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Repair Shop Advice

Three Things to Leave Behind in 2020

December 23, 2019

It’s that time of the year when everyone makes resolutions.  Most of us make too many of them to ever accomplish them all, and they fall off our calendars one by one, until they’re all gone by the end of February.

That’s doesn’t mean it’s not worth the time to plan and execute some changes to improve your shop – and your job satisfaction – in the coming year.  Here are three suggestions for things to leave behind as you move into 2020.

Customer Nearsightedness – It costs a lot of money to bring a new customer into your shop.  When most shops aren’t getting enough traffic, that’s exactly where they put their focus.  Those new customers are important – but make sure you put just as much focus on how to get them to come back a second, third and fourth time, establishing a habit of visiting your shop (and a new home for their vehicle) in the process.  Those follow-up visits cost much less to earn than that first one.

Short-Term Budgeting – No matter where your shop is in the US, odds are that one season is worse on vehicles than the rest of them.  And if you do happen to be in one of those places where the weather is always beautiful, you’ve probably got a tourist season.  Either way, some months probably bring more vehicle traffic to your shop than others, and you probably already have a good idea of which months those will be in 2020.

If you’ve got any major purchases to make, try to make them during the good months.  Try to move as many expenses out of the bad months as possible, and make sure to build up an extra cash buffer going into them.  An annual budget helps to make those slow months less painful – and if it’s managed well, it can also help minimize your tax burden!

Negativity – Life is too short to work with a hostile technician or service writer.  One of the advantages of running your own business is that you can shape the culture, improving the lives of yourself and your co-workers.  If you’ve got an employee that’s angry, disagreeable or dishonest, it doesn’t matter how much they’re producing for you, they’re not worth it.  They’ll send employees, recruits, and customers running faster than they can ever make money for you.  Get rid of them.

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