6 Tips for Running a Successful Automotive Repair Shop
Being successful within such a highly competitive industry can seem like an uphill battle. But it doesn’t have to be. While success will look different for every automotive repair shop, here at JTAPE we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves to help you boost profits and keep your car count consistently high.
Here, we’ll run through six of the best ways to ensure you’re running a successful automotive repair shop, from management down to training.
Success Rate of Auto Repair Shops
The success rate of your auto repair shop will depend on several factors. But if you’re not seeing the growth you hoped for or the profits you anticipated, it could be worth trying a different approach.
Success for a small start-up repair business will look entirely different to a business with multiple locations. Whatever position you’re in with your repair shop, it’s important to establish what success means to you and aim towards that. Whether it’s gaining 50 customers or hitting profit goals each month – this is the first thing to think about.
Success rates can vary for automotive repair shops because of factors like competition density, pricing, and efficiency. The best way to boost your rate is to consider all the ways you can improve.
Starting a Successful Auto Repair Shop
Just getting your auto repair business up and running, and want to set off on the right foot for success? You’ve come to the right place.
When you’re starting out in the auto repair industry, it can be overwhelming to think about everything that needs to be done. From hiring your technicians to getting business management software set up, and even choosing where to get your tools and supplies from – the list can be endless.
While some of these things will need to be done straight away, like bringing in a set of technicians, others can wait. Success won’t come overnight, although it can happen pretty quickly if you know the best tips and tricks.
How to Run a Successful Auto Body Shop
Whether your technology needs a refresh, or your financial planning requires a rethink – here are six ways to give your auto body shop the best chance at success.
1. Invest in the right technology
The software you choose can make a huge difference in many types of businesses, and the automotive industry is no exception. Streamlining processes and boosting productivity through software and technology can often allow everyone from managers to shop workers to benefit from more time on their hands. They can complete more jobs, take on more complex customer requests, and broaden their scope of work without becoming overwhelmed.
Although some technology might have a higher-than-expected cost attached and feel like a risky purchase, the ROI often makes it more than worthwhile. Whether it’s body shop management software that helps control and oversee the workflow, or software specifically designed for the collision repair industry to assist with organisation across all departments – technology is often incredibly useful.
When everyone within your automotive repair shop is fully trained and can use the technology to their advantage, it makes everything from invoicing to scheduling easier. As a result, customers won’t need to wait around for these simple processes, and they’ll be more likely to return.
2. Choose high-quality products from trusted suppliers
Often, simply offering a great quality job can boost your customer base and increase profits. To achieve the best finish, your repair shop should invest in the best tools for the job.
At JTAPE, we have over 20 years of experience manufacturing tapes for painting within the automotive industry, so we know a thing or two about creating great quality products. Using high-quality tapes in your automotive repair shop saves time and effort.
Struggling with not-fit-for-purpose tapes could be a real time-sink, and the effort of cleaning off adhesives from low-quality tapes only adds extra work and an additional headache to a precision job.
The old adage ‘do it nice, or do it twice’ comes into play here. If you’re trying to save a bit of money or cut corners with low-quality products, there’s a good chance you’ll get unsuitable results, and then have to go back in with the JTAPE anyway!
3. Profitability Planning
Planning how to make your profit while also setting fair and transparent pricing can sometimes be tricky. However, it’s also equally as important to understand the value of your business and the technicians employed.
Evaluate competitor prices, weigh up the cost of materials and labour, and factor in your business costs when setting prices originally to ensure you’re making a gradual profit. You can also leave room to grow if your prices start out on the lower end.
As you and your technicians grow in confidence and refine your skills, you can start charging more to reflect that.
4. Hire the right people
Regardless of whether you’re hiring juniors or experienced body repair workers, they must be the right individual for the job and your workplace culture.
There are a few things to think about doing when recruiting, including:
- Set expectations on both ends as soon as possible
- Hire a mixture of experienced technicians and trainees
- Have a clear plan for progression and growth, and share this with potential new-hires
- Consider what kind of workplace culture you want to achieve
- Technicians should be willing to grow and learn
High employee retention usually means that customers will have more trust in their technicians and can build longer-lasting relationships. Because of this, you’ll be able to hold onto a loyal customer base and your profits should grow naturally from here.
It’s also important to check in with your technicians about how they’re feeling. Unhappy workers are less likely to put in 100% effort every day, which can affect the output of work and your overall reputation as a repair shop. Having open and honest discussions about how things are going will ensure everyone feels more comfortable in their working environment and can resolve any issues quickly.
5. Offer training
However, hiring the right people will only take you so far. In the automotive industry, techniques and trends are everchanging.
Offering continuous training on the latest repair methods and any newly updated or implemented technology will ensure everyone has a high level of knowledge and understanding about what they’re doing. This means that your technicians can complete jobs quicker and more efficiently. Ultimately, when the bar is raised on the standard of knowledge and ability, customers benefit from better services.
Training is also necessary for customer service since this is a customer-facing industry. This should involve learning how to communicate clearly and respectfully with customers, alongside using technology to send out service reminders and receipts.
Get creative with the training rather than learning from books – use role-playing scenarios or watch videos instead.
6. Boost attractiveness to customers
Customers are always at the heart of any repair shop. Therefore, you must ensure you’re doing everything you can to make your repair shop attractive to them. From your advertising strategy to your online presence, the attractiveness of your shop can have a huge impact on your success.
Whether you’re just starting out in the automotive repair industry or struggling to find your feet, we hope these handy tips help you create the success you’re looking for.
At JTAPE, we’ve expertly designed our range of tape solutions to help with all types of automotive jobs. Visit our online store to discover our available products, or contact us to find your local distributor.