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Repair Shop Advice


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Most customers don’t know a “good price” for vehicle repair and maintenance. However, they are looking at signals you are sending through your marketing to determine whether to push back against the price that you quote them. Click here for three ways to maintain your margins.

 


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Every business owner has parts of their job that they love, and parts that they don’t like at all.  That’s especially true for small business owners, who find themselves doing a little bit of everything.  Maybe you love repairing vehicles, but hate showing the value of a service to a skeptical customer.  Or maybe you enjoy both, but hate dealing with taxes and bills.


It’s probably not so much that you dislike parts of your job – it’s that you have three jobs, and you really wish you only had one.

Back in 1986, Michael Gerber published a book called the E-Myth.  A lot has changed since then, but one thing hasn’t – every business needs an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician.  And if you’re the only person at your shop, then you have all three jobs.

The technician is the job you probably wanted if you started your own auto repair shop – the person who focuses on doing the task at hand.  Technicians pride themselves on doing good work, and doing a lot of it.  But as you know, it takes more than fixing vehicles to make a shop successful.

The manager is the planner.  They enjoy running processes – scheduling, bills, employee training, ordering parts, and generally trying to reduce your shop’s costs and increase its profits.  The manager’s job is to keep the bays full, and to make sure that all of the technicians are doing whatever they can do at that minute to make the company the most money.

The entrepreneur is the visionary.  Their job is to look five years down the road.  They build a long-term plan for the manager to execute.  They focus on growing the value of the company, so they can sell the company and move to the next project or phase of their lives.

Unfortunately, all three are required in a business.  If your technicians have low productivity, then there’s no work time or money for the manager to manage.  If you don’t take the time to train employees, order parts, or design efficient shop processes, you’ll find yourself too overwhelmed by process failures to do a good job of keeping customers happy.  And if you don’t have a plan for where you’re taking your shop, five years from now it’s likely to look a lot like it does today – or worse.

So if you find yourself in your shop day and night but not getting where you’d like to be, stop and ask yourself if it’s time to focus on the other two jobs you probably have.  It might be difficult to be your own manager, but you’ll be surprised at how much it can help!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you grow your business, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Big businesses have major financial advantages. There are some areas, however, where they fall far short against independent auto repair shops. Click here to learn where independents shine.

 


Thursday, January 17, 2019

For many businesses, location is key.  A great location might cost extra money, but you’ll earn far more because people will see your auto repair shop and it will be more convenient for them to drop their vehicle off for service.


When it comes to earning business online, however, the customer’s location is important, too.  Did you know that a customer’s location is the factor Google considers most when deciding which businesses to show in the list of three just under the map section of a search result?

Of course, Google relies on several things to determine who earns the best location in the search results, including your reviews, your website quality, and your shop hours.  Location is important too – Google can see where its users are located, and it knows which businesses are nearby.  They’re much more likely to show your business if your location is right next to the person searching for a shop.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing you (or your website provider) can do about a user’s location.  What you can do is make sure that you help Google understand which customers you serve.  For instance, you might be on the edge of a city but mostly provide auto repair services to the residents of another town.  You want to make sure you advertise your proximity to both locations on your website!

Many websites don’t have this level of content.  Some ‘micro-sites’ (those with 5 or fewer pages) don’t even list the cities near a shop.  These websites will often just state where the shop is located, which makes it much more difficult to earn first-page results when people located in nearby towns search for the services your shop provides.

Just listing the towns won’t get you very far, either.  Ideally, your website will have a page dedicated to every major town that you receive customers from.  This demonstrates to Google that your website isn’t just listing nearby cities, but that you’re actively serving customers from those locations.

If you have reviews from customers in those towns, it’s even better.  These reviews demonstrate that you’re not just seeking customers in nearby towns, but you already have customers there.

If you don’t have pages dedicated to the towns you serve, work with your provider to get them there.  You might be surprised with the impact it has on your search results – and how often your phone rings!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites brings business to repair shops across the country, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Most auto repair shop owners put plenty of work into their shop.  They work to build efficient workspaces, to keep their customers comfortable, and to keep their employees happy.  That work can pay dividends once customers see it for themselves, but unfortunately many shops don’t give people the opportunity.


The easiest way to give potential customers the opportunity to see your auto repair shop is to take some great photos of it and post them on your website.  These pictures aren’t just filler – they demonstrate the environment your customers can expect when they get to your shop.  Customers who know little about cars may judge the work quality of your shop based on its appearance, so when it comes to providing a good visual representation of your shop, it pays to put your best foot forward.

The good news is that it’s not hard to do. Get ready to be surprised by how easy it is to take a great photo!  There are three key points to make yourself stand out among competitors when taking pictures – the camera, the lighting, and the purpose.

If you’ve got a modern smartphone, the odds are high that you’ve got a pretty good camera.  You don’t need a million-dollar camera to take a good photo – most smartphones have cameras that can easily take high-quality photos for your website, social media page, or even marketing flyers.

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is not taking enough photos.  It’s free!  Take plenty of photos from different angles and pick the best. For the best results, take photos of the jobs and parts of your shop you are most proud of. You will want to avoid pictures of a rusty car or the corner of the waiting room that could use a remodel.

First, you’ll want to focus on the background. If your shop isn’t as spotless as you would like, you aren’t alone – but keep the mess out of the picture. Reposition yourself for a better background that isn’t distracting to the eye. The less mess to stare at, the more people will appreciate why you took the picture in the first place.

Besides taking photos of the work you do, showing your waiting room is important. Have a place for customers to sit and work or relax while their car is in the shop. A clean and comfortable space plays into higher customer satisfaction, which leads to repeat customers.

To capture the best pictures to promote your auto repair shop, take the lighting into consideration. Natural light can play an important role in how your photos turn out. Using the sun’s natural rays through windows or open garage doors can produce beautiful photos. The important thing to remember is to work with the sun, not to compete against it.

Simplicity is better. When you’re ready to snap a quick photo, think to yourself, ‘What do people want to see when they look at this photo?’ and focus on that.

The three key things you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors are tools you already have. Take a moment to snap a picture with your phone, use the natural light, and avoid distracting objects in your photo, if possible. If you’re proud of your work, show it off!  Your business counts on it.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help bring business to your shop, call us at 866-665-1605 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.

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