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Free Auto Repair Management Tips Blog

In this clip from our Clear Counter Communications Series, Brian shares some sales icebreakers that your auto repair shop service writer can use today! Service Advisors can make more sales when they employ these conversational icebreakers.

New Years GoalsThe New Year is here, everybody. Let’s continue our discussion from last month and push a little bit further. Last month, we discussed “Looking Back to Look Forward” to see what had worked, as well as what we needed to change. This month, let’s discuss greater goals and what we can do in order to set ourselves up for a home run in business!

While many focus on more immediate New Year’s resolutions, like “get this weight off,” haha, now is also a great time to consider long-term “dream” goals we have as business owners. This is the time to start fresh and think about the future….the future we have always dreamed about.

What Is Our Ultimate Goal?

For many of us, the ultimate goal in our business is to sell! We eventually want to reach a point where we spend all of our time doing what we love, with who we love, as our business runs smoothly on its own. If our goal is to sell or phase ourselves out of daily operations, then how do we do that? What systems do we need in place for that to happen? What do we need to have documented for our business to be marketable to a buyer? Start thinking about the groundwork and what you need to do to make that ultimate dream a reality.

What Can You Do To Balance Work Time and Fun Time in the New Year?

We can’t overstate just how important it is to nurture our work/life balance. I know you might be asking yourself, “What work/life balance?” That is precisely the problem! Evaluate your life, as well as how you want to spend it. Are you doing what you love with who you love, or are you struggling to get through each week? Restructure some things, then find out how to spend more time with your friends and family. The bottom line is this: the happier and more fulfilled you are, the better you will perform in business, period.

How Can Coaching Help You Reach These Goals in the New Year?

At You Net Results, we believe in the small measurable goals approach. We take your giant problems, and we help you shrink them to passable road bumps. Everything is possible when you have the right team, processes, and emotional support behind you. You Net Results plugs you into an ever growing network of industry leading business owners who thrive on helping each other reach their next revenue milestones. We understand that we live in abundance and that there is more than enough out there for everyone. Take the leap and join us in this journey!

You Can Do This. It’s Proven to Work.

We know it seems like a big step, but we guarantee you it will be the most important one you ever take.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and we hope you take a moment to evaluate how you move forward in the New Year. You Net Results is here to help you make 2022 the most significant year of your business life! Let’s maximize this daily operations opportunity.

Don’t hesitate to visit our website and contact us today for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will guide you through the first steps towards making 2022 the year you always dreamed of. We look forward to introducing you to our incredible network of business owners and helping you reach the goals we helped them reach.

Coach helping Auto Repair Owner“No Yoda, no Jedi knight.” Shop Owner Magazine recently interviewed our very own Brian Gillis. The management focused article Is A Business Coach Right For You? asks if retaining a coaching program is the right choice for every auto repair shop owner.

Is Hiring a Business Coach Right for You?

Take it from Brian: Don’t leave money on the table. Now, it is time to invest in yourself! Read the whole article here.

Contact You Net Results Today

Since you have read the article, it is time to take action! Contact us today in order to find out which of our monthly programs is right for you!

Brian Gillis recently joined host Hunt Demarest and fellow guest Tim Shaffer of Level 6 Consulting to discuss the state of the automotive industry and what their shops are doing to adapt in these strange times.

Hunt jumped right into the main topic as he addresses challenges auto repair shops are facing today. As we close out 2021, issues such as parts shortages, technician shortages, and scheduling difficulties dominate shop owners’ minds.

Although many issues are present, Hunt pointed out that most of the shops his accounting business deals with are doing great numbers. Brian and Tim agreed the same was true for their clients, despite the precarious state of the late-pandemic world.

Automotive Industry Scheduling Issues

First, Hunt addressed the scheduling quandary many repair shops were facing. While needing to schedule two to three weeks ahead may sound like a good thing, it can be hard to keep up with. He pitched to Brian for advice.

Brian pointed out that in this situation, it is inevitable that you may have to turn away some customers. Missing out on quick turnaround jobs such as maintenance inspections leaves easy money on the table. How could we address that problem?

The first area we should address in that situation is staffing. Do we have enough people? We need to take a look at our operations and make sure we even have the space to add on more techs to handle the extra work.

Hunt asked Tim if prioritizing specific customers or jobs ever comes up when work is very busy. Tim confirmed it was true. His shop must find a way to cater to its highest profit jobs and most loyal customers. Being honest with everyone else about delays and making concessions where they can is key. Hunt pointed out that consumers are getting used to delays in all industries, including auto repair, due to supply chain issues. Thus, communicating about delays should be easier.

