Auto Service World
Feature   February 1, 2001   by CARS Magazine

Do you measure up to a shop owner “in trouble”?

There are some things that this industry does not like to talk about, but if the independent sector is going to grow back it's market-share, coupled with a strong bottom line required to build a succe...


There are some things that this industry does not like to talk about, but if the independent sector is going to grow back it’s market-share, coupled with a strong bottom line required to build a successful business, then it is perhaps time to at least acknowledge that “things” are happening out there that affect the very “soul” of who and what we, the independent sector, are.

With all the day to day pressures of running an automotive maintenance and service business, it is amazing how the personalities of owners starts to change over time. This type of metamorphoses is very dangerous as it affects the type of customers/client base the shop attracts, and the quality of staff that it engages and works within the business, which, in turn, affects the very bottom line of the shop. It is imperative that the “negatives” that create this diversion be recognized on time so that action can take place to correct weaknesses in order to put into place the management disciplines required to maximize the potential of the overall business operation.

Consider the following management personality characteristics that are common to shops in financial trouble, or where management has bought themselves a job instead of building a career.

There is one common denominator to all these points, and the common denominator is “attitude”. It is the “attitude” of management that makes a shop financially successful or a financial disaster. I know many shop owners would like to blame a lot of other things, and they do, for their position in life, but when all analysis is completed, the one thing that shines through so brightly is… attitude.

Someone has to say it: “Perhaps it is time to get out of this industry if you are not prepared to tackle the above mentioned issues, because you really are part of the problem, not a contributing part to the solution.”

A positive attitude is a discipline to be learned and nurtured, however, it must be nurtured every day in the life of a successful shop. You don’t just turn it on and turn it off at a whim. It is the way one looks at his/her business all the time. It is a way one looks at life. Even though I usually write Business Management articles that deal with numbers and shop analysis, this thing called “attitude” is everything to do with Business Management today. It is easy, when doing the attitude analysis of the shop, to see why some shops are hugely successful in every way and why so many others are not.

If the independent sector is truly going to move forward and each shop grow a financially successful enterprise, then it is time to perhaps make a full stop, take a giant step back, inhale a very deep breath, and get our act together. Or should I really say “get our attitudes in order”.

Take the time and talk one on one with your peers about this, and perhaps, just perhaps, with a lot of effort and determination, the independent sector of the Canadian economy can become everything it can, and was suppose to, be. SSGM

There are some things that this industry does not like to talk about, but if the independent sector is going to grow back it’s market-share, coupled with a strong bottom line required to build a successful business, then it is perhaps time to at least acknowledge that “things” are happening out there that affect the very “soul” of who and what we, the independent sector, are.

With all the day-to-day pressures of running an automotive maintenance and service business, it is amazing how the personalities of owners start to change over time. This type of metamorphosis is very dangerous as it affects the type of customers/client base the shop attracts, and the quality of staff that it engages and works within the business, which, in turn, affects the very bottom line of the shop. It is imperative that the “negatives” that create this diversion be recognized on time so that action can take place to correct weaknesses in order to put into place the management disciplines required to maximize the potential of the overall business operation.

Consider the following management personality characteristics that are common to shops in financial trouble, or where management has bought themselves a job instead of building a career.

There is one common denominator to all these points, and the common denominator is “attitude”. It is the “attitude” of management that makes a shop financially successful or a financial disaster. I know many shop owners would like to blame a lot of other things, and they do, for their position in life, but when all analysis is completed, the one thing that shines through so brightly is… attitude.

Someone has to say it: “Perhaps it is time to get out of this industry if you are not prepared to tackle the above mentioned issues, because you really are part of the problem, not a contributing part to the solution.”

A positive attitude is a discipline to be learned and nurtured, however, it must be nurtured every day in the life of a successful shop. You don’t just turn it on and turn it off at a whim. It is the way one looks at his/her business all the time. It is a way one looks at life. Even though I usually write Business Management articles that deal with numbers and shop analysis, this thing called “attitude” is everything to do with Business Management today. It is easy, when doing the attitude analysis of the shop, to see why some shops are hugely successful in every way and why so many others are not.

If the independent sector is truly going to move forward and each shop grow a financially successful enterprise, then it is time to perhaps make a full stop, take a giant step back, inhale a very deep breath, and get our act together. Or should I really say “get our attitudes in order”.

Take the time and talk one-on-one with your peers about this, and perhaps, just perhaps, with a lot of effort and determination, the independent sector of the Canadian economy can become everything it can, and was suppose to, be. SSGM


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