One of the areas I help shops with during my ShOptimizer 12-point business inspection is the shop strategy. What collection of parts and services do you offer that work together as a unit to streamline your business and deliver the best to your customers?
I’ve worked with a number of shops that struggle to answer that question. They feel forced to expand their offerings to whatever they can do in order to keep the cash flowing in. Especially in the early days of a shop’s life, shop owners feel pushed to say yes to any job, regardless of whether they will enjoy doing it, or it fits with the shop image the owner is looking to create.
If you cannot clearly and quickly answer the question “what is your shop known for?” then you need a strategy.
A strategy gives you clear marketing, easy investment decisions, better job descriptions for hiring, and more streamlined shop production. Take the time to define your strategy (bring in an advisor to work through it with you, if needed) and you will see the benefits immediately.
I worked with a shop owned and run by a VW master tech who had left his job in VW corporate to open his own business. His passion was restoring old Mk1 and Mk2 Golfs, doing modernization engine swaps, and maintaining classic VWs to keep them on the road. His claim to fame was winning the Goodwood Festival of Speed classic rally in a Mk1 Golf Gti rally car.
When I first visited his shop, he was just finishing up an exhaust manifold gasket on a Volvo V70, and had a Mini on the other lift that needed a boost leak diagnosed and fixed.
After going through DPA’s ShOptimizer 12-point business inspection, he was posting regular content of VW classics and performance, sharing important classic car maintenance tips with his customers, and filling his shop with the classic VWs of Central England. He went from making around $7,500 profit in his first 12 months to $5,000 in the following 2 months. He was able to charge more for his specialized services, which he was comfortable doing after decades of experience working with VWs.
His shop became known for restoration and modernization of classic VWs.
It’s clear to see which performance and customization shops are “known for” something specific, and which are struggling with their identity. Your highest levels of efficiency and profitability come from working on cars you’re familiar with, for customers who trust you and your brand and are willing to pay for it.
You don’t need to sacrifice your love of variety and custom work to make this happen. You can be known for tackling new challenges and being a well-rounded shop, but taking some form of specialization, whether in a skill such as fabrication or wiring, or in a certain type of car like 4x4 or Nissan, will give you the best in profitability and efficiency.
What is your shop known for? Be confident in your answer. You’re on the path to maximum profitability and efficiency.
Driven Performance Advisors
Driven Performance Advisors helps shop owners increase efficiency and improve profitability through our ShOptimizer services. Schedule a consultation at drivenperformanceadvisors.com.