THA 206 Proof of Concept
The pandemic was the test of preparedness, fortitude, leadership, nerves, among others. Our topic “Proof of Concept” is the story behind the strong getting stronger.
The leaders who listened and implemented the strategies being served up by the industry pundits especially coaches over the last 3 to 4 years found themselves in a good place. You’ve heard them enforce on the podcast, … essential tactics like strong business culture, a commitment to training your team, firing non-productive or toxic employees, DVI, Cloud-based software, text to pay and the list goes on like strong leadership. Smart Marketing. Managing KPIs, Good financial statements, building processes, and systems, Etc, etc. In essence, the strong found their pandemic recovery easier than others. That is what we are talking about today: ‘Proof of Concept’
Joining me is Chris Cotton, AJ Nealey, and Michael Gallini. They all agree that they are in a better spot because they implemented and worked the strategies and tactics that the industry is known to create success and sustainable profits. Glad you are here, Let’s Talk About It.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a206.Listen and view episode notes
THA 205 Requirements for Adding a Branch Store
Welcome to the 205th episode of the Town Hall Academy. New Year, New Challenges. Many in the industry are contemplating growth and many are thinking of selling or succession. Keep close to the insights and wisdom from your aftermarket peers, right here, who share their growth story with you.
I’m with Greg Bunch, Austin Miller, and John Manelas. Greg is the owner of Aspen Auto Clinic, Colorado. Austin Miller opened Tire Star in2011, and John owns Auto Care Plus and Euro Care Plus. Together this team has 15 branches and growing.
How many shops are enough? Is there a sweet spot? What qualities must a shop owner possess in order to successfully add a shop? What are the challenges? No doubt this group tells their tale of their initial branch store and the huge learning curve that happened with it and subsequent stores.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a205.Listen and view episode notes
THA 204 What will 2021 Bring?
Welcome to the 204th episode of the Town Hall Academy as 2020 is ending and 2021 takes over. Covid-19 continues its wrath and still a huge part in our daily lives. Most important is to move forward with the anticipation and excitement of a new year.
So let’s talk about it. I’m with Gene Morrill owner of Certified Automotive in Glendora, CA, Greg Buckley CEO of Buckley Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE and Joe Marconi from Osceola Garage, Baldwin Place, NY.
2021 will continue to be a year of transition. It won’t be easy. The panel talks about moving the couch, reviewing your fundamentals and believes it’s not over yet. If ever a time to be proactive not is it. We still have a lot of unknowns so pay attention to everything because there are many unknowns. The panel did an excellent job assessing their approach to the new year.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a204.Listen and view episode notes
THA 203 How My Business Changed as a Result of Covid-19 – A Look Back
A lot has happened as we drew to a close a year considered to be one of the most challenging years in our history.
Today, our topic talks about the changes and the challenges that Covid-19 swept on the aftermarket industry, along with every shop owner and team member. Did you push through? How did you cope? What changed and what changed permanently? These are some questions to reflect on as 2021 is on our doorstep. Reflect on your preparedness to face this unprecedented call to action.
Joining me are for this frank discussion is Jim Hayes, General Manager of Pacific Motor Service — and Dave Martin from Martin’s Auto Repair, Phoenix, AZ
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a203.Listen and view episode notes
Why Fix a Negative Attitude [THA 202]
Statistics and many studies concluded that a negative behavior creates liabilities in the business setting and strains relationships. On a personal level, it decreases productivity and performance. Not only does it damage teamwork, but it also makes for unhappy customers. Our episode today attacks why a negative attitude has no room in our industry!
Joining me is Craig O’Neill, Andy Pollina, from Legacy Auto Tech, Grand Rapids, and Rick White from 180 Biz.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a202.Listen and view episode notes
Creating The Right Environment for Shop Efficiency [THA 201]
There are a lot of variables when we talk about shop efficiency. There is culture, environment, leadership, and more. There is no single formula that can solve shop efficiency. But if there are the right guidelines, our panel today, certainly has the answers. A big fat thank you to Chris Monroe, Joe Marconi, and Kevin Vaught for sharing their expertise with you. So many small things done right makes for improved efficiency.
