Most shop operators continue to say that the environment out there is “competitive.” When a typical shop owner says that, they are most likely focused on “price.” The reference they speak of is not focused on “value.”By Bob Greenwood
These shops have not taken the time to define their value, and, they do not define their value in print. It remains an image in their minds that the customer or client can’t see.
The fact is, car dealers are focused on attracting clients to their business operations. The independent sector must get their head around the fact that business strategy is required to counter their movements, but it must be executed on a professional level.
Too many shops in the independent sector “perceive” price as being their value. Wrong! Value delivered is the name of the game and shops must understand that dealerships have concentrated on a “type” of value. Examples include opening late, offer car washes, lunch counters, fast oil change lanes, and even no charge oil changes.
We, the independent sector, can beat them only once we focus on what and who we are. The independent sector is in the quality/service business, not the volume business. We “sell” knowledge. We develop relationships that are one-onone. These are “types”’ of value.
To achieve “value” and increased “profitability” each shop owner must embrace consideration of the following:
- How do you educate your client base on today’s realities from their perspective? Bob’s Business Development 28 autoatlantic.com n november 2019
- Open full communication with the staff to bring them into the “inner-circle” of the business as to how it works, where the business has to go, and what’s in it for them.
- Keep technical staff fully abreast of key issues regarding technology and why “we”, as a shop, must embrace that knowledge and sustain competency.
- Fluids are important in today’s vehicles so understand the importance of stocking and performing all fluid services.
- Always analyze the dealer’s strategy in your market area clearly understanding “what” is their message, and where, if any, is the “smoke and mirrors” show in their marketing?
- Ensure you have a process of thorough inspections within your operations, then, report clearly back to the client as to what is required to ensure safe, reliable and efficient driving. Don’t “sell” them… .”council” them.
- Always, first, source out aftermarket parts in terms of “fit, form and function”. When you send your money to the dealerships for OE parts, you are providing profit to them to continue their campaign to attract your clients. We are the Independent sector of the aftermarket industry and it is imperative that we support ourselves first which means “I will always perform due diligence on aftermarket parts first in terms of fit, form and function before I purchase from a dealership.”
Nobody said this is an easy business to run.
With a clear understanding of your business numbers, coupled with industry understanding on the core issues and a proven business strategy to enhance the value your shop delivers to its customer/client base, then you will attract net income dollars to play around in your backyard.