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Joe Marconi

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Everything posted by Joe Marconi

  1. Exit Strategy-Step 4- Hire & Retain Great People Your personal talents and skills will only get you so far in business. If you rely just on what you can achieve alone, you will eventually plateau and never achieve your potential in business. The fact is that in order to achieve your personal success, you need great people around you. Having a strong team promotes greatness, This is because of the exchange of great ideas and also due to the different strengths people bring to the organization. Look for superstar employees. You may have to pay them more, but they are worth it because of what they bring to your company, and great people create great companies. Now, your job does not end once you hire the superstars; this is when you job begins. You must do all you can to retain them: Coach them, mentor them, let them spread their wings, and empower them to take ownership of their positions. You success is dependent on the success of others around you. A business, built and run with superstar employees, will be more attractive to a potential buyer and add much needed profit to the bottom line, while you're in business.
  2. Every business as seasonal shifts, but that doesn't mean you can't help to smooth out the highs and lows. The only thing that has helped for me during slow periods is to increase our service reminders during the slows months, based on historical data. For every shop it's different. For my shop, I bump up service reminders for Jan and Feb. That is my slowest time of the year. So, I make sure that my service advisors talk to each customer in the fall and early winter about future work needed, at car delivery, and pre-book appointments for Jan and Feb. By increasing our service reminders, and pre-booking appointments, it increases our potential for more sales. Every shop needs to have a plan. Do nothing, expect nothing. Hope this helps. What are other shops doing to help pump up business during their slow times?
  3. I zoomed in....I found the part I ordered two weeks ago! Amazing what is happening these days. Let's hope and pray that this issue get resolved, or at least better, soon.
  4. Exit Strategy-Step 3: Establish Your Goals It's no secret that having clearly defined, written goals, sets you apart from other business people. You will achieve greater success, have less stress and build greater wealth for you, and for your family. Start today; create your 5 year, 10 year, 20 year plan. Be specific about what you want to accomplish. And commit to these goals each and every day. Don't worry about life's obstacles and challenges that may throw you a curve ball. Having goals is far better than not having goals, and those goals can be adjusted along the way. With regard to your retirement, give a lot of thought to your future, and what that looks like. And create a goal for that too. It may seem far in the future for many of you reading this, but trust me, time goes by fast and preparing now for the sale of your business or succession will pay off. Remember, build your business as if you are selling it tomorrow, and you be more successful while you own it, have more options in the future, and your business will be worth more when the right time arrives. Stay tuned for Step 4!
  5. Years back, customers brought their cars in to us 3 to 4 times a year for an oil change. About every 3 to 4,000 miles. That simple service gave us the perfect opportunity to inspect their car and sell needed services and repairs. It also sustained healthy car counts. Today, we see more and more customers ignoring the shop's windshield lube sticker, and willing to wait for that "Oil Maintenance" light to come on. Many times that could be over 10,000 miles on a Honda civic! This, plus the fact that car makers have been preaching to consumers that their cars need little to no maintenance, is a major contributing factor in lower car counts. If shops are not taking a proactive approach and adopt a culture of total car care, shops will find it very difficult to stay profitable in the coming years. It's crucial today to educate your customers, promote preventive maintenance, perform detailed multipoint inspections on every car, and make sure you get paid what you are worth. What tips to you have to be more proactive and maintain healthy car counts and a healthy business?
  6. Business is slowly getting back to normal. (Wow, I actually called something normal!). While car counts are down, ARO is way up. One thing I have notices; many people have not gone back to the office for work and it seems that many will never work full time at an office again. How this affects business, only time will tell. Otherwise, no complaints.
  7. Exit Strategy-Step 2 Have Clean and Accurate Financial Statements The value of your business will be determined by your net profit, cash flow and a strong balance sheet. Having clean and accurate numbers will be more attractive to a potential buyer, especially if your business shows growth over time. While you may value your loyal customer list, and your tools and equipment, it's the profitability of your business that will be used to determine how much someone will pay for your business. As an added benefit, having clean and accurate financials will also help you through tough economic times, and if you ever need a bank loan. Get your books in order and work hard on your business to show a profit.
