By Tom Ham. What do you say when your customers ask how many miles are on your car? Are you a member of your state’s automotive trade association? When is the last time you checked your shop for heating and air conditioning leaks? Check out the latest Auto Shop Monthly Management Tips from the Automotive Management Network to get inside secrets on managing your shop and increasing your bottom line.
Your Car Has How Many Miles on It?
That should be a frequent comment from your customers when you give them a ride, give them a loaner or just talk about your personal and company vehicles. Owning newer low mileage vehicles suggests to your customers that you don’t follow what you often say to them. Today it is not very difficult for shops to own extremely clean cars with over 200,000 miles (one owner high end cars are cheap to buy and fun to drive). They make fantastic selling tools; and can save the shop a lot of money, too!
Trade Associations – Waste or Value?
It could be either or both. The largest plus is the “association” with others who also belong. Far too many shop owners live on their own little island either by themselves or maybe with a couple of others. Association members often interact with dozens of others not unlike themselves. Beyond associating, belonging can go several directions. You can’t just sit on your hands and wait for something to occur. When you jump in, you tend to get a whole lot more out. If you are not a member of your state’s automotive trade association, get off your island and try it for a year. If nothing else, it will give you access to some of the top shop owners in your region.
Energy Costs too High?
It’s a good time of the year to do the same things at the shop that many of us do at home. Take a good look at where the heating and air conditioning is leaking out. Many shops are like Swiss cheese; holes everywhere! Check the insulation, weather stripping, overhead doors, service doors, windows, and any other spot that might be an issue. That infrared gun in your tool box is a great tool to find leaks. It’s the basic stuff like this that the expense hawks do to keep more money for themselves (and also end up with a more comfortable workplace).