Getting mad while running your shop? Here are some tips

Photo courtesy of Wrapinstitute

Stressed out? Frustrated with your team? Can’t seem to get a handle on everything and watch it run smoothly, even for a day? It can be maddening. You get advice from your friends, family, other shop owners, even your team, but no one seems able to understand the way your shop works.

This is an awful predicament for shop owners to be in. It’s taxing, adds grey hair, sleepless nights, and a host of other health problems. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions that you’ll hear from various shop business coaches. Everyone has a slightly different practice that works, there is no one size fits all solution. That said, here are some tips that I guarantee will work – they’re flexible, and don’t depend on only you.

Everyone will be less stressed, more productive, and make fewer mistakes. Your customers will leave happier, and you’ll leave with a feeling of satisfaction and more money in your pockets.

Culture can make or break any organization. As the owner of the business, you are responsible for the culture, whether you like it or not. Even if you’re absentee from the business, your general manager is answering to you. Here are three areas of culture that, if you focus on growing, will result in less stress and anger, as well as more productivity and higher quality. It’s a win-win, if you put in the work to create and maintain the culture.

Growth mindset

Your customers and their cars are constantly evolving. You, your team, and your shop should be too. If you ever catch yourself saying “this is how we’ve always done it,” start to question it. There is always more to learn, a different perspective to consider, another few seconds or cents to save. It all adds up over time to create a sustainable competitive advantage. Take on a growth mindset and you’ll find your waitlist and profits growing making the subtlest of changes.

Don’t blame – if there’s a mistake or a failure, there’s a learning and growing opportunity. Invest in training, come up with easy solutions to problems in real time, and be relentless in a pursuit of perfection (thanks Lexus).

Everyone can teach everyone

Your newest installer or technician knows something that your master installer or technician does not know. Your customers know something about optimizing your business that you do not know. Find an open mind to learn from anyone and everyone. I find this an especially important cultural change in the shops that I work with – as I have never owned a shop myself, it’s easy to see why my clients and their teams could be skeptical at my ability to help. It is only after hearing my background and seeing how I can apply it to their specific business that they recognize the value that I can provide.

Similarly, I learn something from every shop I work with about the areas in which I am an expert. The best performers have a humble mindset of continuous learning and open mindedness towards every potential teacher. Watch out for you or anyone on your team using the phrase “you don’t know what you’re talking about.” You’ll find that if you spend a little extra time listening and thinking about others perspectives, you’ll learn and adapt significantly faster than if you dismiss the opinions of others.

Team over everything

Without the team, your shop is nothing. Your team is responsible for sales growth, happy customers, a clean workshop, and keeping the lights on. No matter how much it took for you individually to build your shop to what it is today, you’re now in a place where your team is more of the business than you are. The sooner you accept this and create a mindset and culture around it, the faster your shop can grow to the next level.

Treat your team with the importance that they have to you and your shop. Invest in them – pay for training. Care for them – give them life advice and counseling. Help them grow – don’t punish them when they make mistakes, empower them to find the solution.

These practices create a culture of mutual trust, respect, and care. Without these three qualities, your shop is doomed.

In conclusion

You’re responsible for your culture. A big cause of stressed out and angry shop owners is a bad shop culture. Shop owners are responsible for creating the right shop culture, and these suggestions are universally going to improve the success of your shop along with your stress levels.

Driven Performance Advisors

Driven Performance Advisors helps shop owners and specialty parts companies increase efficiency and improve profitability to grow from $1M to $10M in sales. Schedule a consultation at Subscribe to DPA Weekly at


Subscribe to receive the DPA Weekly, a weekly article discussing consulting insights in the automotive aftermarket, sent every Friday, and other updates from Driven Performance Advisors

Thanks for subscribing! You will receive your first DPA Weekly soon.