The Power Of A Vanity Phone Number
Bruno Tabbi is the President and Co-Founder at Ignition Toll-Free, where he focuses on premium vanity phone numbers including 1-800-MECHANIC.
Bruno says that organic marketing, through phones, is still alive and important in this day and age. We are so preoccupied with online marketing strategies that we forget that the phone call is still relevant and powerful. Managing your incoming phones is as powerful as having a solid SEO strategy for the web.Listen and view episode notes
Shop Talk: Time Management and Digital Inspections
Shop talk with three shop owners; John Constantin, Jim Fleishman and Mike Schultz talk time management and digital inspections.
Systems for time management will either make our lives easier or without them, our stress level could be at Defcon 2. You may use post-it notes or digital software to stay on track and more organized.
This episode was recorded live and was an ‘open mic’ format. You enjoy the dialogue between these shop owners from the Western New York area near Buffalo.Listen and view episode notes
Can David Beat Goliath?
The Academy panel dives into the dichotomy of David and Goliath. David, quick nimble and did not perceive that he was an underdog. The panel considers that larger industry players can be Goliath-like … complacent, too structured, weighed down with rules and inflexible. It doesn’t mean that it is bad, but they say small and nimble is better than big and sluggish. They are quick to point out that we can learn a lot from Goliath’s as it pertains to systems and processes.
Ironically we did discuss that having a Goliath mentality may be good for a David. We talked about business models, being able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and consumers habits. A great example in the discussion was that Starbucks is a Goliath but they hire Davids. A very potent strategy for success. We also talk customer loyalty and what we can learn from the Goliaths of the aftermarket.
The Panel: Bambi Crozier, from Car Clinic in Lowel, AR, Jeremy O’Neal, Freedom Automotive, Freedom Automotive in Hesperia, CA and President and Lead Sales Trainer at AdvisorFix and Scott Pelava, Lonsdale Auto Works in Lonsdale, MNListen and view episode notes
Friends To The Rescue.
Mark Bergasse from Marks Auto Service in Oakville, ON, had a life-changing medical condition. A heart attack that precipitated a quadruple bypass. His wife Sandy called their friends Glenn Colling of Eastside Auto Service, Todd Sarson of Stop N Go Automotive, and Carlo Sabucco of Sils Complete Auto Care Centre. They share their story of support to Mark and Sandy.
This story is about friendship, caring and the power of humanity. Are you prepared for a possible business or life-changing moment? Is your network in place? Are your friends or competitors ready to step up. Mark, Todd, Carlo and Glenn share the backstory on the value of friendship first, competitor second.Listen and view episode notes
Fundamentals, Systems, People Development and How to Work From Home
Tom Ham has been a great contributor to the podcast and with his years of experience as a shop owner and chief conductor at Automotive Management Network, he has a perspective and/or opinion on all aspects of running a successful and professional automotive service business.
We’re going to talk about basic block and tackling, the power of good systems and procedures, because if your not your dying. Also, hear about a clever idea to extract business improving ideas from your team and three questions to ask yourself to discover if you can start to walk away and work away from your business.Listen and view episode notes
Do You Have Control of Your Business Intelligence Data?
Data is king. It is ok to share your data if you know who you are sharing it with? If and when you share your customer database with vendors; what do you want them to do with it and how should you expect them to treat it thereafter?
These topics and many more are covered in the lively and wide-ranging discussion and debate over data and what happens to your data once you sign an End Users License Agreement (EULA).
Guests include Karim Morsli, Winkler Automotive Service Center, Bill Nalu, Interstate Auto Care in Madison Heights, MI, Chris Cloutier, owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas, TX and president of Autotext.me and Greg Buckley, Buckley’s Personalized Auto Care in Wilmington, DE.Listen and view episode notes
Workplace Organization: Waste. Clutter. Standardize. Improved Efficiency.
