Believe me when I tell you that when I first meet a shop owner (or service manager), most are very proud of being a businessman or woman and happy to tell me about their shop. They tell me how long they have been in business, how many bays, how many techs and so on. However, there is always this little something in their voice that says, ”I want my business back!”
I wanted you to hear a real pep talk from our leader of trainers and coaches at ATI, Bryan Stasch. He is a former shop owner who manages other former shop owners and service mangers in implementing changes in 948 shops every week. He is accountable to create a two-to-one return, and here is how he does it.
They (the shop owners) are not making the money they want or need to make. They are tired of the inmates (the associates) running the asylum (the shop). Or even worse, they are scared of confrontation or holding people accountable for the roles they fill and the pay checks they receive, Stasch says. They are hoping for the best when it comes to their marketing plan. They have no control. Their shop runs them, and not the other way around. Stasch’s advice: “Cowboy Up!” and take your business back.
Take back your numbers.
Take back your people.
Take back your marketing.
Take back your life.
I know you may be saying, “I have heard this before, but what does it mean?” What it means is, if you are not happy with the performance of your shop, you have lost control, or never really had control to begin with.
Take Back Your Numbers
You need to know and measure the numbers, what they mean, what best practices are, how they affect your business and your bottom line, and how you control them? This all starts with an understanding of what your sales are. In the automotive repair world, that is car count and average repair order. You also have to know where your sales come from: parts, labor, sublet or whatever other profit centers you might have.
Along with knowing where sales come from, you need to know and measure the appropriate cost of those sales. We will call these productions costs, which are different from your fixed and operating costs, because you have to know how to differentiate the two. From these numbers — sales and costs — you need to know and understand the profit margins, what the best practices in our industry are and how you close the gap. If you have been following my articles, you know the margins. The questions is do you know how to fix them.