Tactical Toolbox: It Starts with You

Aug. 15, 2022

As a shop owner, everything rises and falls on your leadership and ability to keep the shop growing in every area. In today's Tactical Toolbox, you'll get tips to help you self-assess when your shop starts to feel stagnant.

One aspect of running a shop rises and falls on how you handle the ups and downs of day-to-day operations. Many shops have a plan and goals in mind for success, but what happens when the ups and downs give way to plateaus? That’s when it’s time for the owner to reassess—starting with themselves. 

Getting Back to Basics

Stagnation begins with analysis by paralysis. Shop owners back themselves into a corner overthinking about how to get the shop moving forward again. More often than not, the answer is to get back to the old habits you started with: setting goals, laying the foundation, and creating processes.

Build a Foundation

Building a foundation is as simple as setting expectations for your employees. Outline what each day should look like, set goals for them, plan their training, have one-to-ones, and hold them accountable. The foundation you build will create the type of culture your shop embodies going forward.

Focus on These Three Things

Get back to the nuts and bolts of your business. Focus on these key questions: Are your technician quotes coming back the way they need to? Are you burning through cars? Are advisors selling what they need to be based on your technicians’ quotes? Analyze your technicians’ quotes, your advisor close ratio, and your average repair order and see where the data takes you. 

Know Your Numbers

While using shop management software is great for operations, as a shop owner, it’s your job to go above and beyond to know your numbers. The last thing you want is to get to the end of the fiscal year and have differing figures. Get to know your accounting software and nail down an accurate profit and loss statement so that you know where your business stands and where it needs to go.

The Buck Stops Here

As the shop owner, you have to face the music when things aren’t going right within the shop. If it’s not growing, you have to look at how your leadership and your processes. Don’t be afraid to change if it means creating a better, more successful shop environment. 

No More Excuses

There will always be a reason not to do something. Don’t let excuses prevent you from growing. When you make excuses, you enable those around you to do the same. You became a shop owner because you wanted to help people. Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can do.

Adopted from “Why Aren’t You Growing” by Nolan O’Hara

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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