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Transmission Repair

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Everything posted by Transmission Repair

  1. I'm currently 66. I retired at 60 after 40 years in the transmission repair business. I feel sorry for many older owners (70s-80s) who are WAY PAST retirement, but still working because they have to. 😞 The guy I sold the business to was 80. That's no way to live, in my opinion. I feel humbled and blessed for my situation. I some owners who don't have a business, they have a job. Ever try to sell a job? Those types usually just sell the tools and equipment because that's all they can find a buyer for. Nobody is willing to buy a job. During my last 7 years, I maintained accurate records to prove I had $1.2M/yr. in sales with a 21% net profit (before taxes) because I knew I was going to retire. I just didn't know when. My wife and I paid ourselves $100K/yr. collectively, before the 21% profit. The guy I sold the business to folded after 5 years due to sales falling to $400K/yr. The $11000 monthly rent became 33% of sales. I purchased the building in 2013 for $860K. After he folded, I sold the building for $2,3M+. We had a small shop (3K sq.ft) but a HUGE parking lot. This is the only shop I've seen that didn't have a parking problem. Here's a short 1:07 video of the shop:
  2. Rent was 11% of sales. https://www.bbb.org/us/ut/salt-lake-city/profile/transmission/tanner-transmissions-inc-1166-85050006/complaints https://www.yelp.com/biz/tanner-transmissions-salt-lake-city-17 The reason he closed was business got down to $400K/yr. due to many complaints. He also closed a second shop.
  3. "Rent was 9% of sales. The shop was doing $100K/mo. consistently. The new owner let it fall to $30K/mo. Rent became 36% of sales due to low business. He closed this shop and another one he had for the same reason. Lack of sales, management, and marketing. Big parking lot, high traffic count, near a 12-dealership auto mall. https://youtu.be/V89FJzM7KCg
  4. Expensive rent is the cheapest advertising you can do. We were located right on the I-15 freeway in Draper, UT, which is a suburb of SLC. 260K/day ADTT. We were doing $1.2M almost immediately. Bought the building in 2013 for $860K. Retired in 2020. Sold the business and real estate in 2015 for $2.6M, mostly cash. Buyer folded after 5 years and now it's now a plumbing repair shop. MyBuddyThePlumber.com paid all cash.
  5. Well, if anybody deserved my money, it's this group.  I left a free automotive group.  You can't buy a membership even if you wanted to.  My hat's off to Joe.

    I'm a retired shop owner who does free consulting and advice to give back to the industry that has been so good to me for 40 years.

    Larry Bloodworth

    [email protected] 

    801-960-2475

    1. Show previous comments  2 more
    2. ASOG Podcast

      ASOG Podcast

      So, what are you asking me?

    3. Transmission Repair

      Transmission Repair

      Joe,

      I'm one of the lucky ones.  I'm just trying to help.  That's all.  No fame, no glory. No nothing.  Just trying to help shops out of the hell hole I came from.  Google my happy ass.

       

    4. Transmission Repair

      Transmission Repair

      I'm not asking anything.  I'm trying to contribute for free.  I became a multi-million dollar former shop owner and I would like to tell how I did it so that other shop owners don't have to go through the hell-storm I did.

      [email protected] 

