Auto shops are a competitive business, and to stay ahead of the competition you need to be on top of your shop. That means ongoing improvements, where you take the time to do market research, see where the competitors are succeeding, and then outdo them. Your specific improvements depend on your shop’s current status and the market around you, but you can never go wrong by offering new services, upgrading the shop equipment, and hiring skilled techs. All of those improvements require capital, but it’s easy to find space in your budget with the help of fast business funding through Mulligan Funding.
Offer New Auto Services
One of the best ways to bring in new customers is through increasing your service offerings. Diversify your service offerings to include the full range of basic services, from annual inspections to brake pad changes, and at the same time, train your techs on specialized, challenging repair jobs. If a potential customer knows that he can get his oil changed at the same shop he would rely on for a catastrophic body repair situation, he’s more likely to choose you over the competitor, out of sheer convenience.
Another way to diversify is by offering auto-related services that aren’t repair services. Consider hiring a detailing tech who can wax cars to a high shine with premium products, giving customers a reason to come back even when they’re not due for an oil change yet.
Body repainting is another common service that many clients seek out at a garage first, only to find that it’s unavailable and they have to seek out a repainting specialist. This is a potential hole in the market that you can fill, giving you an automatic leg up on the competition.
Dent or glass repair is another viable service and source of revenue.
Upgrade Your Auto Repair Equipment
Increasing your service offerings often means that you need to change or add to your repair equipment, so take a close look at your new offerings and make sure you’ve got the equipment needed to execute every repair and every service expertly. Maybe that means a new airbrushing kit for painting decals, or high-powered buffer machines for detailing. You should also consider adding more quantities of basic equipment, so your techs aren’t fighting for space and tools. More work bays and hydraulic lifts let you accommodate more clients at once, which creates new revenue.
Alternately, upgrading your existing equipment in favor of higher quality choices can help your techs execute their work more effectively and quickly, so the clients are happier and service times quicker. You have the capacity to take on more jobs, and word of mouth spreads more quickly when you have a steady stream of clients coming in all day, and they’re thrilled about the service quality and time.
Build a New Marketing Plan
Marketing never stops changing and evolving, and there’s always a new strategy out there for you to try. A brand-new marketing plan should accompany your auto shop’s revamp, so that along with your new service offerings, you’ve got a new plan for getting the exposure that your shop needs to stimulate new business growth.
Coupons & Promos
Customers love deals, and one of the best ways to get new customers in the door is by offering coupons and promotional offers. Traditionally, you would offer these as paper flyers or ads in the newspaper, but in this digital age you might have an easier time reaching customers through social media or your website, or even an email newsletter. A free oil change costs you a few minutes of your tech’s time and a few quarts of oil, but it could snag you a lifelong customer relationship. And the ROI on that could be thousands of dollars in increased revenue.
Social media is non-negotiable for today’s businesses, even auto shops. Be sure that you have a Facebook page at the very least… and opening the page isn’t enough. Make a post a minimum of once daily, even if it’s just sharing a relevant article about the newest techniques for applying primer finishes, or snapping a photo (with the client’s permission) of a tech getting under the hood. This is easy with tools like Hubspot, Hootsuite, and Buffer, which let you schedule posts ahead of time, so you can spend an hour every Monday setting up social media for the next week and then let it run by itself. If you don’t have the time or interest in generating content for social media, you can outsource that job to someone else.
Did you know that 90 percent of Yelp users say that reviews determine where they take their business? This staggering statistic is reason enough to seek out reviews from your happy customers. It can be as simple as posting a Yelp, Facebook or Google+ sticker in your window to remind your users to leave a review, or putting your social media links on your business cards that you hand out with every invoice.
If you keep a database of customer contact information, consider sending a text (with the customer’s permission) after every service, asking how their recent experience was. In addition to getting you candid feedback that can help improve the business, this helps you accumulate positive reviews faster to attract potential customers in the future.
Ready to upgrade your auto shop? Call Mulligan Funding at 855-326-3564 to discuss your financing options today!
The information shared is intended to be used for informational purposes only and you should independently research and verify.
Note: Prior to January 23, 2020, Mulligan Funding operated solely as a direct lender, originating all of its own loans and Merchant Cash Advance contracts. From that date onwards, the majority of funding offered by Mulligan Funding will be by Loans originated by FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered Bank, pursuant to a Loan Program conducted jointly by Mulligan Funding and FinWise Bank.