Chris Monroe is a coach who owns Monroe Tire & Service at Shelby, NC., Joe Marconi is a coach who also owns Osceola Garage at Baldwin Place, NY., and Kevin Vaught is a former multi-shop owner and is an Elite Worldwide Business Development Coach.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a201.Listen and view episode notes
A Blessing in Disguise From My Biggest Mistake [THA 200]
Welcome to the 200th milestone episode of the Town Hall Academy. The industry’s premiere and original single subject forum. Thank you for your support in listening and watching the forum and making it a staple of information and insights for our automotive service industry.
Wisdom comes from many sources. If you think about the many mistakes you’ve made there are hundreds. But the blessing that can come from failure is to think of the challenge you faced and the outcome. Your panel today digs deep in their heart and shares with you the triumphs that came from some tough and low spots in their careers. I thank Emily Chung, Kelli Weatherby, Matthew Lachowitzer and Kevin Eckler for their transparent and emotional rendering on how they overcame a huge mistake and found blessings in their decision to act.
Matt Lachowitzer owns and founded Matt’s Automotive Service Center, Emily Chung owns and operates AutoNiche auto repair shop in Markham, Kelli Weatherby co-owner, with husband Lee, co-owns Accurate Automotive in Mesa, AZ., and Kevin Eckler, along with wife Lisa, owns Foreign Car Specialists.
The key talking points from this episode are already done for you on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a200.Listen and view episode notes
Buying and Selling – A Tale of Two Deals [THA 199]
An episode that showcases a sale and an acquisition and the story behind these aftermarket transactions from two couples who each had a great opportunity.
Kevin and Sarah Bickford bought the Fox River Tire & Auto, Richie and Leslie Zimmerman owned and sold 3 Shops to a big box brand. The reasons and method of these two transactions will help you realize how these opportunities take an immense amount of work and maybe some luck.
The key talking points from this episode, they are already done for you. Go to the show page at remarkableresults.biz/a199.Listen and view episode notes
Four Corner – Four Wall Facility Audit [THA 198]
Welcome to an episode that brings to you the power and value of peer inspections of your facility and property. This discussion applies to the Four Corners and Four Walls of your shop. Does your customer see the organization and cleanliness of your shop? How about the environment that your people work in. Is it up to your standards?
I’m with Seth Thorson, Owner of EuroTech Auto Service and LMV Bavarian BMW Support; and Daniel Gravely, District Manager, EuroTech Auto Service. And keep in mind this is a peer review – some special power in that.
The key talking points from this episode, they are already done for you. Go to the show page at remarkableresults.biz/a198.Listen and view episode notes
Electric Vehicles – The Future Unfolds [THA 197]
Welcome to an episode ahead of its time. It may bring forth some brilliant thoughts and strategies moving forward that will help the aftermarket prepare for the future. It will be here sooner than we know.
I’m with John Eppstein, Carolyn Coquillette, Dave Kusa, and Rorry Balmer. We talk about the future with changing technology especially Electric Vehicles. Don’t shy away from this or any other topic that will define your future.
My Academy guests detailed our preparedness, the competitive landscape, predictions, legislation, powertrain, ownership structure, electric vehicles and more along with their recommendations.
If you want the key talking points from this episode, they are already done for you. Go to the show page at remarkableresults.biz/a197.Listen and view episode notes
CARES ACT and PPP Update with Hunt Demarest [THA 196]
I’m with Hunt Demarest CPA in this Payroll Protection Program or PPP update.
Hunt says that there is a document that says the deadline for PPP forgiveness is October 31, 2020. That is not true and Hunt explains. If you did get PPP funds there is a deadline to apply for forgiveness and he shares the timing on that. If you got an EIDL loan that must be paid back. Check with your banker or accountant. Don’t ignore it.