5S came from the Japanese and the concept of Kaizen, continuous improvement. 5S is a method to improve workplace organization. The 5S’s are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain. The benefits of 5S helps you eliminate waste, and in many cases reduces your steps, minimizes injuries, and removes clutter.
Start by finding the simplest task. Perfect it and move on to the more complicated.
This panel has the expertise and experience to help you on the process of improving your workplace organization. Pat Brown retired from Cooper Tire and learned lean and took the manufacture training to translate 5S into shop management working with Twenty Groups for DSP (Dealer Strategic Planning) Twenty Group, Keith Tucker form Triple ‘T’ Tire in Dyersburg, TN and Brad & Ryan Goff from Rogers Tire in Caldwell and Meridian, ID.
Learn about 5S and how these shop owners translated the method into improve processes where they saw a measurable difference in their operation including the generation of more revenue.Listen and view episode notes
The Dreaded Come Back: The Keys To Prevention.
Comeback prevention starts at the front door. It is all about communication. Writing enough information to the technician the better he/she can handle the diagnosis.
To improve the end product and to reduce comebacks, you must build quality into the repair process. Quality control checklists at the end of the repair can only do so much. Quality, not quota, is the strategy you need to adopt to reduce comebacks. You should always be looking to improve. Your processes will drive a well-managed quality program.
The quality of parts today is in question and you need to pay attention to comebacks so your costs and reputation are managed. Tracking every comeback is a necessity if you are going to reduce your comebacks.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
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
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
Building a strong business culture can be one of the hardest things a business owner can do yet the most rewarding.
It is one of the key principles in the business that you cannot touch. It’s the soft stuff. For many, it is tough to get your hands around it. This academy panel does a great job explaining culture and shows you many ways to implement and lead it.
The power of a strong business culture can be one of your biggest differentiators as a business and a strong reason you attract top talent.Listen and view episode notes
The Power Center of your Business is in the Back Office.
In this Part One Amy Mattinat, Jacquie Walter Hower, Maryann Croce and Kim Auernheimer discuss controls, operations and accounting/finance.
Highlights: Cash accountability, bank statements, trust and verify. The three stages of a business and the power of communication. With good systems, you can find where any breakdown occurred. Also discussed is team buy-in, QuickBooks, keeping good records, budgeting and cash flow.Listen and view episode notes
The Power of Performing a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, Threats) Review of Your Business.
Join Maryann Croce, Greg Bunch and Murray Voth for a wide-open discussion on the power and value doing a SWOT on your business. These three aftermarket professionals know the worth and outcome of a well-done SWOT.
Involve your team, assign priorities to the outcome and create a timeline to do the things discovered in this exercise. You are creating a strategic plan to best prepare your company for doing business in today’s market and into the future.
Go to the show notes page for this Academy episode #40 to download support tools.Listen and view episode notes
Are You In Compliance with Credit Card Regulations As It Relates to Chip Cards?
Steve Ciabattoni from 360 Payments explains the regulations for EMV, the chip cards. We also discuss contracts, processing fees and who makes the real money in credit card processing.
An important episode to help evaluate your relationship and what to look for in a processor. Steve gives a tip on the best fee structure, equipment leasing and the future of credit card processing. He also is outspoken on the link between the chip reader and your SMS.Listen and view episode notes
Industry outsider used his business acumen and detailed, process-based, management philosophy to grow his business.
Brian Sump is not your typical shop owner. A former professional athlete, Sump had never turned a wrench in a shop before starting Denver-based Avalon Motorsports in 2007.
Recognized with multiple industry and business awards, Brian Sump is an entrepreneur who runs six different organizations and he explains why you need to network-up and network-down.
This industry awarded shop owner brings his wisdom to the premier aftermarket podcast.Listen and view episode notes
Why Great Quality Controls Matters for Customer Retention and Shop Reputation.
A top lesson from three aftermarket colleagues who understand the value and need for a great quality control process. They leave no doubt why you need to adopt and improve your quality controls.
