Auto Service World
News   April 2, 2024   by Adam Malik

Why few embrace the shop owner or manager role

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Most people are afraid to make mistakes and that’s why they’re scared to be in positions of leadership or fully embrace such a role in an auto repair shop, according to a coach.

While one may hold a high-level title, they don’t act like they’re truly in the role because of fear, said Rick White, president of 180Biz.

He used to be that person, he told attendees of the Mid-West Auto Care Alliance’s Vision and Hi-Tech Training Expo in March in Kansas City in March.

“You know what I did? I realized that mistakes are just lessons. That’s all they are,” he said during his session, Business Boss Leader: From Creeper to Leader. “I win or I learn. That is something I live by. And guess what — if I learn, I won.”

Another issue is complacency. The owner or manager may feel good about the way things are going. They don’t want to fix what’s not broken. But, White pointed out, there is always something that can be improved upon in the shop. Just because things look good doesn’t mean you don’t need to address the issues.

Life is about going through different sets of pain, he said.

“How many of us are uncomfortable with something and instead of doing it, we put it off? We avoid it?” White asked. “But here’s the thing: Problems get bigger with neglect. Challenges get bigger with neglect.”

“Deal with stuff while it’s a little lizard. Don’t wait until it’s Godzilla eating Tokyo.”

He used the example of a shop client whose lease was up in 18 months. When asked what his plan was, the shop owner brushed him off, saying 18 months was plenty of time to sort things out.

“I went, ‘Dude, you don’t have 18 months,’” White recalled.

But people, this client being one of them, tell themselves they have more time than they actually do. White said shop owners lie to themselves this way. Because your options are far greater when you’re 18 months out than when you’re six months away and even more limited at three months.

“Deal with stuff while it’s a little lizard. Don’t wait until it’s Godzilla eating Tokyo,” White urged.

The same goes for a team issue — deal with it before it becomes a bigger problem. You may have worked hard to get the team you have. You don’t want to alienate anyone? Too bad, White said. If you have a team of good techs but you’re only getting four or five hours of work out of them each day, there’s an issue you need to confront.

A shop owner can’t lead their shop from the bays and they can’t lead the shop from the counter, White noted. The owner needs to separate themselves from the day-to-day and see things from a distance.

“When you’re in your shop, you can’t see the forest through the trees,” White said.

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1 Comment » for Why few embrace the shop owner or manager role
  1. Rob Nurse says:

    I find it ammusing that our consultants that we trust and rely on to operate a successfull business could not operate a successful shop themselves let alone operate one from the bays. So that must mean no one can, right?

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