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Joe Marconi

Management
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Everything posted by Joe Marconi

  1. For many of us, it's been a wild ride the past few months. We had to take care of everything, making tough decisions, dealing with banks and the SBA and running the shop from the trenches. But, with things looking better each day, it’s time that we get back into the role of building and operating the company. For many, the COVID-19 crisis is far from over. However, the sooner we begin to adjust and build for the future, the better off we will be. Shop Owners are among the hardest working people on the planet. We find ways to get through the most difficult situations. I have no doubt that the lesson’s learned from this crisis will make us stronger and more successful.
  2. Yes, with one clarification. I am comparing it to my average numbers for this time of the year. My usual sales in Feb, March and early April are not the same as late April and May when business usually is booming. But, I can't focus on what was...only on what is and what I can do to create new goals moving forward. I hope this makes sense.
  3. While not giving my exact numbers, I can tell you that we are still down about 45%.
  4. As the weeks pass, we are seeing different trends around the nation. Many shops have little to no impact from COVID-19, some are down 40 to 60% and some are nearly out of business. New York is rebouding slowly. Traffic is up and many businesses are gearing up to opening soon. Only time will tell the full impact of the crisis. For my business, I have made the economic adjustments, I will "wisely" use the PPP money and I look forward to the future success of my business. While there will be many lessons learned from this crisis; the most important lesson is to never forget that the shop owner's mind-set will dictate the shop's future. Stay positive, boost morale and be a strong leader.
  5. Things "appear" to be getting better. Business is still down about 40%, but the phone is ringing more and traffic is increasing also. I don't want to get too optimistic, but I truly believe that we are heading in a positive direction. In addition, as the weather gets nicer, people will want to get and that means using their cars. In our area, we rely economically on NYC. The city will take time to recover, so we need to be careful and make the needed adjustments to our breakeven and other KPI's. Another positive note: Morale is up in the shop! Crisis times have a way of bringing people together.
  6. New York just pushed the stay at home order to May 15th. Business is still down, along with all other businesses. Our sales are still off by better than 50%. Traffic is at an all time low. People are not going anyway. It' s my suspension that things in my area will not loosen up until late May. For now, we have made the economic adjustments and will build for the future. I am working on my recovery plan to come out of this stronger. What that looks like, I don't fully know yet . But remaining positive is number 1
  7. I know that for many of us, these are tough times. But, as the saying goes, "This too shall pass." The reality is that no matter how bad things get, we will get through this. The question now should be, "What did we learn from this and how can we make ourselves and our businesses stronger." Out of every crisis there is triumph. You cannot have a rainbow without a storm. Learn from this crisis. Make decisions that have long-term affects. I know many of you are in crisis-mode, and rightly so. But the more you plan for the future, the better and stronger you will be. Get your numbers in order. Re-calculate your break-even, trim the fat off the expenses, get payroll in line with sales, negotiate your rent or mortgage and other loan terms, build a larger cash reserve. Don't sit on your hands. You are a shop owner....You wrote the book on Being Tough. Now, in the time of Crisis, prove it!
  8. I like it. This type of community involvement goes a long way, and people will remember it for a long time.
  9. Agree....There is still a rear quarter panel... what more do you want?
  10. Wow. It kind of confirms what many of us have been thinking.
  11. I think that many people are paying attention to local businesses now more than ever. But, they are not reacting. So many are hunkered down. And we understand that. I would encourage every shop to continue to send "Feel Good" promotions and message to your local community. Down play any hard sales, increase your exposure through all the media you use to tell everyone Your Story - "We are here to help. Auto-related or not. We are part of the community!" People will remember WHO you and your culture long after the crisis is over.
  12. Ha! This is common in my neck of the woods!
  13. We have not gotten our PPP money yet. It is frustrating that so many businesses are suffering. While I am believe that businesses need help due to the crisis, we need to look beyond this crisis and rebuild our businesses. We need to make the adjustments to payroll, trim expenses where we can, and undertand our new KPI's. If business remains soft for the near future, we need to undertand what we need to do to remain in business, while undertanding the long term affects of the economy. My advice is to restructure your business to meet the current state of sales. Utilize the financial help with the understanding that any long term success will be deterimined how you as the shop owner adjusts your business to your sales. Keep payroll and expenses in line, and prosper.
  14. Thanks Frank! I appreciate the kind words. I will keep giving everyone updates on the cirisis from New York. If a guy from New York can make it through this, we all can! America Together!
