Shop owners are constantly overwhelmed. Depending on how many people you employ, you’re potentially on the tools, scheduling the day, working with customers, handling marketing, and trying to decide when you can afford a bigger shop. Considering most car customization shops start with a founder who also works on cars, you immediately put yourself into a double duty role.
As you grow, the responsibilities pile on. Payroll, accounting, taxes, more customers, more marketing, a larger space, policies, hiring, and training are now added to your job description. It gets harder to work on cars, you can’t afford to spend the same quality time with customers, and some of your responsibilities might slip through the cracks.
One technique we recommend is delegating some tasks to your staff. If you find yourself short-staffed on the office side of your shop, you have more options than hiring another team member. Take advantage of your techs’ downtime to get them involved in more workings around the shop.
Here are 4 responsibilities you can delegate to your techs, if you haven’t already:
- Complete job ownership
Are you trying to grow your shop through marketing, but don’t find the time to update your Instagram or website, encourage your customers to leave Yelp reviews, or design and work on the shop car or the shop itself?
Let your techs help. Marketing in the specialty aftermarket is fun. During downtime in the day, let them create YouTube videos going over what’s going on in the shop. Give them branded Instagram accounts to create stories and posts promoting your services. Let them have some time and budget to modify their own cars, provided they represent the brand.
All of these tactics give your techs ownership over driving new customers to the business. This doesn’t mean they have to live and breathe your shop, but they can be proud when they serve a customer they sold.
Complete job ownership
As the owner, do you fill the role of service advisor or customer service rep and then tell your techs what to do in the shop? This isn’t necessarily the best approach. Trust your techs to handle customer relationships professionally and give them full responsibility over a job from drop off to pick up.
Once an appointment is in the schedule, use your best judgment to assign the job to the right tech. Your tech can handle the customer dropping off the car, understand what needs to be done, and then handle updates and eventually pick up and payment. It’s easy to take yourself out of the equation if you give your techs the right information. Tell them what they need to know to do the job well – pricing, customer policies, training on the technology you use, and answers to all the FAQs.
You should know at the end of each day and weekly how you did on cash flow. It’s an easy process:
1. Add up customer sales
2. Add up parts purchased
3. Add up other invoices paid
4. Subtract parts and invoice payments from total sales to get your day’s cash flow.
This data should be readily available in the office from receipts and/or your shop management software. Understanding your daily cash flow is very important for running a profitable and sustainable shop.
Rather than you taking time from talking to customers, finishing that weld, wrapping that last panel, or doing the last dyno pull to calculate or review your daily cash flow, let your techs do it. Again, you’re giving them ownership over the performance of the business, and that level of transparency will create trust and loyalty in your team.
Each time you hire someone new, do you dread the months of unproductivity coming your way? We recommend a couple of easy ways to streamline the training process.
Write down all of the answers to customer FAQs. Write down how you handle customer complaints. Write down the your technique for wrapping an S550 bumper, reinforcing the C10 9-inch, or wiring the new ECU. This allows you to spend less time hands-on with new staff and more time running the shop.
Have you taken the time to train your techs in the past? Now they can write down what you taught them.
No matter how much experience your new team member has, have them shadow you and your team for the first couple weeks.
We have seen it happen multiple times. A shop hires a new tech, gives them a lift, and tells them to get to work. After a week, the tech still doesn’t know everyone’s name, they don’t know the process for getting jobs done and out the door, and they’re wondering what is going on with everyone else, feeling pretty disconnected from the rest of the shop.
Not the best of working conditions.
Let your new tech shadow your experienced techs. Let them build a relationship, teach, and take ownership over the success of their new coworker. Your shop wins and your techs win when everyone is productive.
Give your techs more responsibility. Help them handle it and watch them grow. You and your shop will grow with them.
Driven Performance Advisors
Driven Performance Advisors helps shop owners increase efficiency and improve cash flow through our ShOptimizer services. Our ShOptimizer People package will provide you with optimized allocation of responsibilities so that you and your techs can work as efficiently as possible. Schedule a consultation at drivenperformanceadvisors.com.