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Dan Winter

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About Dan Winter

  • Rank
    Occasional Poster

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Dependable Car Care Inc.
  • Business Address
    1561 Los Angeles Avenue, Ventura, California, 93004
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
  • Website
  • Banner Program
    Auto Service Plus
  • Participate in Training
  • Certifications
  1. Dan Winter

    Dan Winter

  2. It's already affecting my biz. In California, if you require employees to supply their own tools, you must pay double min wage. Flat rate as we know it is illegal in the state also. I am at the point where I could use another helper/lot person, but at today's labor cost, it's not in the budget.
  3. Not wireless, I did install it myself and yes it is on and recording all the time. Installation was quite simple, It can be set up to record only at certain times, or motion activated. Not really sure how many days or weeks it stores before it starts overwriting though.
  4. I will say that you need to give it at least 3 months, mailing every month, for it to work. Not everyone that gets the card will be in need of service at the time they receive it. Not everyone will react to the first card. My experience was that most of the first time visits were for an oil change, just checking us out. The sales began at the second visit, of if they had a breakdown. You will be surprised at how long they hold on to those cards. Look at the date code when they come in. 2-6 month old cards are the norm. I sent out about 5k mailers a month for the first three or 4 months. Then I increased the count, first to 7500 mailers, then to 10,000 per month. Those I split the drops to twice a month to spread them out. I was getting too many to handle initially then they would drop off towards the end of the month. Then towards the end I spread them out to every 3 weeks.
  5. I use QSEE brand, bought at Frys. 4 Cameras, expandable to 16. I can monitor shop activity from anywhere including my phone. I think it is important to be able to monitor and record what happens in the shop as a precautionary measure in the event of an accident.
  6. For what it's worth, I used Mudlick for about 2 years. It took about 3 months before I started to see a response, and worked very well. After about 18 months the new customers dwindled, and the majority of the response to the mailers was for the low cost oil change we offered. These were repeat customers with multiple previous recommendations for basic maintenance, but would decline anything other than the oil change. Some would price shop and have work we recommended performed elsewhere, others wouldn't do it at all. Overall I think it worked well, brought us a lot of new customers that didn't know we were here, but it reached a pint of diminished return. I stopped about 6 months too late, but I don't regret using them, and probably will again in a year or so. Now I plan to work a little harder on internet marketing and better targeting my existing customer base.
  7. I am trying to come up with the best 10 or 15 tire sizes to stock at my location. There really isn't a good source for same day delivery in my area. And this being souther california, the capital of "I want it now", if I don't have them in stock, my chances of making the sale drop significantly. I don't have enough of my own sales history to be of any help, and I don't really trust my local distributors to give me the best information either. So I was hoping to get some suggestions from you guys. My area is mild climate, so no need for snow or A T tires, just the most common passenger car and light truck sizes. Thanks
  8. They have some good tools, in my opinion not worth the monthly fee, and there is , or was, a 12 month commitment. I was dissatisfied overall, and would not recommend them.
  9. I have been using Mudlick since last last August, and I have been very pleased with the success. 4th quarter 2010 was my best ever, due in large part to marketing with Mudlick Mail. Very good roi, great company to work with. Feel free to call me if you want more of my story with them.
  10. Hello everyone, I am looking for input from those of you that replace windshields. I have dealt with several local installers and they are all flighty and hard to deal with. I would like to find a source for technician training and a wholesale supplier in my area ( Ventura County in southern California.) I've poked around on the net and haven't found much of any value, just links to all the glass replacement companies etc. My shop is general repair and maintenance, so I have plenty of customers to market glass repair and replacement to, I do suspension repair, electrical and alignments for a couple of body shops, and they would like me to do their glass work also. Thanks
  11. I haven't done it in a long time, but I have sent lunch to my 1st. call store. Probably time to do it again.
  12. I hate that term, I was paid flat rate as a tech throughout my career, was well paid and loved it. I pay my guy's flat rate, and they love it as well. What I liked best about it was paid according to my efforts, not paid the same as the lazy screw up in the bay next to me. It has been my experience that the guys that don't like flat rate, don't like to work.
  13. Obviously there is a lot that goes into a successful business plan, but a couple of things in your post concern me. First, although I believe you may be able to use factory factory parts, charge less than the dealer, and be profitable, lower price should not be your focus. Even in today's economy, price is way down on the list of customer concerns with auto repair. Value is another story. You need to know what your cost of operation is in order to determine your pricing structure. If your less than the the dealer, that's fine, but I don't think that should be your focus. Specializing is another subject altogether, you will start out that way, but if you are successful, your customers will undoubtedly own other brands that they will want you to work on as well. And especially during start-up or slow times you will be temped to take on other lines as well. Also not a problem if you are willing to tool up and make sure you have access to the technical information you need. Good luck to you, I admire your desire to offer a better level of service to the vehicle owners in your area.

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