The automotive industry is challenging. Both owners and managers often struggle to navigate its complex waters, leading to a major lack of confidence. Does that sound like you? Then you need expert guidance to help you reach the net results you must have in order to survive and thrive. Check out You Net Results’ free video blog, right here. It’s chock full of auto repair management tips, which will start you on your path to success.
Auto repair management tips for automotive shop owners
Whether you’re new to the game, or you are a seasoned pro, everyone could use some good advice. Since auto repair shops are multifaceted businesses, they can be hard to manage. As either an owner or manager, you have to keep your eye on many areas, such as:
Budgeting and financial strategies
Service Advisor training
Hiring and recruiting staff
…plus much more
You Net Results guide Brian Gillis has over 25+ years of experience in the automotive repair field. He has owned and operated several multi-unit auto repair shops in Texas, Georgia and Colorado. Today, Brian shares his expertise with hiring, recruiting, systems, processes, and employee training with you.
You Net Results’ very first live automotive training event took place on June 23-26, 2021. Our group of auto repair shop owners, general managers, and service advisors gathered in Atlanta, GA for intensive learning experience. Let’s recap what made our first event so special!
Automotive Training Event Day One – Conference Meeting #1
After our bus arrived and we settled in at the hotel, we met for an insightful series of discussions. Brian set the table for our intense day of learning, then we reviewed the Monty Moran book “Love Is Free, Guac is Extra”. Afterward, Upswell Marketing Agency President Tim Ross discussed marketing strategies.
After lunch, YNR members circled up for roundtable discussions on both leadership and marketing. Each attendee was challenged to bring their own ideas to the table.
Finally, Jennifer Filzen of Rock Star Marketing gave an exciting presentation on how shop owners can use video marketing to leverage their brands. Once Jennifer finished her talk, we all discussed the shop tour the following day and adjourned.
Day Two – Shop Tour of Chloe’s Auto Repair
Our in-person shop tour took place at Chloe’s Auto Repair. YNR members got to see up close and personally what makes the Chloe’s team so successful. Our group saw the front of house crew in action, then moved on to observe the layout and site of the shop. Finally, they observed the rest of the shop’s employees in action.
After breaking for lunch, we held a panel for shop owners to quiz Chloe’s team about their procedures. When our group’s questions were all answered, we adjourned to rest up for the last day of the event and our most intense session.
Day Three – Conference Meeting #2
During our Saturday meeting, our group of shop owners joined in a variety of breakout activities. We started with our popular Dollar Time game, presenting our best business ideas to the group. There may or may not have been a cash prize for the shop owner who best argued for their idea.
Our trip wasn’t all work, no play! We made time to relax and see the sights around Atlanta.
Want to attend our next 360 automotive training event?
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We learned what we would no longer tolerate as business owners who want to grow our annual revenues.
Marketing is nothing to fear.
Potential clients will more often say yes to you when you communicate with them and educate them through video marketing.
We discovered that going for no really means not giving up until we have found our God-given purpose.
Take the NO Fear Journey with Brian Gillis.
At You Net Results, we offer coaching groups for auto repair shop owners and service advisors. Together along with your fellow automotive professionals, you can reach a turnaround point. Then, you will evolve from a business owner to a confident business leader, by eliminating the obstacles holding you back.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
If you’d like to find out more, then contact us for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and then find ways to improve your annual revenue and company culture.
Everyone wants to increase their Auto Repair Car Count. But what about making every car count more? This supersized session from our Advisor Results Academy webinar features automotive shop owners and Service Writers just like you sharing how they get the MOST out of each automotive repair order ticket! Everyone could learn something from this video, so strap in and get ready to take some notes!
Making Every Car Count More – Tips 1-3
First, Dave mentions his shop’s VIP Cards Program. Brian then shows an example of this in action. A shop he knows sends out personalized gift cards for service to their top spenders. The customer is encouraged to give some of the cards out to friends and family, and keep one for themself. Programs like this generate return business and promote goodwill amongst your customer base.
Brian then segues to a discussion about marketing companies vs Grass Roots Referrals. He noted that, in his experience, companies who promise to hunt down customers for shops rarely help with raising car count. Instead, grass roots referrals from existing companies bring in business hand over fist.
Next, Haylee mentions how much Speed of Service makes a difference. When all of your staff are prompt and working like a well oiled machine, what happens? It establishes a sterling reputation amongst your customer base, and frees up bays for the next job on the docket. Make sure your systems allow for your team to not only do the job right, but quickly as well. If you implement this principle, don’t be shocked if your average repair order doubles!