      801-960-2475

  6. First, we are a transmission repair facility and nothing else. No GR. What's your definition of your customers saying your prices are too high? Is it when they say "No" when trying to sell a job or, when they vocal with you and tell you straight up? I'll assume it's the latter. I choose to ignore price complaints because they are simply irrelevant for the most part. Transmission prices are all over the map. -HOWEVER- I worked hard to keep tabs on my costs. Everything is changing, and at a faster rate. Every single time I calculate our costs, it has gone up. Never fails. Early in my career I was scared and performed a cost analysis every month. As the years rolled by, the frequency slowly got shorter, then quarterly, and now I only do a cost analysis once or twice a year. As long as the front counter staff knows and believes in the shop's pricing structure, you can easily defend your prices. Most of the time, it's simply either a miscommunication, or comparing apples to oranges. I remember one time a customer blew a gasket over a transmission fluid change price of $500. It was a Euro vehicle with combination oil pan/trans filter rolled into one. To get the pan off, you have to fully drop the exhaust system. It takes special fluid. I just ignored the guy. Something like a month later, I received an Email off of our website. It was the same customer calling me on our prices. "The dealer wanted almost a thousand dollars for a fluid and filter change." the customer said. He learned a lot from doing his own research. J. Larry Bloodworth, Draper, Utah [email protected]
  7. I don't think I can speak intelligently about which scanner to use because I have only known a couple scanners in my 45-year career. Virtually all my scanners over the years at the shop has been Snap-On. More recently I have been using the BlueDriver sold on Amazon. It's a little more than $100 bucks and does everything I need in retirement at home and on the side. The best feature I love with the BlueDriver scanner is that you can lookup fault code history on Identifix. It works with both iOS and Android phones/tablets.-->>BlueDriver Scanner At Amazon BTW, it's rated at 4.7-stars with 30K reviews on Amazon.
  8. It would be Snap-On if I could only have one. I also like BlueDriver because it not only can do it all, but it has links built-in to the IdentiFix database for free. This would be for either a shop add-on or one to keep at home.
  9. I always say there's nothing like reviving an old topic. 🙂 Yes, phone technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 5 or 6 years. I use RingCentral for my phone and Convirza for call tracking. RingCentral costs me about $75/mo. for 3 numbeers. Convirza call tracking depends on how large you want your pool of phone numbers. I was in a 6-shop chain and our phone pool was $500/mo. for 100 phone numbers. It's too long of a story to try to fully explain how call tracking works. Let it suffice to say it tells you the source (ad, radio, website, Google, Yelp, etc.) of the call as well as all the callerID info, it records the call and there's an algorithm that "scores" the phone call as in "junk call" or "legitimate sales lead", Here's a sample of the info. available with call tracking. Look at the links provided and decide for yourself.
  10. We did our shop floor ourselves before we ever moved into the building. We did 6 bays, approximately 3,000 sq.ft. with 6 gallons (three 2-gallon kits) of Rustoleum floor epoxy. Each kit comes with a bag of 2-color flakes to sprinkle on the epoxy and gives an anti-slip surface. Back when we did the floor, the kits were only $99 each, but now they are $163.02 per kit. It would take about $500 to do it today. It lasts for 5 years, then the area under vehicles when on the lift begins to chip. We didn't have to redo the whole floor, only the lift areas. We are a transmission shop and the techs have been known to drop crossmembers, and sometimes transmissions. (OUCH!) Here's the link to look for yourself. I've also a closeup of our floor. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rust-Oleum-EpoxyShield-2-Gal-Gray-Garage-Floor-Epoxy-261845/202963950
  11. Autosave of Pensacola, I had a very similar situation arise when I was 58. Long story made short, I invested the $850K and went for it. I retired in 2020 at 65 and sold the building/property for $2.8M. You could do something similar. Shop & 1 Acre Sells For $2.8M
  12. Matthew, There's actually 2 places you can get the information. One is from the U.S. Economic Census, and they are absolutely free. However, they have a convoluted website (of course, it's the federal government) that give you the same data in spreadsheet form. However, they don't have an interactive map; just spreadsheet form only. They are at https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/economic-census/data/tables.html The interactive map comes from Cubit Planning in Austin, Texas. Talk you Kristen at https://www.cubitplanning.com/ and tell her I sent you. Now you can mail me $100 bucks.
  13. We've had great success with Google Pay-Per-Click advertising. We geo-target a 5 mile radius around our shop. In addition, we also hit higher income zip codes outside of the 5-mile radius. How do we know which zip codes have higher income? We buy an interactive demographic map for $125. Here's how that works.___>> https://youtu.be/rLSe0_Yh4I0 2:26
  14. Expensive rent is the cheapest advertising money can buy. Follow the Sound of &nbsp;Bulldozers and the Smell of Fresh Paint <--Print article http://goodies.wizardacademypress.com/MMM080804-SoundOfBulldozers.mp3 <--Audio version.
