The Rule of Holes: Know When To Stop Digging
Knowing your break-even point — the point at which total cost and total revenue are equal is important to running a business. It is not just good enough to reach your daily break even, you must exceed it if you are to stay in business.
Knowing the break-even point is helpful in deciding gross margin on parts, labor rates, setting sales budgets and preparing a business plan. If you do not reach your daily break-even then there is a great chance that you had a loss of profit for the day.
This episode provides a worksheet download for calculating break-even. The numbers will come from your financial statements. Your accountant can also provide them. The key to knowing your break-even set the tone when you are reaching for your profitable sales goal. You’ll know what the minimum excepted number is without digging yourself into a hole.Listen and view episode notes
How To Get Value From Recorded Service Calls
Listen and learn from Rena Rennebohm, service advisor coach and the Chief Training Officer of ACT Group, Keith Williamson, president of Williamson’s Repair and Tire in Bondurant, IA and service advisor Lauren Giver, from Los Gatos Auto Service in Campbell, CA.
Listening to just one side of a customer call does not do justice in improving and training your service advisor. Service advisers need quality training, no different than technicians and business owners and the recorded phone call is an important element to that training. Save good calls and go over what a good call sounds like. If your shop does not record calls, then get your shop secret shopped. You’ll be convinced.
Find one phone call that works play it over and share it with your team; you will grow your business. Recorded calls and coaching helps to convert and opens the learning to be a better communicator. A great outcome of recorded calls is the opportunity to make changes to your policies. You’ll discover what works and what doesn’t.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Owners Must Do’s: Daily Actions that Matter: Why Routine Matters.
We had a very deep discussion on critical daily actions that will keep your business compliant and running smoothly. You’ll walk away with a strong sense of discipline in building a daily task list that you stick with. Without proper planning and a strong checklist, that you are accountable for (or that you delegate), too many slips through the cracks and eventually crashes into your well-intentioned routine.
Bambi Crozier wife and co-owner with Neil Crozier, of Car Clinic in Lowell, AR, Mark Goldsmith Mark’s Independent Service in Chatsworth, CA and Rick White Rick is President and Lead Coach for 180BIZ bring their great insights on the importance of planning to be a strong business leader and watchdog.Listen and view episode notes
How to Become the Employer of Choice.
Join Ryan Clo from Dubwerx in Cincinnati, Dwayne Myers from Dynamic Automotive in Frederick, MD and the Director of Training at RLO, Barry Barrett.
You have an opportunity to listen to three of your aftermarket colleagues who will share their perspective on becoming the employer of choice. We opened up some great thinking pathways to help you create and improve your position in the marketplace when it come to attacking and keeping great talent.
We talk the extreme importance of creating and having a great business culture, career ladders, putting your people front and center in your business, pay, reputation and so much more.Listen and view episode notes
The Power of Strong Financial Statements
No question that knowing the value of your Profit and Loss Statement helps you grow a strong, viable and profitable company. Many shop owners have not gotten intimate enough with the value of their financial statements.
The episode with Maryann Croce from Croce Transmissions in Norwalk, CT, Mark Roberts from Schertz Auto Service in Schertz, TX and Bob Greenwood, AMAM, president of Automotive Aftermarket e-Learning Center show the power of an accurate P & L.
We also talk about the Balance Sheet and the extreme value in accurate finical statements if you are going to sell your business or buy one. Also discussed is where on the P & L is it indicated that you can afford raises and that your emotions will try to override the numbers, because they tell the real story.Listen and view episode notes
Your Idea Customer – Defining Your Avatar
Knowing your ideal customer is an important part of very successful businesses and helps define who you want as your customer. Commonly called your customer avatar, or your cardboard cut-out you are defining a customer that trusts you and are advocates for you.
These customers are least likely to stray are most likely to recommend you, because they are also advocates. You must talk to your ideal customer and find out what makes them tick.
In this episode find out the many ways you can connect with your avatar, a recommendation on how to get started and who to involve inside your company to help define who is your ideal customer. Hear from Ron Inchausti Coast Motor Werks in Irvine, CA, a multi-shop owner, Brian Weeks from [atc] Auto Center, a 3rd generation multi-shop owners from Augusta, GA and Patrick McHugh from Bimmer Rescue in Richmond, VA.Listen and view episode notes
The Power Center of your Business is in the Back Office PART 2
Amy Mattinat, Jacquie Walter Hower, Maryann Croce and Kim Auernheimer discuss Human Resources and Marketing. Two very important responsibilities of the CEO and back office team.
Highlights: The legal document called an employee handbook, hire slow-fire fast, know your candidate’s personality and hire for a culture fit.
Track your marketing efforts, never shoot in the dark you may not be spending your money wisely. Have a good referral program for your advocate customer and your brand’s image needs to be consistent and must match the face you put in the web and social media. This group also shares some great marketing ideas.Listen and view episode notes
Stay Up On Social Media. What do the Facebook Changes Mean to Your Marketing Effort?