Tough love discussion that covers the importance of measuring your QC to help reduce mistakes (we are human we all make them) and how QC brings accountability to your overall processes. Investing in your QC program is as good as getting a five start on-line review. If you don’t you may be wiping up a two-star review.
Most shops do a great job fixing cars. That is not good enough anymore. Many more great take-a-ways that will fill up a yellow pad.Listen and view episode notes
A commitment to Lean Process Improvement will yield a better customer experience.
Lean processes minimize technician activity outside of their work bay, creates uniformity in all communication pieces between service writers and technicians, can benefit the shop by hiring alternative staff for cleaning needs throughout the shop.
Lean also help you realize the value in the placement of equipment throughout the shop space and why it makes for a more efficient operation. Be sure to match the correct technician to every job when possible, play to their strengths … and so much more.Listen and view episode notes
Is Your Customer Service Exceptional? Need to Lead in Your Market?
The Academy panel discusses a commitment to customer service that must start from a quality business culture or code of conduct. Learn about certain tactics that will make your shop stand at the top of the list as you show your customer uncompromising differentiation.Listen and view episode notes
Preparing Your Business For Sale brings real world experience from a shop owner that just sold his business, one that is starting his succession plan and a business coach and consultant to bring the objective and metrics to this discussion.
Join Gary Plimmer, Ron Haugen and Bob Greenwood for this very frank and game changing Academy forum.Listen and view episode notes
All business strives to build customer Loyalty.
In this episode we talk with Jody DeVere, CEO of Ask Patty, shop owner Greg Skolnik from Motor Works in Rockville, MD and John Eppstein owner of John’s Automotive Care in San Diego, CA.
Jody, Greg and John shared their tactics and strategies to build a loyal customer following.Listen and view episode notes
Ever Thought of Creating Training Videos of your Standard Operating Procedures?
Jeremy O’Neal threads his wisdom as a service adviser trainer and shop owner. Service Manager Jeremy Winters shares his company’s strong culture, and Jason Bohnert talks about his Used Car Dealership.
Episode topics include the power of systems and processes, documenting your SOP manual in video form, the power of a strong business culture, human behavior assessments, and how tough it is to hold an employee accountable if you haven’t given the proper training or great processes.Listen and view episode notes
Third Generation Service Professional is Known, since 1951, as a Super Ethical shop that Never Compromises.
Brett Beachler is Vice President of Beachlers Vehicle Care & Repair. Brett’s grandfather Bob started the business and his Dad Terry is active every day. Beachlers believes that customers need to be taught the concepts of automotive and become friends. They are known throughout their community as the shop of second options.
Helping their customers get 250K miles from their vehicle helps drive the high maintenance numbers the shop performs. Giving tours of the new facility is a smart tactic and strives to educate their customers of the behind the scenes of automotive repair.
To add to their new customer growth Brett has instituted a traveling lunch and learn program in his community and has a strong charitable program for new customers first oil change.Listen and view episode notes
A Big Emphasis on Culture has helped this Entrepreneur Create Duplicity to Scale his Business.
Gary Pontious Jr. is the Vice President and General Manager of Toledo Auto Care that is celebrating their 100th year in business in 2017.
Toledo Auto Care is the oldest independent auto repair shop in Toledo, OH and has been owned and operated by the Pontious family since 1985.
The family has just opened their second branch in December 2016 and the strength of their culture and fundamental business practices has allowed them to scale their business for growth.Listen and view episode notes
Major Business Turn Around Set Up a Plan to Retire from one Business and Buy a New One.
Kirk Richardson from South Street Auto Care in Rochester, MI, prides himself on his ability to create a family culture within his businesses. The culture is a blend of hard work, accountability, fun, and hijinx, which combine to make loyal and dedicated coworkers.
Kirk shares his companies culture, pay plan and a few elements of his strategic plan. He has a work distribution system that gets the maximum value out of every technician. Kirk loves business and people in general and will talk for hours about business!Listen and view episode notes