  15. I have $1.2M fully-equipped transmission shop looking for somebody to buy for very little in SLC, Utah. Willing to relocate? I own the property as well. I would be your landlord. https://youtu.be/tT6rNNI4Gdg 801-885-2227
  16. I started using video to sell jobs back in 2008 when YouTube was new. I Email a .pdf estimate along with a sales video link to YouTube. In the video, I address the customer directly, show their vehicle & license plate. We only do transmissions and in the video, I tell my customer: What failed. What we're going to do to fix it. What we're going to do to keep it from happening again. Our close ratio went from 65% to 95% virtually overnight, no matter who the service writer is. Our YouTube channel now has over 2,200 sales videos on it. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/user/larrybloodworth
  17. I typed my above post in WordPad and copied and pasted it to the forum. After Alex's response, I went back and looked to see what he wrote and I noticed the entire opening paragraph was not included. 😞 Sorry for my mistake. I noticed I can't go back an edit it like I did before, either. I'm guessing there's some sort of timer mechanism in play. Here's the preface to above mentioned post: ============================================== Great topic for us baby boomers. I've already exited but I thought I would share what I learned from the process. I'm not purporting to follow my experience, but do take away whatever lessons that may apply to your unique situation. I need to preface this by saying I sold our transmission repair specialty shop. We did only clutches, transmissions (auto & stick), differentials, transfer cases, and drivelines. 85% of our work was automatic transmissions.
  18. Great topic for us baby boomers. I've already exited but I thought I would share what I learned from the process. I'm not purporting to follow my experience, but do take away whatever lessons that may apply to your unique situation. I need to preface this by saying I sold our transmission repair specialty shop. We did only clutches, transmissions (auto & stick), differentials, transfer cases, and drivelines. 85% of our work was automatic transmissions. Our building looks much bigger than it really is. It has a very small shop space of only 3K sq. ft. w/ 4 lifts sitting on a fully paved .9 acre lot with an abundance of parking. However, very few people believe the traffic count numbers let alone the sales numbers. I consider our situation an anomaly and not the transmission industry average. The traffic count was 203K/day (see picture) and we had a consistent $1.2M/yr. for the last 3 years of operation. No wonder the buyer send a CPA in, to audit our books, bank records, state & federal tax returns both corporate & personal, all for the last 3 years. First and foremost, the last 3 years of record-keeping will make or break your retirement. You must show a positive cash flow and avoid hiding personal expenses in the shop expenses. The same holds true for unreported income (skimming cash). Don't do it. Report everything legit and pay all necessary taxes as proof of sales of EVERYTHING. Did I say everything enough? For most automotive businesses, the customer list has a high value also. For a transmission-only specialty shop like ours, it had little value. What transmission shop owner wants a list of people who recently had their transmission rebuilt when that's all you do? Our transmission shop's location had built up a reputation as "that transmission shop on the freeway" and to a much lesser degree, the name of our business, "Certified Transmissions". The few times we received checks for payment, it wasn't out-of-the-ordinary for people to ask "Who do I make the check out to?" or "What's the name of this place?" Anybody could hang any name on the building like, "So-N-So Transmissions" and it would be no different. I can't count the number of times I've told people the name of our shop and it doesn't ring a bell. When I tell them we're down the street from "The Jet On A Pole" (see picture) they ALWAYS go, "Oh yeah, that transmission shop on the freeway." Everybody knows what we do at our location, but few know our name. In most (if not all) instances, it benefits the seller to carry the note in two ways. First, you can ask for more when you're carrying the note. Second, it reduces taxes so you don't have to show a big chunk of income all in one tax year. We are still carrying the $303K note which will end in May 2020. We didn't sell anything but the assets. No customer goodwill, no customer list, no name, no nothing, just assets. We were only able to get 3X the new replacement value of the assets because we carried the note. If you own the building, that's a separate matter. IMO, monthly rent should be at least 1% of the current value of the building. We started charging $11K/mo. but by the time the lease is up in 5 more years, it will be $13K/mo. NNN in real estate talk which means "triple net" or that the tenant pays for the building's insurance, property tax, and maintenance. Our building is our retirement, not the sale of the business. It will be paid off in 4 more years. ( whew! [̲̅$̲̅(̲̅ ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°̲̅)̲̅$̲̅] ) For those of you who didn't plan your retirement like my wife and I, let me explain. My wife and I married 13 years ago and at which time, neither one of us had much in retirement to bring into the marriage. We started the business in Oct. 2008 and when the 5-year lease came up for renewal in 2013, we bought the building through a mortgage company, though it was an owner financed mortgage. I, being 58 at the time decided to do an accelerated mortgage which meant a 10-year mortgage = $High Payment$. We are currently not making a dime on the rent, but are driving down the principal. Between now and Nov. 2023 we are still working (more on that later) and plan to fully retire at that date. So, my advice is to beg, borrow, or steal to buy your building because that's the only real retirement (except in rare cases) you'll have with a single-location shop. If you have any questions or need further clarification either respond to this post or my contact info is below: J. Larry Bloodworth, CMAT 12529 Minuteman Dr. Draper, Utah 84020-9541 [email protected] (214) 347-7788 [O] (214) 473-5563 [C]
