People don’t always end up following in a parent’s footsteps, but when it comes to the auto repair industry, sometimes oil just seems to be in one’s blood. Take Andy Massoll, a second-generation shop owner who grew up working around Curt’s Service Inc. in Oak Park, MI, before deciding to make a career of it – a very successful career if expansion into additional markets is any indication.
When people refer to you and your staff as “the car guys,” you know you’ve gone above and beyond as a repair shop. That’s exactly how repeat customers think of shop owner Scott Brown and his crew at Cardinal Plaza Shell in Springfield, VA.
“I pay myself $100,000 per year, plus all the cash I can take!” That was the response I got when, as a young shop owner, I asked an older, established owner how much he paid himself. I was curious about how much I should make and how I should pay myself. His answer didn’t help me.
Success in the car care industry today is critically dependent on technology. This goes beyond the warehouse and counter and directly onto the shop floor, says Washbish.
Every shop owner has a number of important responsibilities. First and foremost, they are responsible for setting the goals of their company and hiring the right people. They are also responsible for creating the overall business plan, managing employees and ensuring the success of the business. But there’s another major responsibility that every shop owner has that isn’t as tangible: Bringing ethics into every decision the company makes.
Many auto service shop owners and tire dealers have focused their lives on growing and developing their businesses. When life happens – time for retirement, moving on to another career opportunity, family or health issues – a seller can find that a huge gap exists between what they had hoped the business was worth and what a buyer will actually pay for it.
The fire marshal came into our shop one day out of the blue and told us we had a problem. The back of the shop was too wide open, he said, and if a fire started, it would quickly spread across the entire building. And just like that, they made us put up a wall right through the middle of the shop.
Perception can be reality when it comes to your business’s reputation. Controlling the public perception of your shop is important not only for attracting current customers back to your business, but also for bringing in new clients.
The way social media is used has changed dramatically over the past decade. What used to be a tool to connect with friends, family and former classmates has become an essential component of how small businesses market themselves. In the world of automotive repair where reputation is everything, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to effectively engage with customers can mean the difference between being just another repair shop or being the go-to shop on the block.