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Joe Marconi

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Joe Marconi last won the day on January 15

Joe Marconi had the most liked content!

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About Joe Marconi

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    ASO Staff Member

Business Information

  • Business Name
    Osceola Garage
  • Business Address
    44 New York 118, Baldwin Place, New York, 10505
  • Type of Business
    Auto Repair
  • Your Current Position
    Shop Owner
  • Automotive Franchise
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  1. Frank; thoughts and prayers go out to you and your employees. You are right, this is no joke, let's not get complacent at this point! Speedy recovery my friend!
  2. First, I would be the last person to tell anyone that car counts is not a measurable and important KPI. Every shop needs to know their needed car count and what their sweet spot is. And then use that KPI to understand other important KPI's - ARO, Labor margin, part margins, etc. Now, with that said, the industry in general, has and will see, a decline in the amount of times your customers will visit your shop. It was not that long ago when we had customers bring their cars in 4 to 5 times per year. That has changed. Plus with COVID and many people not using their cars as they used to, we cannot rely on trying increasing car counts. We should, rather, making sure that we make every vehicle visit...COUNT. Here is my strategy to drive up sales per visit, while promoting the right culture with your customers: Ensure that the customer experience is the best on the planet! - Give every customer a reason to return back to you. Perform a complete MPI on each vehicle, but find out the particular needs of customers. What is their car used for? Get your entire staff to understand that the customer is everything and their safety and their car care needs are most important. Promote your Culture of taking care of people, not sales - Believe me, sales will come and so will the profits. Promote vehicle maintenance, safety, and reducing the overall cost of owning their car. NOW HERE'S THE TOUGH ONE: PLEASE BOOK THE NEXT APPOINTMENT AT CAR DELIVERY! Doctors do it, dentists do it, boiler service companies do it, hair dressers do it, nail salons do it, ..even chimney cleaning companies do it! It's not hard, just do it. Hope this helps. Thoughts???
  3. The choice is yours, of course. But don't make age an issue. I did a major expansion at the age of 55, and then opened up two more stores by age 60. I am now 65 and working on my exit strategy. I am down to one store at this time, my main location I started with 40 years ago. What I can tell you is that you will need the RIGHT people around you. The wrong people will drive you to drink. Trust me on this!!! The right people will lift you to another level that will allow you to reap the benefits down the road. One last thing, and this is NOT due to your age...Create an exit strategy, or succession plan. Everyone reading this, no matter how old or how long in business, needs to think about life after owning a business. No one can predict the future, but to work to help create the future is key. BEST OF LUCK!
  4. I know what you mean, and I get it. Shop owners, techs and other auto-related employees in our industry have always been on the front lines. We come to work in the middle of a snow storm, go to work when we feel sick, and try to drum up work when it seems impossible during an economic downturn. We work in conditions that makes us cold in the winter and hot in the summer. For once, it would be nice to hide and get paid for it. It's just not us. But, I get it.
  5. It's hard to believe that it's almost a year since COVID-19 hit. And for many businesses, and repair shops, it's been a challenge. While many areas around the country have not seen a downturn, there are other areas that have been harshly impacted. Areas such as mine have seen a decline in miles driven per customer of up to 50% or more. Just consider working from home, the drastic decline of going out to dine and other activities, a decrease in after-school activities, a decease in youth sports, buying online and every other action that has become the norm, and it adds up to a negative impact for so many shops. NOW, you know ME. I always put a positive spin on everything. At this too shall pass. COVID-19 will be behind us and we need to prepare for great times ahead. I urge everyone to focus on people: Your family, your employees, your customers, and the community. With regard to your customers, they will remember you and their experience long after the water pump or mass air filter you replaced in their car. If you are having a decline in sales, here a few tips: Establish your new goals, look at your expenses, reevaluate your breakeven, make sure your labor and part margins are in line. BUT, never forget that your most important strategy is the culture of your business. Lastly, cherish every minute with family. This Crisis has brought Clarity. And let's never forget the things that money cannot buy.
  6. Above all, Frank, the health and welfare of everyone is number one. I hope that you and your tech recovers fast, with no continuing issues. When I hear stories like this, it really opens my eyes once again as to the seriousness of this virus. As a small business that relies on a constant input of customers, this virus will no doubt take a toll on many repair shops. Keep us updated and best of luck.
  7. A lot has happened since last Winter. In some ways it's seems like years have past. Tough times reveals how tough people really are. My hope is that everyone learns from the events of COVID and takes those lessons to continue to push forward in business and in life. And of course, take the time to celebrate the things that money cannot buy. Life, health and family.
  8. Happy New Year everyone! Maintain the right attitude. Be positive and keep moving forward. 2021 will be a great year!
  9. We are still down about 20% from normal for this time of the year. It's not that we have lost customers, they are just not putting on the miles that they used to. 2021 will be a better year. I think we will see a surge by late spring and it will carry through the end of the year.
  10. I agree, the new COVID relief bill is massive and will take a lot to digest. Let's keep informed and make sure that we follow how this bill, and meet with our advisors on how this bill can benefit us.
  11. Henry, there are many different ways to create a pay plan. Are they any trade organizations in your area. The reason I ask is that there are many labor laws you need to be compliant with. For example, in my state, Flat Rate is not legal. I hate to be vague, but I just want to make sure you get the right information. Pay plans can be complicated. However, the right pay plans can incentivize the right people.
  12. Let's face it, all of us were affected by COVID-19. Some more than others. One of the biggest issue is the feeling of uncertainty....what we call the unknown. But, humans are no strangers to tough times. Tough times brings clarity and opportunity. It forces us to create new strategies in an effort to improve both our business and personal life. We cannot turn back the hands of time. 2020 will be behind us in a few days. Work hard now to make 2021 a banner year. There has never been a time so important as now. Learn from the events of 2020. Create your new goals. Work on your people skills. Work on the numbers of the business. I am sure all of us learned many lessons this past year, and one of them was to be financially prepared for a crisis. While COVID was different, the financially-stronger shops did do better. Lastly, have a positive mindset at all times. And set the right tone as the leader of your shop. Your positive attitude will create the right culture and a pathway to better times. What lessons have you learned and would like to share?
  13. Got your attention? Good. That's the power of advertising and marketing. I know many of you are affected by COVID and experiencing a downturn economically. Studies have shown that the businesses that maintain advertising during downturns do better with market share and sales when the economy returns to normal. Maintaining your marketing presence is a lot easier and less expensive than playing catch up when things get better. I know the reality of tough times. Do your best to maintain your advertising during tough times. You will get back what you invest.

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