Surviving an Economic Downturn [THA 165]

Ron Ipach, co-founder or Repair Shop Coach, has helped over 5536 auto repair shop owners to get and keep all the top-quality customers they can handle.

Marketing auto repair services are all he does. He lives, eats, and breathes it every day. He has seen, heard, and tested practically every kind of marketing there is out there today. He’s examined the results. He’s tweaked and tested dozens of strategies over and over in order to maximize their results.

Because Ron has personally worked with so many shop owners over the years, he has the distinction of being the only person in the world that knows exactly what marketing works, and what doesn’t work for auto repair shops in today’s economy. He finds passion in amplifying time & freedom for his clients while helping them take back control of their businesses. Find Ron’s other episodes HERE.

Maylan Newton from ESI – Educational Seminars Institute is a business coach, trainer and industry speaker. Maylan is no stranger to the podcast having paid it forward many times. He is a much sought our speaker at industry events in the US. Find Maylan’s previous episodes HERE.

Chris Cotton utilizes the Profit First method of cash management. He is trained and certified by the Profit First Professionals organization to guide business owners and entrepreneurs in maximizing their profits.

AutoFix is the first and currently the ONLY auto repair shop specific coaching company, nationwide, that has achieved certification in Profit First.

Chris Cotton has been in the customer service industry for over 40 years and has been in the auto repair industry for over 25 years. He is a former shop owner that has dedicated his life to helping YOU to get your business where you want it to be and helping you FOCUS on the things that matter to you. Find Chris’ other episodes HERE.

Talking Points:

  • Coaches are asking to rely on them for guidance more than ever
  • Coaches are talking to shop owners who may not even be their clients to help them
  • Coaches are feeling fearful. It is time to be optimistic
  • Some coaches wisdom is not coming true for many clients
  • Closing even for a week does not save you on fixed costs
  • Time to be lean and meanTighten up your spendingReview your spending habits or disciplines
  • Do you need every expense item
  • If you spend it should help make you money
  • Cash is KingFour to six months of costs saved to sustain your business
  • We are in a ‘recession-proof’ industryWe must weather cash flow issues
  • Market AlwaysSpend wisely on marketing in good times or bad
  • There are many tactics but few strategies. We sometimes try new things so often that we lose track of the overall strategy of growing and keeping customers.
  • Your current database should be locked into you. Caged!
  •  Be nimble and make decisions and learn from what works and what doesn’t
  • The fear factor and emotional factor are real and logic and facts must rule
  • Don’t lower your price or discount or lower your labor rate. These are emotional, not logical decisionsThe fear of the what if’s may build a defeatist attitude
  • You believe you need to do these things but look carefully at your demographic, your market and your business
  • Don’t do something because one person said something
  • What if there is free diagnostics but the customer cannot afford the diagnosis
  • Help people out if you have the ‘Cash’ to do it. If you don’t it is tough to give what you don’t have
  • There is alternative financing available
  • There will be a slowdown in car count, but you may see an increase in average ticket because you have more time to look at the vehicle
  • Don’t:Cut back on your marketing budget
  • Buy the latest piece of equipment
  • Hold cashing your own paycheck
  • Do:Review your expenses
  • Review your team. Look at loyalty. Tough decisions to make, but tough times require tough decisions
  • Call customers that have not had work done on their previous visit. Write a script 
  • Reach out to your community and offer your services to keep food and deliveries on the road
  • Look at your work/income vs your work schedule. Don’t sacrifice the entire business for full employment.
  • Talk to your people ask for their help and ideas
  • Start to segment your cash in the strategy of ‘Profit First’
  • Profit First Episode with Mike Michalowicz HERE.
  • In the case of Covid-19, you need to consider your options. There are two currentlySBA (a loan)
  • CARE Act (apply for the grant)
  • Money from the government is not a reason to keep doing business as usual. It is time to change and learn stronger business acumen, hire a coach, read books, listen to RRR podcasts, join a peer group among others
  • A client of Maylan’s went to her bank to apply for SBA loan and was told that because she had a credit line and some cash reserves she would probably not qualify for an SBA. (We are not experts, this is the repeat of a single situation)
  • Your business is your best investment.
  • Every shop today can be super successful
  • You must maintain a positive attitude. No negative thoughts are spoken to your team
  • Try something. If it doesn’t work tweak and try something else
  • Don’t go through this crisis alone. Once over there will be additional crisis/challenges that you will face, prepare for this
  • If you want to see your current situation, look in the past. If you want to see your future look at what you are doing right now


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!