Auto Service World
News   January 18, 2024   by Greg Aguilera

From the Magazine: Transforming your management style

Your role as owner isn’t about sales — it’s about long-term growth

Successful management transformation is not just about making a sale. Instead, it’s about the owner’s pivotal role in steering their business towards long-term growth and sustainability.

As the owner, you can lead your automotive repair shop through management transformation by emphasizing the importance of your personal growth and leadership in this process.

Lead by example

The first step is to lead by example. As the owner, your attitude, work ethic and approach to change set the tone for your team. It’s simply not possible to lead a team to success if you are working and leading from a place of scarcity — that means working on all aspects of your life, not just in the shop.

Your personal development is essential in driving your automotive repair business forward. Stay informed about industry trends, best practices and emerging technologies. Consider investing in your own development as an ongoing practice.


Effective delegation is central to management transformation. Recognize that you can’t manage every aspect of your business single-handedly. The key to this is to stay within your zone of genius as a leader while empowering your employees to take ownership of their tasks, fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability among your team.

Establishing clear goals and expectations for your shop is crucial. Define your vision, mission, and long-term objectives, and communicate these to your team.

Every team member must understand their role in achieving these goals. Regularly evaluate your progress and be prepared to adjust strategies to remain on track.

Be customer-centric

As an owner, your view should extend to fostering a customer-centric culture within your shop. Deeply understand your customers’ needs and expectations and encourage your team to prioritize exceptional customer service.

Lead by example through personal interactions with customers and actively seeking their feedback for improvement. Happy customers not only return but also recommend your services, which contributes to your business growth.

Financial management

Effective financial management is a fundamental aspect of running a successful repair shop, as we all know, it’s not easy to run a shop. So keep a tight ship.

Keep a watchful eye on your shop’s financial health, including expenses, revenue and profitability. Create and adhere to a budget including a marketing strategy while identifying opportunities for cost reduction. Make informed financial decisions that support the long-term sustainability and growth of your business based on data, not gut feelings.


Embrace change. Be open to new technologies, processes and strategies. Too often, I hear owners maintain that their way of doing things has worked, so why change? They don’t believe customer habits will change — or anything, for that matter. History is rife with examples of companies holding on to this belief and then suddenly failing — think Blockbuster.

Encourage your team to share their ideas for improvement. Cultivate an environment where innovation and adaptation are celebrated, creating a shop that remains competitive and resilient in the ever-evolving automotive repair industry given the technology and ever-changing customer requirements.

As a shop owner, your personal transformation is the driving force behind your business’s success. By leading through example, investing in your education, empowering your team, setting clear goals, fostering a customer-centric culture, managing finances effectively and embracing change, you can position your business as a leader in the industry.

Your commitment to personal growth and your willingness to adapt, grow, and innovate will not only propel your shop forward but also inspire your team to do the same. Remember, your dedication to transformation is a powerful catalyst for positive change.

Greg Aguilera is a director of IAC Canada, an organization dedicated to the management development of repair shops in Canada. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the December 2023 issue of CARS magazine

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