How to Free Your Mind as an Expert Shop Owner

The problem

You are a successful specialty automotive shop owner. You have spent your career learning about cars. Perhaps a specific manufacturer, class, chassis, or even chassis generation. You know everything there is to know about your customers’ cars.

Your business is built on that knowledge. Your customers see the value in that knowledge and come to you for advice and application of that knowledge on their cars.

As your business has grown, there are more and more demands for your time. Your staff need training, customers need information, and a variety of external parties are requesting meetings and decisions. You’re successful, but you’re stretched. It’s getting hard to be every place at once.

The solution

In my experience with Driven Performance Advisors, assembling a good team underneath you will enable the business to continue to grow and allow you to focus on where you add the most value. However, just pulling together a team of qualified people is insufficient if all the customer knowledge and car expertise is locked in your head.

To fully unlock the handcuffs of your knowledge and expertise, you must capture it in a way it can be passed on efficiently to your team. Invest the time now in creating guides, manuals, cheat sheets, diagrams, lists, and more to free up your time in the future.

What and how to capture?

How do you determine what knowledge and expertise is most important to capture? What form makes the most sense to use to capture and pass on that information? Here’s a simple formula to free your mind:

1. Record every activity in your day for a week. See exactly what you do each day and how long you spend doing it

Most expert shop owners are very busy. You may find it difficult to make the time even to record what you’re doing. Trust me, it’s worth it.

2. Identify every instance where you are teaching, explaining, correcting, or creating understanding

The issue with being the sole expert in the company is that you will spend a lot of your day doing this. How often do you end up repeating yourself to different people on your team, or answering the same question from different customers?

Very rarely is a customer car 100% unique and therefore requires your specific expertise. More often, your customers have similar cars, but rather than letting your team handle most of the recurring questions and issues, you handle them because you are the expert.

3. Determine what information is being conveyed most regularly

What are the top 10 most common customer questions? What are you most often explaining to your team? Take note of those and start thinking of the answers.

4. Package up the information

If you’re a shop that deals in hp and ft/lbs, tables with numerical data can be very useful. Lap times? Same thing.

If you do power builds, what is your package pricing, how do you troubleshoot and diagnose, and what is your formula for building a car in stages?

If you specialize in track cars, what do you know about tires, suspension, wheel setup, alignments, chassis setup, and aero? This information is probably best suited to go into a manual.

This goes on and on for all the different specialty shops out there.

5. Distribute the information

Hold a training for your team. Bring them in, introduce the new materials. Show them how to use it, when to use it. Use your records from step 1 to understand how you use the information in your own head.

Want to chat about how to capture your knowledge and free your mind as an expert shop owner? Get in touch:


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