For an industry that was once dominated by males, I’m pleased to have watched us evolve to a point where today we have female technicians, service advisers, managers and shop owners who are superstars in every regard. Without question, there are many powerful ladies throughout our industry who are role models for all of us.
Every year, a deserving independent automotive repair shop is named Federated’s Shop of the Year. The annual program recognizes a top shop whose owners have a demonstrated track record of excellence in such areas as customer service, quality repairs, knowledgeable staff and community involvement. For this year’s winners, add “tenacity” and “determination” to that list.
Behind every successful independent automotive repair shop is a staff that not only provides expert repairs, but one that treats customers with the care and respect that keeps them coming back – and telling their family and friends. Since founding Rad Air Complete Car Care in 1975, Shop Owner Andy Fiffick has expanded from his original Parma Heights, OH, location to three company-owned facilities and nine franchised operations throughout Northeast Ohio. Along the way, staffing has always been a critical component for success.
What would one more visit per year from your best customers mean for your shop? Let’s say you have 100 current customers and the average customer comes in twice per year. If you can get each one to come in once more every year, you would grow your sales by 50% without spending a dime.
Whether you’re a new shop owner looking to increase your car count, or an industry veteran hoping to build loyalty from your existing customer base, hiring a business coach to help you achieve your goals might be worth considering.
Ted Hughes, AAP, was named head of marketing in North America for MAHLE Aftermarket Inc. in February 2011. Hughes leads the marketing department with responsibility for promotions, public relations, advertising, motorsports programs, and the advancement of all electronic and web-based activities. He’s approaching 15 years with the company, having served in various marketing roles since graduating in 2000 from Eastern Michigan University with a bachelor of business administration (marketing) degree.
Pick your cliché. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. You get what you pay for. When it comes to web-hosting and website creation, there is a lot of advertising and marketing pushing free services or services that are so inexpensive that they aren’t representative of the true marketplace.
The automotive aftermarket is viewed by many, both within and outside the industry, as a healthy, vibrant, vital growth industry. Qualified serious buyers consider auto service as more recession proof and less stressful than restaurants and other popular categories of businesses for sale.