I heard a statistic years ago (can’t remember the source) that stuck in my head and my experience working with shops over the years has reinforced it. The average shop owner makes 3% net operating profit. Meaning that the shop that does $1 million in annual sales nets about $30,000 at the end of the year, before taxes.
As many of you know, it takes a lot more than excellent mechanical knowledge to run a successful automotive repair business. In fact, you could have the best mind in the world for vehicle service and diagnostics, but, at the end of the day, you need at least a nodding acquaintance with what it takes to turn a profit.
Reputation is everything at Theo’s Automotive in Peachtree City, GA, and even the rare negative review can’t slow business down a bit for Owner Theo Kazadzis. In fact, Kazadzis says his response to a recent negative review amidst several positives at Repairpal.com actually brought in new business and won over a new customer, most likely for many years to come.
Bringing in more revenue is at the top of the list of things to do for most shop owners in 2011. Selling more and cutting costs are the tried and true methods for doing this but, often, both are easier said than done. That is why some smart automotive repair shop owners are considering alternatives.
To some degree, I think everyone in a job interview is a bit of an actor. For the most part, the interviewer/interviewee relationship tends to accentuate the positives and gloss over the negatives. But, the information each party shares in the interview should give the other party an accurate image of the qualifications, experience and general work ethic or attitude he or she brings to the negotiating table.
Executive Interview: Jeff Stauffer, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, Affinia Brake & Chassis Group
Jeff Stauffer has more than 30 years of experience working with many of the aftermarket industry’s premier brands like Monroe, MOOG, and now leads the marketing and brand strategy, planning and programs support for Raybestos brakes and chassis.
In tough economic times, retail customers can neglect vehicle maintenance, severely impacting the bottom line of some independent service centers. But Stephens Automotive owner Joe Stephens, who says his fleet business started because he was, “in the right place at the right time,” has seen his Palatine, IL-based business continue to thrive as it’s evolved from a single-nameplate shop when he first opened his doors 16-plus years ago to a profitable shop that services a wide range of makes as well as a full fleet of service vans.
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.
In the last issue of Shop Owner, I talked about the need for receiving feedback from your employees and how important it
is to improving your leadership abilities. Another element of an effective leader is that he or she delivers feedback to employees in the form of recognition.
The true test of a business’ customer service effort is not when things are going right but, rather, what is done when things go wrong.
We’ve all sent and received email messages by mistake. Whether they’re sloppy, misleading or just plain indecipherable, they all scream the same thing: unprofessionalism.