While many people dream of owning their own businesses, about 20% of new businesses don’t make it past the first two years. If you want to be one of the successful ones, you have to learn how to avoid the various pitfalls that other business owners encounter. Opening up an automotive workshop provides your community with a much-needed service, but surviving relies on you understanding the dos and don’ts of successful workshops.
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Don’t Employ Unqualified Mechanics
One unqualified mechanic can destroy your business’s reputation. When you have a dissatisfied customer, he or she will likely tell between nine and 15 other people about the experience. Dissatisfied customers create a chain reaction within your community. One person tells his or her friends about the experience and those friends share it with their connections. Then, most people don’t give businesses a second chance following a bad experience. In fact, 86% of consumers will quit doing business with a company after a negative experience. Additionally, upset consumers are more likely to leave scathing reviews for more people to see.
Before you hire a mechanic, do a thorough background check. Make sure that every member of your team has valid credentials and then train them as quickly as possible. Untrained employees can be just as bad as unqualified employees.
Do Obtain Project Management Software
Repair shops will juggle various projects at any given time. Along with your numerous projects, you have employees, consumers and other tasks to track. Without project management software for workshops, you can’t keep your projects organized or running in a predictable or profitable way.
High-quality management software is a tool that allows you to save time, deliver customer service and grow your business. Project management software should include job management, communication, estimation, cloud and invoice services.
Don’t Forego Digital Marketing
Just because you own a brick-and-mortar workshop doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use the internet to market to potential customers. Most of your consumers use the internet. Likewise, when people have car trouble, they will likely research shops in their area before they show up. If you have a minimal online presence, you will lose business to shops that do build their online presence. Not only do you need a clean, easy-to-navigate website, but you should invest in other digital marketing efforts.
Start with your social media presence. Nowadays, most consumers use social media as a way to connect to various businesses. When you form connections with the community, those people are more likely to turn to your repair shop when they need you. Brands that engage with consumers and have a likable persona tend to find more loyalty among their consumers. You can use social media to post promotional events and sales or to discuss your latest work.
Additionally, digital marketing provides you with an opportunity to share useful content with your clients and with potential clients. For example, if you have a blog with practical automotive information on your website, people are more likely to find your business through Google and other search engines when they have a specific question.
Do Communicate With Your Customers
When clients hand over the keys to their vehicle, they are putting a lot of trust in your shop to not only fix the problem but to take care of the vehicle throughout the process. No one wants to pick up their car in worse shape than it was, to begin with. Likewise, no one wants to spend money and have their problems exacerbated or left unchanged. New customers have to take a leap of faith, but you can help assure them that they are in good hands.
Talk to your clients and update them regularly on the status of their vehicles. During diagnostics, help vehicle owners understand the problems with their vehicles and the type of work that’s necessary to fix them. Be honest and open with customers and allow them to ask questions. The more communicative you are, the more likely people are to trust you.
Be Smart With Your Automotive Workshop
Opening up your own shop can benefit your local community. If you’re like most people, when you open a business, you dream of success. While success takes hard work, as long as you’re ready to put in the effort, you can create a trustworthy shop.