Editor’s Notebook: Business ‘Building Blocks’ for the New Year – UnderhoodService
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Editor’s Notebook: Business ‘Building Blocks’ for the New Year


With ads for New Year’s resolutions running rampant on the airwaves and in print, one doesn’t have to look very far for advice. One article’s catchy lead questioned, “Is it really possible for anyone to live happily to 100? The good news is that your body was designed to be 100 — you just have to get out of the way.”


I thought it was a clever hook, and really makes you think about “you” being the primary determiner of your own destiny. We all know that, but put in those words, it really hits home.

Since it’s never too late to make new choices, the article offered five tips to increase longevity. They were: Eat five small meals a day; Climb the stairs instead of using elevators; Laugh it up; Drink eight glasses of water every day; and, Unwind with meditation.

Applying longevity principles to your shop can also yield huge benefits. As you begin the new year, think about key business-building blocks you need to ensure your shop’s current and future profitability. Here’s a start:


Exceed customer expectations: Over-deliver on your customers’ expectations by accurately diagnosing their vehicles’ problem and fixing it right the first time.

Value your techs: Call attention to your technicians’ certifications in your shop’s waiting area. Get their input on equipment purchases, customer service programs, and shop goals and objectives.

Commit to training: Take advantage of both manufacturer clinics and web-based training. Tap into the new CCPN (Car Care Professionals Net-work, a segment of AAIA) Learning Center that offers a variety of online courses. For more information, go to www.aftermarket.org/learningcenter.

Focus on Professionalism: Tout how your shop is a cut above the rest. Get involved in industry activities and promote your shop’s specialty and, in the process, you’ll heighten your shop’s image in the community. Ensure Quality: Deliver quality service by using only high-quality parts that ensure lasting repairs, and cultivate pride among your technicians to do their best.


Gain Trust: Educate your customers on the repairs you’re performing and why they’re necessary to restore the integrity of key vehicle systems.

Every vehicle that leaves your shop is a testament to your value statement — one that’s rooted in quality repairs, repair efficiency, professionalism and exemplary customer service. In the new year, make sure every facet of your business is well-equipped to support that value statement. Because with each expertly fixed vehicle, you have another customer who will speak volumes of their satisfaction with a job well done. Shop “insurance” of the best kind, wouldn’t you say?

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