By Bob Cooper, Elite Worldwide, Inc.
There are a number of things you’ll need to do to ensure that 2014 is your shop’s best year yet, but none are more important than setting clearly defined goals that are critical to your success.
Most shop owners understand the importance of setting goals but are lost when it comes to the rationale for setting their goals, how challenging the goals need to be, and the types of goals that need to be set. This article will address each of these considerations to help you get your shop on the right track for 2014 and beyond!
When it comes to setting your long-term goals, the best advice I can give you is to make sure they all align with your core beliefs and that they are challenging enough to inspire you. As the leader of your company, you’re not only responsible for setting the goals, but it’s your job to inspire your entire team as well. I’m sure you will agree that you can’t inspire others if you are not inspired yourself.
When setting your short-term goals, make sure they are realistic. In a business environment, the purpose of short-term goals should be to bring out the best in people, keep them motivated and inspire them to think differently, all at the same time.
Accordingly, they should be just out of reach, but not out of sight. The results of studies carried out at Harvard University indicate that short-term goals need to be reached only 51% of the time for them to effectively change the way we think, and if they are reached more frequently than 80% of the time, they are not challenging enough.
Whenever possible, you should break your annual goals down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. If for no other reason, when technicians and service advisers go to work each day, they should know precisely what needs to be accomplished by the end of the day in order to view their performance as a success.
Another good thing about daily goals is that if the goal is reached, the employee will go home feeling like a hero, but if it’s not, the employee will have another opportunity to reach the goal the very next day. If your shop breaks down your goals to only monthly targets instead of daily ones, and the goal isn’t reached, then your employee will have to sit with that failure for an entire month instead of getting the opportunity for redemption the very next day.
Since determining what types of goals to set can be quite a challenge, here’s a list of thought starters that you can use to ensure that your shop is on the right track moving forward.
1. Long-term growth goals that may include diversification, expansion or additional facilities.
2. Long-term real estate goals that may include acquisition or mortgage reduction.
3. An annual sales goal that includes the financial growth of your business.
4. Monthly and quarterly sales goals that are seasonally adjusted.
5. Marketing goals that include the acquisition of both new customers and market share.
6. ARO goals that are predicated on complete, professional vehicle inspections.
7. Car count goals that are predicated on your annual sales goal and your ARO goal.
8. Gross profit goals.
9. Productivity and efficiency goals for your technicians.
10. Closing ratio goals for your service advisers.
11. Customer satisfaction goals.
12. Customer retention goals.
13. Operating expense goals that are predicated on past performance and projected budgets.
14. Income goals.
15. Debt reduction goals.
16. Goals that are relative to any exit plan or succession strategy.
17. Career development goals.
18. Personal development goals.
Set goals that inspire you, never put money ahead of people and follow the advice in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to building a business that will thrive for years to come!
Since 1990, Bob Cooper has been the president of Elite Worldwide Inc., www.EliteWorldwideStore.com, an ethics-based company that helps both struggling and successful shop owners take their businesses to new levels through one-on-one coaching from the industry’s top experts. The company also offers shop owner sales, marketing, and management seminars, along with service advisor training. You can contact Bob at [email protected], or at 800-204-3548.