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5 Tips for Managing a Successful Auto Shop

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There are over 277,000 auto shops in operation throughout the United States. Are you currently managing one of them?

When it comes to running an auto shop, there’s a lot on your plate each day. Not only do you have to make sure the cars and trucks your customers bring in are being cared for, but you also have to support your staff and ensure they’re being treated in a fair and respectful way. 

If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the ins and outs of managing an auto shop, read on. Listed below are 5 tips that can help you feel more confident and in control.

1. Understand the Company’s Mission and Culture

This tip applies whether your repair shop is part of a franchise or is independently owned and operated. In either case, a clear understanding of the company’s mission and culture will help to guide your management decisions and ensure you’re embodying the right kinds of values.

If your shop is part of a franchise, read through the company’s onboarding or orientation materials for a refresher on the mission and culture guidelines.

Think about the kind of service that the business owners want each customer to receive. Consider, too, what kind of a workplace they want the shop to be for all employees.

With this information in mind, it’s easier to evaluate your current performance and identify specific ways in which you can improve.

If you own and manage the shop and haven’t already established the company’s mission and culture guidelines, now is a great time to do so.

Start by drafting a mission statement for your business. Then, set some ground rules when it comes to the way the business operates. These guidelines should cover the way customers are treated,the way employees treat each other, and the way you treat employees.

2. Set Clear Goals

As a manager of an auto repair shop, it’s your job to set clear goals for yourself and your team. Goal-setting helps everyone to stay motivated and committed to making the shop a better place for employees and customers. 

When setting goals, make sure they’re “SMART” goals. SMART is an acronym. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Use these criteria to set the right kinds of goals for yourself and your team. Goals are much more likely to be met if they’re specific, attainable, have clear metrics that you can use to determine progress, and have a set deadline attached to them. 

In addition to setting goals for everyone else, it’s best if you can give your team members opportunities to set goals for themselves as well. This helps them to feel more accountable and gives them a chance to take ownership over their performance and progress.

Schedule regular goal-setting meetings so everyone has a place to share their goals and explain what steps they’re going to take to accomplish them, too.

3. Evaluate Team Performance Regularly

Another benefit of having regular meetings for yourself and your car shop employees is that they give you a chance to evaluate team performance. Everyone can use these meetings to share their goals, of course, but they can also use them to share which goals they’ve met and what kinds of milestones they’ve hit over a certain period.

It doesn’t matter if you evaluate team performance each week, each month, or each quarter. The key is to have a schedule that you stick to, no matter what happens.

If you go too long without regular performance reviews, your team will feel less accountable to you and to the company. This, in turn, can lead to stagnation and can make it harder for everyone to hit their goals and keep the company on track.

4. Organize and Secure the Shop

As a manager at a car repair shop, it’s your job to ensure everything stays organized and secure.

When it comes to organization, this means establishing and maintaining a solid filing system that helps you make sure everyone’s documents are in order and are accessible to the right people.

Consider using shop management technology to manage your employees and their schedules as well. As the experts who created the Tekmetric mechanic shop program have pointed out, these systems can help you handle interactions with customers, manage inventory, and more. 

As for security, create a plan to protect the shop and its customers. This includes securing the facility itself (i.e., making sure all doors can be locked tight), protecting vehicles, and protecting cash in the register as well as people’s credit card information. All customer information and employee records should be locked down, too, to prevent potential data breaches.

5. Take Responsibility

Finally, as a manager of an auto shop, remember that everything, both good and bad, is your responsibility.

Taking responsibility doesn’t mean that everything that goes wrong is your fault. However, it does mean that it’s your job to deal with the fallout and ensure the same issue doesn’t happen again. 

Remember, too, that taking responsibility as a manager also doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. By delegating to trusted team members, you reduce your chances of making mistakes or forgetting important details that can negatively affect the shop. 

When you accept responsibility for your shop, you’ll likely find that it’s easier to stay motivated and, in turn, to motivate your team. You may experience a greater sense of purpose, too, and will be more engaged in the day-to-day processes that keep the shop up and running.

