Setting Attainable Goals in 2024

Dec. 1, 2023
Are you pointing your teams in the right direction?

As we head off into the sunset of another year, we all prepare for the new beginnings of the next. At this point, many of you already have goals and budgets set for the next year or are compiling those numbers now. Although we would all like to see huge increases each year, with the current environment out there it may be more prudent to work on building the confidence in your teams by setting the right goals going into the year. I will go over a few things that we look at when setting our goals and budgets so that we not only hit them but can motivate ourselves to exceed them!

Proper Growth

We are in a period of growth in our industry. Many of your markets may be experiencing population increases, which leads to more customers on the roads. But there are some of you out there that are experiencing the other growth in our industry: competition coming into your markets. On average, when a new facility opens in your area, you will lose around 20% of your customer base at the start. This is usually due to aggressive discounting and marketing to build their business. Some of these customers may return, but many may not. Look at your markets and set your goals as such. Don’t set your teams up to hit car counts that are not attainable and thus negatively affect the confidence of your team. One easy way to do this is by setting up quarterly budgets. Set a budget up for three months and when you get to the second quarter, you will have a good base of growth/decline to set up after that. This has worked well for us this year as we had multiple competitors enter our markets. We altered them each quarter based on the performance to get proper labor and costs in line. If you start out with the right base, you can set yourself up for the right results.

Increase Your KPIs

When you don’t have as many cars coming into your bays, you can lose a lot of profit if you just keep doing what you always did. Use this time to work on increasing your sales rather than focusing wholly on your car counts. You may never get all of those cars back. However, you can train your teams to build the sales back to where they were before. Look at where you stand on individual sales goals. How are your percentages on air filters and cabins, wiper blades, additives, and lights? These are all very easy things to increase with the proper training and accountability for checking and pulling. You can make up 10% or more of your sales per day just by hitting the little things. Many of your teams are looking for that one big ticket to save their day. However, “nickel and diming” each invoice with proper recommendations and sales can increase the numbers more consistently, making that big ticket the icing on the cake. A great way to do this is by setting up bi-monthly contests. Two months, you do a filter contest, then you do something like additives and wipers the next. This will create a competitive feeling amongst your team and will increase your sales without much effort. There are lots of ways to do this, either by contests or by bonus programs and spiffs. What you do is up to you, but don’t just sit back and keep doing it as you always did.

Right People, Right Seats

Another thing that you should be doing is looking at your team. Do you have the right people in the rights spots? There are three things you should evaluate: get it, want it, and compacity to do it. Do your managers embody all three of these things in the expectations that you have set? Do you have a store where the assistant is hitting all three, but the manager just doesn’t “get it”? Don’t be afraid to make the flip. Some are great captains, but not all are generals. We evaluate our people like this every few months and we make changes as needed. What you may find is that the big man is happy to take that weight off their shoulders and hand it over to the up-and-comer. With people in place and in the right seats, you will see increases across the board.

In conclusion, putting your people in the right position to be successful in the coming year will set you up for a good year! Give them the tools and let them work. This means attainable budgets, KPI goals and more. If a team fails early on, it will have lasting consequences for the rest of the year. When a team has lost its motivation or belief that they can succeed in what you have put in front of them, you may find yourself in a revolving door of changes that take your time away from being a successful operator!