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Repair Shop Advice

When Workers Worry, They Leave in a Hurry

March 26, 2020

With the possible exception of the financial stimulus bill, there hasn’t been much good news for auto repair shop owners (or really any business owners) in the past couple of weeks.  One of the only good things going for them:  after years of record low unemployment, not many technicians or service writers woke up today and thought it would be a good time to change jobs.

There’s talk of a 30% unemployment rate by serious people right now, so your shop employees are probably staying put.  For now.  But if your employees aren’t convinced that your shop can withstand the coming economic downturn, they’re going to at least consider a move in the coming months to a shop they think is on better financial footing.

If you are on a good financial footing, it’s important to give your employees enough information for them to have confidence that this is the case.  If you’ve been investing in your shop and in your employees over the past few years of economic expansion, they’ll believe you when you point out that you couldn’t have done that without a profitable business model.

If you aren’t in great financial shape, you need a plan for how to keep your best employees.  Otherwise, they will jump ship, leaving you only with your lower performing employees – the ones that couldn’t find work elsewhere.  As bad as the next few months might seem, it’s going to be much worse without your best staff members helping you pull through.

Finally, there are likely to be a lot of great deals out there in the coming months, and some great financing options to go with it.  But if you decide to make some long-term investments during the downturn, make sure to retain enough financial cushion to keep your best employees – even if the economy performs worse than expected.  Those debt companies keep sending the same bills even when your revenue starts drying up.

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