Hunt provides some tax consequence talk, but more importantly, you need to work with your banker, accountant or tax preparer to be sure you are compliant with the law i
Hunt is from Paar Mellis an accounting firm that exclusively works with aftermarket shop owners. Hunt has contributed in past episodes and he always offers great advice. Nothing in this episode is to be construed as gospel. You must do your own research and consult with your own professionals.
If you want the key talking points from this episode, they are already done for you. Go to the show page at remarkableresults.biz/a196.Listen and view episode notes
Coaches Lab: Why Employees Leave [THA 195]
You are about to embark on a brainstorming session with three of our aftermarket’s excellent business coaches that have a strong leaning toward people and culture. As you’ve learned throughout the last 194 episodes picking a panel and getting them to mesh seems to be a strength of mine and this one nailed our topic. And you benefit from this listen.
Employees leave for many reasons. This episode will give you more than five reasons and if you work on only three of them, you are on your way to creating a solid ‘sticky’ team. I say sticky because you want your people to stay, yet you need to create the right environment, culture, and engagement for it to work.
The panel: Dan Taylor, Senior Business Advisor at Transformers Institute, Dave Schedin, from Computrek Automotive Management Systems, and Murray Voth, owner and principal trainer at RPM training.
If you want the key talking points from this episode, they are already done for you. Go to the show page at remarkableresults.biz/a195 Use them for an agenda to help you implement the insights from this Academy.Listen and view episode notes
Auto Repair in the Decade of the Eighties [THA 194]
Welcome to another trip down memory lane and a flashback to the decade of the 1980s. My guests recall that the new tech that came out in the decade was learned through trial by fire and carburetors could be diagnosed with your ears. A fun time where the music was made by hair groups…. what was your favorite group?
This was an era too where the Chrysler Caravan, Fiero and the IROC-Z debuted. When the phone rang during this period, they said that 80 percent of the time that caller would-be customers and 12 D Cell Batteries to make the Boom Box work. And of course, the mullet was the hair cut of choice. If you don’t remember because you are too young, then listen to what your brethren, who came before you, remember about the decade of the eighties. BTW There are pictures of the entire panel from the 1980s in the show notes
The panel, Kevin Eckler, along with wife Lisa own Foreign Car Specialists, in Poughkeepsie, NY, Paul Marquardt, Northwoods Auto Techs, Rhinelander, WI was the National NAPA ASE Tech of the Year for 2010 and is a NAPA Autotech Trainer
Rich Falco, Instructor at CTI (Carquest Technical Institute) and John Bridgwater, Wright’s Automotive Service, San Leandro, CA. The show notes at remarkableresults.biz/a194 where you’ll find pictures and links to my panel’s previous episodes.
Apprentice Stories [THA 193]
In your circles do you find that the discussion is trending toward finding top talent? All aspects from networking, writing great ads, improving hiring systems and improving your business culture is credited to finding and keeping top talent.
How much success are you having finding great talent out of the available pool? I believe the time has come, in a big way, to “grow your own”. For many that concept seems nebulous. Something you hear about, know you should do, but can’t even begin to know where to start.
I’ve done at least 10 podcasts on apprenticing and career pathing. Most recently Town Hall Academy #185 dedicated to understanding apprentice programs. This episode is a bookend to #185 and I call it Apprentice Stories. Listen to two apprentices and a mentor talk candidly about the process and results.
Anything worthwhile takes time and effort and installing an apprentice program in your shop is as right as having lifts in your bays.
I will have links to important apprentice programs you can embrace listed in the show notes at remarkableresults.biz/a193Listen and view episode notes
Improving Workflow – THA 192
We are talking about Improving Workflow in the Shop. The panel gave their best in sharing disciplines and processes that work for them. If you are a student of process improvement you’ll appreciate the discussion and if you are not you’ll realize you must start.