Is Our Automotive Industry Shop Properly Staffed?

Automotive industry in 2021 is busy. Don't get discouraged about 2022!Hunt pitched to the issue of staff shortfalls and shortcomings to Tim. Is this busy time still a good one to examine letting go a problem technician? In his experience, adjusting workflow to one tech to one bay has increased profits, despite putting more work on each worker.

In Brian’s experience with our clients, hiring comes down to two R’s: Retention and Recruiting. We must have systems in place to both hire young, inexperienced workers and pair them up with older technicians who can help them reach the goals owners set for them. Brian pointed out that many unskilled positions may currently pay more per hour than a starting technician. However, we can provide incentives for long term growth which we can use to sell them on these positions. It is hard to argue with hard numbers that mechanics can reach at regular intervals.

Brian mentioned that we must always keep recruiting. Since good techs are the hardest staff to come by, we have to keep our focus on how to reach out to the staff we need. A skilled A-Tech is likely not looking for work, but your service advisor likely knows who the best technicians working in the area are. If you play your cards right, you may be able to lure them in to work for you. Get creative. Be aggressive. Don’t be afraid to go into another shop for a small job and size up their workers.

Training Apprentice Technicians

A listener asked the automotive industry roundtable to discuss the challenge of hiring apprentice technicians when existing staff seems too maxed out help to train them. Tim responded that it takes a team effort from everyone in the shop. Incentives for A Techs who put in extra hours to train apprentices are also a must.

Brian pointed out that the process is a tradeoff. A Techs may lose some work time when they are training apprentices, but the young workers can perform less skill intensive tasks to balance that out. Paying the tech who is doing the training a bonus for the extra effort helps on the other side. Brian also mentioned that many shops are just one technician loss away from going out of business. Therefore, we need to be sensitive to what our techs need, salary and incentive wise. One on one mentoring sessions and continued training are key to keep that connection going. Keep an eye on what other shops in your area are doing, and adjust your incentives in order to keep your best technicians.

Automotive Industry Labor Rate Increases

A live viewer asked if this a good time to increase labor rates. Hunt emphatically says yes! Selling on parts and labor is an antiquated method, and package deals are more common instead. The host made the point that inflation and the increased costs of many other goods and services justify an increase in our hourly rates. Brian made the point that we can’t eat the rising costs of parts. We need to instead incrementally increase what we charge for labor monthly to cover that, as well as to reward our teams fairly. Ask yourself what a dealership can do that you can’t. Why are you charging lower rates than them, then?

Looking Ahead to 2022 in the Automotive Industry

Tim feels that everything comes back to relationships. We want to be the the auto shop multiple generations of families return to. This can’t be done unless we communicate to our customers that we truly care.

Brian again emphasized the importance of staff retention for navigating the future. Regular team meetings, meals together, and retreats can build relationships amongst our staff. They will then be less likely to go elsewhere. Also, loaner cars are a must offer, especially when we have a backlog of jobs. We may be overflowing with work, but we must not become complacent. Consistent phone scripts, key to key friendliness, and great service will pay off when we have to hunt for jobs. Word gets around, whether it’s a good or bad review.

Finally, Hunt asked for one last tip for owners trying to navigate the automotive industry in 2022. Tim said that while business is up, we need to build our cash reserves to prepare for an inevitable downturn. Brian emphasized that we must a positive company culture. Retention is so important, and fostering an environment your staff never wants to leave will pay dividends in so many areas. Keep recruiting the right people, and assure them every day that they chose wisely by joining your team.

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Looking Back To Look Forward

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The New Year is right around the corner, and now is the time to look back so that we can look forward. Did we reach the goals we set this time last year, did we become the person we set out to be, and most importantly, are we happy with where we are at? We believe a deep self-reflection is the start of realizing your true potential; let’s take some time to reflect on 2021 and consider how we did.

How Far Did You Get This Year?

We have all heard the age-old business quotes “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” and, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Well, the same goes for how we evaluate our own goals and improvements. Take a look at this year and see how far you’ve come from the same time last year. It is so easy to get lost in the day-to-day pandemonium and forget that, “Hey, I came pretty darn far this year!”

Did You Hit Your Goals?

It is all about setting proximal goals, small short-term goals that are easily attainable but compound one another as you move forward. That is how you build the pyramid, and that is how you meet those distal goals, the long-term “larger than life” goals, like selling your business and retiring in Cabo, haha. Did you hit your goals this year? Are you satisfied with the growth and successes you had in 2021? Take some time to list your successes out and compare them to your future goals; which list is longer?

What Do You Want To Do Next Year?

