Auto Repair Shop Owners who went from technician to business owner come in all shapes, and sizes, some vowed never to touch a wrench again, while others preferred to keep in touch, literally, with the work at hand. Neither choice is right or wrong, but for some auto repair business owners, making that choice can affect how profitable (and successful) the business will be, long term.
Turning Wrenches is Fun
For the ‘wrench turner’, who despises sitting at a desk, it can be painful to move from working on a car to working on your business. All too often choosing to avoid, ignore, or procrastinate when it comes to the administrative work, never dealing with the bookkeeping, phone calls, and personnel issues can be the difference between making a solid profit and going out of business.
Fixing cars may seem easier if that is where your strength is, and if you can not learn to manage your appointments, your staff and your customers (while also fixing the cars in the early days) you are going to be in trouble.
There are also ‘quality of life’ issues for the guy who keeps his hand in the repair work. If vehicles never get fixed without his participation, each and every day, he’ll never get a day off, much less a vacation for himself and his family.
Business is Life
As for the business owner, happy to be behind a desk, great with numbers and everything money related, the weakness is not knowing when something needs to be fixed or changed before it ends up costing real money to resolve. Knowing when technicians are doing everything they should and doing it as they should, can be tough for the business owner.
If a business owner has no background as a technician, messing around with repair work could end up costing more money to fix than if that businessman stepped back from the tools and just watched.
One of the big differences is the size of the business, most technicians who start a repair shop will start in a small one or two bay shop and do it on their own or with help from their wife. Business guys buy an already operating auto repair shop, some buy a run-down shop they are sure they can turn around and some buy a successful shop where they can see a smaller but more consistent return on investment.
Which is Best?
The point here is that neither one of these business owners has an inherent advantage over the other. They will each have their unique issues, all of which can be made better with the use of Repair Shop Management software.
The wrench turner knows the ins and outs of repair work. The business guy knows the ins and outs of making an effective business plan work. Both can learn from the other.
The wrench turner who is now a business owner needs to make sure that each and every business phone call gets answered and dealt with, while also making sure the Transmission gets removed/rebuilt and reinstalled.
Accounting and bookkeeping tasks need to be handled properly, bills need to be paid on time and money has to be collected. Personnel issues need to be handled with the skill of a Human Resources expert, not just ‘one guy to another’.
The business guy needs to make sure that he truly understands the job his technicians perform for the business. That means more than them just showing up, getting dirty, and going home at the end of the day. Business guy needs to make sure there is a seamless workflow, created by an order writing system that incorporates all the elements of the job, from parts cost to hours spent doing the actual job.
This is where ProfitBoost can help both types of business owners. Integrating bookkeeping, parts prices, VIN number decoding, time clock tracking of employee hours, and a host of other functions will help the wrench turner keep abreast of the details, and the business guy free to pursue the next step in the business plan.
Sometimes, a simple thing like automatically sending a text to a customer when a job is done can make the difference between keeping life simple and having one more chore to do yourself.
No two shop owners are exactly the same, but no matter whether you are a auto technician or a business guy Profitboost Auto Shop Management Software is here to help