Auto Service World
News   July 20, 2016   by Allan Janssen

EDITORIAL: The DIY mentality

Too many auto repair shop owners are like do-it-yourselfers. They’re trying to run their business without the proper training.

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.


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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!


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6 Comments » for EDITORIAL: The DIY mentality
  1. Openbay says:

    Great piece. We have spoken with many, many of our service providers who confirm that good training pays for itself. Working long hours and creating happy customers is completely separate from running a profitable business. We’ll be sure to share this piece!

  2. Tim Miller says:

    Your article told the truth. The money we spend, the quality we get.

  3. Seraph1911 says:

    I agree and disagree, some DIYer’s are meticulous in their work.

    I am a DIYer, for example I rebuilt an engine from scratch and uncountable reading hours online were involved. The car ran great and did awesome numbers at the tracks, the engine was still running very strong when I sold it.

    I repair consciously my vehicles without a guessing game involved.
    Preparation and the right tools to do the job are a must.

    I believe what actually destroys the DIYer reputation is their EGO, they do not want to fail in repairing something and are not willing to pay a garage.
    Because I work for an aftermarket automotive parts supplier I saw a lot of disaster work, as the article describes some weekend mechanic are actually setting up a ticking time bomb with their “FIX”

    When I inspect my vehicles and I judge that it goes beyond my capable hands, I will give the job to a professional without any second thoughts.

    I do not know if individuals like me are the exception in the DIY world, hopefully some education can be targeted towards the less meticulous DIYer.

  4. Blake S. says:

    Thanks for your message. If anyone wants to run a business for a long time, there is no alternative to invest in learning.

  5. Ken Tyson says:

    That’s a great article. Every DIY Person should read this. Investment is a must.

  6. obd2diag says:

    it is very nice post,very useful for my diy projects.Thank you very much.

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