So, remember the quote, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”? Well, now that we have it all measured, how are we going to improve it? No matter where any of us are at, the bottom or the top, there is always room for improvement. Take a look at the team around you and the infrastructure you laid for yourself. Is it a supportive and structurally sound infrastructure, or is it barely holding together? Now is the time to make those changes and decide what to do next.

If You Could Do Some Of It Over Differently, What Would It Be?

This isn’t the time to dwell on the past; this is a time to both measure and improve. We all have situations where we would have liked things to go a different way, so how would you do it differently this time around?

How Can You Plan for More Success Next Year?

Plan for your future, dream big, and visualize where you will be this time next year. There is no greater motivator than making a plan and holding yourself accountable for the future you desire. Now is the time to foster a network of supportive people; hungry for success, just like you.

What Can Coaching Do To Give You the Support You Need?

Business coaching is singling out an esoteric plan for your future, and then kicking it into hyperdrive. There are thousands of individuals just like you who want more for themselves; the difference is that they aren’t willing to invest in themselves and the network that will make it all possible. At You Net Results, our structured and highly-effective business coaching will plug you into a vast network of individuals just like you; who are hungry for the future they dream of. We foster a supportive community of business leaders who open up their hearts (and books) to help each other reach the distal goals we all dream of.

Become a part of the incredible community at You Net Results and be the superhero that you know you are. 2022 is going to be a big year, and this is your opportunity to start off the way you always said you would. Learn to visualize your business in a completely new way. Let us help you get rid of the “Silent Thieves” draining your bottom line. Let’s Maximize this Daily Operations Opportunity!

Visit our website and contact us today for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your concerns, your strengths and guide you in making 2022 the definitive year of your family’s life. We can’t control the world around us, but we can optimize the business we created.

Self Made Leadership Is A Myth

The Lone Wolf Approach to Leadership

We romanticize the image of the “Self-Made Man” and “Self-Made Woman” in American society. The idea is that this person pulled up their bootstraps and then walked out in the business wilderness as a lone wolf with no pack to help them. It makes for a great Liam Neeson movie, but what if we told you that this is exactly that? This leadership idea is fictional, and it doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as the “Self-Made Individual”. It’s a myth. Every successful person you know and every leader you aspire to be employed a support team which helped them navigate the wilds.

Leadership sometimes means leaning on your staff - trust other experts you work with!

Whether you realize it or not, you are where you are as a result both of your own hard work and the support of the people around you. All the teachers, parents, employees, friends, and mentors that were there for you through both thick and thin. They believe in you, and now it is time to see their value for what it is worth. You hone a set of behaviors over time called leadership skills. Just like the best teachers and coaches we know, you have to develop the skill in order to perfect it.

You Can Do This – It’s Proven to Work

Fixing the ingrained leadership faults and shortcomings that we believe we have is possible through practice and good coaching. While some people have that innate ability to lead, most people find their ability through trials and tribulations. The best leaders we know faced great hardships on their way up. You have the team and you have the support. Now, you just need to learn the best way to lead the charge for everyone.

Take the YOUTOOLS Leadership Journey with Brian Gillis

At You Net Results, we plug you into a powerful network of other business leaders, where you share and grow off of each other’s successes and hardships. We get rid of that lone wolf approach and then transform it into a true collaborative leadership mentality. People want to see that their leaders understand them, as well as the world around them. As a leader, it is important to see the value in the people around you; to enhance their ownership of their role in your business life.

We teach you about the “Silent Thieves” ruining your ability to lead and perform as a business effectively. Then, we help you fix your processes and procedures to meet those challenges. With the right procedures, team, and mindset, you can achieve anything. You Net Results can guide you down that path.

Are you ready? Let’s do this. 

Don’t be a lone wolf. Join our awesome community of industry leading business owners so you can become the leader you were meant to be! Let’s Maximize this Daily Operations Opportunity.

In order to find out more, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your concerns, your strengths and help you find ways to improve your leadership skills and company culture. Not everyone is born a leader, but everyone can become a leader…

Why Kukui?

During a recent Daily Operations webinar, we invited Luke and Carl from Kukui to present their auto repair marketing service to our clients.

Auto Repair Marketing Service – Useful New Kukui Features

First, Carl lays out a new feature on Kukui sites, the live web chat box. Since many customers are more comfortable texting than calling, it’s a great solution. Today, customers perform over 70% of all searches from smartphones. Therefore, you must have a mobile friendly chat feature in order to discuss services in real time.

Additionally, Kukui now offers a new automated message service. Shops can use time based triggers for declined services, follow ups, and recommended services. The text service is extremely intelligent, reminding clients of services they may have declined before. This is a huge get, especially if you are an independent repair shop owner. You can customize this in order to make it more personal for your raving fans.

