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Jones: 1% Better Everyday

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In his best-selling book, “Atomic Habits,” Michael Clear argues that the greatest successes come from compounding marginal habits. That by getting 1% better each day, you’ll become 37 times better by the end of the year.  

This takes us to lead and lag measures. Your shop’s financial goal is tied to your team’s efficiency. Your ARO is tethered to your technician's ability to inspect and your Google Reviews are connected to the thoroughness of your technicians and your customer service.  

Imagine focusing your 1% improvement on inspections. What would your shop look like if it were 37 times better on December 31, 2023, as a result of performing better inspections? Choosing the right lead measures—and getting your team behind them—makes all the difference. 

Along those same lines, Aaron Stokes uses a similar concept to encourage shop owners to set powerful income goals based on a proven method to elevate their shop to new heights in his column, “The Fixer." He warns shops that don’t set goals or plan that, “If you don't make revenue plans for your shop, somebody else will—be it a more aggressive shop down the street or a dealership.” 

Speaking of goals (and dreams), Ratchet+Wrench writer Alison Johnson sat down with auto care industry icon Rissy Sutherland, CEO and president of Drive Automotive Services in this month’s Profile. Southerland shares how she got into the industry as a young woman, her passion for the auto care industry, and going from repair auto repair shop to running a $40 million dollar automotive repair chain located in four states. You don’t achieve that sort of growth without having goals, measures and accountability. 

In this month’s feature, you’ll read about a pair of nonprofit garages—The Lift Garage in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Second Chances Garage in Frederick, Maryland. These two auto repair shops operate with the same level of service, equipment, and integrity as their for-profit counterparts with two exceptions—repair rates and target market. While transportation scarcity shouldn’t be a thing in 2023, it is, and these two shops provide deeply discounted rates and vehicle purchasing options to help underprivileged individuals and families meet their basic needs without concerning themselves about costly auto repairs. 

Finally, in a story that reaches into our 2022 Ratchet+Wrench Industry Survey, we look at what shop owners can do when they can’t provide full benefits to their team members. From Costco memberships to massage and chiropractic care, these shop owners shared their creative compensation tips that keep their technicians happy and satisfied. 

I hope you’re as excited about 2023 as I am. I look forward to making new connections across the industry and finding better and more effective ways to serve you. 

Cheers. 

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