Make More Money: Pro Oil Shop Adapts by Adding Auto Repair
Fast lube operators have become quite innovative when generating revenue to compensate for an unsteady economy, extended drain intervals, dealership perceptions, etc. It’s definitely not lost on anyone that declining car counts must be made up for in additional sales.
Randy Groover, founder of Pro Oil Shop, Inc., which is comprised of six Havoline xpress lube shops and one Pennzoil 10-Minute Oil Change shop located throughout Alabama, has recently undergone significant business changes to obtain additional revenue.
“We had one location that came with a mechanic shop, so we’d been dabbling in mechanic work for roughly 10-12 years,” Groover said. “However, all of our other stores contained drive-thru carwashes, which had stopped generating good revenue. The carwashes were getting quickly outdated, and to update them would not be worth it, considering the sales coming from the carwash side of our business. We decided to convert all of our drive-through carwashes into extra bays for automotive repair to generate more sales.”
The first location converted was an abandoned lube shop with a detached carwash when Groover first purchased it. He decided he would convert the detached carwash on this location, since he already needed to remodel and re-image the store, to serve as a pilot test for his carwash-to-repair strategy.
“Since this lube shop had been abandoned, there wasn’t any equipment in it, making the process relatively simple,” Groover said. “We went in there and tore out the equipment wall — which is a block wall that separates the equipment from the shop — we painted everything, put a lift in and, boom, we were in the repair business. We’ve had a mechanic in there for about two years now, averaging between $7,000-$15,000 per month in sales.”
This year, Groover has been busy converting his existing stores.
“In most of our stores, we have a drive-through carwash attached to the lube shop,” he said. “We had a three-bay shop, an equipment room and a carwash. We have taken out the equipment room, as well as the wall that separated the carwash from the lube center. This gave us two additional bays to our three-bay shop, resulting in five bays that customers can see from the waiting area.”
Out of Groover’s seven stores, three have been converted; not counting the store that came with a mechanic shop. His sales in the four stores, since all have been doing mechanic work, have averaged around $50,000-$60,000 per month in additional revenue on top of the lube side of his business. Groover’s goal is to reach $100,000 in repair sales once all the shops have been converted, and as he said, “That equates to $1,000,000 in additional revenue. Who can’t use an extra million added to their bottom line?”
However, this process hasn’t been without its challenges. One ongoing challenge that Groover is facing is hiring.