July/August 2011 Archives - Shop Owner Magazine
The Three Most Common Budgeting Errors

When it comes to creating a budget, it’s essential to estimate your spending as realistically as possible. Here are three budget-related errors commonly made by small businesses, and some tips for avoiding them.

Offer Financing Options During Tough Economic Times

At Elite we believe that all shops should have financing options available for their customers. I realize that since the collapse of the economy money has been tight, and it is now a lot harder for many people to qualify. But before you judge the success of your financing programs based on the percentage of your customers who qualify, consider that by offering 90 days same as cash, you’ll be able to promote “financing” in all your marketing programs. There’s no doubt about it: This in itself will help you bring in more customers during tough times.

With Today’s Customer … It’s Value That Sells

Value has always been a powerful motivator in marketing and sales, but with the uncertainty in today’s tough economic times, an emphasis on value is more important than ever before. Although you’ll find many definitions, I believe we can all agree that in the mind of your customers, value means getting the most bang for their buck.

5 Proven Strategies To Grow Your Facebook Fan Base

Amy Porterfield, co-author of “Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies,” presented a recent SEMA webinar regarding five proven strategies to grow your fan base and create a community on Facebook.

Leverage Text Messaging To Strengthen Your Local Marketing Push

My 70-year-old mother started texting before I did. This probably sounds strange given that I’m the tech geek in the family and “Web” is my middle name.

Protecting Customer Information: The Safeguards Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enacted Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information on May 23, 2003. By now, most repair shops should have implemented their information security programs and taken steps to ensure compliance with the Safeguards Rule. If you have not, we recommend taking steps to get in compliance immediately. If you have, it’s still important to periodically review and assess your program to ensure you remain in compliance.

5 Telephone Tips That Will Increase Your Auto Repair Sales

During tough economic times you need to make the most of every opportunity that you have at your disposal to generate more sales. Follow these five tips to convert more first-time callers into happy customers.

Drive Up Car Counts And Employee Morale

After your employees have been with you for a probationary period of time, they should all be given their own business cards. This includes your technicians, shuttle drivers, lot attendants, etc. First of all, just like with your managers and services advisors, this shows that you view them as an important part of your company, too. This will create a greater sense of pride, and will increase the probability that these employees will actively promote your company.

5 Things You Should Do To Increase Your CSI Scores

We can all agree that generating happy customers is critical to the success of your shop. Below you’ll find five tips that are going to help you do just that. Apply them, and you’ll be pleased to see the positive results that come from making just a few simple changes!

Honesty, Integrity Help Fuel Business For New Hampshire Shop

For Bill Gurney, owner of Gurney’s Automotive Repair, success can be attributed to one philosophy: Treat people how you want to be treated. It’s on the principles of honesty and integrity that he opened his first shop in 1985 with his wife, Charlotte, in Nashua, NH.

Executive Interview: Matt Webster, Vice President of Global Business Development and Marketing, Vehicle Service Group (VSG)

For more than 25 years, Matt Webster has led the charge to market Rotary Lift and other Vehicle Service Group (VSG) brand products. As vice president of global business development and marketing, Webster has traveled the world researching global vehicle service markets and setting up sales organizations for VSG’s eight vehicle lifting and collision repair brands, including Rotary Lift, Revolution Lift, Forward Lift and Chief Automotive Technologies.

Increase Your Auto Repair Profits … Today!

When I was still in the auto repair business, I learned an invaluable secret from a remarkable man named Sol Price. For those of you not familiar with the name, he was the founder of Price Club; the company known today as Costco. Sol was able to take himself out of the price comparison game, and the way he did it was by making sure that every appliance he sold was unique to Price Club.