How To Make Your Auto Shop a Success in 2021
There are over 233,000 auto repair shops in the United States, and more-and-more are being added every single day.
Whether it’s a chain of shops that provided the name-brand convenience drivers are comfortable with or a neighborhood auto shop that builds up its reputation through word of mouth advertising, auto shops are the lifeblood of the American automotive industry, They take in the cars that have suffered damage and bring them back to working life, and also help keep cars tunned up so that they can keep rocking-and-rolling on the road for a long time. If you’re experienced with fixing cars and are looking to open up your own auto shop, here are the ways in which you can be successful heading into 2021, and make sure that your auto shop is one of the lifeblood businesses of the community.
A Professional Website
Even if you’re just a mom-and-pop operation, we’re in 2021, and in these times, you should have a great online presence in order to attract and retain customers.
That means having a professional website that does a great job of getting your shop out there to the auto public. Search for server resources that you can use to build your professional website, and if you’re not sure how to, not to fear as there are a number of website builders who you can contract with to help build your website and make it stand out. There is no understating just how important it is to have a stellar website that will be an attention grabber, especially if your market is saturated with auto shops.
Have Great Software To Help Manage Your Shop
Back in the days of old, auto shops had to rely on a great deal of paper trail in order to keep their records.
Thankfully, technology has stepped in and made life a little easier for auto shop managers. There is plenty of software out there in today’s world that will help you run your day-to-day business, and having great software will help you keep track of the things that will make your shop a success. There are software products that can help you keep track of customer information, and track the products that flow in-and-out of your shop on a daily basis. There is software that can help you keep track of employee schedules and track the inventory in your shop.
Having great software and technology will make the life of your shop a whole lot easier and help better track the shop’s performance. If you’re unsure where you can access the software, you can call an applications expert to come in and help install the programs for you, and watch how simple running your shop will be.
Get A Financial Manager
Speaking of management, it’s important to have financial management in order to keep your shop open and growing.
Keeping an eye on your finances is a critical part of any successful business, and even more so with auto business. So one management position that will be critical for you to fill with being a financial manager that can keep an eye on your shop’s finances to make sure that every dollar is being accounted for and plan for whatever lies ahead. A financial manager can wear many different hats, from an asset manager to one that keeps a close eye on inventory. Having a solid financial manager will help make your life a bit easier.
Also, it would be wise to have a small business accountant on retainer in order to help out your financial manager with the shop’s finances. You can never have too many eyes looking over and making sure your books line up, especially in a day-and-age in which finances for businesses have grown remarkably tight.
Have A Great Attitude About Your Business
There should be a great point of pride in opening your own auto shop.
You’re in business for yourself, which is a great achievement unto itself, and with that, your attitude within your shop will be contagious. Sure, 2021 could have been a lot better (for all of us), but you should walk into 2021 in great spirits knowing that this is going to be a better year. That optimism will spread throughout the shop, and keeping a great attitude, even if things don’t exactly go your way at times, will go a long way in making sure this year will be a banner one for the shop.
Establish A Loyalty Program For Customers
Auto shops are one business that relies greatly on returning customers, and those customers should be rewarded for their loyalty.
Most major auto chains have established loyalty programs that will give great perks to those who keep bringing their business to them, and if your shop has the finances, you should think about establishing one as well so that your customers will feel even more valuable to your business. Not only that, but it will encourage repeat business and keep your shop in good standing with the community, building great word-of-mouth advertising that is the cornerstone of any great auto shop.
A great loyalty program should be based on the volume of a business, be set up so that reward points could be accused and used in the future, have a program in place that will notify customers when they receive an award and have that reward made out so that it can be transferable to any vehicles that customer owns, not just tied to one vehicle. A great loyalty program is a smart way of keeping loyal customers, and it will also help you gain new ones.
Have A Pollution Prevention Guide
While auto shops are great businesses, there aren’t renowned for being the best businesses in the environment.
