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
Finding and Recruiting Technician Talent for Your Shop
Jay Goninen from Find a Wrench and Find a Mechanic.com brings his experience as an industry veteran and recruiter to the Remarkable Results tribe. We have a wide-open discussion on recruiting, job descriptions, why people leave and the value of a good work environment.
Among other discussion points that help you keep your people or help your recruiting effort is offering a path for growth, more responsibility, more money, and benefits. Jay feels that your shop needs to have a unique differentiator to attract top talent.
From a technician’s perspective, they usually don’t promote themselves so creating a good resume and posting it on a job board is something he helps techs with.
He says you should always be recruiting. It is like a 5-star football recruit for your college sports program. You will look at every resume and do every interview.Listen and view episode notes
The Digital Shop: A Discussion.
If you are contemplating the future and know you’ll need to get there maybe sooner rather than later this roundtable discussion has a lot of information for you. Panelists are Joe Sevart from I70 Auto Service from Kansas City, MO, Bill Connor the General Manager form Craig’s’ Car Care in Allen, TX and AutoVitals CEO Uwe Kleinschmidt.
There are many important info points here to help you and guide you in this inevitable change to your business that will be as important as having lifts in the bays. You may not be ready to implement a totally digital inspection, CRM, and workflow system, however, you’ll want to invest the time in this episode, to you keep your learning curve high and hear from shop owners who have done it and are so happy they did.
The digital strategy is to have the service advisor to do more advising and less busy work. Digital also allows the customer to be anywhere and still see the problems via still pictures and videos.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
The Four Cornerstone Approach to Service Counter Success
David Eschbach shares his method for improving the relationship and experience with the service advisor and customer.
Here is an in-depth discussion on improving your service counter. It is no secret, we have great people on our service counters and a regiment of training brings fresh ideas and helps tighten your customer relationship.
David shares his Four Cornerstone approach to service counter success. It is a simple process as we look to your customer and discover: What is Broke, Why is it Broke, and then give them a Statement of Benefit and Recommendation and finally Explain How are we Going to do the Repair. Of course, money is a byproduct of a great service experience.Listen and view episode notes
Social Media: A contrast of Two Strategies to Engage your Customer
This is a contrast in social media strategies. Jeff Buckley has his style and methods and Jeff Matt is the opposite. Both great companies, both strategies work.
Jeff Buckley from My Fathers Shop in Midlothian, TX and Jeff Matt from Victory Auto Service a five-branch operation in Minneapolis. MN, share their different approach.
Each of their methods work and they both feel their ROI is worth it. Listen to find out which is your best approach.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
Shop Owner Stays on the Cutting Edge of Automotive Technology
Brin Kline owns Assured Auto Works in Melbourne, FL but never misses a technical training class presented by a top industry trainer. He can’t take the technician out of his business owners mindset.
Brin has set his goals to be a technical instructor at Vision KC some day. He works very hard on learning the technical side of the automotive. A proponent of day-time training and a member of many industry advisory councils like iATN and CTI.
Brin believes that every technician should take a business course to understand how business operates.Listen and view episode notes
Wide Open Discussion from Three Aftermarket Technicians and One Who Left the Industry.
As usual, these guys brought their opinionated selves to the interview, yet spoke from the heart about topics they are passionate about. Some no holds barred discussion points. There are times where there is no sugar coating and that is good to embrace all sides of an issue.
Matt Fanslow, Bob Heipp, Peter Landry and Tom Myers openly discuss some very hot and touchy subjects that affect all aftermarketer’s.
Just a few of the topics we discussed, shops charging for diagnostic time, opinions on social media, a discussion on augmented reality. They discuss that techs need to help the business owner make money, and therefore owners should share in the wealth. We talk about shop owners training their top and best-vested technicians and talk pay and benefits.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
Changing the Image of the Industry; One Customer at a Time.
Bambi Crozier and her husband Neil own Car Clinic in Lowell, AR. They are dedicated to lifelong customer relationships and are working to change their customer’s image of the industry to that of a profession and not just a trade.
With her background in customer service, she and Neil set out on a mission of change. She started by asking her customer’s a lot of questions about their vehicle. She discovered that her customers wanted the down and dirty truth about their vehicle needs.
Listen to her story of startup and transformation. She knows that the rapid change in technology and the way tech is affecting how business is done today will require a smarter, wiser business owner. She believes in the power of the statement: ‘You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.’Listen and view episode notes
Marketing To the Ultimate Customer. The Power of Video and the Zero Moment of Truth.
Al Haberstroh, a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at MontAd Media, a data marketing company serving the auto aftermarket and Robert Cannon, Chairman and CEO of AutoNetTV. Discuss building confidence and awareness in your consumer’s relationship.
These two companies have formed a strategic partnership to provide innovative content and marketing services to the aftermarket. They believe, “Macro trends like price transparency and more educated consumers are compelling smart manufacturers to connect with repair shops and consumers in creative ways.”
This conversation is going to light you up if you are into branding, marketing and the buying moment of truth. Al and Robert have a handle on the ‘e’ buying experience and look to work with the aftermarket to nurture a knowledgeable and brand conscious customer for the service professional.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
The Leadership Challenge
Tony Adams, Vice President of Operations at Weavers Auto Center in Shawnee, KS, has an inspiring story about change and leadership. Listening to stories like Tony’s, who have achieved success while toughing through challenges and learning from mistakes, can build strength in all who listen.
Tony admits to what all good leaders know; admit your mistakes, learn from them and move forward. It builds strong leadership. He shares his very transparent story. You’ll either relate to it or learn from it.
We all will experience a story like Tony’s at least once in our lives. Never stop learning and build a fire under your team to serve the customer.Listen and view episode notes