As I write this we are just about to say goodbye to the year that was 2018, and welcome in the opportunity that is 2019. It’s a great time for reflection and renewal. We can look back on what we achieved in 2018, what didn’t work for us and what lessons we learned, and then we can review what we need to change or tweak in order for the next 12 months to be more successful than the last.
But before you go charging into 2019, you need to tidy up your 2018. The last thing you want is to take your bad habits, bad processes, bad team members, and bad attitudes into another new year, and ultimately create the same less than desirable results that you had in 2018.
It’s time to take 20 minutes out of your day, and take a good hard look at your 2018 performance. Take a look at you personally and professionally, how your business performed, and how your team performed individually and as a whole….
Then, FIRE EVERYONE!
On paper that is, and then consider if you were starting fresh, would you hire them back?
What was the productivity for each team member, and what was their attitude to their work? Do they support your vision, or do they actively work against you and the culture you are trying to promote? If your team members get a tick, move them back to the HIRED column, but if they don’t, ask yourself if that person can be rehabilitated through additional training. If you believe the answer to be no, it’s time to bring that person in for a chat and discuss their future options with them. Holding the wrong person in a position in your business just because someone is better than no one, prevents the right person from coming to work for you. Let toxic team members go.
You should then extend that consideration to yourself. As the leader of your auto repair shop, are you in fact worthy of that title? Did you lead from the front and by example in 2018, or is it an absolute miracle that you made any money because you buried your head in the sand for most of the year while you let your team members rule the roost as your profits eroded away.
What do you need to change personally in 2019 so that you do lead from the front? Do you need to have more conversations with your accountant and bookkeeper so that you stay on top of your numbers? Do you need help with your leadership or business skills and need to ask for help? Do you have great team members that you could delegate to in order to free up some of your time, but you fear letting go of some control?
Your 2019 should start with answers to questions like these, so that you don’t run a repeat of your mistakes and failures from 2018.
During my time as a mentor to thousands of auto repair shop owners, it has become fairly obvious that the biggest changes that need to be made to any business lay fairly and squarely with its owner. If we get you right, we can get your business absolutely pumping. So, be the change you want to see, and watch your team members follow your lead.
Once you’ve decided on the things you want to correct from 2018, it’s time to plan ahead. As I have written in previous articles, planning is the number one building block for any business, and any good plan must be written down! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had a client say they feel so relieved after completing their first strategic planning session because now their goals are out of their head and written down on paper, and the priorities they should be working on are now crystal clear.
Strategic Planning is the ultimate form of planning, as my clients and I can attest. Rather than just noting down how much turnover you’d like to do, how much profit you’d like to take home, or how many holidays you’d like to have for the year, strategic planning has you theoretically solving your issues in advance, and then creating the roadmap of priorities you will need to focus and execute on in order to achieve your goals.
Reverse engineering your success plays a huge part in this process, and is another reason you need to be all over your numbers. If you know the average number of customers you see in a month, what your average invoice is worth, what your GP is, what your retention rates are, and what your average productivity rate is, you can accurately reverse engineer additional revenue and profit with a clear path laid out of how to achieve it.
With out simple information like that, you are flying blind, and are effectively powerless.
After you have set out your first plan for 2019 (you should plan strategically 4 times per year), you need to take the next most important step….EXECUTING ON THE PLAN.
A well formulated strategic plan is a complete waste of time if it isn’t followed and acted upon. Even if you only manage to tick off one of five tasks you set out to complete each week, that is still 52 tasks across a year that you will have completed, taking you a long, long way towards achieving the goals you have set.
Imagine how great your business could look, and how amazing you could feel this time next year if you give yourself the space to plan now and get executing right away.
On the other hand, imagine how you will feel this time next year if you don’t do it. When you come to reflect on 2019, you’ll realise that you had another year of mediocre results, with too many long hours spent at work, and for little return. Is that how you want this to go?
If the answer is no, draw a line in the sand and commit to create the time to decide what results you want for the coming year. Plan alone or plan with your team, but get it done, and set the intention for the business you want to have, the type of leader you want to be, and start creating your future in advance.
I wish you a wonderfully prosperous 2019.
If you’ve got a burning desire to create different outcomes for 2019 than you had in 2018, I invite you to get started today on your growth journey by joining THE PITSTOP, my $49 per month mentoring group exclusively for motivated auto repair shop owners like you. You’ll find all the details by clicking here https://rachael-sheldrick.mykajabi.com/pl/50256.