The first 90 days after your automotive business acquisition are often a period of discovery, trial and error, and a series of new challenges. Once you open your doors, the first 90 days will set the tone for your future success.

Below are some tips for how to maintain and grow your business in the first quarter and beyond. To find out more about how to successfully buy or sell your automotive center, call AutoCenter Sales today.

Serve Your First Customer

You are technically not a business owner until the first customer walks through the door. Once you make your first sale, you can begin building your customer base from there. How well you market your business in the early stages will determine the amount of growth your business experiences.

Marketing mediums you may want to try at first include:

●        Radio and TV

●        Billboards

●        Social media

●        Email blasts

●        Flyers

●        Personal phone calls or conversations

●        References

Create a Solid Plan

Even for a veteran in the industry, having a business plan is always recommended. It should include things like setting and identifying goals for the business, having a first-year financial projection, and, if you're planning on hiring or training employees, having your priorities and the steps laid out clearly.

Know Your Industry

Even if you think you know everything there is to know, there's always something new to learn, especially as an owner. Once your business is running, continually research to stay on top of recent trends and ideas.

Get Support When Needed

Running any business takes persistence and drive, and while you might think you have to do it all, this isn't true. Reach out to consultants or other business owners to see how they navigate more challenging situations and outsource work to other professionals in areas that you can.

Become a Master Salesman

As the owner of your business, you are solely responsible for sealing the deal with every interaction. If you have no clue how to sell a service or product in your company, then spend some time learning techniques.

Need a place to start?

Below are the top ten greatest hardcopy or audiobooks ever written on the art of selling:

●        Thinkertoys by Michael Michalko

●        The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

●        Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden

●        How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

●        The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

●        The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

●        Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler

●        Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

●        Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

●        Agile Selling by Jill Konrath

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Social media has become a massive money saver for advertising.

While there are some limitations, it can help you with promotion by:

●        Decreasing your marketing expenses

●        Giving your customers a place to provide feedback

●        Increase the amount of traffic to your website

●        Improve your networking with other businesses and customers.

Don't Overlook Email & Texting

When you're interacting with your customers, asking for their phone numbers and email addresses gives you a few advantages:

●        Allows you to personalize your reminders for their vehicle services

●        Add incentives like free services if they make a purchase

●        Shop discounts and seasonal specials

This form of personalized communication can help them identify better with your business as someone concerned about their needs and make your company a memorable and attractive option when it's time for repairs or upgrades.

Strengthen & Monitor Your Profit Growth/Decline

Over the first 90 days, your revenue stream is vital to keeping your business afloat. Even more important, however, is your net profit. Your incoming/outgoing cash flow determines the profit margin.

Monitor your revenue vs. operating expenses daily. Doing so will allow you to make business adjustments – particularly costs – along the way.

Evaluate Your Product or Service Pricing

You have already invested time assessing what you need to charge for your products and services. When you buy an auto shop, however, you may find that the reality of your pricing is far different from the analysis.

As you establish your prices, weigh the following factors heavily!


Offer discounts right out of the gate? If so, how much and on what services?

Your Market

What are the competitive rates in your area? What are demographics? What can the market bear?

Demand & Sales Volume

Higher prices equal wider profit margins. Lower prices equal lower profit margins and more volume.

Therefore, it would help if you based prices on your initial business conditions and your goals over the next 90 days.

Your Business Strategy

Your umbrella pricing strategy will encompass all areas.

Three strategies you may want to employ on the front end include:

●        Neutral pricing (comparable to competitors)

●        Penetration pricing (setting prices lower than the market)

●        Market skimming (setting prices high due to no competition)

Perceived Value of Services & Products

The level of value that customers place on your services depends on how they compare your prices to competitors (reference value) and the attributes of your business to competitors (differential value).

Set Your 90-Day Goals

Goals will tangibly measure your business success over the first quarter. Without setting goals, you have no direction, no inspiration, and no measurable results.

Here are some steps toward setting your 90-day goals!

Big Picture

Start with the big picture and plan for the entire 90-day period. What is the end game?

Break Down Into Small Goals

Break down the overarching into smaller, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Think about the sequential steps you need to take to reach your objective.


Benchmarks keep you on track and give you a model for adjusting your goals as you go.

Stay Flexible

Be flexible with your goals. Contrary to what others may have taught you, no goal is ever set in stone. Adjusting your goals means that you are meticulous about your success and how you measure it.

Be Open to Self-Discovery

You will learn a lot about yourself and your capacity to run a business over the next 90 days. So, take advantage of opportunities for self-discovery. Remember that no self-evaluation is positive or negative. Instead, it is what it is.

Ask yourself hard questions such as establishing your strengths and weaknesses, your entrepreneurial style, what motivates you to get out of bed, and how you handle success and failure. Understanding how you tick will give you footing for operating your auto center.

Know Your Business Valuation

Your discretionary cash flow will allow you to determine your business value and profit potential.

This cash flow is pre-tax earnings before any:

●        Non-cash expenses

●        One time expenses

●        Non-business-related expenses

●        Interest expense or income

●        Any owners compensation

If you're looking to calculate your discretionary cash flow or DCF, our helpful blog covers all the steps, or you can work with one of our experts to help you understand the calculations and the role the DCF role plays in your business.

Brokerage Service for Buying or Selling Your Auto Center

If you are looking for a brokerage service that can help leverage your auto center sale or purchase, contact AutoCenter Sales today. We can help you list your business and find a buyer looking for an investment.

To learn more about our services and products or to schedule a consultation, call us at 1-800-874-5793 or message us online to connect with our team.