Repairs 101: Opportunities
After a long day at work, I meet some friends at a local restaurant. The atmosphere of the dive is relaxed, and laughing with friends over dinner sounds like just the thing to wash away the stress of the day.
Sliding in an oversized booth, I notice a family seated a few tables away. Both parents look like they are juggling a circus act. I admire their patience as I observe them trying to feed two wriggling acrobats who both look to be under the age of three. Despite the couple’s valiant attempt at keeping the food on the table, most of it ends up on the floor to the credit of the toddler duo. “No, don’t do that,” I hear the mom of the kids say as she pries a morsel of mashed up food out of her daughter’s hand before it’s inadvertently hurled across the table. The little girl’s face crinkles up, her feelings have obviously been hurt by her mother’s justified, yet unequivocal, “No.”
To have balance in your business, you must learn that you can’t do everything and keep your sanity and profitability. To run a lucrative quick lube, you must prioritize what you offer, and like a good mother, you must be able to say, “No.” However, in today’s increasingly competitive business climate, that can be hard. Frequently saying, “No” to customers because you don’t offer a particular service isn’t something you want to do and may mean you are passing up a good opportunity to make money. This is why knowing who your customers are and what their needs are is key to your success.
Enter our newest series, Repairs 101. Over the next three issues we will continue to explain what adding repairs to your service offerings will mean for your quick lube. We begin by talking about the benefits of adding repairs to your service menu with Scott Morrison, president and CEO of Dallas-Fort Worth based, City Garage.
“City Garage is a full-service automotive repair shop,” Morrison said. “We do everything automotive except body work. Although the company’s background is in repair, my background is in the quick tune-up business, where I spent 10 years with a franchise company doing quick tune-ups and oil changes. I took the format from that business and applied it to the repair industry.”
By offering basic repair services, you ensure that customers will be less likely to go elsewhere, resulting in a stronger client base and more moneymaking opportunities.
“With declining car counts in our service bays, oil change intervals getting longer and customers not getting their oil changed as frequently as they were in the past, you have to be able to offer more services. Every time you have to tell a customer, ‘No, we don’t do that,’ they have to go seek another service provider,” Morrison said. “Everybody does oil changes. Independent repair shops may not do them as fast as quick lubes, but they do them. As a quick lube operator, I’d be thinking, ‘What other services can I offer? What are the capabilities of my facility? What is the investment that I’m going to have to make in training, equipment and parts, and what kind of return on investment can I expect?’ The most critical question to ask yourself is, ‘How many services can I add that are in demand and fit my business plan?’”