Managing Family Business Dynamics [THA 218]
Too often we are subject to the stereotypes associated with family working in business together…favoritism, entitlement, a cloudy culture. But with a clearly defined role, you can actually celebrate having family involved and enjoy watching your business flourish. My panel shares their wisdom on walking the fine line integrating family into your business.
The panel: Judy Walter, Zimmerman’s Automotive, Mechanicsburg, PA
John Klarkowski, AutoPro Auto Service, Brooklyn Park, MN
Joe Hanson, Gordies Garage, Roseville, MI.
Find the key talking points at remarkableresults.biz/a218Listen and view episode notes
Auto Repair in the Decade of the Nineties [THA 217]
It’s quite fitting this episode is being released on a Thursday…because it is the quintessential #throwbackthursday. My panel is taking a trip down memory lane in the 1990’s…the era of OBD2 and the huge shift in technology. Change is never easy but it is always a necessity, hear how my guests handled the changes and adapted in order to move forward. You can watch the video of this episode and find the key talking points at remarkableresults.biz/a217Listen and view episode notes
Have You Started Your Apprentice Program? [THA 216]
How many times have you heard “there is a technician shortage problem.” Is there really a technician shortage or is the real problem that there is a shortage of qualified technicians?
In this episode, we discuss the entire apprenticeship journey through the eyes of Jason Molinar. Find out how Jason literally switched gears as a pharmacy technician to becoming McNeil’s Auto Care’s most recent apprentice graduate.
As a business owner, the solution to staffing issues and shortages is…you. Now’s the time to build an apprentice program and “grow your own” technician. Jason’s story is powerful and should motivate you to start. A must listen to help ensure your business continues into the future.Listen and view episode notes
Rethinking Your ASE Certification [THA 215]
Did you know you need a license to cut hair but you don’t need a license or certifications to change brakes on a vehicle? And why do industry owners and technicians not value ASE certifications? That is the question of the day.
Joining me on this lively discussion on ASE is Trish Serratore, Sr. VP Communication, ASE, Mark Murphy, Lead Technician, Dynamic Automotive and technician and mentor Bryan Stafford from Parkway Automotive in Little Rock, AR
A great way to attract and keep customers is by letting them know YOU have certified technicians working on their vehicles. It is also a strong part of your value proposition. Now think about this …… If you value your ‘career’ in our industry wouldn’t ASE Certification be at the top of your list?
Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from taking the tests, there are practice tests and plenty of support located on the ase.com website to guide you along the way including the new recertification app.Listen and view episode notes
Preventing Zoom Burnout [THA 214]
Ever get burnt out on a zoom meeting or call?
The pandemic has caused us social creatures, to go indoors and away from our friends at conferences and training events. However, Technology stepped in to keep us ‘in the loop’ and engaged. Zoom was embraced along with other video conferencing platforms to give us virtual training and even cocktail parties.
Just talking to industry friends I found that for the majority we are ‘zoomed out’. Is that a real verb? So it was time to talk about it.
This panel says they are maxed out on virtual training, but we took it a step future. We all realized that virtual is here to stay. We will have hybrid training, some face-to-face and some virtual and we talk about it.
The panel says the presenters need to learn new virtual training techniques and the participants need to participate. A very eager panel that has some really great ideas on how to zoom!
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. Find them at remarkableresults.biz/a214Listen and view episode notes
Service Advisor Role Play #5 [THA 213]
Our role play subjects cover closing the expectation gap on the appointment setting call and understanding the importance of building anticipation in making the sale after the results of the DVI. We also covered how to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Service Advisor in calming the customer while building value in their services and retaining the sale. Lastly, we talked about the effective way in deferring services at the cash-out. All important and vital in building you or service advisor team.
The panel includes Clint White from Shop Vision, Dan McWilliams from Quality Service Center and Ben Lesueur from Oxford Automotive. They put their service advisor strategies for you to follow.
Find ways to compare and improve your confidence and comfort in the face of your customer. Together we have something here. This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. Find them at remarkableresults.biz/a213Listen and view episode notes
THA 212 Charging What We Are Worth
We are talking about charging what we truly are worth. Yes this topic dives into your reluctance to charge enough so you can sustain a real profitable business. Breaking even is just a hobby. Many don’t feel that they can actually make a real living serving their customer … repairing cars.
This episode exposes the elephant in the room. Emotion is a big driver in your worth and what you charge. Do you truly know the value of your business and your overall cost of doing business? If you did, you would not be working for Free.
