There are so many things to keep in mind when you run an automotive repair shop. You have to learn everything about the automotive industry to stay informed about new technology while running your dealership. And you also have to focus on giving people the best service. Successful companies offer everything from skilled technicians to excellent customer satisfaction.
All of this and more can make it an exhausting career. However, it is also an industry with good market growth. It is an excellent time to get into the automotive repair industry. A survey found that several shop owners plan to retire in the next decade. That leaves room to set up new stores or improve old ones. It can also help you turn a successful profit—if you do it right. Read on for a few helpful hints and tips.
Get finances and certificates in order.
Do you know how much it costs to set up a repair shop? Get everything in order before you begin running your shop. Do you have money set aside for a business license, Automotive Service Excellence certificates, and insurance? Can you afford the rent and the best technicians? Are you able to pay your overhead and supply costs, and survive till you break even?
Remember to have achievable business goals and a company objective before you start your shop. If you cannot afford to train people, hire team members that have years of work experience. Give your ASE certification test so that you’re skilled enough to handle more than just a managerial role. If you have a small business and do most repairs yourself, this is especially helpful.
Take your business online.
You can get more customers with an online presence. Start with a website for your automotive repair shop. List what automotive and diesel certifications you have. Hire a company to improve where your site ranks on search engines.
Social media is also an excellent tool. Set up accounts that allow customers a look inside your store. Post attractive pictures, videos of small tasks like oil changes. Remember to ask customers to leave reviews after their service. Good reviews will encourage new customers to pick your business.
Give your customers incentives.
Give your customers a reason to come back. And give new customers a reason to pick you over an auto dealership. To bring in new business, you need the best customer service. Start with things like referral programs. Give regular customers discounts on used cars or set up loyalty programs. Offer a warranty on your work, so they trust it enough to return. Or, offer a free future oil change when someone comes in for a significant job like Diesel Repair.
Trust in technology.
A mistake that most older automotive repair shops make is that they don’t use enough technology. Sure, you know all about automotive technology. You have your technician certificates, you’ve set your business goals and have a strategic plan for the future. Setting up software to track your small business’s ambitious goals seems like a waste of time. After all, do you need a computer for your task list? How important is tracking a balanced scorecard or key performance indicators?
However, proper software can help streamline your business. It would help if you considered things like automotive scheduling software. And, your entire organization will benefit from business OKR software. These goal-setting frameworks allow you to track your company objectives. They also allow you an insight into the key results. Your team members can set common goals and keep track of everything—from strategic objectives to performance reviews. It will make goal setting more accessible. OKRs are an essential tool for successful companies.
Don’t stop learning.
So, you’ve got the best team members, a base of loyal customers, and a successful company. It’s still essential to stay up-to-date on an individual level. If you want to run a successful automotive repair shop, you have to keep learning. You can have the best customer service, OKR methodology, and online presence. You could know how to switch manual transmission to automatic transmission in a used car. You may be an expert technician, but no years of work experience will matter if your expertise is outdated.
Things change quickly in the automotive industry. Make it a personal goal to stay informed. It won’t take much time, but it will help your business. Learn about new diesel technology, check car prices, and car listings to stay updated on new models. Focus on what’s changed, even if it’s as simple as the key differences between alloy wheels.