Automotive & HD Business Management Articles.
Bob Greenwood. August 29, 2013. ( over 5 years ago ) 762 views
Shop owners who continually run their business based on volume, i.e. carry on with a business philosophy of “bang them in and bang them out, keeping busy” are really missing tens of thousands of dollars in missed net profits. These shops thrive on the term “volume”; in fact, they feel very uneasy if things slow down. These shops are caught in a time warp loop of “that’s the way it’s always been, and that’s the way it always will be”. Their jobbers may love it today, but they’ll regret this closed, short sightedness mind-set “tomorrow”. These shops could very well take their Jobber down with them.
The best shops today recognize when you are too busy, you don’t have time to “connect” with the client. Time is required to understand and “connect” with client’s needs and expectations. Time is required to “connect” the business relationships through the use of education that builds shop credibility with the client. Time is required to “connect” through counselling the client thoroughly and professionally, on preventative maintenance programs that can be tailored specifically to the individual. Time, therefore, now becomes a true “asset” that puts the company in the position to “connect” with prosperity.
We know that focused shops are capable of producing a consistent average 2.0 to 2.5 billed hours per maintenance invoice. The relationship is in place with their chosen clientele, BUT, more importantly, these shops have taken the “responsibility” to ensure their clients drive a safe and reliable vehicle. These shops manage their client’s vehicle. Weaker shops that do not embrace the “connectivity” process, average below 2.0 hours per automotive maintenance invoice.
We also know that best practice shops make great efforts to maintain their “connection” with a client follow-up and reminder process. There is no immediate need to continuously go after strange new bodies, creating more volume and car count with unknown history, when all the new potential business is already at the doorstep of the shop. Many people and their children own 2 or even 3 vehicles. Best shop practices know that capturing “all” the business from each client is working smart, not hard. They also know that when a client is happy because the “connection” is in place, new potential “connections”, commonly known as referrals, of “like mind-set” people start showing up.
The question that arises to this logical business process is “why is connectivity not embraced readily across Independent shops across Canada?” The fact remains the majority of shops have not been exposed to this type of business process as their jobbers seemingly preach and talk “get busy, increase volume”. These shops don’t know if, or how, they should consider customer/client connectivity. They have not attended business courses that can assist them in the understanding, proving the math and that the process is worth the effort to embrace; they have no time. They are poorly disciplined when it comes to reading “management” material; they have no time. “Time” to these shops becomes their “liability”; having “no time” means they are not only NOT “connected” with their customer base, in reality, they are NOT “connected” with their business. Reality also tells us their Business Model is broken, and our industry better recognize it!!