Level Up Your Auto Shop Management Today

Managing an auto shop can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. After implementing these 5 tips into your management practices, you’ll find that you have an easier time handling customers, supervising employees, and making sure the shop runs as smoothly as possible.

Do you need more advice on the right way to run your shop? Check out the business section of our site today. From best marketing practices to tips on accounting and bookkeeping, you’ll find everything you need here.

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Do You Need a Boring Sedan for Cheap Auto Insurance?

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Auto Insurance

There are many things that affect the premiums. But, only a few of them make a significant change in the bottom line. These are your zip code, driving history, your ride and credit score. Many people think that you need to buy a boring sedan to get the cheapest car insurance rates. This article will look to see if it is a myth or there is a truth behind such thinking among motorists.

Definitely certain automobiles are less risky in many aspects and they are favored by carriers. And some are clearly considered more dangerous and attract higher premiums. Also, there are areas where things aren’t that clear cut. While a vehicle may be losing points in one aspect it may more than make up for it in other areas.

Here are some of the points to consider before answering any of those questions;

Potential Speed and Its Implications

If a car can speed up fast and has plenty of horsepower behind it you can bet that the owner will have to pay higher auto insurance premiums. When you start driving those vehicles you immediately know why. Even if you step on the gas your boring sedan still doesn’t take off easily. On the contrary a sporty automobile is like a wild horse that likes to run. Even if you don’t touch the gas, they power through effortlessly. That is why they can be dangerous, especially when the driver is inexperienced.

Repair and Replacement Costs

This is a hot issue lately with the costs rising. In general, if it is expensive to repair or replace a vehicle and it needs special parts and specialist mechanics you are expected to pay for it. If it is a very common one with plenty of parts in the market and most garages can repair, you can expect cheaper auto insurance for it.

Its Safety Records

There is a myth that SUVs should be expensive to insure. Some of them are and there are good reasons for it. But there are plenty of SUVs which are safer in the way they protect passengers and drivers and avoid accidents. Especially newer models excel in this point that they may even attract cheaper rates in comparison to some sedans.

Theft Potential

It is another area to consider. General misconception is that thieves go for expensive automobiles. That may be true for a joyrider but a seasoned thieve looks at several key points. They often stay away from high end autos because they have many security features to overcome and have trackers. There aren’t many people looking to buy Lamborghini parts in the second-hand market. Those owners can pay for original parts.  

Also, they want to be able to fence the parts they steal easily and it is only possible if the vehicle is common and its parts can be fitted to many other brands. Also, they prefer the ones that are easy to break in. Often, they don’t even drive it. They just take the parts and off they go. So, a Honda Civic attracts more surcharges because it is one of the easiest vehicles to break into and its parts are in high demand in the second-hand market.

Your Age and Driving Records

This is as important as the vehicle. In the experienced hands the premium differences may be negligible. However, you may not even be able to find coverage if you are a teenage boy and want to drive a fast car. Companies know very well that an older driver will be able to handle the vehicle, while a younger driver may not even realize what he/she is dealing with. 

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How to Keep Your Van Organized?

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Keep Your Van Organized

Although a dusty van is a common sight, anyone who uses their van to make a living should take pride in their vehicle. Not only is it more comfortable to drive around in a clean van, it can also help you attract more customers, too. Many people use their vans as a rolling advertisement with their business details displayed on the body, which is why it should be kept clean at all times. 

In addition, keeping your van organized can also have an impact on your business. You will save time by storing everything in the right place, customers who happen to get a glimpse inside your van will feel more reassured, and your tools will be better maintained if they are stored correctly. Here are a few top tips to help you keep your van organized.

  1. Clear the Clutter

It is easy for clutter to pile up if you spend a lot of time in your van. Many people eat, drink, and rest in their van in between jobs, which means food wrappers, empty cans, and other rubbish can end up lying around for a long time. Get into the habit of removing your rubbish as soon as possible, especially if it is cluttering up your dashboard. Alternatively, designate a bag for rubbish and get rid of the contents at least once a week.

