From left, Carm Capriotto hosts a Shop Coach AMA (Ask Me Anything) Panel with Vic Tarasik and Murray Voth at AAPEX 2022
Moving from technician to shop isn’t a simple transition. It requires a change to your mindset in how you approach not just making money, but paying attention to the details of the shop, a pair of coaches recently advised.
During a panel discussion at AAPEX 2022, Vic Tarasik, founder of Shop Owner Coach, and Murray Voth, owner of RPM Training, talked about how a shop owner’s approach to the day-to-day is different from being a technician.
“Most shops, aftermarket shops, are started by technicians whose idea of making money is to physically interact with a vehicle,” Voth observed “So I’m working — working hard — and there’s a direct correlation from my work to my pay. So they’re still stuck in the technician mindset.”
An owner, meanwhile, needs to focus on other aspects of the business, such as computers, software, digital video inspections, hoists, lifts, tools and so on. These are items the shop owner needs to have in the shop, while also compensating staff and themselves.
It’s a tough change, Tarasik pointed out, because once a technician, always a technician. They put a lot of their worth into their ability to fix vehicles. They’ve been highly sought after to help customers. They’re reliable. He equated it to going from knowing everything as a master tech to a journeyman business owner.
“The day they open a shop, all those skills they learned over those 20 years don’t translate to [running] the business,” Tarasik said.
Techs are a brilliant bunch, he added. They can learn.
“Change the way you approach things. These are skills that can be developed, can be learned, like communication skills. You can learn negotiation skills,” Tarasik said. “You can learn all these different elements to make yourself an outstanding business owner and make an impact on the people in the community. Because that’s really what it’s all about.”