Carl then outlined Lead Scoring. Shop owners can use this tool to create a 1-10 scorecard for service advisors when they make phone calls. This will both help service writers to improve their game, and train new recruits on mastering their techniques. You may figure averages per employee or shop wide. Control all of these via an easy to use online dashboard.

More About Kukui

Auto Repair Marketing Service from KukuiNext, our guests break down Kukui’s background and mission for the few non-users on the call. Kukui offers scalable marketing software that any automotive repair business can use, from single bay shops to multi-store operations with hundreds of employees. No matter what your goal is, Kukui’s team of problem solvers can get you there.

Carl drilled down the components that help shops get found on Google. Kukui sites are mobile friendly, fast, and regularly updated with fresh content. These are must have SEO (Search Engine Optimization) components, no matter what industry you work in. Kukui have partnered with Google to ensure their auto repair websites are all approved.

Additionally, the layout of the site is critical to convert customers. Properly placing a shop’s branding, call to action buttons, reviews, and coupons on your website is critical if you want it to bring people in the door.

Perhaps most critical of all, Kukui offers full analytics of how your tools are performing. When you know what’s working and what’s not, you can tweak your settings on the fly to take maximum advantage.

Email marketing is also key to customer retention. Kukui offers full featured email marketing, with easy to use templates and the ability to import your existing list in CSV format. Stay in touch by sending reminders, thank you’s, and special offers, or ask for a review.

You can manage reviews, whether they are from Facebook, Google, or other sources, from your Kukui dashboard. The service also offers automated postcard mailing and tracks your results. You can also automate regular social media posts, and you can target the right prospects with the Customer Maps feature.

Try The Kukui Auto Repair Marketing Service For Yourself

After watching this video, we are confident that you’re ready to take the next step. Your auto repair business is poised for explosive growth! Click here and hit the “Refer Someone for a Demo” button today to get started!

What Are YOUTOOLS?

Auto Repair Shop owners getting hyped about Automotive Processes and Systems

Photo from the June 2021 Automotive Training Conference

Do you agree with these FOUR statements about Automotive Processes and Systems?

  1. Automotive Processes and Systems run your business, whether they are written or unwritten.
    __Yes__No
  2. Your People run the Processes and Systems.
    __Yes __No
  3. Making your business process and systems dependent, rather than people dependent, is the major objective of the Manager
    __Yes __No
  4. Your Daily Operations Silver Bullets do not exist.
    __Yes __No

At You Net Results we utilize what we like to call “YOUTOOLS.” They are a set of automotive business tools that can help you manage your business better as you grow it.

Online and In-Person Training

Throughout COVID, we have been meeting together online. We review processes and systems that help businesses operate smoothly and thrive. We have all gone through many changes during the pandemic. Online learning has helped our businesses pivot and grow during these challenging times.

In June 2021, our 360 Full Circle Group met in Atlanta, GA, in order to share our auto repair businesses’ methods. Look at all of those smiling faces in the photo above after we saw each other in person, shared hugs, and broke bread together. What a great event!

We see such great success among the auto repair shops we coach at You Net Results! Because of that, we are, of course, continuing our online and in-person educational programs.

Now, let’s look at the answers to the questions asked above about automotive processes.

Yes, processes and systems help run your business. However, they are clearer and easier to reproduce when you write down those Standard Operating Procedures down. Congratulations if you have all of your processes documented. However, you are in trouble if they are stuck on a shelf in a three-ring binder collecting dust. They need to be living, breathing, updated SOPs in order to work effectively.

Yes, your people run the processes and systems. But the question remains, are they doing it correctly? If you’re not sure, take a look at what your customers say about your business — both good and bad. Can you identify what must be improved? Can you determine if anyone within your team is sabotaging your systems and processes? If yes, then we can help you determine how to regain control.

Yes, the Manager’s main objective is to make your business process and systems dependent, instead of people dependent. If you focus on the systems and processes, then your business is more scalable. Imagine if McDonald’s could only run if one specific person were present. Would the restaurant be able to stay open as long as needed if it was entirely people-dependent? We think not. Because of well-documented systems and processes, McDonald’s has evolved into a multi-billion dollar, worldwide operation.

Yes, your Daily Operations Silver Bullets do not exist. You simply cannot write down your daily operations once expecting them to hold for a decade. Things change. Systems change, software changes, people change. It is crucial to treat your Standard Operating Procedures as living, breathing entities. “Silver Bullets” imply “one and done”, or “set it and forget it”. If you want your business to be successful, then that’s just not the case.