Brandon then mentions the importance of Expanding Your Knowledge, as well as Offering More Services. When a shop is stuck in a box, only working on certain makes and models or only offering limited services, they hamstring their business potential. A repair shop in this position will never thrive, and likely will not survive long.
Tips 4-6 On How To Make Each Car Count More
Curb Appeal may not be the first factor you consider in increasing car count. Perhaps it should be, though! When people drive by your shop, what do they see? Is the parking lot full of trash? What about the landscaping? Could someone mistake your shop for being out of business, due to weeds surrounding your lot? Is your signage bright and modern, or faded and worn?
Furthermore, if the outside doesn’t scare people off, will the inside? A clean waiting room with comfortable furniture, wi-fi, and fresh, free coffee brewing are the minimums you should consider. Not to mention cleaning the bathrooms regularly! Put yourself in potential customers’ shoes. Consider all of these factors. Would you bring your car to your shop?
Nick suggests Loaner Vehicles and Shuttles. We’ve heard many customer objections to car services. Needing their car for transportation to work or school is a reason we all hear. We all know what a hassle it can be to bother friends to drive you everywhere when you are out of pocket. Investing in a few loaner vehicles, or providing a shuttle car (with your branding on them of course!) could pay for itself quickly!
ExpandedHours of Operation are a no-brainer. Think how many other enhancements link to this one. More open hours or days ensure your speed of service increases and more bays open up for other cars. This also adds convenience for customers who need repairs, but can’t fit them into their schedules.
Increasing Your Average Repair Order – Tips 7-9
Brandon continues the conversation, bringing up the importance of Community Presence and Involvement. When a repair shop organizes food drives, sponsors a little league team, or donates services to community organizations, everyone wins. Your automotive business should make an effort to be a valued part of your community. This is how you earn trust.
Brian contributes an example of how one of his former shops did this. His plaque denotes the shop’s work with their local Partners for Education, auctioning off their services to help out. Other owners and service advisors discuss how their own community involvement programs help car count.
Aaron stresses the importance of Having All The Tools You Need On Hand. You can’t offer Speed of Service if you don’t have all of the tools on hand to do the job right. Not to mention, you should invest in top quality gear. Remember, you get what you pay for!
Haylee hits a home run with her next tip. Callbacks and Collecting Customer Info are crucial to boosting car count. By the nature of our business, we must collect phone numbers. Having email addresses helps so much as well. Periodic email blasts are cheap ways to let customers know about specials you’re offering. Even if your client can’t pick up the phone, leaving them a voicemail is a huge opportunity to let them know you’re concerned about their vehicle’s health.
Tips 10-12 For Making More Money From Each Auto Repair
Dave feels that taking on Fleet Accounts is the best car count booster, bar none. You a company a discount on parts and services. Since you will now be servicing guaranteed multiple vehicles, you will make up for that margin quickly.
What about Outside Sales and Networking? Send out some of your service advisors to local businesses. They can let other business owners know about your services. This is a great way for you to score the fleet accounts Dave mentioned.
Finally, we discuss three methods to make each car count more. Offering Vehicle Customizing Work (Jeep Ducking), using Direct Mail Marketing services, and writing customers Personalized Notes all can boost your numbers.
Are you feeling crushed under the weight of running your business? You’re not alone. Many auto repair Owners and General Managers wonder why running their businesses is so hard. But not all of them. What strategy is in play to create their success?
Strategy – Big Picture Planning
We often hear the mantra, “Work Smarter Not Harder.”What does that mean? Let’s talk about Strategy versus Tactics for a bit. Understanding the difference between them is critical to your business’s success.
Strategy is looking at the big picture planning you need to do before diving into the tactics. If your spouse wants you to build her dream house, you don’t just run to Home Depot and purchase a pile of bricks. If you HAD a pile of bricks laying around in the backyard, would you then start laying them out? No. You would end up with a disappointing mess, as well as an unhappy spouse. Not good.
When you want to build your dream house, there are specific steps you need to take before beginning the build process. First, you need to purchase the land and survey the land. Next, you will meet with an architect and draw out the plans. Then, meet with the builders, acquire the permits, and make sure there is money in the bank to pay for it all. That’s called strategy.
Tactics – Laying the Foundation
After all that, THEN you can begin laying the foundation. You’ll be counting the number of bricks you’ll need, setting up the framing, installing the infrastructure, hiring the electrician, and so on. That’s tactics.
If you try building that dream home without strategy or tactics, you’re screwed. It doesn’t matter how good the architect and builder are. Without strategy and tactics, you get stuck with analysis paralysis! You wonder why that dang house has become such a money pit.
How Do Strategy and Tactics Apply to Your Auto Repair Business?
