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Found 13 results

  1. 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!
  2. Has the Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacted your auto shop business? If it hasn't yet, it has the potential to do so soon. Please share what you are currently doing, how your business is impacted, what plans you have in place, etc. Some things to consider: Do you have a plan in place should you or one of your employees become ill? With school, event, and business closures, how will this affect your shop? Are you sending anything to your customers in terms of sharing your plans around keeping your customer and employees healthy and doing your part in your community? Many small and large businesses have been sending email communications to their customers. Are you marketing to your customers in terms of not delaying car repair, should there be a need to temporarily close? Are your parts suppliers sharing their plans, should the pandemic affect supply chains? Are you stocking up on business and shop necessities? Please share your experience in this topic and stay healthy! In the media: The coronavirus and its growing tally of sick and dead victims around the world have been roiling financial markets, prompting countless hand-washing reminders and ruining more than a few vacations, and that’s before anyone knows exactly how widespread the effect will be on the automotive industry, including your local repair shop. Source “By mid-March, the shortage of supplies will be felt and members are projecting they’ll experience disruption through May or June,” even if operations in China soon get back to normal, said Stacey Miller, senior director of communications at the Auto Care Association, a trade group representing 150,000 auto aftermarket and service businesses. Source
  3. I will never forget the day I met Carlos. It was 13 years ago at a small business conference in New York City. The conference drew business owners from all types of industries throughout the greater New York area. Carlos was sitting next to me at orientation. The day was lined up with guest speakers, workshops and networking opportunities. By the third networking break, Carlos and I were hitting it off. We traded war stories, discussed business challenges and brainstormed new ideas. Carlos owns two Italian restaurants, one in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn. His first restaurant was founded in 1986 when he was 27 years old. I finally asked Carlos, “What’s your background? Did you go school to become a chef? Did your family own a restaurant? Do you enjoy cooking?” Carlos turned to me, smiled, and said, “Joe, I am going to let you in on a little-known secret: I have never cooked a meal in my life.” Unlike Carlos and his business venture, most auto repair businesses are started by technicians and use their technical skills to run their companies. I was one of them. I spent years honing my technical skills from the time I graduated high school in 1973 to my first day in business, Oct. 1, 1980. I worked hard at becoming the absolute best automotive technician I could possibly become. I also spent another decade after starting my business improving those skills. That is, until one day I realized that while I may have used my technical skills to start and initially build my business, it wasn’t enough. In the first 10 years, I grew my business primarily with my hands, my strength and my determination. At the end of that decade, I hit a wall. Thankfully, that wall knocked some sense into me. My business was largely dependent on my abilities and what I could produce. After analyzing my business and realizing that it had plateaued for a number of years, I had to make a tough choice. It was time to put down the tools. I had to learn a different set of skills—the skills of running a company. This proved to be the right choice for me. I’m not saying I regret what I did in those early years. I didn’t know any other way. I loved the auto industry and I loved working on cars. However, when the day came that I decided to become a business owner, my life changed. And, my awareness of how to build and run a business should have changed with it. There are shop owners that were never technicians, and do quite well. It’s argued that they have an advantage over technician-turned-shop-owners. A technician’s brain is wired to look at the problem at hand, create a solution and move on. An entrepreneur looks at business from a different perspective: always looking to the future, at growth and what other greater things can be accomplished. I remember many years ago meeting a very successful shop owner from the west coast at a trade show. We were both standing at a booth that displayed emissions-related products. I picked up a sensor, turned to this shop owner and asked what he thought of the new air fuel ratio sensors. He replied, “I wouldn’t know an oxygen sensor from a spark plug.” I kept silent. This shop owner was, and still is, well known in the industry—and very successful. Here’s the bottom line: As a business owner, the skills of repairing cars have little to do with