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About ROBK

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    Shop Owner
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  1. I get that just a little to often! I have a handful of customers that want to just come in when they feel like it but refuse to call ahead to make an appointment. They show up and if I tell them I'm backed up I'll get a "well I'll try again in a few days when your not so busy" or the "call me when you have time" but for reasons I cant comprehend resist making an actual appointment in advance.
  2. I hear what your saying, it goes back to my statement in an earlier post about finding out what the customers expectations are to see if those expectations are able to be met. If they are to hung up on price and little else I don't waste all that much time trying to educate. I'm less then 3 years in business and still learning and tweaking how I do things but what does stick in my mind from the feedback I have heard from customers is they like that I explain things to them.
  3. For me personally, if I'm speaking and the customer is hearing blah blah blah it means I failed that customer and in doing so I've failed myself as a shop owner. The essential challenge is to know the right way to speak to each customer that walks through that door in such a way that they hear what you are saying and not just the words you are using.
  4. I've been going down the list and reading your stories for about the past hour and each one has had me cracking up.. at the humor but equally because each one seems to trigger a memory of a car or customer from my own experience. As for the trash heaps on wheels I usually snap a picture with the smart phone and send it to some other people I know in the field... kind of a running contest to see who is having the worst day!
  5. the average customer does not know that we took a few extra minutes cleaning the parts on a repair job. They don't know that during a simple oil change we walked around and checked underneath for leaks, worn suspension parts etc while the oil was draining. And they don't the time and effort that may have gone into accurately diagnosing there check engine light because the machine we plug in does that for us. Communication is every thing. Knowing our customers and letting them get to know us. No matter how busy it may be at a particular moment when someone comes in to pick up or drop off taking
  6. I'd imagine if anything was still for sale at this point it could be had at a really good price
  7. Ahhh one of the benefits of running a one man shop..... The shop I was at before going out on my own it was a constant problem. One tech I ended up changing his hours instead of 8 to 4:30 I gave him new hours, 9 to 4:30. Which amounted to less money for him at the end of the week. He did make it in by 9 and the other techs referred to his walk across the parking lot to the shop at 9 every morning to his walk of shame as he came in. Had it turned into a problem with other employees he would have been let go. The only thing that saved him was the hard time we had finding anyone worth hiring. Wha
  8. this reminded me of one of my customers. I eat out pretty much every day at different diners in the area. It does get costly but with the hours I'm keeping having a bite to eat and hanging out at the counter for a bit before going home is my time where I can relax and bull shit with the waitresses and other regulars. And I get a lot of work and recommendations from the waitresses and owners of these establishments. I have one customer that I cant help but cringe when I see him coming through the door, beat up truck rusted out. Real nightmare to work on, the kind that not only do you break anyt
  9. I take all my scrap to the recyclers myself as well. The money I get for the scrap pays for the tire disposal fees when I take my old tires with a little left over and every penny counts
  10. ROBK


    Let us know how that goes...... did you hear Yugo is coming back with a bigger better car, a minivan actually. There calling it the wego
  11. I find it disturbing as well. Kind of the same way I feel about the parts stores offering free "diagnostics". I spent a good few minutes on the automd site looking up stuff at random. I found many of the quotes were not to far off but many of them were... especially in the parts category. Across the board even on the prices that weren't to far off they were all skewed on the low side and that would be using cheap parts. A shop installing quality branded parts is going to be paying as much or more for the stuff as that website is saying is the retail price to the customer.
  12. Out of curiosity I just played around with the automd site. According to them if a consumer does a front disk brake job themselves the parts should cost $27.65... If done at a repair shop the parts cost should be $32.63
  13. yeah, I kind of noticed. I guess it helps that I'm single but at this pace I gonna stay single for awhile. The advantage of being open on Sunday while it isn't very busy or profitable is the visibility I get from people pulling in to get gas at the pumps in front of me and people stopping at the sandwich shop next to me(separate business in the same parking lot) and seeing my garage doors open. A lot of these people are local but work during the week so I feel I reached people that might not have otherwise given me a second glance. I always seem to get somebody that walks in asking for an esti
  14. What is this thing you speak off called "a day off"? I'm not sure I understand this concept Actually I agree. Having been working 7days a week most of the time I can see the difference in my productivity and motivation throughout the week even if it's just getting out a couple hours early on a Saturday and Sunday. Now that the weather is getting nice I'm gonna try to work in staying closed every other Sunday and going for a bike ride.
  15. ROBK


    It was either ambition or insanity. I guess there was a lot of factors that made me leave a good job with benefits making good money for a great boss who even offered me a lot more money and vacation time to stay. To open a shop, making just barely almost enough money to get by working 7 days, 70+ hours a week. I wanted to be in control of my own destiny, succeed or fail I wanted to be able to say I at least tried instead of reaching a day where I found myself asking what if? It was rough in the beginning, the money I was planning to use as my start up capitol was in the stock market.. in a co

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