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Supercharge Your Auto Repair Business!

Supercharge Your Auto Repair Business!

Running an automotive business is an extremely tough job. It seems even tougher to make money while doing it. Margins can be low, repairing modern makes and models is a science, finding great team members is daunting, and keeping car count numbers up is difficult. Sounds fun, right?  In the midst of it all, how do we know if we are doing a good job?  Is it total sales? Perhaps it’s meeting our mission statement? And don’t forget about happy employees, right?   The correct way to measure business success is with profitability and efficiency.  Without efficiency, you can’t have profitability, and without profitability, your business will not survive. If you’re reading this and you are a car guy then you probably know about engines. When talking about any subject I like to use analogies. What better way to speak about business to a car guy than comparing it to the engines.  We know what an engine does. It makes power. Wheel spinning ... read more

NOLN's KPI Handbook

Our very own Chris Cotton was able to share some insight on NOLN's KPI Handbook. For more on the article and the writer, Matt Hudson, click here!  Each year, NOLN asks in its Operator Survey whether owners are answering questions based on memory or by going through their records for reference.  More often, operators are working from memory—55 percent said this, according to the 2019 survey. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It reflects the level of attention and recordkeeping that’s increasing in the industry. What shop numbers can you recall right now? If you ask Jimmy Grant, a 32-year industry veteran who runs East Ridge Fast Lube in Chattanooga, Tenn., there’s one performance metric that all operators need to know like the back of their hands. “My big thing is my cost ... read more

AutoFixSOS Announces A New Addition To The Team: Tim Shaffer

AutoFixSOS Announces A New Addition To The Team: Tim Shaffer

AutoFixSOS is happy to announce that we are expanding our team. Chris Cotton and Tim Shaffer have known each other for many years. They have officially partnered up to serve more auto repair shop owners across the country who can benefit from reliable and resourceful business coaching. Tim is the owner of Dale's Service Center in Davenport, Iowa, and he has certainly earned his reputation for offering sound business advice to fellow shop owners. Since 2000, he has studied under a number of business coaches and learned from them all. Back then, he got a glimpse of his future: when he saw what coaches did to help shop owners, he knew he wanted to become a coach one day. Commented Tim, "now I'm getting the opportunity to help others through auto shop coaching. It's good to focus on helping others now that I have the experience." Chris Cotton followed up Tim's comment by replying, "Running a successful shop, taking care of his family and his employees -- es ... read more

Practice Active Coaching in YOUR Auto Repair Business

Practice Active Coaching in YOUR Auto Repair Business

This won’t turn you into a coach overnight, but hopefully it will make you a better leader and manager while at the same time help to reduce your employees dependence on YOUR TIME!    Active Coaching should be a daily, informal act, not just occasionally, formal “It’s Coaching Time!” event. The essence of Active Coaching lies in helping others and unlocking THEIR potential.   Deciding to take more of an Active Coaching roll is simple, but it’s not easy. It’s hard to change your behavior and it takes courage to try something new and it takes resilience to keep going again and again when it doesn’t work the first time. (Which it won’t.) So, try the following three questions when you start Active Coaching.   You will be surprised at how powerful these questions will be.    What’s On Your Mind?   And What Else?   What is the Real Challenge Here for You?    These three question ... read more

The Ultimate Technician Pay Guide *This Article Also Featured in Ratchet + Wrench*

The Ultimate Technician Pay Guide *This Article Also Featured in Ratchet + Wrench*

Article Posted on Ratchet + Wrench This statement may or may not be too surprising, for the proof is in the industry’s staggering technician shortage, with some reports showing that, by 2026, the industry will be over 46,000 technicians short. But, there is one element that the former statistic proves: the shortage isn’t entirely due to lack of interest.     “I feel like, for every person that wants to go out and write code or be a doctor, there’s an actual person out there that wants to work with their hands to build and accomplish things at the end of the day,” says Chris Cotton, industry coach and consultant. The technician shortage is an extremely complex and layered issue, but working toward keeping the technicians that do join the industry from jumping ship is a vital step to closing the gap. That leaves the question: How? “Young p ... read more