  1. Use a Vertical Storage System

Many people struggle to find space in their vans, which is why they can end up looking untidy and cluttered. If floor space is an issue, why not store your items vertically instead? Install cabinets or vertical shelving units along the sides of your van, and designate specific areas for your tools and equipment. You can also install a pegboard for your tools. 

Vertical storage helps keep everything in easy reach, which in turn can help boost productivity levels. Keep your most used items near the front of your van for easy access. Not only will a vertical storage system help you stay organized, it will also prevent valuable items from falling out of the back of your van. 

If security is a big issue for you, invest in a secure locking system. Van Secure specialize in van locks and have a variety of locks for sale. They offer bespoke advice and can help you pick the right locking system for your needs.

  1. Keep Paperwork Tidy

Whether it’s an invoice, a delivery note, or a quote, paperwork tends to get messy in a van. Rather than stuffing it all in the glovebox or leaving documents around the van, designate one specific place for your paperwork. Invest in a file box or a folder and keep your paperwork together. You could even go one step further and create categorized dividers so that you know exactly where to look when you need specific documents.

  1. Line the Floor

Ply-lining the floor can make your van appear more presentable, and it will also protect it from damage. In addition, it is also easier to keep clean, as with plywood, you can simply sweep away or vacuum up debris.

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7 Reasons Why an Alternator Can Affect the Performance of Your Car

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Alternator Can Affect the Performance of Your Car

The alternator is one of the most important parts of your car, but it’s often overlooked when it comes to maintenance. You’ll certainly know when there’s a problem, though — it will impact the performance of your car substantially, and in some cases, you may not be able to start your car at all. Consider these seven signs that your alternator is the culprit of your car’s poor performance. Always know tow truck in san jose and suggest to friends and family too.

Car’s Ability to Generate Power

1. Your car won’t start. The first and most obvious indicator of a bad alternator is an inability to start your car. When this happens, it could be indicative of a dead battery — and a dead battery might simply be at the end of its life. Sometimes, though, a malfunctioning alternator causes your battery to drain more quickly than usual, leaving you stranded and in need of a jumpstart.

2. Your car starts, but it frequently stalls out. If your car starts but frequently stalls out, this may also be a sign that your alternator is not supplying enough power to the spark plugs, which makes it impossible for the engine and more to keep running. If so, you should start shopping for an alternator for 2003 Honda Accord.

3. Your dash displays a battery warning light. Consider these seven signs that your alternator is the culprit of your car’s poor performance. You might assume it now, as many people do, that the battery warning light indicates an issue with only the battery. On the contrary, this dash light may be displayed if there is an issue with any part of your car’s electrical system—including its alternator.

Car Accessories Are Malfunctioning

4. Windows take longer to roll up and down. Another common sign that you need a new alternator for 2005 Honda Accord is accessories that malfunction — including your windows. If you have power windows, they rely on wiring to your car’s battery that’s triggered by the switch you control. A bad alternator will interrupt the current, and as a result, windows may be slow — or not work at all.

5. The seat warmers aren’t warm enough. Similarly, if you’ve noticed that your car’s seat warmers aren’t quite doing the job anymore, this is a telltale sign that the alternator is in need of replacement. Also, Seat warmers function in the same way as your power windows, so if the alternator is malfunctioning, their connection to the power supply will be inconsistent at best.

5. The speedometer is unpredictable. Many people assume that their speedometer is a mechanical part, but in fact, most speedometers are electrical. This means that a bad alternator will make it difficult to accurately gauge your own speed, but unfortunately, this is unlikely to pass as a valid excuse for speeding. It’s better to replace your 2007 Ford Focus alternator before this happens.

7. The radio isn’t playing your favorite song. If you’ve noticed that the radio isn’t playing your favorite song — or any songs at all, for that matter — you need to consider the possibility that your alternator is to blame. A radio that won’t work properly is a major red flag.

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