At some point, most automotive service businesses want to expand so that they can serve more customers, hire more staff, and ultimately become as successful as possible.
Easier said than done?
Not necessarily—if you’re willing to put in the legwork. There are plenty of ways to grow your automotive service business, which we’ll discuss here today. Before we begin, make sure that you’ve read our post The #1 Reason Automotive Repair Shops Fail (And How to Avoid It), where we go into detail about the dangers of getting bogged down in the managerial aspects of running your business. To expand your shop, you’ll need to think like an entrepreneur.
Let’s dive in to the biggest do’s and don’ts of scaling your business:
DO: Maximize Your Brand Loyalty & Currently Existing Customer Base
If you’re thinking of ways to scale your business, odds are you’re already doing pretty well—and that’s great. But is your brand loyalty strategy really the best it can be? Have you polished it to perfection? Odds are there are a few ways you can improve, and chief among them may be your certifications.
Certifications, like the BG certification program, are a powerful communicator to your customers and soon-to-be customers—it shows that you and your team take your profession seriously and that you have the qualifications necessary to provide them with the best possible service.
Speaking of your current customers, are you really maximizing that relationship? Your currently existing customer base are your best advocates. Implement a referral program or a customer loyalty program. Learn more about how to keep your current customers coming back with our post Customer Loyalty Programs for Auto Service Providers: Do They Work? (Spoiler alert: they do.)
DON’T: Over-hire, Over-promise, or Get Overwhelmed
Many businesses, not just the ones in the automotive service industry, believe that the first thing to do when they decide to grow their business is to literally “grow their business” in the sense of hiring on more staff—or worse, jumping into a second location without proper planning and strategy.
When you over-hire, you’re expending resources (i.e., cash flow) on assets that aren’t going to be fully utilized. Whenever possible, only hire on additional staff when it’s actually necessary. New employees should be seen as pressure valves. Their job is to relieve your already existing employees who have reached the point where they simply can’t handle everything.
The next “over” to avoid is over-promising. Because you want to scale your business, you may begin to offer new services or products. This is good, but proceed with caution. Instead of rolling out a lot of new things all at once, bide your time and implement one new thing at a time. This way you won’t find yourself overwhelmed.
The only “over” your shop needs to be doing is over-delivering on providing the best possible service you can.
DO: Make Sure You’re Appropriately Modernized
…Or, in other words, make sure that you have an online presence, including a dedicated website and social media profiles. Consumers expect to be able to find you online. If they can’t, it can negatively impact the way they perceive your shop (“Well, a real business would have a website, right?”).
Additionally, start monitoring your online reviews. If you don’t have any, or you need more positive ones, start asking for them. Businesses that ask for reviews get more of them by several orders of magnitude compared to businesses that don’t.
Your online presence should be considered a form of advertising. On that note:
DON’T: Advertise Just for the Sake of Advertising
What we mean by that is to consider whether or not your advertising—and that includes what we discussed above with a website and online presence—is really ironed out for your target audience, or if you’re just putting out generic, half-researched ads because “that’s what a business is supposed to do.”
Indeed it is what a business is supposed to do, but those that really try to connect in a meaningful way with their audience will enjoy a substantially larger degree than those who don’t. What needs do your customers have? What specialties can you offer them? How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? In what unique ways do you solve their problems?
The only person that can answer those questions is you. Once you do, you can tailor your advertising campaigns to what your audience really wants to hear. It makes a big difference.
Learn More About Growing Your Business With BG
Consider becoming BG certified or enrolling yourself and/or your staff in BG University. This will have a huge impact on not only your performance in the workplace, but the level of trust you share with your customers. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.