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Repair Shop Advice


Monday, October 21, 2019

We’re the best choice for managing your online web presence if you’re an independent repair shop (okay, we’re a little biased :)).  We aren’t the only company who can help, however – there are other companies with the auto repair marketing knowledge to do a good job of representing you online.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies who don’t have that knowledge.  And they blow up your phone or email every day.  Some of them are just selling overpriced websites; they can’t write automotive content and know nothing about how to make auto repair shops search well.

Unfortunately, most of them are even worse than that.

Our customers frequently send us emails they’ve received about their website underperforming and ask, “are these legitimate problems?”  Most of these emails fall into the “scam” category.  Here’s how to spot a scam.

Red Flags that a scammer is emailing you.

Scammers operate by sending out millions of emails to any email address they can find, hoping to catch a business owner desperate for more business.  In order to work, every word in the email has to be relevant to anyone, in any state, in any industry.  That means that the email is extremely vague.  Here are some signs you can just toss the email directly into the trash.

  • They have no idea who you are. The email refers to you by your website, not your name.
  • Nothing in the email is specific to auto repair, or to any content on your website.
  • They intentionally use technical jargon they know you won’t understand.
  • You have no way of verifying that any of what they’re saying is true.
  • The grammar is awful (this email probably wasn’t written in the US)

Here’s an example of a scammer email.  Click the image below to make it larger.


Red Flags that a hacker is trying to trick you and hijack your computer.

Cyberfraud emails try to trick you into giving a hacker access to your data or your financial information.  They might reference some website problem or other technical support issue, but they probably aren’t trying to get you to call them.  Cyberfraud emails look very similar to a scammer email, with a few additional red flags.

  • They may try to trick you into thinking they’re someone they aren’t such as a delivery company, bank, or other major company you’ve heard of before.
  • They tell you that the email is urgent, and you need to do something quickly.
  • They want you to click a link – and the link doesn’t go where the email says it goes.
  • They include an attachment and tell you that important information is in the attachment.

Avoid clicking on anything in these emails!  Delete them immediately.  Many of these emails try to lock you out of your PC and encrypt your data.  They will then try to extort you for hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to get it back.

Here’s an example of a cyberfraud email.  Click the image below to make it larger.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you earn more business, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

The economy is still strong, but it won’t stay that way forever; some experts are predicting a downturn in as little as a year. Click here to learn how to come out of a rough patch in the economy better off than ever.

 


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Some repair shop owners start out with big goals.  For many, however, the goal of owning a shop instead of working at someone else’s isn’t a world-changing one.  Some owners don’t enjoy working for someone else or think they could do a better job themselves.  Other people just enjoy building things from scratch instead of following someone else’s directions.

In the early days of any business, the best goal is the one that gives you the motivation to get out of bed every morning and work longer than everyone else.  It’s extremely hard to start a business.  One of the hardest parts of owning a business is having to do a bunch of work you don’t want to do – taxes, financials, and complying with HR laws take up more time than anyone wants.

But once you get to a point where you have a steady flow of customers and keeping the business running doesn’t take every bit of energy you have, it’s a good idea to consider what the big picture goal of your shop is.


Of course, your day-to-day goals will be similar to those of other shops.  You want to provide great vehicle service and customer service.  You want to provide a good living for your employees that allows them to enjoy their jobs and their families.  You want to make a profit, and build a management structure that allows you to step out of the shop (at least) a few times a year for vacation and other obligations.

But beyond auto repair, why does your shop exist?  Do you want to keep it small, and use the company as a vehicle to contribute to your community?  Do you want to continue to grow it, and use that growth to provide growth opportunities for the employees who have been with you since the early days?  Do you want to use your company profits to support a social or religious cause that means a lot to you and your employees?

Most people don’t just go to work to pay their bills.  They want co-workers they like, work they enjoy, and the opportunity to grow.  They want to contribute to their workplaces, but they also want their workplaces to contribute to them, and to causes they care about.  Having a business that supports a purpose beyond its own profitability will motivate you to succeed.  It should also motivate your current staff members and attract the staff who are focused on the needs of others rather than themselves.

It can also attract customers. According to a study by Clutch, 68% of people value businesses that contribute to their local community.  Customers want to know that their money is going to someone who cares about them and their community.  It’s a major reason people support independent businesses, and a core part of “Shop Small” marketing.

Does your business have a stated purpose beyond profitability?  How will its growth lead to better outcomes for your employees, your community, and to the causes you care about most?  If you haven’t stated this explicitly, you might be surprised how much of a positive effect it might have on your business!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can bring more business to your shop, call us at 855-667-8877 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Ride-sharing companies have finally hit the peak of the business world, with both Uber and Lyft becoming publicly-traded companies this year.  Granted, that process wasn’t a smooth one for them.  Nonetheless, there are literally millions of people who drive for Uber or Lyft in the US either for extra cash or as a full-time job.

And the pay isn’t good.  While drivers make around $20 to $25 per hour, that number drops to around $8 after you factor in expenses, including gas and vehicle wear and tear.  There’s a lot these drivers can’t control;  they can’t control the price of gas, how much a customer tips them, or how much Uber or Lyft takes from every drive (more than 30% of the ride price, on average).  One thing they can control is vehicle maintenance.


Because Uber and Lyft drivers use their vehicles to make money, it doesn’t make any sense for them to push for a short-term fix; they don’t make any money when their vehicle is in the shop, and they put a lot of miles on the vehicle each week.  It also doesn’t make sense for them to use the cheapest mechanic in town, for the same reasons.

What they need is a good, honest shop that can affordably keep their vehicle running for as long as possible despite the heavy usage.  And if they are a full-time rideshare driver, the odds are good that they will need to visit their auto repair shop often.  If that sounds like a good customer for your shop, then you might consider targeting Uber or Lyft drivers with advertisements or promotions.

Ratchet and Wrench reports that some independent shops offer Uber and Lyft-specific inspections, or even promote driving for the ride-sharing services within the shop.  The chain repair shops are getting into the game, too.  Pep Boys offers free inspections and reduced prices for Lyft drivers, while Uber drivers get discounts at Firestone, Maaco, and many other chain repair shops and parts providers.

Not all shops will be a great fit for Uber and Lyft drivers – specialty import shops and luxury repair, for instance, are most often a bad fit for most rideshare drivers.  But if you’re a general automotive shop and you’re looking for long-term, frequent-flyer customers, ridesharing promotions might just fit the bill.

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help your auto repair shop gain more business, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at Team_RSW@RepairShopWebsites.com.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

When customers see (or hear) something that causes them to doubt the quality of your work, they are less likely to be satisfied with that work – even if it was exceptional. Click here to learn how to maintain the appearance of an experienced, high-caliber shop.
 

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