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10 Ideas to Improve Shop Profitability
Profitability is the number one concern of shop owners across the country. And, as the cost of running a shop continues to escalate, it’s important to always keep your eyes open for ideas you can implement to improve sales, cut costs and make your shop more profitable.
Profiting From Personal Performance
I wanted this installment to be different, so I decided to approach it from the angle of “Personal Performance,” which is just another way of saying personal responsibility and how you’re addressing it.
If you’ve been following my articles over the last year, you may be starting to get some new ideas for finding profits in selling high performance engines, parts and accessories.
We’ve discussed various sales techniques to battle internet and catalog parts sales, or “walk-in parts,” as I like to call them. I wrote about strategies and gave them creative names like, “Selling your knowledge,” “Discount for labor” and’ “The package,” just to name a few.
Next I wrote about profit margins and the profit dollars left from the sale after you have paid your supplier for the parts. We talked about taking a reasonably large down payment, taking time to educate yourself about not only your competition, but the latest trends. Remember, you can learn a lot about what the public is being fed about how to do all kinds of modifications and repairs just by studying those news stand magazines that specialize in what you specialize in.
I wanted this installment to be different, so I decided to approach it from the angle of “Personal Performance,” which is just another way of saying personal responsibility and how you’re addressing it. Yes responsibility for you, your family, your business, your employees, your customers, your government, your kids and your future. I feel an inch or two smaller just thinking about the responsibility, but that doesn’t make it go away.
Are you making money? Is it enough so you can hire the help you want? Do you discount your bills? Are you afraid you might lose your building, or do you own a building, but suffer at tax time? How is your equipment looking? Can you afford to update a new piece every year? Your performance every day, as either an owner or as a valuable shop employee, can have bearing on all these things. If you are the owner, then you know where the buck stops!
How you handle people is part of your performance as well. Do customers pay you a little more, but still come back day after day because they like the service you provide? Do your employees generally stay around for many years, or do you turn ’em and burn ’em? Are you an expert in any part of your field? Do you promote that through the business as a shop specialty or as a way to meet customers with similar interests through car clubs and other events?
I have two great examples from phone calls that I received just a few weeks ago. And this time I get to introduce a couple of characters for us to learn from. Here are two different guys, both fighting a common fight in this industry: the fight to survive. One can’t dig deep enough to find answers to his business problems and customer issue...