the skills needed for long-term business success. For many of you with a technical background, you may have come to the same conclusion. If you have not come to this realization, please take a long hard look at your life and your business. While you may love to be in the bays, your place it a helm of the ship. Use those technical skills, but understand that those skills may have gotten you this far, but they won’t get your business to where it needs to be. It will be your business skills and people skills that builds a sustainable company that continues to grow and becomes a source of enrichment for you, your family, your employees and their families. Carlos and I still keep in contact with each other and he still owns and operates his restaurants. Carlos called me the other day and told me that he actually had the opportunity recently to work in the kitchen at one of his restaurants. Perhaps even entrepreneurs can cross over into the world of technicians. I’m betting it did a world of good for Carlos. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2018 View full article
  4. I will never forget the day I met Carlos. It was 13 years ago at a small business conference in New York City. The conference drew business owners from all types of industries throughout the greater New York area. Carlos was sitting next to me at orientation. The day was lined up with guest speakers, workshops and networking opportunities. By the third networking break, Carlos and I were hitting it off. We traded war stories, discussed business challenges and brainstormed new ideas. Carlos owns two Italian restaurants, one in Manhattan and the other in Brooklyn. His first restaurant was founded in 1986 when he was 27 years old. I finally asked Carlos, “What’s your background? Did you go school to become a chef? Did your family own a restaurant? Do you enjoy cooking?” Carlos turned to me, smiled, and said, “Joe, I am going to let you in on a little-known secret: I have never cooked a meal in my life.” Unlike Carlos and his business venture, most auto repair businesses are started by technicians and use their technical skills to run their companies. I was one of them. I spent years honing my technical skills from the time I graduated high school in 1973 to my first day in business, Oct. 1, 1980. I worked hard at becoming the absolute best automotive technician I could possibly become. I also spent another decade after starting my business improving those skills. That is, until one day I realized that while I may have used my technical skills to start and initially build my business, it wasn’t enough. In the first 10 years, I grew my business primarily with my hands, my strength and my determination. At the end of that decade, I hit a wall. Thankfully, that wall knocked some sense into me. My business was largely dependent on my abilities and what I could produce. After analyzing my business and realizing that it had plateaued for a number of years, I had to make a tough choice. It was time to put down the tools. I had to learn a different set of skills—the skills of running a company. This proved to be the right choice for me. I’m not saying I regret what I did in those early years. I didn’t know any other way. I loved the auto industry and I loved working on cars. However, when the day came that I decided to become a business owner, my life changed. And, my awareness of how to build and run a business should have changed with it. There are shop owners that were never technicians, and do quite well. It’s argued that they have an advantage over technician-turned-shop-owners. A technician’s brain is wired to look at the problem at hand, create a solution and move on. An entrepreneur looks at business from a different perspective: always looking to the future, at growth and what other greater things can be accomplished. I remember many years ago meeting a very successful shop owner from the west coast at a trade show. We were both standing at a booth that displayed emissions-related products. I picked up a sensor, turned to this shop owner and asked what he thought of the new air fuel ratio sensors. He replied, “I wouldn’t know an oxygen sensor from a spark plug.” I kept silent. This shop owner was, and still is, well known in the industry—and very successful. Here’s the bottom line: As a business owner, the skills of repairing cars have little to do with the skills needed for long-term business success. For many of you with a technical background, you may have come to the same conclusion. If you have not come to this realization, please take a long hard look at your life and your business. While you may love to be in the bays, your place it a helm of the ship. Use those technical skills, but understand that those skills may have gotten you this far, but they won’t get your business to where it needs to be. It will be your business skills and people skills that builds a sustainable company that continues to grow and becomes a source of enrichment for you, your family, your employees and their families. Carlos and I still keep in contact with each other and he still owns and operates his restaurants. Carlos called me the other day and told me that he actually had the opportunity recently to work in the kitchen at one of his restaurants. Perhaps even entrepreneurs can cross over into the world of technicians. I’m betting it did a world of good for Carlos. This story was originally published by Joe Marconi in Ratchet+Wrench on November 1st, 2018
