Survival Tactics – Covid-19 with Chris Cloutier and Dennis McCarron [RR 521]

Chris Cloutier is co-owner of Golden Rule Auto Care in Dallas Texas and CEO of Auto Tex Me. He spent many years in the software industry developing solutions for companies like Southwest Airlines, and Wyndham Intl. He’s worked for companies that understood the marriage of service and software, and have applied it in an effective way. Chris has his ASE C1: Automobile Service Consultant Certification Test (C1). He brings the business side to the business and his brother Pat brings the Braun. Chris is also a musician. Hear Chris’s previous episodes HERE. website HERE.

Dennis McCarron

Dennis started his career Bridgestone/Firestone working in various sales and management level positions prior to leading the national retail management training programs. Most recently, Dennis was the Executive Director of Dealer Strategic Planning Inc. (DSP 20 Group), providing coaching and consulting services to its members.

With over 25 years of experience in the tire & automotive industry, Dennis is a seasoned professional with vast tire and auto service industry experience. He is also a featured columnist for Modern Tire Dealer, “Business Insights”

Dennis continues to teach workshops around North America to tire dealers from financial acumen to behavioral selling and leadership and coaching skills. Hear Dennis’s previous episodes HERE.

Talking Points:

  • “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” ― G. Michael Hopf 
  • We are in hard times and it should create hard and smart people.
  • We need to think about the future and cash reserves
  • Many businesses that were on the brink of closure will find this pandemic their end
  • We are living in a history class
  • We’ve gotten away from saving money. We are living paycheck to paycheck and for businesses, a zero cash position will not help the business sustain
  • Chris was having a great first quarter vs 2019
  • The economy will slow down
  • Tell your people that times are uncertain.Communicate with your people and customers
  • Have plans for short, medium and long term
  • Money needs to keep coming in
  • If it stops employment cannot be sustained
  • Don’t panic
  • Use your logic mind to make decisions not your anxious or emotional mind
  • Know your numbers. This is the time to know your numbers and how to adjust them. 
  • Review all expenses and categorize or prioritize them. Necessary and not necessary
  • Closing can help preserve cash to help you re-start to inject business with cas
  • Offer your customers a touchless experience, text to pay, DVI reports. Customers may not want to spend money, especially with layoffs
  • You’ve got to set up stages of plans. It may get worse than better. PLANS NEED TO BE FLUID
  • We need to have a one month, two month, three month plan. Maybe even longerCreate a ‘What If’ scenario on a spreadsheet
  • It should change often depending on sales and the condition of the marketplace and government-mandated rules
  • Pay attention to your business and the marketplace
  • On average a typical shop is only putting 3¢ of every dollar sold into net profit.
  • Every $1 of expense cut goes into net profitLook at every line item
  • Talk to your landlord
  • Your biggest asset is your employees. Cut other costs and your people lastHours or positions must be the last to be cut
  • “I give my employees too many chances. I love my employees.” Gary Vaynerchuk 
  • Create a video with your smartphone that shows the precautions you are doing
  • Offer a touchless transaction
  • Assure your customer that you are protecting them and your team
  • You are an essential service. Tell them
  • You have power as a small business owner to change



  • Thanks to Chris Cloutier and Dennis McCarron for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
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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!