Your tire or auto service business has provided for your livelihood. It has created jobs, sales, profits, equity and marketplace visibility. And now you’re ready to move on. Maybe you’re seeking an exit right away. Maybe you’re planning for the future. Either way, and regardless of the phase you may be in regarding the sale of your shop, if you have questions about how to proceed, you’re not alone.
While the subject of safety in an automotive repair shop is not nearly as sexy as a new marketing program or the latest on SEO, it goes a long way toward ensuring your technicians and company remain a vital component of your community, and you remain a profitable entity.
All too often, going into business together can strain a friendship, but this hasn’t been the case for Lou Lippert and Mike Maloney. If anything, opening Convenience Auto Service in March 2004 and working to operate a successful independent repair shop has only solidified the alliance – and resulted in the two friends celebrating their 10th anniversary in business.
Companies can’t continue to recruit, retain and manage their workforce with the mindset that was commonplace 20 years ago, and that includes your shop. Millennials grew up with advanced technology, mobile technology, real-time data and social networking, so that’s what they know and therefore expect to see from their employer. Here’s an overview of some of those expectations.
Shop owners using the electronic inspection sheet, as well as the paperless back shop, have been going through some inflection points. Getting rid of paper has allowed them to present professional-looking inspection results to their customers and an unprecedented opportunity to educate on “Why now?” and “What happens if I don’t do it?”
Once upon a time, my accountant had to prepare 102 W2s in a single year for my shop. We had so much turnover, dealt with so much chaos and were putting out so many fires that it was impossible for me to contemplate working “on” my business instead of “in” it. So what’s the way out? How can we break the cycle? I’ll come at this problem from two directions, but, truthfully, it comes back to a single principle: we have to focus on results instead of activity.
In order to build a successful auto repair business, most shop owners feel they need to sell more parts and more labor. Although both of those items are a part of your business model, one thing is certain: your customers don’t look forward to buying either of the two, at any price.
When Brian Bates opened Eagle Automotive in Littleton, CO, 10 years ago, he knew he wanted to build not only a successful business, but also a rewarding environment where employees wanted to excel. If opening a second location in 2012 is any indication, Bates is on to something, and that something is teamwork.