Our panel nails this episode in all the proper places. With me is Carlo Sabucco, 2nd generation owner of Sil’s Complete Auto Care Centre, Maylan Newton, business coach from ESI – Educational Seminars Institute, and Glenn Larson, from Foothill Autoservice, Lake Forest, CA
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. Find them at remarkableresults.biz/a212Listen and view episode notes
Retirement Plans and Profit Sharing Insights
We are talking about retirement plans. If you asked your people if they had a retirement account or even a decent nest egg you will most likely get a blank stare or a no answer.
You just discovered an important benefit you can provide your people. Sure you’ve got to have the profits in the company to start up a program like this, but there are many creative ways to start a 401K and/or profit-sharing program.
First off we are not giving any advice or are even qualified to give advice. This is an open discussion among your peers to get your thoughts started, or even to educate you on this potential employee benefit. You need to contact a certified financial planner, your accountant, and possibly an attorney if you get serious about creating another benefit that keeps your team working for you.
Invest in this episode even if you don’t have a glimmer about providing a retirement saving discipline for your people. You may not be ready today, but the information in this episode will give you ideas and insights if ever you consider doing this.
My guests today are Greg Skolnik from Motor Works in Rockville, MD, and Sabrina Gatewood from King Amaco. As shop owners, they both have a perspective and opinion on retirement plans for your people.
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. Find them at remarkableresults.biz/a211. Let’s talk about it.Listen and view episode notes
THA 210 Where the Money Goes – The $100 Lesson
How many times do you get a great idea on an exercise you can share with your team …. one that helps your people respect and understand the costs of running a business? My guest Patrick McHugh and I will show you a fun and profound exercise on what happens to a $100 transaction … exactly where the money goes. Welcome to the 210th episode of the Town Hall Academy.
It is important that your people get a chance to see your Profit and Loss Statement, but for many, it will be a very difficult learning curve. We have a very simple way to do it that will make respecting margin, costs, and net profits in a whole new way.
This exercise will change the way you and your people look at the numbers and what it takes to grow a strong and profitable business.
My guest today is Patrick McHugh from Bimmer Rescue in Richmond, VA. and we have a story for you! This episode’s key talking points are already done for you at remarkableresults.biz/a210.Listen and view episode notes
THA 209 Building Deep Ties to the Community
Do you agree that paying it forward and creating a lasting rapport with your own community goes a long way?
Being involved in your community is more important than you know. When you support from the heart never expect to get something back. Our episode today tackles and explains exactly why connections and network within your community is essential as well as it is necessary.
Part of branding your business includes your support of the community. I’m with Jennifer Filzen from Rock Star Marketing and Author of the new book “The Give To Get Principle: How Relationships & Reciprocity Build Raving Fans”, Carl Hutchinson from Complete Automotive, Springfield, MO, Patrick Dolder of PALS Ocala Auto Repair, Ocala, FL, and Sue Morsching, Elysian Auto Service, Elysian, MN. You can learn a lot from this community-engaged panel.
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. They reside on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a209.Listen and view episode notes
THA 208 Stop Selling From Your Wallet
Too many times we think about our own money tolerance instead of the customer needs. We think what others believe is a lot of money to us is not. We also can’t fathom people paying what they do for services because we would not. We have different lines in the sand when it comes to price perception and if you sell from your own wallet you’ll limit yourself, do what is not necessarily right for your customer and limit your potential, not only for yourself but for the business.
In other words, don’t make the decision for your customer. Let them decide. We play a really insightful game that you need to do with your team.
I’m with Brian Gillis of You Net Results, who brought this excellent topic and the neat game we play, also Andy Arndt of Arndt Automotive in Malta, IL. And Keith Knowlton of LKS Auto Repair, Bremerton, Wa. They bring sound, practical, and professional advice for all of us to stop selling from our own wallets. Too many times we think about our own money tolerance instead of the customer’s needs.
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. They reside on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a208.Listen and view episode notes
THA 207 Pre Scheduling Appointments – The Time Has Come
Welcome to the 207th episode of the Town Hall Academy. Right up front l want to warn you. This discussion may just change the way you do business. I want you to give it your all and when done implement the tactics you discover. I know your business will blossom.
Scheduling future appointments is not a new concept. You know about it but have never decided it was good for your business or your customer. We have solid statistics that demonstrate that 59% of your customers are willing and ready to accept a future appointment for maintenance service. Ever walk out of the dentist’s office without your next hygiene appointment. How about a hair salon?
I’m with Bill Thompson, Craig Noel, and Greg Skolnik. Bill Thompson brings his critical data to support this strategy, Greg has been doing this for years and has the data to prove the strength of the strategy and Craig is starting to pre-book now.
There was a ton of passion flowing throughout this episode. I believe you’ll be moved to start in your business. So …. Let’s talk about it.
This episode’s key talking points are already done for you. They reside on the show notes page at remarkableresults.biz/a207. Enjoy.Listen and view episode notes
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.