  8. This forum will outline the steps that I took the past three and half years, working toward my exit strategy. I will outline each step, each week, to give you information that I know you will find informative and useful. Please note, these steps are the ones that I took, and your situation may differ. However, you will find so many similarities, that I am sure you will obtain a ton of great information. Ok, here we go... STEP 1 - Get Your Business Ready to Sell Today You are never too young to begin thinking about your retirement or sale of your business. Work hard on your business to get it to run on its own. For quality of life, and to grow a sucessful business, requires having the right people, the right systems, a knowledge of the numbers, and a plan. Also, the more you are removed from the day to day operations, the more sucessful you will be and the more your business will be worth to a potential buyer. Here's another important reason to get your business to run on its own: A health crisis may leave you sidelined for months or longer, or may even leave you disabled to a point where you cannot perform the necessary duties as a shop owner. We all have heard of shop owners that either became seriously ill, were in a bad accident or passed away, leaving the business in a state that it cannot run by itself. Or, not worth much because the shop owner did not take the necessary steps to build the business correctly and not having clean and accurate financials. Begin today to start thinking about your business and when you want to sell, have family take over the business, or other options. Start getting all your financials in order, set your long-term goals, work on your business plan, review and refine all your systems and procedures, and talk to your family about your long-term plans. With each step, you may need help from either an accoutant, broker, attorney, or a business coach. Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can everything on your own. That's it for today- Next week I will discuss The Importance of Having Clean Financials and Showing a Profit Thank you and Stay Tuned!
  9. Great points. Please also note that there are Federal and state laws, and that there may be changes to the labor laws that are we not always aware of. Do your due diligence with all pay plans.
  10. Well, if you can make it at all, even for one day, it would be an honor to meet you.
  11. I cannot reveal all the details yet, but I am in contract to sell my last location. The deal is set to take place by the end of the year. I will use this forum to outline my journey the last 41 years in business and the steps I took to exit out of the business. My objective is to share my experience so that others can learn from my ups and downs and also to learn about the importance of an exit plan, no matter how old or young you are. I will give details on how I prepared my business for sale, how I negotiated with different companies, and different people, and how you can get the most for your business when the time comes. Plus many behind the curtain details on how to sell a business- the good, the bad and the ugly. Please feel free to contact me with questions. So stay tuned for more details, week by week! Oh, by the way, I am not going anywhere. I will still be active in the industry, invloved with Auto Shop Owner, continue to work with Bob Cooper and all the great people at Elite as a business coach and trainer, writing articles for Ratchet and Wrench, remain invloved with the Service Stations Dealers of Greater New York and more.
  12. I am thrilled to announce that I will be the presenter at Elite's Fly With The Eagles course Oct 12 to 15. This is the first live event since before COVID. This will be held in Indianapolis. We are expecting a big turn out, so please check this out ASAP. Details below. The Eagles course is Elite's premiere event for Shop Owners and Managers- course covers: Leadership, Time Management, Goal Setting Financial Reports and Cost Controls Recruting Employee Management Marketing Click on the link below for more information. You can reply to this post too with questions. https://eliteworldwide.com/event/fly-with-the-eagles/
  13. Back in my day, you didn't get a lot of praise from your boss. And, you never really looked for it either. You did your job, and the only way you knew you were doing a good job is if the boss didn't reprimand you. It was different back when I started, 1974. Times have changed and the way we manage people has changed too. If you want to motivate people, make sure you praise them when they do a great job. Be sincere and be honest with your praise. People crave positive feedback from their leaders. By giving praise often, your employees will feel good about themselves. Their self-esteem will get a boost and they will be more likely to repeat that great job again. Now, this is not to say you should ignore when things go wrong. But make sure you give at least 5 to 8 "at-a-boys" to every one reprimand. Trust me, fill someone's emotional bank with sufficient "at-a-boys", and they will be more willing to listen to you when they drop the ball.
  14. Nice! Proud of you. Trust me, all will be ok. Shops around the country are realizing that labor rates need to increase in order to stay in business, pay our bills, pay our employees and build for the future. Good for you Frank!
  15. I am seeing more and more labor rates hitting the $180 mark and higher for the same reasons you state. Good news. Let's hope all the shops around the country act on this. We really need to collectively raise labor rates.
  16. Ha! I am 66 and there too. I will let everyone know soon my next chapter in my life. After 41 years in business and 47 years in the auto industry, it's time to turn the page.
  17. With so many baby boomer shop owners retiring, there is great opportunity for shop owners looking to add new locations. In addition, there are many shop owners that have not survived the COVID crises. Is anyone looking to open new locations? If so, it would be interesting to hear your strategy and the reasons why. Oh, if you are wondering If I am thinking about expanding. The answer is no. I had three locations, down to one now, and I am close to announcing exciting news very soon. So Stay Tuned.
  18. 2021 started off real slow, with Jan and Feb being the worst months. March to August were very good, with sales hitting our goals. September is a little slower than we like it to be, but I feel we are trending in the right direction, with customer coming back to us that we have not seen in over a year. No complaints. Could it be better, of course. But all good and moving forward!
  19. You guys are lucky. I pay 10 cents a gallon to dispose of the used oil.

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