The panel includes Mike Davidson, Parkway Automotive, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Industry Essentials with a DOL Approved Apprenticeship Plan, Corey Evaldi, Olmsted Auto Care, Olmstead, OH, Andrew Minkler, Bavarian Motor Repairs, Capital Heights, MD and Steve Wootton, Technical Adviser, Ultimate Auto, Truck and Equipment in Cromwell, CT.
The detailed key talking points can be found at remarkableresults.biz/a192. Remember you can use the talking points to help create your own next steps or meeting agenda.
Mike Davidson shares the most important question that he asks every one of his team members.Listen and view episode notes
Incentive Pay – THA 191
We are talking about Incentive Pay. You will conclude from this episode that there is no silver bullet to this answer. There are a lot of moving parts to create compensation plans unique to your business culture for the results you, your employee, and team need to have to best serve your customer and to create financial rewards.
I invited a great panel to discuss incentive pay: // Seth Thorson, from EuroTech Auto Service, based in New Brighton, MN and also the owner of LMV Bavarian a BMW tech support company. Bryan Kelley is here from Valley Auto Electric, Covington, WA, Active and chairman of ASA Northwest and Bill Haas, Haas Performance Consulting, and Business Manager of NACAT, the North American Automotive Teachers
The detailed key talking points can be found at remarkableresults.biz/a191 along with Bryan’s chart on 23 motivators of people. Remember you can use them to help create your own plan or meeting agenda.Listen and view episode notes
THA 190 Succession with an Internal Candidate
In keeping with my goal to keep the succession theme burning as we face the reality that many of you need to retire and sell your business and many of you would like to become business owners.
This episode reveals a transaction with two internal non-family successors. Bob Ward anchors this episode as he helped orchestrate this transaction.
I’m with business owner Steve LaFleur from Prescott Import Car Service and one of the internal co-buyers, Dave Mendez. Dave has worked for Steve for 10 years.
This very candid conversation will help move your succession plans forward and you can get all the key talking points from this episode at remarkableresults.biz/a190. These key talking points will make for a great planning agenda.Listen and view episode notes
THA 189 Delayed Maintenance – The Power of Appointments
This episode is about delayed maintenance and the power of appointments. You are going to find fascinating data and information that will help you make strategic changes in your business.
I’m with Bill Thompson, President, IMR Inc. / automotiveresearch.com and shop owner Brett Beachler, Beachler’s Vehicle Care and Repair, Peoria, IL
To see the data referenced in this Academy episode you can watch the video on the show notes page or find each chart on the show notes page.
BTW there is a ton of great advice here but don’t take my word for it, listen until the end, even in two sessions. Get all the key talking points on the website at remarkableresults.biz/a189Listen and view episode notes
THA 188 – Succession with a Family Member
Family succession can be different than selling to a non-family member, yet many components of a transaction are similar. Jessica and Ron were very forthcoming and business coach Dave Justice helped shape the plan.
The panel: Ron Tinner, owner of Sparks Tire and Auto, along with his daughter Jessica Carrino. Jessica will become the owner, and they share their story about making a family transaction work. David Justice from Repair shop of Tomorrow is their business coach.
Succession is one of the hottest trends in our industry. So many want to retire, pass the business on to family or sell to a team member. Selling to another shop owner or group is also in the cars. We can’t talk about this enough.
For the key talking points, audio and video go to remarkableresults.biz/a188.Listen and view episode notes
THA 187 Labor Rates: A Function of the Business Not the Market
Labor Rates is a very touchy subject for some shop owners. It is the sacred measure that customers rate you on. If you believe that this episode is for you.
We are covering multiple labor rates, an approach to calculating your rates, and what the future holds as far as the importance that labor rates ill be to your business if not most critical already today.
If you are struggling to make money there are many areas you need to pay attention to, and most importantly your labor rate. Is your rate based on the market or on the function of your business.
