The Ups And Downs Of Owning A Repair Shop
Your greatest asset when it comes to running an auto repair garage is your employees. There are always ups and downs in any business. It is difficult to get customers, manage employees, and turn a profit.
In today's economic climate, fewer people are able to afford new cars. This forces them to keep their cars longer than usual. Once they can afford to buy another vehicle, it is essential to keep these cars in good condition. There are now more repair jobs than ever, which means that qualified technicians are needed to take over the business.
Be realistic about how many overtime hours your staff will be expected to work. You can't afford overtime rates. Be upfront with your staff and let them know that you are new to the business. Those who work hard will get a better rate of pay. If you are uncertain about the skills or suitability of a new employee for your garage, don't hesitate to extend a probation period. Don't hire anyone if they aren't worth your time and cost you money.
Although you may feel sorry for the person, even if you love them on a human-human level. However, you are now running your own business and want your family to be happy.
Customer Service and Supplier Relations
It is just as important to build a good reputation among customers and suppliers. You can rely on suppliers to help you in an emergency and even deliver the important spare part directly to your location long after they close.
It is important to pay within the credit terms. However, if you have temporary cash flow problems, inform your creditors and tell them what you can and cannot afford to pay. As long as you keep your word and adhere to what you agreed to, people who manage a business are flexible to some extent.
You can shine in customer service and be a leader among your peers. While you may not be able to beat larger repair shops on price, you can improve your customer service. It is important to keep your customers updated about the status of their repairs, inform them of the cost of the repairs upfront and respond professionally to any complaints.
Join a trade association that is relevant to your industry and qualifications if you are able to. Respect their code of conduct, and let your customers know you are a member. You can display their logo alongside yours and benefit from their knowledge on customer service, staffing, and legal issues pertaining to disputes whenever you need it. Attend the occasional networking event, or start your own. It's great to meet other businesspeople with like interests and to learn from their successes and failures.
Find spare parts
Many large online spare parts companies are looking for repair and supplier companies. You can get parts at a reduced price by joining their schemes, which are completely free. You will need to establish a relationship with scrapyard owners in the area.