  19. I'm sorry I'm late coming to the party. Some people will withhold information and that speaks volumes about the sad state of our industry. I don't rely opinions; you know what they say about those. My recommendation is to call Kristin Carney at Cubit Planning in Austin, TX. She has an El Cheapo radius report for only $49 bucks that will give you all the demographics in a 1-mile, 3-mile, & 5-mile radius of the shop address you give her. If you're not happy with it, she offers a money-back guarantee. I'm an expert at picking shop locations. I can do it for you or if you want to DIY, I'll tell you how. I come from the school that helping people is the best way to get business. Here's a link to a radius report I gave a client with whom I'm helping select a great location.-->https://drive.google.com/file/d/12Dqqq1V6G9Fb_RHoBNzXARwFErQxKNDD/view?usp=sharing Here's the add-on services that you can get in addition to the radius report: 1. Traffic counts & map. - $50 2. Competitor list & map. - $199 3. Three drive times instead of radius distances. - $50 4. City population projections. - $25 5. Custom area instead of radiuses - $50 6. More than 3 radius distances. - $50 7. Custom calculations. - $100 For less than $600 bucks, you can find out everything anybody would want to know about FACTS, no opinions. There's more sources than just Kristen. Her order form is at the bottom of this page.-->https://www.cubitplanning.com/data/radius-report and her phone number is 800-939-2130 and tell her Larry Bloodworth sent you. If you have more questions, I'm at [email protected] or (214) 347-7788 [office] (214) 473-5563 [text]
  20. The art of integrations has grown into companies that specialize in nothing but integrations. Companies like zapier.com and domo.com do just that, and they aren't the only ones. Check them out and see if you find them useful. I'm currently building a website that needs integration to a parts catalog company website that will not provide me with either the data or an API for love or money. I plan on using Zapier for integration from my end via HTTP requests sent behind the scenes from my website. Perhaps you can do the same. J. Larry Bloodworth
  21. What are you REALLY buying? Are you buying a business, or are you buying a job? For many shops, if they had to hire someone to perform the owner's job functions, one would discover that the business isn't profitable. Another test is to see if the owner claims the accounting isn't REALLY what he makes, as in under-reporting income or burying personal expenses into the shop. Businesses needs to make a profit over and beyond what the owner is paid for his job function(s) and businesses shouldn't have to under-report income to allegedly do it. The target percentage of profit is debatable, but all agree it should be something. Have you been able to look at the P&Ls for the last 3 years? If so, what's the bottom line profit, as a percentage of sales? When you answer, I'll continue.
  22. Off and on from 1999 to 2011, our shop had a booth at various technical colleges’ career fairs. We hired several students to train as R&R techs with the hopes of moving them up to rebuilding. We didn’t have a very good experience with ITT Technical College in SLC nor WyoTech College in Laramie, Wyoming. The best employee we ever hired out of a technical college came from Salt Lake Community College. Both ITT and WyoTech are for-profit colleges. WyoTech is part of the Corinthian College system. Around 2014 or so, both ITT and WyoTech filed for bankruptcy and eventually went out of business, but I didn’t really understand why until now. The story of why these colleges failed is the subject of a half-hour documentary on PBS’s Frontline. Before you decide to get involved with a for-profit college, I would like to suggest to watch the short documentary, A Subprime Education, online at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/a-subprime-education/ It will also make sense why our federal government has also instituted a “student loan forgiveness” program to help students who can’t find a job in the field they were allegedly educated in. Sad, sad, sad.
  23. There is a little-known free service that companies charge for. Some reputation management companies are built entirely around this service. The service is that they let you know, via E-mail, if your shop gets a review, or any time your shop’s name is mentioned online. Google offers this service for free and it’s called Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to enter any name, website, company, or whatever you want to stay on top of. For example, I listed my name, my shop’s name, my shop’s website, and my main suppliers into Google Alerts. Google Alerts watches the entire internet including social media. If you do a YouTube search for Google Alerts, there’s a lot of videos showing how you can may $100/day or more with Google Alerts. I can go on about it, but it’s easier to simply go to https://www.google.com/alerts Now you know!

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