As an auto repair shop owner looking for help in keeping your shop successful, you may be wondering what a company like ATI does for its clients and why you should consider working with a Shop Management Training company. Today I will share what these companies do and how to evaluate which one is right for you and your shop.
What is a Shop Management Training Company, and Why Does it Matter?
A Shop Management Training Company provides industry-specific education, resources, coaching, training, and mentoring for automotive repair shop owners and their employees. If that sounds like a lot, it is! Owning a small business means wearing a lot of different hats. Most auto repair shop owners started as technicians (mechanics) or worked as service advisors or managers at another shop before opening their own business.
You quickly learn that owning the shop takes more than knowing how to fix cars and talk to customers. A shop management training company helps you learn the skills needed to have a successful, thriving auto repair shop that provides you with the money and freedom you were hoping for when you opened your doors. Therefore, when you invest the money and time into working with a training company, you will want to ensure that the company provides you with the information, training, and accountability you need to make it a great investment.
How to Evaluate a Company
It’s important to evaluate the different options you have. You will want to consider several things when deciding what shop management training company is the best fit for you. As a former shop owner, I’ve worked with several different coaching and training companies and have some insight based on my experience. Here are the areas I encourage you to look at:
1. Is the program comprehensive?
As I mentioned before, you wear a lot of hats, and your role in your shop changes constantly. Does the company provide training and resources in all the different aspects of owning an auto repair shop? How will it train and support your employees? Will they help you get the freedom (and money) you want? A great way to find out is to attend a webinar or 1-day event. Many training companies do these for free or low cost to give you a chance to see what they offer and ask questions.
2. Do they have a proven track record of success?
Ask for the average return on investment for their clients (not just the best-case scenarios) and how they measure that. Ask for several references for shop owners that are current or former clients to speak to.
3. How do they support the independent auto repair industry?
Demonstrating support for the independent auto repair industry is important because you want to partner with a company that elevates the entire industry. Do they work with other service providers that help shops improve? Do they support organizations that help our industry continue to keep up with the demands of modern vehicles and the needs of customers? Are they actively participating in industry events?
4. How long have they been in business?
To continue to be a successful training company, they must stay on top of changes in the industry and be able to prepare clients to do the same. While this shouldn’t be the most important criteria, it should be on your list to evaluate.
3 Tips to Narrow the Field
When you start researching your options, it can get overwhelming. Here is where I would start:
1. Visit their website
Some of the information I encourage you to look at will be easily found on their website. This is also where to find out if they have those webinars or 1-day events I recommended.
2. Ask your vendors
Talk to regional representatives to see who they recommend or if they know shops working with a particular company that you can reach out to.
3. Check them out on social media
All these companies will have Facebook pages which is a great place to get a feel for what they share with fellow shop owners.
Once you have 2 or 3 you want to talk to, reach out to them for an appointment with a consultant or attend an event.
The Bottom Line
The decision to work with a Shop Management Training Company is a big one. As a shop owner, I can tell you it was the best decision I ever made for my shop and myself. The company I worked with taught me what I needed to learn to build a team that could handle the shop so I could do other things that I love. My greatest joy as a coach is when a client has that “Ah-ha!” moment that can change everything for them. That joy is shared by everyone here at ATI.
I suspect ATI made it to your shortlist if you’re reading this! Ready to take the next step in the evaluation process? We are excited to offer prospective members two different options to check us out – a 90-minute webinar event and live events across the country. Learn more here.