The point has been made before that independent auto repair shop owners are excessively independent. You know what else a lot of them are? Do-it-yourselfers.
They’ll tackle any job that needs doing: designing a website, creating a marketing campaign, writing a company handbook, crafting a detailed bonus pay plan… you name it. It may have nothing to do with their core responsibilities, they may have no formal training to do the work, and there may be plenty of skilled people who could do it for them for a reasonable fee. None of that matters. They’re quite happy to try their hand at it themselves.
Running a business these days is a full-time job in itself. It requires shop owners and managers to be focused on critical tasks. Someone needs to tell them not to be distracted by things that could be done better by other people.
Of course, this is a great irony, given what we in this industry tend to think about DIYers.
We’ve all seen the mess that a YouTube-educated weekend mechanic can make in his driveway with the wrong tools, bad information, and no repair strategy. We’ve seen the results: the backward calipers, the missing fasteners, and the ill-fitting rotors. We’d all like these guys to leave the engine repairs to a professional.
It is no different for shop owners and managers. Rather than getting bogged down in detailed work that they really have no training for, they should
At the recent Vision Hi-Tech Training Expo in Kansas City, I heard a great deal about how some shop owners apply a “do-it-yourself” attitude to their own business, trying to run it without management training or advice. They’ve never taken a course. They’re often too busy to track key numbers. And they don’t seem to understand the principles that make a successful shop run.
Many of them, despite all of this, manage to eke out a little bit of profit each month… but some don’t.
The solution is to either delegate the specialty tasks that you have no real aptitude for, or get properly trained so you can do them with confidence.
Business management training is a key to success in today’s demanding economy. Don’t be like the DIYer who gets in over head with a difficult job that they don’t know how to do, and should never have tackled in the first place.
If you want to run a business, invest in the best training you can find, and learn how to do it right!