Are You Guilty of These 5 Bad Habits?
Running your auto repair business on any day has it’s challenges. There are unexpected issues with booked jobs, customers dropping in without appointments, cash flow dramas, and problems with your team that you would just rather hide from.
If you have your own personal challenges with the way you are showing up as the owner and leader, you add an entirely different set of problems to the mix. Few will admit they themselves are the problem, but if you can acknowledge that you have a little work to do on self, you’ll go a long way to helping your workshop perform at it’s best.
Read below and get to work eliminating these 5 bad habits:
1.You say YES when you really mean NO!
You are already pushed for time and resources, but you keep saying yes to those jobs that will put you and your team under more stress.
You know the ones I’m talking about: The jobs that appear without a booking, but are an apparent emergency for the vehicle owner. Not wanting to turn anyone away for fear they will go to one of your competitors, you say you’ll have a look and get it fixed ASAP.
Being already booked solid due to a few other big jobs, and the fact that you are a man down, you increase your stress, put a bottleneck in your workflow, and expect more of your team than you know is fair.
And you know what else happens with these jobs you say YES to when you really mean NO? They are usually the jobs that go wrong, and lose you time and money. They are the ones where all of your known fixes just won’t work, where your blood pressure rises, and where you charge for 3 hours but it really took 12.
How do you learn to resist the temptation of accepting these jobs you should be saying NO to? Simple. Learn to trust your gut…trust that bad feeling in your stomach when the car and that customer roll up into your driveway. Your gut is trying to tell you something. Just because it’s an emergency for the vehicle owner, doesn’t mean it has to be yours.
Sure, there’s being a nice bloke, but there’s also being a sensible business owner who respects the customers who did make an appointment, and there’s the good boss who doesn’t put his team under unnecessary stress.
If you have a good reputation, and you put it to the emergency customer the right way, they’ll wait for a more realistic timeframe than getting it back the same day.
So don’t put you and your team under any extra stress. You already have enough to worry about.
2.You abdicate leadership and bury your head under the hood.
Conflict? No thanks. You’d rather put your hands up to block your ears and hope the problem resolves itself.
On a good day your team gets to work and productivity is ok, but on an average day, the team is lost for direction and fighting amongst themselves.
Why? Because your laissez faire approach to leadership means your team don’t know who is in charge, what the big picture is, or why they are doing what they are doing.
Rather than lead from the front and by example, you get lost on the tools. You probably have a deep lack of self confidence as a leader, and this means that instead of believing that if you speak they will listen, you just say nothing instead..
How is that working out for you? Are your team producing the amount and quality of work you would like them to, and conducting themselves in a way that is in alignment with your own personal values and work ethic?
If the answer is no, then it’s time you took a teaspoon of cement and stood up to lead your team.
As a leader you have only 3 jobs:
- To inspire your team to move
- To set the culture
- To grow more leaders
If you don’t feel capable of leading the people on your team right now, you need to ask yourself 2 questions: Is it them? Or is it you? If it’s them, ask for help. If it’s you, also ask for help.
3.You don’t look at your financials, except to see that there is never enough money.
It’s easier not to look at your financials and carry on oblivious than it is to sit in the discomfort of knowing your real financial position…right?
If you really knew that your net profit was sitting at 2% of your annual turnover, you’d have to stop buying those bits of new equipment you want, and you’d have to stop taking money out of the business to buy the things for your life you think people want to see on social media…the stuff that makes you feel good in the moment you buy it, but then feel remorse later when you realise you couldn’t afford it in the first place. Because you spent $5000 taking the family to Fiji, you can’t afford to pay three of your suppliers this month.
When you think about it, you actually feel quite embarrassed that you don’t understand what the financial reports tell you, and because of that embarrassment, you hide from your accountant.
You have a bookkeeper, but you’ve no idea if the books are up to date or not.
All you know is that you have a debt repayment arrangement in place with the Australian Tax Office, and you can’t be late with your next BAS.
So how do you overcome your fear of the numbers and reports? You have to get over it, and just ask for help. It’s the only way.
Your accountant will actually thank you for it, as you’ll make their job a whole lot easier if they get the opportunity to educate you on the true picture of your business, and what you need to know and do moving forward.
You can also put yourself amongst likeminded business owners who may know a little more than you do when it comes to the numbers. Through best practice sharing you may find you come up to speed financially faster than you think… look for my free Facebook group Under The Hood to find likeminded auto repair shop owners like you.
4.You don’t do anything to look after yourself.
You can’t even remember the last time you did something to nourish yourself. Gone are the days where you had the time for good nutrition, exercise, and peaceful, restorative sleep.
You get up in the morning before everyone else, get to work where you barely have time to eat or drink, get home after everyone else has already eaten, spend a few minutes talking to your partner and the kids, then fall into bed. Then repeat.
You recognise you are tired, unfit, and unhealthy. Your moods are often the cause of arguments, and you just desperately want the world to go on pause so that you have a chance to catch up.
You wonder how you can possibly change this.
All change has to start with YOU. As you’ll be more likely to succeed with your efforts to implement change if you have accountability, let those closest to you know that you intend to change your ways. Give them permission to call you out if they see you slipping back to your old ways, and be grateful to them when they do.
Make appointments in your day for exercise, healthy food, time for self, and enough time for sleep. Your relationships and your business will transform because of it.
5.You withdraw into your man (or woman) cave, instead of asking for help.
You wonder what people will think of you if you appear not to have all the answers, so you don’t put your hand up and ask for help. The truth is, most people are to worried about their own issues to really care about yours.
The stories we tell ourselves as to why we shouldn’t get the help we so desperately need actually just keep us stuck right where we are, in our comfort zone, and playing small.
While it might seem scary, asking for help will most likely be the best thing you can do for yourself and your small business.
Help is all around you, and comes in many forms…I like to call it your Success Team. It consists of:
- Your accountant
- Your bookkeeper
- Your financial planner
- Your business coach
Having the right people in your success team will make all the difference for you running a successful auto repair business. Leverage the expertise and experience of each one, listen carefully, implement fully, and watch both your confidence as a business person, and your business, THRIVE.
Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you grow your auto repair business :
1. Join Under The Hood and connect with other auto repair business owners who are looking to grow too
It’s our FREE Facebook community where smart auto repair shop owners share and receive best practice from each other – Click Here to join now.
2. Grab a digital copy of my book Turbo Charged – download the e-version for just $4.95 and get 33 strategies to grow your auto repair business straight away! Click Here to buy now
3. Transform your business in just 8 weeks
Are you serious about changing your outcome this year? Join Auto Superstars Academy and do what hundreds of repairers across Australia and New Zealand have done to have the auto repair business they have always wanted.
This program is 100% online and can be done in your time. Includes 8 weekly work modules, recorded best practice webinars, private Facebook group for additional mentoring and support, business plan, sales and marketing plan, operations manual, one on one time with me, and all of my customisable HR docs. Reply “Superstar” to this email to get started.
4. Work with me and my team privately in The Engine Room.
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take you from struggle street to auto repair success just reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!