The countdown is on to a new year. If 2020 left your shop feeling like you’ve been in a boxing match most of the year, you are not alone. Auto repair shop owners across the United States and Canada faced challenges none of us expected. The good news is, if you made it to December, you have the opportunity to make 2021 your shop’s best year ever. Let me tell you how.
The best, most proven, and effective way to make this coming year the best year ever is to set a specific goal and create a plan to hit the goal. That’s it.
Few auto repair shop owners take the time to do this; we get bogged down in the daily grind of working on cars, dealing with customers, and managing employees. We forget to look to the horizon and plan ahead. And it is the single, most important thing you need to do to experience the success you dreamed about when you started your shop.
Non-ATI members: Discover more valuable tips and strategies to create targets you can hit, increase your bottom-line, and grow your business in ATI’s shop owner events. Register for a shop owner event at www.atievent.com.
Here are the steps I take my ATI members through to prepare for the new year:
1. Set A Sales Goal
Sounds simple, right? But this goal is based on more than wishes and dreams. I suggest starting with a goal of 10% higher sales than this year.
2. Set A Labor Goal
Determine how much of your sales come from your different profit centers (labor, parts, sublet, tires, etc.). After you have an idea of how much of your sales come from labor, determine how much you need to sell per week to hit your goal, then determine how many billable hours your team needs to produce. Is your goal too high – or too low?
3. Develop the Technician Plan
If it is too high, make a plan to grow the team or replace non-productive technicians. If it is too low, increase the goal so that your team would be at 90-100% productivity to hit it.
Tip – if you are also a technician in your shop, make this plan excluding you (see why on step 5).
4. Recalculate the Sales Goal
Now that you know what your labor sales goal is, recalculate what your total sales goal should be.
5. Decide What Your Role Will Be in 2021
This step is very important. The more you grow and start looking at your shop as an owner instead of a technician or manager, the more time you will need to dedicate to the ownership role. This includes training, coaching, and mentoring your employees, developing standard operating procedures, creating a marketing plan that will bring in the customers you need to meet the goal, keeping an eye on your numbers so you don’t just hit a sales goal – you hit it with plenty of net profit for you!
You can’t hit a target you can’t see. These 5 steps will help you create that bullseye that will guide your decisions for 2021.
At ATI, we help our members develop strong teams and effective strategies to achieve their dreams. Want to learn more? Start by registering for a shop owner event at www.atievent.com.