We recently chatted with the Technical Compliance Director at Assured Performance, and 3rd generation shop manager, owner, and operator, Patrick Porter in Southwest Mississippi. He opened up about what it takes to run a successful business and shared insightful tips and tricks in training your staff, everyday life in the body shop, and your outlook on your business strategy.
The number one tip in your succession is motivation. It’s a steep cliff that needs to be addressed in the collision repair industry. Finding skilled and willing-to-learn technicians has never been more important. The skills required of modern technicians are advanced and complicated.
“The first step in workplace motivation and recruiting is making sure that you understand that you are always selling your service no matter what.” – Porter
Having a standard for your shop, technicians, and even the work you do is going to make or break your business. Staying motivated to make sure every repair and every employee is the best they can be will be the difference in your customer’s decision to return to your shop.
You have an obligation to your customers and the industry. You can’t stop fighting to do what’s right to get your customers the best repair you can offer them. When a customer brings their vehicle into your shop, you as professionals have an obligation to repair their vehicle to manufacturer specifications.
“The many changes and advancements we have seen in the past ten years have really turned our industry upside down and sideways to the point that if you’re not keeping up with everything, the train is going to leave the station without you and you will be irrelevant.” -Porter
Being Certified is a huge step in making sure you’re keeping up with industry standards and demands. Manufacturers give you first dibs on the latest information so you can stay updated with the latest technology and have access to proper tools and guides so you can repair their vehicles properly.
Fortitude is required to ensure competitive strength. Shops now are facing decline in revenue. Take this time to get the little projects done that you’ve been putting off. Take this time to make the necessary changes you need to take your business to the next level. Don’t waste the precious time you have waiting for customers to show up at your door. Take advantage of the cards you’ve been dealt. You can even make this time about having an online interaction with your customers and taking your online presence up a notch.
“Fortitude is a trait that we need to possess to keep our businesses open, and we need to continue to do everything we can to pursue excellence for our industry.” – Porter
Financial health and stability is a key factor in the success of your business. Every month you should be meeting with someone who focuses solely on your business’s financials. If that’s not an option for you, you may want to think about a business or financial class to better understand the needs of your own company.
“Your financial statements are your keys to success and making sure you know what decisions you need to make. The financial statements are the key to your business’s health and keeping you on the road to proper (financial) health.” – Porter
Working with like-minded people and having a group you can lean on who understand your work ethic and goals is a great way to improve the financial health of your company. This is the back-bone of your success and can be a defining factor in keeping your repair shop successful.