Improving employee performance is a critical issue that most shop owners struggle with on a daily basis. I’ve discovered that building and maintaining a strong team of high performers is an ongoing process that requires a range of strategies, from providing the proper training to offering opportunities for growth.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “At the end of the day, all you have is your name.” It may sound cliche, but it’s absolutely true, especially for small business owners whose livelihood depends on having a good reputation.
In the September/October issue of Shop Owner, I provided a step-by-step guide to opening a new location. While I covered a lot of ground, there are always issues that can pop up during the expansion process. Anything from landscaping requirements to a permitting mishap can delay or, sometimes, squash your plans.
In July, I opened my 25th auto repair shop in Marietta, GA. The shop, which operates under the Service Street banner, is located on a busy highway, northwest of Atlanta. The store launched strong, posting the third-best opening, sales-wise, of all my shops. Once it matures, I expect it to be my top-performer.
I spend nearly every day talking to shop owners. While some seek my advice, others I encounter as I search for locations to open new shops. Despite the differences in their backgrounds, locations and individual situations, all of them inevitably ask me the same question: “What is the magic bullet that will take my business to the next level?”
In the January/February issue of Shop Owner magazine, I discussed why I believe direct mail is the most effective advertising tool for shop owners. This month, I’m going to provide some guidance to help you measure your direct mail campaign efforts.
For repair shop owners, advertising was once as simple as buying a large advertisement in the local Yellow Pages. Those bulky directories were the best way for customers to locate a shop when they needed repairs.
Advertising can be a great way to drive business, but the key is finding the right vehicle to spread your message. What I really wanted was a compelling way to reach the highest-caliber customers located closest to my shops. Direct mail allowed me to achieve that goal. I was able to target higher-income households within two miles of my shop.