We all know the aftermarket is changing and that topic is well discussed; however, economic times have dramatically changed in many regions of this country as well. When the economic cycle changes to a downward trend, we must re-examine the business as to how to increase productivity so we can still create a bottom line.
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Clearly remember the following:
- You cannot discount yourself into prosperity.
- You still require the right staffing level to maximize productivity.
- A slash-and-burn approach to expenses can create service levels to drop dramatically, which in turn affects your client satisfaction and business image. We know 95 percent of business expenses within a shop are fixed or common sense expenses required to maximize net income.
These are always three big challenges during tough economic times.
The tendency to lower labor rates or discount jobs in hopes that it will drive more business does not work over the short or long term because a message has been sent to your clientele that works totally against the business. Remember, you pay all bills out of gross profit dollars and working 50 percent harder to create the same dollars can kill the attitude of you and your staff. The math does not lie.
In the ’70s and ’80s when there was an abundance of potential staff to bring in to the shop, layoffs during slow times were common. If people left, we just brought others. Today’s realities have proven that we must retain competent people every day. Without the right staffing level, you cannot maximize the right productivity level to make the bottom line required. This also demands that management’s time is more focused in working in the business rather than on it.