Auto Service World
News   March 19, 2024   by Erin Vaughan

From the Magazine: Setting your goals for the year

If you haven’t set your goals yet, don’t fret. But getting started is the first and biggest step

We are well into the first quarter of the year and hopefully everyone is hitting their goals. You have set goals, right?

If not, it’s never too late to sit down and start thinking about where you want this year to go and how you are going to get there. Before my shop opened for the new year, my manager and I sat down to decide what goals we were going to shoot for in a few different categories: Sales, client experience, training and leadership.

We first decided what our weekly sales goals would be based on available technician hours, labour mix and parts margin. These three important KPIs are monitored daily to ensure that the business is making the most out of every day and every vehicle. If we sell all our available hours, ensure our labour mix is 50-55 per cent and parts margin is 55-60 per cent, we’ve had a profitable day.

Once we determined the sales goal that we wanted to achieve, our next step was to figure out how we would get there.

First, having happy, engaged clients who believe in maintaining their vehicle are key to making this happen. Our client communication is excellent and is mentioned the most in our five-star reviews.

Over the years, we have left little gifts for our clients in their vehicles — branded coffee mugs, pens and gift cards to other local businesses. This year, we have decided to partner with a local nut-free bakery, which provides us with chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are placed in the client’s vehicle with a ‘thank you’ sticker, as a small token of our appreciation for the trust they put in us.

Second, we believe that the way to accomplish our goals is by engaging in ongoing training for each member of our team. The technicians and service advisors use an online training program, which feeds them daily training. This is curated for each person based on their skill level to provide them with guidance in areas where they are weaker. This helps them gain confidence in their roles, which ultimately helps the team accomplish what we’ve set out to achieve.

If not, it’s never too late to sit down and start thinking about where you want this year to go and how you are going to get there.

Our additional training goals will be to find higher-level technician training for our A-techs and high-level management training for my me and my manager.

Last, our leadership goals. The University of Regina offers leadership classes for business owners and their staff, which we will be enrolling in this year. By having our staff to gain this type of knowledge, it will not only help them professionally, but they will develop the skills needed to be leaders in their homes and the communities they live in.

We have also decided that if our staff want to be leaders in their professional roles, we need to include them in our strategic plans for the business in a more structured and organized way. We have staff meetings to talk about sales and operational plans, but we wanted to create the opportunity to build a culture of intention and purpose.

We have started “Kinetic Coffee Talk Tuesday” (we run a four-day workweek, so Tuesday is the beginning of our week), a 15-minute meeting where we talk about our intentions for the week, discuss personal and professional goals and share with the group our “Song of the Week”. This song is chosen by a different team member every week as their personal anthem, which is played at the beginning of the meeting for everyone to listen to (yes, this is as awkward as it sounds, but it’s fun-awkward). Their song choice tells us who they are, what they value and how they’re going to show up for the team that week.

(We hope a team member never chooses “Unloved” by Jann Arden; we want everyone to feel loved in our shop.)

By setting goals and sharing our wins, we can start the week in a positive upbeat way, allowing us to aim for the same targets and build strong relationships with each other.

You still have lots of time to make your own goals for the year, so if you haven’t sat down and written them out, personal or professional, please take the time to do so and you, too, can start every day with intention.

Erin Vaughan is the owner of Kinetic Auto Service in Regina

This article originally appeared in the February issue of CARS

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