There are rules and regulations in place that help curb the environmental impact auto shops have on nature, from EPA guidelines that shops have to follow and such. When you open your own auto shop, you should have a pollution prevention guide in place that will help put curbs on the pollution that could come out of your shop. One of the main pollutants auto shops have is solvents such as degreasers and auto parts cleaning, and there are certain rules and regulations that a shop has to follow in order to discard those solvents in an environmentally safe manner.
Make sure that you have a local recycling company on hand that can remove your safely discarded solvents, and also keeps a recycling bin for any other products that don’t need to be among your regularly discarded trash.
Create A Marketing Team
You may think why would an auto shop need a marketing team?
You may be surprised to know that having a marketing team will go a long way in getting the name of your shop out there to the public. If you have the funds, you can build a small marketing team that will go to any medium to build your business. One of which is mobile marketing solutions, which can help greatly expand the reach of potential customers. Also, make sure that you have a professional voice mail set up so that potential customers will know that they’re calling a reputable business if you’re not available to answer. Your marketing team can assure that one will be set up for you, which is another reason why it may be wise to build a small marketing team so that your auto shop’s name can be out there for all customers to see.
Focus On Your Time
Choosing how to spend your time plays an important role in the success of an auto shop.
Where there are some big-name chain shops out there with multiple outlets and huge sales and marketing teams, the majority of shops in the United States are mom-and-pop owned, which requires the owner of a shop to spend a lot of time within there shops to ensure that it runs smoothly. While it is important that you spend the time needed to make your shop a success, it is also imperative that you focus on the time that you’re actually spending in your shop.
You don’t want to spend so much time in your shop that it takes away time and energy from your own family, but you also don’t want to spend so little time that you don’t know how your business is being run. That’s a major reason why it’s essential to focus your time and energy on productive means that will make your shop a success, without having to spend an ungodly amount of hours at your business, which can easily eat away at your personal life.
Have A Great Security System
There will be auto shops that will be located in not-so-great areas of your market, and if this fits your shop, you have to be prepared for what security issues may lie ahead.
Make sure that you have great security systems in place that can keep your business safe from burglars or any other unsavory characters that may have eyes on your shop. Keep an emergency alert system in place that can immediately alert you to a security breach at your auto repair center. Keeping a great security system will protect your business, and could be a great way of protecting the businesses that border yours.
Have Goals For Your Shop
With any business, you will want to have goals for your auto shop that you should strive to hit every time.
Maybe you want to have a number of cars to repair in a month? Or, set a benchmark for how fast your shop can make oil changes? Having and setting goals for your shop should be top-of-mind for any owner. Not only that, but it will keep your shop’s staff fresh and focused on the goal at hand. If there is a goal that you and your staff achieve, don’t hesitate to reward them for their great work. Set goals that you can achieve, and be careful not to set up lofty ones that you know will be hard for your shop to achieve. Have a goal, and set your auto shop’s eyes on that goal. You’ll be quite surprised just how achievable those goals can be in the long run.
In conclusion, opening up your own auto shop can be a lot of work, but it can also be rewarding at the same time. However, there are things that you should know in order for your shop to be a success and be able to grow within and outside your market.
For starters, you should make sure that the cash flow of your business is managed, and that can be achieved by hiring a financial manager to specifically look over the books of your business. Look over the inventory and figure out the profit margins of your business. Having control of your finances is one of the bedrock of a successful business, and it will be no different for your business.
Also, make sure that you have an online presence that will resonate with customers. Have a professional, stand out a website that will attract customers. Also, utilize the latest technology to help you with the day-to-day operations of your business, from applications tracing employee schedules to bookkeeping software, technology will help cut down of the paper trail and make your shop run more efficiently.
Your shop will already be behind the pollution eight-ball, which is why you should make sure you have a pollution prevention guide in -a place to get a handle on your shop’s pollution. Build a small marketing team that will get the word out there about your business, including giving your shop a better reach by instituting mobile marketing solutions. Have a great security system in place that will deter would-be criminals from breaking into your shop, and set up goals for you and your staff and a rewards program to reward those loyal customers.
By following these tips, you will have your shop on the road to success and growth, two things that are essential to the success of any business, especially an auto-related one.