  5. December spells the end of 2018, and hopefully you're wrapping up what was a fantastic year for your auto repair shop and business. Now… it’s time to start thinking about how to make 2019 an EVEN BETTER year. (Heck, let’s go ahead and plan on making it your best year ever! Right?) By attending for this special Live Online Webinar, you're going to get the proven 4-step process that will practically GUARANTEE 2019 to be a blow-out success for you. With these four steps, you’ll be able to… 👉 ==> DOUBLE your take-home pay (Yes, that’s not a misprint. I’ll show you how.) 👉 ==> Magnetically attract more (and even better!) customers to your shop 👉 ==> Easily sell your services at higher prices than your competitors 👉 ==> Find, hire, and keep that elusive tech you’ve been searching for 👉 ==> Put the fun back into running your shop! If you're interested... there is absolutely ZERO cost to attend this training. All you'll need is 45 minutes of your day set aside in order to watch this webinar live. For the dates, times, and registration details, CLICK HERE
  6. Hey Everyone, Curious what everyone is doing for marketing and advertising. What have you found to be the best return for your money and where are you located?? Looking for some ideas for my auto body shop . I have tried radio, yelp and yellow pages (never again).
  7. So I am moving away from the automotive industry and will be staring a mobile heavy diesel repair and service business. Does anyone have any good contacts or know of any forums that would be of benefit to me to get some mentoring and some advice from the pros? Thanks in advance!
  8. So we are looking at moving our shop to a really nice shop here in town that has some amenities that we are very excited about but I got to talking with the landlord about the past few shops that had been in there and he told me that he didn't think this location could sustain a $70-80 labor rate. He thought that was probably why the last shop didn't stay busy enough to keep the doors open. I have always thought that while location can be a great plus that it really truly depends on how you package things and how well you do with marketing and advertising. Ive always seen that good customers will travel a little bit just to come to a shop they like. What do you all think? How much value should I put in what the landlord was saying? How much does location truly have to do with a shops success? How far will customers travel to come to a good quality shop they love?
  9. Hi everyone! I am a quite a young guy (20 years young to be exact) and I am currently working as a mechanic. I really want to start my own repair business in the next couple years so I would love to hear how you guys got into it and what education is needed to become an independent shop owner. Did you go to business school in college? Or did you work as mechanic before and decided at one point to become self employed? Did you just open your own business and just learned everything along the way? I would really like to hear your stories!
  10. Hey guys so I am working towards sitting down with an attorney and writing up a partnership agreement with my business partner, but I first need to sit down and talk everything out with him. Attached you will find a worksheet that directs us through a few of the considerations before we see the attorney. I would really appreciate it if you could take a quick look at the worksheet and see if its missing anything in regards to an automotive shop partnership. In return for your help feel free to download and keep a copy of this worksheet, and the new one if we find anything to change. Thanks! Partnership Worksheet.doc
  11. Do you use waivers? Examples- *Vehicle that had a coolant leak, over heated prior to you working on it??? *Oil leaks, if you repair it and the engine knocks afterwards? *Check engine lights, you repair any P0300 codes and the car comes back with a Cat code? *Declines a brakes job, and car is unsafe to drive Do you think any of the waivers/ disclaimers will protect you as a owner??
  12. How do you hire techs? Regular Employees (W2) or Contractors (1099)?
  13. Seems like lately we have been working out a lot of estimates without getting the job. Sometimes i feel like were wasting a lot of time to sit down and work these out. Are we getting to detailed when doing this? I have learned to try and secure a appointment before giving a estimate, but that does not seem to work either. I'm not looking to land all the Customer's that call, but some would be nice!! More and more we are seeing people want to supply their own parts. In the past we never did this. Is it time to start thinking about changing how a CSP (customer supplied part) job is handled? Looking for any thoughts Thanks Jim Quinn

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