The independent shops in our industry too often believe that they are the same caliber of business as the maintenance/repair facility down the street.
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Nothing could be further from the truth.
Why can one business charge $110 per hour and the shop is constantly full, and a shop within two blocks charges $75 per hour and is struggling to find work?
One would think that the potential for business with the higher-priced, busy shop must be different than the potential for business with the lower-priced shop. That assumption is wrong.
All shops within a market trading area have the same potential, which is dictated by the population base of the given marketplace. As the population increases, the potential for business increases. As the population decreases, the potential for business decreases.
What is distinctly different from each shop in the marketplace is their capability to maximize their potential. Every shop has different capabilities, and by measuring the capability, it becomes clearer why some shops are steady and more profitable than others.
There are six items we consider in examining a shop — the six questions of capability. Every problem in a shop falls within one of these six categories; therefore, it allows one to focus on resolving the problem once it is clearly defined.
The first question is Attitude. What is the attitude of the shop owner/manager and the staff? Ever notice when you walk into a shop you seemingly can “feel” the attitude of the premise? Is the attitude positive or is it negative? A negative shop will never reach its potential in business. The owner/manager is usually complaining about cheap customers, business not being how it used to be, not being able to make the kind of money he once did, or how you can’t keep good staff anymore as they always want more and don’t want to work for it. When the owner/manager is in this frame of mind, I can guarantee you the staff will have a negative feeling about the entire business. The owner/manager has no vision for the business, no plan for the future, he just complains and points the finger at someone, or something else, for all his woes.
The second question is Personnel. What is the quantity and quality of the people working within the shop?
Every November the shop is extremely busy, so busy in fact we could use double the staff. However we don’t have that quantity on board, therefore we rush the cars in and out to ensure all clients are looked after. The rushed process however, ensures that we don’t maximize our potential for business because we didn’t have the time to properly inspect the vehicles as we were too busy and management didn’t have the right quantity of people to ensure a full vehicle inspection could take place to maximize sales and service to each and every client.