We’re fortunate to be able to work with shops of all sizes and types across the United States. While it’s incredible to see all of the great things people are doing in the industry, we still see the opposite side of that as well.
We see some of the shops that aren’t adapting to the needs of technicians or customers. It can be extremely frustrating when trying to coach a client to see their business through a lens other than their own. Some aren’t great places to work and there are a few reasons as to why. The ones we’ll address today speak directly to the leadership of the shop.
3 Reasons Shop Leadership Falls Short
Failure to Adapt
A big difference between highly successful shops and some that struggle lies in their ability to adapt in an environment that seemingly changes by the minute. All aspects of the service business are changing rapidly. It’s scary to see how fast technology is changing the way we work. From the tools we use in the shop to the management systems we use to run our shops, it’s drastically different than just five years ago.
I can’t imagine being near retirement age, owning a shop, and trying to keep up with the changes needed. With the amount of Baby Boomers looking for their way out, I have a feeling there are a large number of business owners that are concerned with that.
Unfortunately, this business is not slowing down for anybody. It’s kind of like running on a treadmill to keep up with the latest in industry changes.
A distant cousin to “failure to adapt” is stubbornness. Knowing that you have to change, but having too much pride to do so can be an absolute killer. Read any business book and you’ll see them destroy the “because it’s the way we’ve always done it” culture. Stubbornness drives that excuse, and it stunts the ability of your shop to make progress.
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem — which isn’t easy for stubborn people like me. Coming to the realization that there might be a better way forward is hard to do. With that being said, taking an attitude to embrace outside ideas can be a game changer for your business.
It’s not hard to complain about the speed at which the industry is moving right now. The amount of investment needed by shops to increase their knowledge and the tools to utilize that knowledge is considerable. It can feel like it’s tearing into your profit margin and be a real buzz kill. The thought of it can paralyze you. While laziness might not be the exact definition of what I’m explaining here, the results of your work can be perceived as such.
Make sure you recognize if the changes are overwhelming and starting to give you that uneasy feeling that you need to get some help. You’re not alone in that regard, and it’s actually pretty healthy to acknowledge that.
Stop, Listen, Adjust
If you suffer from one of the three categories I listed above; failure to adapt, stubbornness or laziness, the first step is to understand and accept that you fall into one of these categories.
For the most part, you’re going to know if any of these are applicable to you already. Taking time to think through if one of these areas are holding you back from your goals is huge because it allows you to focus on where you can improve.
An example that I recently had of this fell on the laziness category. I was feeling really tired all of the time, which was super frustrating. I had started reading about how to generate more energy and talking to others about it when I had a friend recommend that I start making smoothies for myself. It’s not something I had done in the past but thought, “what the hell?” I’m about three weeks in, and I feel so much better! A simple tweak in my diet made a huge impact and makes me want to research the topic even more.
The same can be said for you and your shop. Understand where your shop falls short in the eyes of your technicians. Sit down and actually talk to the techs about their pain points and make real adjustments to accommodate them, where you can.
As the demand for mechanics and technicians grows, so do their options. Word of mouth travels fast in the world of a mechanic and many times a shop’s reputation precedes them.
If you’re able to truly listen to your people, make tweaks based on the feedback, and really care about making your shop the place that techs want to be, you can change the entire narrative of your business.