Auto Shop Coaching Blog

How to Achieve Consistent Success in 2020

“A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence.”James N. Watkins

What’s the leading cause of consistently inconsistent results? One week your sales, car count, and ARO are above the benchmarks. Your portal data is as green as a well-manicured golf course!

You don’t need more cars; you need to get the cars you have out the door. Your problems are “good problems.”  You don’t know why business is so good, but you’ll take it!

The following week is a completely different story. The phones aren’t ringing, the customers aren’t buying, and the fleets aren’t paying.

It’s as if the faucet has been turned off. You don’t know why business is down, but you take comfort in the fact that the other shops in your area have empty bays as well.

Does this pattern sound familiar?

Here’s the leading cause of consistently inconsistent shop results: A consistently inconsistent shop owner! 

As you read on, you will discover what you can do to break this pattern so that you achieve consistent success! But first, allow me to share a lesson from the farm.

Ideas to grow your businessWant more tips for how to achieve consistency, improve your bottom-line, and grow your business? Discover valuable, easy-to-implement ideas and strategies in ATI’s shop owner events. Register today at

A Lesson from the Farm

Do you know the difference between a lagging and a leading indicator?

The lagging indicator is the measurement of the outcome.

The leading indicator is an accounting of the behavior that’s necessary to achieve the outcome.

To illustrate the point, let’s use “Fred” the farmer as an example. When Fred goes out each morning, his ultimate outcome is to achieve a full harvest of corn.

He plants the corn seeds two inches deep into fertile soil. He’s careful to place the seeds at least twelve inches apart from each other to ensure that each has regular access to the right amount of moisture.

Fred leads a stress-free life.  If he plants the right seeds, into the right soil, following the right methods, in the right season,  the harvest is coming!

He has limited control over the timing and size of the harvest due to factors like the weather.

All Fred can control is what, when, where, and how he plants.

The harvest represents the lagging indicator which is the outcome. The planting process represents the leading indicator.

Fred is stress-free because he has more focus is on the leading and not the lagging indicator. In other words, he’s more focused on the process than the outcome.

Here’s the big takeaway: Like Fred, you have limited control over the lagging indicators. There are external factors that can impact the ultimate result.

You have complete control over the leading indicators. You will sleep better at night knowing that you have applied the right processes in the right manner.

Consistent Success at Your Shop

By now you may be thinking: Thanks for sharing Twiggs, But I don’t own a farm! How does this relate to my shop?”

OK, let’s relate this to your world:

Are you looking to achieve a car count harvest?

Then go out each morning and focus on those daily exit appointment seeds!

Do you want to “grow” your ARO?

Then remember to “plant” those repair order audits on a daily basis. 

Do you want to “field” a “crop” of top performers?

Then always be hiring!

If you commit to consistently focusing on the process, you can consistently experience the good problems!


So, there you have it. It would be crazy for Fred to consistently plant apple seeds and expect a harvest of corn to appear!

Likewise, it would be crazy for you to plant the seeds of inaction and expect to yield a harvest of high-income. 

However, if you consistently sow the right seeds, you can achieve consistent success in 2020!

At ATI, we focus on teaching and coaching shop owners on best practices to get the most out of your automotive repair business. Want to learn more? Find an ATI shop owner event near you.

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Eric, the Accountability Coach, is an Executive Coach at ATI and has coached since 2009. Eric came to ATI having managed over 60 different automotive repair facilities and having supervised over 500 employees at a given time. He loves seeing members progress beyond what they thought was possible and improve their shop to the point where they can leave for weeks at a time and come back to a business that's better than when they left.