The panel: Bob Greenwood, AMAM, President and of the Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Center, Business coach, and as I like to say one of the best numbers guys in the industry. Also Business coach Brian Gillis the Cheif Strategist at You Net-Results and joining us halfway through is shop owner Bill Nalu from Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MIListen and view episode notes
THA 186 Live at the Grill with Chris Della Bella
Welcome friend to a first for the Town Hall Academy. I attempted to pull off a live cooking show with my friend Chris Della Bella, the Director of Market Development, Northern US for Advance/Carquest. We had some tech glitches, but we created a short and fun episode that accomplished our goal.
You know food is a universal language and breaking bread with people is one of the most intimate and fun relationship builder.
Imagine a cooking show in audio format. Our industry is known to hold cookouts for the team and with that idea in mind, we held a live cooking show. Sure you can listen to the podcast or go to the show notes page or my Youtube channel to watch Chris in action. remarkableresults.biz/a186
I hope you have plans this week to cook out for your team and your family while practicing social distancing.Listen and view episode notes
THA 185 Apprentice Programs – Growing Your Own Technicians
Do you need a technician? What are you doing about it. There is some great talent available as an outcome of the pandemic; however, it won’t last.
Here is another episode on apprenticing. This is a recurring curring theme on the podcast. I will put up a link on the show notes page that displays all podcasts that helps you learn about apprentice programs.
The panel: Pete McNeil, shop owner, Mc Neils Auto Care, The NAPA 2020 Shop Owner of the Year, Sandy, UT, 2 Locations. (Expanded Sandy location to 16 bays and use it for education). Jake Sorensen, Technician, the 2019 NAPA ASE Technician of the Year, He is an ASE Master technician with L1,2 and 3 advanced level certifications. He is the shop manager and diagnostic technician at McNeil’s Auto Care in Sandy, UT and Alexia Murphy, Program Specialist, Department of Workforce Services, State of Utah
The key talking points listed on the show notes page will make a great meeting agenda or outline for change find them at remarkableresuts.biz/a185Listen and view episode notes
Decade the Seventies: Talking Auto Repair – THA 184
What was auto repair like in the decade of the seventies? In order to make this panel work, I needed to find aftermarket leaders that are still active in the industry and who were in the trenches in the seventies. I found them. And what you are going to hear is an incredible journey from their collective memories.
Listen to this cast: Mitch Schneider, Chris Chesney, Maylan Newton, Jerry Kezhaya, and Bob Pulverenti. Needless to say, this group had so much fun sharing their escapades as technicians or shop owners. Even if you weren’t a member of the class of the seventies you’ll appreciate the stories of how things were and without them, we wouldn’t have what we have today.
Key talking points and links to my guest’s previous episodes at remarkableresults.biz/a184Listen and view episode notes
THA 183 Selling Your Business – The First Steps
I’m with coach and consultant Bob Ward from Warden LLC and perpetualbusiness.co, and David Justice, Coach with Repair Shop of Tomorrow. David sold His three shops and now supports shop owners to build their legacy.
You are going to find out about an exciting concept of building a perpetual business, which means it outlasts you. In essence, you prepare to sell your business the day you open, taking the stress of preparing your business for sale
The key talking points for this episode are already done for you, find them, and my guest’s bios at remarkableresults.biz/a183. These key talking points will make for a great planning agenda.Listen and view episode notes
THA 182 The Business Side of ADAS Part 2
This is the second part of a series on the ‘Business Side of ADAS’ as we need to have a continual discussion on ADAS calibration. Should we invest or just outsource the work? As you know vehicle systems are highly integrated and respecting these advanced driver systems to keep the vehicle in OE operating conditions is the moral side of the importance of performing ADAS calibrations.
Listen to another great aftermarket panel talking about the Business of ADAS. With me is David Friend, owner of Mobile Tech and Wilmington Hybrids, from Wilmington, NC
Matt Lachowitzer, from Matt’s Automotive Service Center, with six locations in North Dakota, he also has a new ADAS Calibration Center and, James Carpenter, Collision Manager at Eastlake Diagnostics.
Part one of this ADAS series is in Town Hall Academy episode 138: remarkableresults.biz/a138 The key talking points for this episode can be found at remarkableresults.biz/a182Listen and view episode notes