  15. New York Governor announced yesterday that the stay-home order will remain in effect until May 15th. With so many consumers not driving and so many businesses closed; sales will be a struggle for the next 4 weeks or more. Many Auto Shops across the country will be in the same boat. Ok, that's the bad news. The good news is that you are a shop owner, and no stranger to making tough decisions and finding solutions to the most complex problems. I know this is different, but truth is we are all learning together, and we will beat this. With that said, you will be called upon to remove the emotions from the situation and make the decisions that are best for your employees, family and for the business. You will need to look at your average sales and projected near-future sales and adjust your payroll accordingly. I hesitated for a few weeks, but then made the tough decision to cut staff to get my payroll in line with current sales. It had to be done. You will also need to look at each line on your Profit/Loss statement and see where you can shave any expenses. Even a few percentage points can end up saving a lot of money at the end of the month. Lastly, have daily meetings and let your remaining staff know what you are doing. Let them know that the number 1 goal is the health and welfare of everyone. Number 2: Ensure the business thrives, not just survives. You are tough....now go make those tough decisions!
  16. I am on my 5th round of more PPP paper with my bank. You really need to speak to your lender for all the details. As it's written right now, you have to use 75% of the loan for payroll and hire back to pre-crisis level before June 30th. I am not an expert on this, so get the right information. Your concerns are valid; you don't want to incur more debt after this is all over.
  17. Topauto, you are on the right track. Be very carful as we move forward with all this help. Speak to your trusted advisors and don't get into a situation where you pile on debt after this is all over. For some shops, that were forced to close, you will need to seek help. But again, be careful. Debt has a way of biting you back.
  18. Thank you for your kind words JimO! We need to remain strong and positive during this crisis, just as we, as a society, have done in the past. Shop owners are tough. Look what we do when things are normal??? We are in the trenches each day, fighting the battles we were born into. Let's pray we stay healthy and when this is over, we will have learned so much and be better off than before!
  19. By now, the dust is settling a bit with regard to the COVID-19 crisis, and we are well into making the adjustments needed to save our shops. There are many shops around the country that have not been affected, and there are many that have been devasted economically. Being from New York, I can tell you that the last 8 weeks have been tough. With sales down more than 50%, I had to make a lot of tough decisions. The good news (so far), my family and myself are all healthy, and none of my employees have contracted the dreaded coronavirus. I pray each night that it stays this way. Now, I look beyond the virus. I need to rethink my goals, my financial expectations and feel confident in the fact that we will beat this, and believe that we will be better and stronger when this is all over. I know many of you are seeking help from the SBA, negotiated terms with your vendors, have worked our deferments with mortgages, loans and insurance payments. And I know that many of you have made the needed adjustments to payroll and staffing. All these things are essential, but the most important factor for you to survive and thrive will be how you handle yourself and your leadership in the coming weeks and months. You must believe in yourself. Trust you gut and move forward. Remain positive. Shop owners are the most resilient business owners on this planet. Don’t forget that. Move forward starting today and look beyond the virus!
  20. There is no easy answer to the question about unemployment and the additional federal unemployment. Human nature kicks in as those that have not lost their jobs feel that it is unfair. I have communicated to all my techs the reality of what is going on. We have seen sales drop more than 60%. I had to make a choice, and the employees that I selected to lay off were those that I felt were the ones that were most expendable. The employees that I did not lay off are the ones that show ethics, leadership and high morale. I am correct with my plan and decision? Who the hell knows. I am learning on the fly like all of us.
  21. I tend to agree, especially in the hard hit areas like New York, where I am from. The big difference from the 1918 pandemic is technology. We can do more today and much greater speed. But, you are right, this crisis just can't turn itself off. Let's be prepared for a bumpy ride and hope it's not as bad as we anticipate.
  22. Great points JimO! No doubt your story is similar to so many other shops. Being so close to NYC, makes it different too. Keep us updated and stay safe!
  23. Frank, in times of crisis, there are no wrong or right decisions. You have been on the front lines as an automotive shop owner for a long time. You should be proud of who you are and what you have done. No one can tell you what is best for you and your family. If this is your decision, hold you head up high and enjoy life with the knowledge that you gave it your all for all of us to make the auto industry better!
  24. First, let me clarify one thing: I AM NOT THE EXPERT. But there are things about the PPP that concern me. Such as this quote fron the SBA: "Forgeven amounts will be considerded income for federal tax purposes." So, if you get a forgiven loan in the amount of 100,000- that will be added as income? And, the fact that we need to rehire to full staff by June 30, 2020. So, in an area like mine where we don't expect business to return for 6 months or longer, I need to rehire to full staff, with 60% of sales down, use the SBA PPP to make payroll???? This is insane economics. I do not want to rain on anyone's parade here. Being in NY, I got hit early and got hit hard. We are going on more than 8 weeks with little to no business. I too need financial help. Look, the point is take it slow and get all the information from a pro. This is what I need to do too. Please get the advise from your banker, your attorney, financial advisor and your accoutant. The only true way out of this is for business to return to normal, through sales and revenue.


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