Facebook announced sweeping changes in early 2018. Our Academy panel provides great advice on becoming 2018 ‘Social Savvy’ and improving and changing your social media strategy.
Key talking points: You are your brand, your brand is you. Build a sales funnel around the assets you own like your website and your mailing list. Put your customer out front. Use Facebook Live because video will get preference from Facebook. And among so many other great insights you need to document instead of create content.Listen and view episode notes
Many Problems Are Found in A Lack Of Communications; Therefore Good Communications Can Prevent Come Backs.
Improving Communications Between the Service Adviser and Technician with Jude Larson from Valley Repair in Tenino, WA and also with JML Real Solutions, also Darrin Barney, Owner of Barney Brothers Off Road in Grand Junction, CO and Donnie Carter, Service Manager at Little Wolf Automotive in Waupaca, WI.
Communication is an important tenant in any service business. It is up to the service advisor to bring the ‘novel’ to the technician. Listen hard to the customer and write down the details of their issue or concern.
Technicians results are dependent on getting a good path to follow. Give them a great opportunity to succeed with clear in-depth information. Techs need to do their part and provide clear information back to the service advisor to support the recommendations they are going to provide as a value to the customer.Listen and view episode notes
Lessons I Learned When I Sold My Shop
Three former shop owners tell their story on selling their business. With Margie van Lierop, Formerly of Beach Cities Garage in Laguna Hills, CA; Scott ‘Gonzo’ Weaver formerly of Superior Auto Electric, Tulsa, OK (You also know Scott from Gonzo’s Tool Box) and Dave Winters formerly of Swedish Automotive in Seattle, WA, share their experience.
Among the talking points, confidentiality, transparent and normalized profit and loss statement, valuation, business broker, asset values, being a landlord and eventual tax liability, among others.Listen and view episode notes
Find A Blue Print Outlined For Finding Success If You Are Going To Open An Automotive Aftermarket Service Repair Shop.
There is some secret Sause shared here including a few preferred methods on how to start, setting up your spending plan, how important location is and the need to know the demographics of that local community. Is the income level such that money can be spent on vehicle service and maintenance?
We talk financial, (knowing your numbers) debt, cash flow. All very important parts of a CEO’s responsibility. May great technicians, who are unemployable, strive to start their own business because they want to do things their way. Most find out it is not an easy task. There are responsibilities beyond financial and cash flow like, marketing, the tax man, HR laws and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
This panel does a great job of explaining the challenges you’ll need to deal with, so you can find your successes sooner rather than later. It is a slow process, but success shouldn’t take years to achieve.Listen and view episode notes
Finding The Right Business Coach.
A strong group of successful service professionals credits a business coach or consultant for their success. This Academy panel is in agreement on the steps you must weigh when considering hiring a business coach or consultant.
Be prepared to put your pride on the shelf and learn how to grow your business to new heights. Let the coach Identify your problems with profit, productivity, training, marketing, pricing labor and parts among others.
Your coach will teach you how to identify your problems and show you ways to fix it yourself. Business coaches/consultants help business owners develop skills to become reliant on their own. You will also be held accountable for your goals and production.Listen and view episode notes
How To Sell Diagnostics at a Profit?
This is not an easy question to answer. Service professionals must be paid for their expertise because the cost of doing diagnostics is the most expensive service you have in your building.
It is time to move from diagnostics to testing and analyzing. Every shop needs to build a premium product around testing and analyzing. You need to be known as the ‘we can fix anything right the first time shop’. Your motto: “We have the best technicians.” Your shops testing and analyzing skills is the premium product you sell and are known for in your marketplace. No need to go anywhere else. We do the research, test, analyze and discover what is wrong. We present the solution then you decide.
Marketing this premium product requires a strong testing/analyzing process that both the service advisor and technician are totally in agreement with. The benefits allow the SA to confidently sell testing and analyzing.
The diagnostician knows that the SA will sell the value and benefits to the customer because the process dictates the work to be done. A very strong discussion and powerful take-a-ways that will arrest the black hole in your business of profitable diagnostic time.Listen and view episode notes
Growth Strategy: Fleets
Fleet business can sustain your revenue during the up and down times of the year. Get started and be willing to change and adjust as you move along. These three experts agree that it may be time for you to ‘Get out of your comfort zone’ and jump into the fleet business.
Learn from Tom Palermo from Preferred Automotive Specialists in Jenkintown, PA, John Constantin from Bison Fleet Service in Buffalo, NY and Bill Nalu from Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI.
We talk how to recruit fleet customer, obvious reasons to get into fleet business, the how and the challenges of implementing and growing fleet revenue.Listen and view episode notes
Do you need a quick new idea to implement that will give you an edge?
In this Academy lesson get 21 TIPS (Part 2) to help give you an edge over the competition. These are some very simple ideas that have been collected from successful service professionals in the industry.
Implementation will be the big payoff. If you listen to learn just one thing and do not implement you will not benefit from this listen.Listen and view episode notes