Well, if you want to build your ideal company, then you need to put together your strategy. Once your business plan and marketing strategies are mapped out, you need to employ the tactics that will get you there.
Fortunately, You Net Results has the experience to walk you through both the strategy and tactics you’ll need to get your business to the next million dollars in annual revenue. It’s not an overnight project. It takes a lot of work. However, it’s a solid plan that will help you reach your goals, as long as you implement and take action.
At You Net Results, we facilitate coaching groups for auto repair shop owners. Together, we can all reach a turnaround point. You will emerge from the experience of moving from a business owner to a confident business leader. Thus, you will eliminate the obstacles that hold you back.
Are you ready? Let’s do this.
To find out more, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and find ways to improve your annual revenue and company culture.
Here’s a clip from our Advisor Results Academy meeting, where we talk about Auto Repair Financing. First, Brian and the service writers on the call touch on the importance of financial assistance. We discuss comparing ourselves to other auto shops in our area. While we may charge more for labor, do our customers get what they pay for? Do your competition offer shuttle service? How about preventive maintenance inspections, and other perks to ensure customers return?
Why are auto repair financing options important?
If not for the repair shop offering financing, this customer couldn’t have gotten necessary repairs!
Finally, we transition to our main topic, another key feature all automotive shops should offer. Financing is so important for many customers.
Having a reliable vehicle is a basic need for most people, since they need a safe commute to work. Most of our customers are hard working, honest people who hold down full time jobs. However, they have fallen on hard times or have bad credit. That is no reason to punish them further! Affordable financing could determine whether or not they opt in for necessary repairs. As an auto repair shop owner, you must offer a financing option for these customers.
As the video concludes, service advisors discuss the financing companies their shops work with, in order to add needed flexibility to customers. They also add dollars to their bottom lines. Services such as SNAP, Car Care One, and Easy Pay are all discussed.
Does your automotive repair shop offer customers financing options? It could make the difference on selling auto repair jobs that you might not otherwise! Survey the other automotive shops in your area and see what they’re doing right or wrong. It may make a huge improvement to your own shop’s financial health!
Get in on the discussion – join one of our Tuesday calls for free!
If you are looking to expand your team and grow your business, you must put your systems and processes in place, so new hires can learn them. Otherwise, you’re in for a surprise with people winning stupid prizes by playing stupid people games.
What?! Yes, that’s right. Let me explain.
How many times have you hired someone who you thought was a promising candidate? Someone who interviewed well, passed your criteria, and looked like a winner on paper. Then, you hired that individual and found later that they were poor performers. Or worse, you thought they were just plain stupid.
Do you really think they were stupid? Seriously, after all that vetting, do you think you hired someone dumb? I would argue that you didn’t hire a foolish person. Instead, you had non-existent or poorly defined systems and procedures in place — if there was any documentation at all — and that “stupid” person was thrown into the fire with no procedural support system.
After all, we don’t hire dumb folks. Instead, we have lacking systems and processes that make them look stupid and force them to underperform.
In short, it’s not their fault. It’s ours. We failed them because no one is inherently stupid. But too many business owners don’t recognize this, and they continue pretending. They’re winning stupid prizes by playing stupid people games. Here’s what I’m talking about:
I was talking with a shop owner recently. During the course of our conversation, he told me everyone he hired was stupid, and they never did what he told them to do. I asked him who hired them? There was silence on the phone. Was it the owner or the people? What prize do you think he won?
Quite frankly, it’s a stupid way to run a business.
Let’s rid ourselves of this “stupid” label and take a different approach.
If you were to build a house and laid the foundation before meeting with the architect, you have on your hands a failed and expensive home-building process. Your systems and processes dictate your success, and we have seen too many small business owners jump into action without having a solid plan called systems and processes in place. That is why Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs are critical to the success of any business.
McDonald’s and other major fast-food chains have learned how to streamline SOPs in such a way that the average 16-year-old high school student can train in one or two days and become highly productive within their first week of employment.
So here’s the question: What is preventing you from hiring intelligent and talented people who prove to you over time that they are worthy? What’s stopping your new hires from reaching success is your lack of Standard Operating Procedures guiding them steadily toward that success.
Let us help you solve your systems problems!
If you are genuinely searching for a streamlined system that will help your employees win, your business grow, and will lower your stress level, and you need to adapt well-thought-out systems and processes. When you work with You Net Results, we will take you through proven systems and techniques that will help your business grow. Our strategies help shop owners reach their next million dollars in revenue and help their company culture thrive as well.
Who do you know that could benefit from well-documented, seamless systems and processes? If you know anyone who could benefit, including yourself, please schedule a consultation with You Net Results. After all, great intentions don’t pay the bills. If you are willing to invest in yourself and your team, you are on the right track in avoiding stupid people games that waste your time and money.
