yourself for the long term it would be hard to make the case that you can do it without online reputation and ranking. In that way, reviews are important. If you want to grow, reviews are important in attracting new customers. If you live in an area with a lot of traveling traffic, like we do, reviews are how people on a trip find a repair shop if they have a problem. We have found that most people search "auto repair reviews", not just auto repair near me. Like it or not, I think reviews are a reality and we need to exceed or at least keep pace with our competition. We get most of our reviews through Mitchell CRM and SureCritic. Not the best, since it's not Facebook or Google, but when people search "reviews" then the SureCritic site with our reviews shows on Google. Also, the SureCritic is linked on our Facebook page and on our website, so it's visible to people who click on us through organic search or Adwords. We also get some crossover google reviews from it. We also get more Google reviews and Facebook reviews with our MyShopManager follow up. Overall we get quite a few reviews, and it's all automated.
  9. We're doing RepairPal. Not sure we want to keep doing it. This subject discussion pushes me to drop it. Through RepairPal we get CarMax warranty work, and we've had a decent amount of it. The CarMax work has really pissed me off. They get they're 10% fee of every RO and they limit us to list price on parts. We're right in the middle of deciding if we're going to keep doing it. At least RepairPal only gets the fee on the first visit, and if we look at it as a cost of new customer acquisition the cost is in line, and they don't limit our price as long as we can justify it to the customer, which we haven't had a problem doing. RepairPal may be outta here.....CarMax is definitely outta here.
  10. So how do you track brand awareness marketing. How do you track the effectiveness of social media marketing your brand. How do you track community involvement and sponsorships. Sorry, I get kind of tired of hearing the "track everything" stuff, as much as I would like to know how to do it. We talk about limiting offers and discounts, and talk about promoting our brand, and then talk about tracking everything. Which one is it?
  11. Google Reviews

    I have also had bad Google reviews from people who I can't find the person or the situation. I filed with Google but nothing ever happened, never got any kind of response from Google. I replied that we didn't have that customer in our data base, that we follow up on every single customer (which we do with Myshopmanager), and we had no knowledge or complaint about a situation like this. All I could do. I had a string of them at one time, seemed like an attack. In the comment I also pointed to our other review sites like SureCritic. Google+ and Google reviews are a PIA but not much we can do about it. We adjusted to get more Google reviews to try and dilute the weird reviews.
  12. Damage to customers vehicle

    That oil filter falling off is a tough one. I agree that the oil would be pumped out and there would be a massive leak and loss of oil pressure way before the filter actually fell off. This one would be a gut call, whatever feels like the right thing to do.
  13. Repairs on your own vehicles

    I hadn't thought of the problem of paying the sales tax on those parts, right now I don't. Hmmm...
  14. Repairs on your own vehicles

    I'm not a tech, and I don't work on my own vehicles, so wondering how others in my situation pay the guys to work on your personal vehicles and how you account for it.
  15. Cell phone and internet distractions

    I'm good with my guys researching on any platform available. I agree, as a shop owner I'm continually researching and learning. I want my guys to have the same attitude, and they do. If the quickest way for them to look something up is on their phone, I will live with it. Yes, first they look at our shop resources. However, we've been standing there talking about something and one looks it up on the phone while we're talking and finds good info. This is the age and world we live in. I hate seeing the guys have their phones handy, but so far I've put up with it because it can also be productive. I've also seen each guy is different, and I believe it's best (for me) to allow some flexibility with how my guys want to do things.