Running a Shop Leadership Strategy+Planning

Jumping Hurdles

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If you’ve achieved any amount of success in the auto service industry, you’ve probably overcome your fair share of adversity—and there is bound to be more in the future. Simply put, success doesn’t come easily.

You have an increasingly demanding customer base to grow, more complex vehicles to service, staff to retain and recruit, a brand to market, and a bottom line to build. There are challenges in all aspects of running a business, some expected and others that seem to come out of nowhere. We know from our conversations with shop operators across the country that the work that goes into overcoming those obstacles can make the position both anxiety-inducing and extremely rewarding. 

  To show that you’re not alone in the headaches you face, and that even the most complex problems can be overcome, we asked three owners of thriving shops to share the biggest challenges of their careers and how they dealt with them. 

“There are so many things that go into being successful beyond just getting cars to work on,” says one of those owners, Jason Dickerson, of Dickerson’s Service Center in Creedmoor, N.C. “I didn’t know any of it. I didn’t know about margins or about benchmarks or pricing properly. The only thing I knew was whether or not at the end of the month I had enough to pay my bills—and it was a worry every month whether or not I would.”

Find Dickerson’s story and two others in “Breaking Barriers.” Hopefully they’ll inspire you to conquer your latest obstacle, or offer a little insight into how to do it. 

You might find some ammunition elsewhere in this issue, as well. For instance, you’ll find some great tips for writing effective job ads.  We offer steps for improving communication with customers—a must-do for anyone in this industry. And you’ll find three real referral programs that are working wonders for their respective shops.  

On a final note, if you plan on heading out to AAPEX next month, stop by and see us in booth 177, and share some of the hurdles you’ve overcome. We might share your story in a future issue. 

Jake Weyer

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