At You Net Results, we dedicate many training hours to business systems. Our classes and coaching sessions address how to reduce mistakes and prevent lost details. To find out more, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and find ways to improve your annual revenue and company culture.
Are you an automotive repair shop owner who is completely lost? Need help organizing your workflow and writing systems to guide your staff? You Net Results has the tool for you to write your own auto repair business systems – Action Flow Charts! This is a series of over 50 templates and documents that will help you, your technicians, your service advisors, and your customers, get the the best experience from your repair shop.
In this video, some of our members discuss how You Net Results’ coaching has benefited them. They then share their initial thoughts after taking time to review our new Action Flow Charts.
Shop Owners Tell Their Stories – Auto Repair Business Systems Testimonials
Auto Repair Team celebrating success
Joe Evans begins the discussion by reviewing many of the skills his team has learned from Brian’s coaching methods. He notes all of the useful documents in the Action Flow Charts folder, which correspond to those skills. The sheer volume of useful information is impressive.
Afterward, other shop owners talk about how easy the documents are to access anywhere online via Dropbox. The customizable templates are easy to use, so repair shops can continue growing their bottom line. Instantly, shop owners and managers see the possibilities, both in the pre-written flow charts, and the templates, which enable owners to come up with their own systems. From hiring and recruiting to service advisor training, it’s all there.
Many shop owners are not tech savvy, nor do they have much time to sit down and figure out complex solutions. However, Action Flow Charts are designed to be easy to use for anyone in the industry, regardless of computer knowledge.
Are Action Flow Charts for you?
Not sure? Watch the video above and hear from our satisfied customers. These downloadable SOP templates and documents have revolutionized their shops! We will make a believer out of you! Sign up today.
Have you ever played the game “Telephone”? You start by lining up a group. Then, you whisper a sentence into the first person’s ear. That person then whispers the message to the next person. It continues until the message gets to the final person in line. They announce out loud what sentence they heard. It is often much different from the original sentence. Quite the exercise in communication!
At You Net Results, we think this game indicates what happens in business when messages, systems, and processes are undocumented. Just like in the game of “Telephone,” something can get lost in the telling. When you don’t write down instructions, client comments, or repair orders, this is inevitable.
In auto repair businesses, it happens like this:
The Customer tells the Service Advisor something. Time is short. The Service Advisor doesn’t write it down, but they repeat it verbally to the Technician. The Technician may also skip documenting it, so they present the Service Advisor with new information. The Service Advisor then reports to the Customer via phone. More back and forth happens, and then the Customer picks up their vehicle. Later, the Service Advisor is surprised to read the Customer’s one-star review. Why? Communication was not clear. They lost something in the telling.
How can you avoid losing something in the telling?
Do you see how simply repeating verbal information can lose accuracy? It is obvious how the customer felt wronged. How can your team reduce miscommunication? How can they improve clarity?
The answer? Use transparent systems and processes to document all communication. Enter repair issues through DVI reports, notes in your CRM, text messages, recorded phone calls, and other exchanges. When you do, you will reduce your chance of poor reviews.
Perfect your shop’s communication chain!
At You Net Results, we dedicate hours of training to communication. Our coaching sessions help prevent mistakes and lost details. To learn more, contact us for a free consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies and ways to improve revenue and company culture.
In this clip from our Leadership Process Webinar, Brian Gillis explains silent thieves in the form of poor systems and processes. These thieves can cause our automotive repair shops to literally bleed money! Listen up to learn what areas of your shop that these burglars could be lurking in. Then, join us for future sessions to see how we can identify them and kick them out the door, for good!
Where could they be hiding in your automotive repair shops
Silent thieves in your auto repair shop may not be as obvious as a technician stealing tools!
Every shop is unique, but, generally speaking, we all have weak points in certain areas. These poor systems and processes may include:
People and Staffing
Luckily, You Net Results offers weekly rotational meetings you can join, in order to focus on these specific areas. Through group calls, as well as written systems and processes you can customize for your auto repair business, we can work together to stop silent thieves dead in their tracks.
Finally, Brian lists six steps to get started. Put these steps into place in order to build your own Leadership Process. Real change in business can only be made from the top down. Are you both ready and willing to do what it takes to implement change? Put these six steps into practice today, and get on the road to improvement:
Learn More About Eliminating These Silent Thieves – Get Your FREE Strategy Session
You know that you need to kick these silent thieves out of your shop, but you’re not sure where to begin. Why not schedule a FREE business strategy session with Brian, so you can discuss your needs? You’ve got nothing to lose, so sign up today!