Proper Goal Setting

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As a shop owner, you need to hire the right people, you need to bring in the right kind of customers, and, as we all know, that lists goes on and on. Yet number one on your list, in all cases, should be setting the goals of your company. By having clearly defined goals in place, you will be far more energized when you think about your company’s future—you’ll make better decisions, you’ll have less stress in your life and you’ll remain well ahead of your competitors. 

 Now that we are coming into the new year, it’s time for you to ensure you have your 2020 goals in place. Accordingly, I’ve decided to share some goal setting tips with you, as well as provide you with a goal setting checklist that helped me grow the shops that I owned, and has worked wonders for Elite clients, so I’m hopeful that it will help you grow your auto repair business as well.   

First of all, when setting your short-term goals, don’t make the mistake of making them unrealistic, as so many others do. In a business environment, the primary purpose of short-term goals should be to bring out the best in people, and inspire them to think differently at the same time. It is for these reasons that they should be just out of reach, but not out of sight. According to the studies I read that were carried out at Harvard University, short-term goals only need to be reached 51 percent of the time for them to effectively change the way we think, and if they are reached more frequently than 80 percent of the time, they are not challenging enough. By having short-term goals that are reached within this range, you and your employees will be winning by celebrating more successes than failures. That alone will build your team’s confidence, which leads to greater success.    

Secondly, whenever possible you should break your annual goals down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. If for no other reason, when technicians and service advisors go to work each day, they should know precisely what needs to be accomplished by the end of the day in order to view their day as a success. The objective is for them to go home at the end of their day either feeling good about themselves in knowing they reached their goal, or if they fell short, they’ll be wondering what they could have done differently to reach the goal, which is exactly what we need them to do. Also, if you have daily goals in place your advisors and technicians can fail one day, but know that tomorrow is a brand-new day with a new opportunity for success. 

Lastly, whenever possible, your goals should be positioned in a descending manner rather than an ascending manner. For example, have your advisor start off their day with a daily sales goal of $5,000, then reduce the goal accordingly with every sale. It’s no different than in football where we’re always focused on the yards that we still need to gain, rather than the yards we’ve gained so far. There is no better way of keeping an advisor, or technician, focused than by consistently showing them throughout the day exactly what they have left to accomplish in order to consider that day a success. 

So here is what I recommend that you do:  

  • 1. Before the end of the year, review the list below and ensure that you have all of your goals in place.  
  • 2. Ensure that all your team members are aware of the relative goals.
  • 3. Believe in your goals, your abilities, your principles and your people.
  • 4. Make a commitment that 2020 will be your best year ever

Here’s a look at the different types of goals that you should be setting in the new year

Goal Setting Checklist: 

  • 1. Long-term growth goals that may include diversification, expansion or additional facilities
  • 2. Long-term real estate goals that may include acquisition or mortgage reduction
  • 3. An annual sales goal that includes the financial growth of your business 
  • 4. Monthly and quarterly sales goals that are seasonally adjusted and broken down into weekly and daily goals
  • 5. Marketing goals that include the acquisition of both new customers and market share 
  • 6. ARO goals that are predicated on complete, professional vehicle inspections
  • 7. Car counts goals that are predicated on your annual sales goal and your ARO Goal
  • 8. Gross profit goals
  • 9. Productivity and efficiency goals for your technicians 
  • 10. Closing ratio goals for your service advisors
  • 11. Customer satisfaction goals
  • 12. Customer retention goals
  • 13. Operating expense goals that are predicated on past performance and projected budgets
  • 14. Income goals
  • 15. Debt reduction goals
  • 16. Goals that are relative to any exit plan or succession strategy
  • 17. Career development goals
  • 18. Personal development goals


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