Take the YOUTOOLS Automotive Processes Journey with Brian Gillis

At You Net Results, we host coaching groups just for auto repair shop owners. Together, we can all reach our own turnaround points. You will move from a business owner to a confident business leader. Then, and only then, you can eliminate everything that is holding you back.

Are you ready? Let’s do this!

Don’t keep hiding in the weeds! Let’s Maximize our Daily Operations.

To find out more, contact us for a complimentary consultation. Brian Gillis will discuss your business strategies, and then find ways to improve both your annual revenue and company culture.

Forgetful Fred

Auto Repair Management SOP Can Fix Forgetful Staff Problems

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Have you heard the story about Forgetful Fred? Maybe you have had problem employees like Forgetful Fred. If you’ve been in business for a while, the chances are good that you have at some point.

He kept forgetting to come to work on time. Then, he kept forgetting to call the customers when promised.

He kept forgetting to update the WorkFlow Board. Then, he kept forgetting to deposit his check each week.

He kept forgetting to GO FOR NO with each customer.

Go For No Questions For Problem Employees

In our GO FOR NO workshops, we detail how to deal directly with the Forgetful Freds working within our team. If you’re not already signed up for the training offered by You Net Results, we will discuss this topic at length.

For a minute, we invite you to pay attention to the various things that could be affecting Forgetful Fred’s behavior. Ask yourself — or go directly to the Forgetful Freds in your life and ask them — the following questions:

  1. Is there something going on at home that is affecting performance?
  2. Are they getting enough sleep?
  3. Is there an underlying health issue that we may or may not know about?
  4. Is this person usually eager and motivated?
  5. Does this person show signs of a stroke, dementia, or heart issues?
  6. Is this person mourning the loss of something?
  7. Are you providing a supportive and safe work environment for this individual?
  8. Could this person be getting bullied or abused at work or elsewhere?

Problem Employees? Check Your SOPs!

After you have ruled out all of the above, the next step is to check your Standard Operating Procedures and ask the following questions:

  1. Has this person been trained over a long enough time?
  2. Are all the SOPs written out or recorded on video so they can actually “see” the different steps to success and corresponding checklists?
  3. Are both the processes and procedures clear, or are they confusing?
  4. Has anyone else tested out the SOPs to make sure they are current, as well as accurate?
  5. Is there a communication issue that could be causing all of these issues?
  6. Is it clear who the problem employee reports to, and what their complete job duties entail?
  7. Have you communicated so that this person truly understands what to do?
  8. Or, are you accidentally expecting this individual to read your mind and assume they know what you know?

Look, these questions may sound silly, but we ask them for this reason:

We don’t ever hire dumb people, do we? No, we don’t. However, when we hire talented and bright individuals to fill a role within our team, our lack of clear processes and systems can force them to fail, falter, or forget.

Once you have resolved your system’s issue, the chances are excellent that problem employees like Forgetful Fred will lose their negative nicknames. You might soon have a Faithful Fred, Kickass Kathy, or Superhero Steve.

Take the NO Fear Journey with Brian Gillis

At You Net Results, we facilitate coaching groups for auto repair shop owners. Together, we can all reach a turnaround point. You can emerge from this experience moving from a business owner to a confident business leader. Thus, you will eliminate the things 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.

Fail your way to success

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash.

We all know that it is challenging to pick up new habits, but anything worth doing can be hard at first. You have to keep in mind that every person has their own pathway and their own method of success. However, we all have one thing in common: how difficult that changing your mindset can be. Always remember that everything is possible when you put in the work to achieve it! 

What are some of the things that you personally think about when it comes to achieving success? Is it…

  • more sales for your auto repair business?
  • increased car count, thus filling up your bays?
  • depositing more money in the bank every week?
  • additional free time to spend doing the things you love?
  • expanded customer engagement with your front counter staff?

Advice for you from famous thought leaders

Here are some helpful videos which can help you upgrade your own success habits. We collected these from some of our very favorite thought leaders:

Denzel Washington “Fall Forward”

Simon Sinek “This Will Change How You View Success”

Grant Cardone “Tips To Become Successful”

Gary Vaynerchuk “The Most Important Habit of Successful People”

You Net Results are here to help you form your own success habits

You may think that you have good luck or bad luck, but the truth is that your success will only come with the habits that you create for yourself! Remember that for a business to start, it needs both help and support from many different people. The team at You Net Results is always right here, and we are waiting to help you

We believe deeply in you, and we know that you can do this.

Sign up now and receive 16 hours of habit-forming front counter training each and every month!