You can't do it all.

Scheduling, sales, walk-ins, drop offs, phone lines, installation, fabrication, design, procurement, receivables, payables, bookkeeping, licensing, insurance, tax, receiving, quality control, hiring, marketing, follow up…

Did I miss anything?

There is a lot that goes into running a shop. Custom shops have even more. Estimating, instead of book time. Designing compensation packages, instead of flat rate. Training complex skills for which there isn’t an abundance of training, instead of poaching from the dealer.

As the shop owner, it’s tempting to do everything yourself. You wanted to get into business – here you are, trying to run every single aspect of it.

If you want to grow, you’re going to have to acknowledge you can’t do it all.

That’s step number one. Step two: figure out what you should be doing, and what you shouldn’t be doing.

I addressed this topic in an earlier DPA Weekly about making your first shop hire. Identify the crucial skills gaps in your shop that will help you most effectively serve customers.

Generally, the roles of a successful shop fall into two categories: skilled technical work and service-based administrative work. You cannot have one without the other if you want to grow, and you should be hiring accordingly.

Let’s say you’re further along in your growth. You have a sales manager, but you find yourself with stacks of paperwork. You’re well-staffed with technicians, but still end up doing tons of training.

Take a sheet of paper and make two columns. On one side, write “This is all I want to do.” On the other side, write “This is everything else I’m doing.”

Follow your gut. Write down all the things you WANT to do. Think about why you started your shop to begin with. Have you gotten sick of doing certain jobs as you’ve grown? What marks the highlight of every day? You can keep it broad, like my list at the top of this article.

Move to the other side and take a complete inventory of your weekly tasks.

Side #1 is your money maker. You will thrive when you’re doing what you want to do. You’ll bring your best, you’ll deliver your highest quality and efficiency, and you’ll be happier. All of these things will make you more money.

Side #2 requires more work. Get another sheet of paper and break it up into four categories:

- I must do this. (signing contracts, negotiating your lease, forming business partnerships, mentoring your team)

- I could train someone to do this. (pretty much everything in the day to day)

- I could give this task to someone else without much training. (“take it and run with it!”)

- This task is not required to support the business.

What would your day look like if you only did the things that you WANTED to do and that you HAD to do?

Who could you promote, train, and/or hire to take over some of your responsibilities?

Where can you find the budget for raises, new hires, and investment in training?

These are all questions with REAL answers. Achievable answers. The first step is acknowledgement. The next step is action.

In conclusion

You’re at a point where you can’t do it all anymore. What are you going to do about it? I’ve just given you your first 3 steps.

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


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