12 Things Your Auto Repair Shop Must Be Doing!

12 Things Your Auto Repair Shop Must Be Doing!

People ask me all the time What is the future of the industry? It’s great to be looking towards the future of the Auto Repair Industry but I see a majority of shops that aren’t doing things that are must do’s from 5 years ago.  The following list are things that I see successful Auto Repair Shops doing day in and day out. I also see a lot of unsuccessful Auto Repair Shops not doing these things. You may have programs that provide similar services to some of these. This list is what would be happening in my shop if I were to open one today and I am going to list the vendors by name that I would be using. Each one of these suggestions will make your shop a better Auto Repair Shop. Score yourself 1 point for each of those that you are doing and email me your score when you get done reading the article. [email protected] Put: Chris my score is: in the subject line. Feel free to ask me any other questions in that email as w ... read more

Auto Repair Shop Profit Margins

Auto Repair Shop Profit Margins

  One goal of any business is to increase its profit, but increased profit doesn’t always lead to increased profit margins. Whether running a tattoo shop or an auto repair shop, a business owner needs to understand the difference between profit and profit margin and realize which one serves you as a better measurement for understanding costs.   Profit is Total Revenue Minus Total Expenses This can help anyone better understand profit: sales-expenses=profit. This is a formula that is outdated and lazy, that we should be getting away from and is keeping you from being successful in your business. From now on I want you to think of Profit as: Sales-Profit=Expenses, but more on that later. For example, let's say an auto repair shop sells $500,000 worth of parts and labor a year and its total expenses to operate the store (rent, utilities, labor, advertising, licenses, merchandise etc.) totals $400,000. Take the $500,000 in revenue and subtract the $400,000 in expe ... read more

Are YOU Putting Profit FIRST in Your Business?

Are YOU Putting Profit FIRST in Your Business?

THE PROFIT FIRST DIFFERENTIATOR Chris Cotton utilizes the Profit First method of cash management. He is trained and certified by the Profit First Professionals organization to guide business owners and entrepreneurs in maximizing their profits. AutoFix is one of the select few coaching firms, nationwide, that has achieved certification in Profit First. What does this mean for you? In addition to Chris's coaching services, the Profit First method will guide you to greatly increase the profitability of your business. Of course, Chris will guide you through the business challenges you face, as you'd expect from any coach you hire. He will also address the most important factor for any business - maximizing your profits. Working in the auto repair industry in the United States for the last couple of decades, Chris has come to understand the needs of auto repair shop owners. As an auto repair shop consultant, he can help you work to me ... read more

There Is NO Technician Shortage, It’s All In YOUR Head!!

There Is NO Technician Shortage, It’s All In YOUR Head!!

This is one man’s opinion and as such I know I am opening myself up to huge amounts of criticism. I am basing this on my experiences working with hundreds of Auto Repair shop owners from coast to coast and I believe the following is true. Technicians are all around you, you just need to do a better job of running your shop and stop making excuses. What I’ve found is the shop owners without technicians are the ones that sit back and spout off with their excuses about why they can’t get car count while the fair is in town, school just started etc…..   Pay the ones you have what they are worth and give them benefits that can enhance their family life and they will come to you.  Techs are leaving your shops for real employers and occupations with quality ERM (employee relationship management, look it up!), fair pay, work/life balance, benefits, NO WEEKENDS and better culture. And they are wisely encouraging their offspring, nephews, and grandsons to st ... read more

What Is Auto Shop Coaching?

What Is Auto Shop Coaching?

Auto Repair Business Coaching is a process used to take an Auto Repair business from where it is now to where the business owner wants it to be. A business coach will assist and guide the business owner in growing their business by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals. Fitting the business vision in with the business owner’s personal goals is a step that is often missed by most business coaches, who often only focus on the business goals. A great auto repair business owner seeks to understand why reaching business growth goals is important to them personally, and the impact it will have on their life. After all, the business owner ultimately determines the speed and passion in which the goal is met (if ever), and if it is not linked to the business owner’s personal dreams, goals and plans for themselves, there is no burning reason why getting to that business goal is critic ... read more

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