Auto garages will always be relevant as long as people drive cars. With such a large percentage of the populace owning cars, garages or body shops will always get business because the vehicles will always need maintenance and repairs, both minor and major.
The constant business notwithstanding, a garage needs to be managed properly for it to be efficient, generate profit, and retain the trust of your clients. This is because there are many aspects of an auto garage business that requires attention.
In this article, we look at some tips for body shop management.
Make your workforce comfortable and happy
Your workers are crucial to the success of your garage. Without them, there is no repair work. Also, your clients will interact with your staff. For these reasons, it is important to make their working condition as comfortable as possible.
Keep the interior of your body shop at a comfortable temperature. A cold or hot workshop is a terrible place to work, and productivity will reduce. If necessary, use fans or heaters to make the temperature conducive. Offer your staff water or other drinks to keep them hydrated.
You should also make your staff feel appreciated for their work. Commend them when they do a very good job to keep them motivated.
As a body shop manager, you should strive to keep your employee turnover rate low. Good painters are in demand, so you should be deliberate in your effort to retain them. This is important because your clients might lose their confidence in your auto bodyshop if they keep seeing new faces when they come for repairs. Moreover, if you cannot retain your staff, you are more likely to end up with inexperienced workers that need training and guidance.
Delegate jobs as required and don’t attempt to be involved in everything, especially if you have employed well-trained and experienced hands.
Offer perks and benefits and pay them well. Remember that a happy workforce makes a happy garage.
Get new customers
Whether you are just starting your garage or you have a customer base, body shop management requires that you attract customers on a steady basis. Work on a marketing strategy that will net you new customers.
One of the most efficient ways to attract new clients to your garage is through discounts. Put out flyers advertising your garage, and post about them on your social media accounts. You can also buy Facebook ads that target people around the location of your garage.
Retain your customers by offering guarantees and competitive rates
You can make your auto shop stand out by providing the best service. To make your clients trust your work, provide them with guarantees on your work. Give them a definite assurance, like a period of time that your repair job would last, or how many kilometers or miles they can drive.
If you consistently provide the best service, you won’t have any trouble retaining your clients.
Likewise, your garage should charge competitive rates for services. If your prices are high compared to other garages, you will lose your clients.
Offer rewards to loyal customers. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend lots of money to achieve this. You may offer them free oil changes or some discount on their bills. Some of these rewards could be tied to holidays or popular festivals. The good thing about rewards is that your clients are more likely to recommend your garage to their friends and family, helping you to grow your customer base.
In all, be aware that retaining a client is easier than getting new ones.
Keep proper records
Record keeping is crucial to body shop management. It starts by spelling out the activities for the day so that everybody is on the same page. Maintain a work diary that is accessible to all your workers.
As the manager, spend some time in the morning planning what your staff will do. This requires prioritizing the tasks for the day. When you have drawn up a plan, follow through to ensure compliance. Clear communication is key for everybody to know their roles and what is expected of them.
Maintain a culture of logging work done by your staff. You might have to set an example in this regard by diligently recording your own work. The advantage is that it helps you track work done, and also monitor individual performance.
Keep your financial records up to date. This helps when you are applying for loans or insurance purposes. Also, promptly settle your tax obligations to avoid penalties.
The auto industry has embraced technology and you can make it work for your body shop. Buy a good garage management software to run your business. A good package will offer different tools, including inventory management, booking, personnel management, remote inspection, payment processing, etc.
Some garage management software packages are web-based, while others have to be installed on your computer. They may include different roles for your staff.
These garage management software simplify record-keeping because they are digital instead of dealing with old-fashioned paper.
In the same manner, use the power of the internet to promote your business. You can attach a blog to your website where you share tips and other useful information. You can also start a newsletter to keep in touch with your clients.
Auto garages open social media accounts for updating the public of their activities by posting pictures and videos.
Running a garage can be rewarding financially. However, you can improve your chances of success by following the tips in this article, including using a garage management system.