It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Really, It Can Be)
To most, the headline evokes snowflakes, presents and family gatherings. But to those in our industry, the best money-making week of the year is Thanksgiving week. It's the busiest week of the year, and some would say, a make-or-break week for the year's revenue with double or more in customers coming through your doors. That is a lot of opportunity to impress and grow your business with new clientele.
If you really want to maximize this opportunity, take note of some of the tips below to take your shop to the next level.
Consider instituting blackout dates.
This magical week of business does not last for two or three days, but for nearly a week prior to Thanksgiving Day. Generally, around the prior Thursday, you will see the uptick begin. To make sure that you have the staffing each day and avoid those slow service times, set a few days that are not allowed to be vacation days. You may get some pushback from a few staff members, and that is expected.
In the end, you will be thankful to have a team ready to work each day with these increases.
Schedule multiple teams.
On the busier days, the Monday through Wednesday leading up, schedule a team for each bay. Depending on your setup and your staffing, this may be easier said than done. However, if you can, you will notice that there is a huge advantage to this. The teams will all work with a focus on their bay and bouncing or bunny hopping. That can lead to mistakes, confusion and potential claims.
A claim during this week could kill any profit that you could have been hoping for. Work smarter, not harder.
You should be very busy this week. With the increased business, it may be a little harder to cut breaks as you normally would each day. Get your teams some pizza, grill out for them or something along those lines. They will be able to eat and continue going. They will feel appreciated and will work harder for you. If its just a simple $30 or $40 a day, is it not worth it for the increased revenue that you will receive with all your employees continuing to service the customers visiting your locations.
Extra time equals extra cars.
Many franchises and shops alike will open or close at different times. I would not suggest this for the entire week, but at least for the rush on Monday through Wednesdays. Now, this does not mean full teams off the bat, but simply a single team ready to service the vehicles or clean up and prepare for the day ahead.
There will be those who want to get a jump on those vacation drives or need a little extra time after work to get to you. You may not be the only ones working extended hours, you see. Being open early or staying open an extra hour might make the difference in a returning new customer or a missed opportunity.
Run a special.
Now I am not suggesting you lower your oil change prices or sending out a bunch of coupons that may or may not make it to your locations. Try on the other hand to set up some additive specials or maybe wipers at buy one get one free. These little things might provide a bump to that ol’ ticket average and that bottom line.
Make sure you are ready for the business.
One thing that sometimes gets overlooked is inventory on hand. Many companies do not always want to buy ahead for "what ifs" or "maybes," but you will be thankful you did. I always start ramping up our fluid orders at the beginning of the month.
But why? Many of your oil suppliers have multiple customers doing the same as you and some wait until the last minute. These warehouses are not unlimited in size and neither are the trucks and number of drivers that deliver them. Think ahead and order a little heavier each week leading up. The same goes for filters and supplies. Be ready. You will be glad that you are when you are not hindered by waiting for parts trucks to show up.
I hope that some of these tips and tricks will help you take your opportunity to the next level.
They have worked for me and many others in the past. Try one or two and see how they work for you. Most important though is to have fun and reap the rewards of a hard week’s work with some turkey and fixings when its all over. You see, it can end up being the most wonderful time of the year if you play your cards right.