Do you own an auto business that isn't making the kind of money it should? Are you considering selling your auto shop sometime in the future? If the numbers don't look good, you'll have a tough time convincing buyers to bite.
After all, every investor is ultimately looking to make a profit, and closing a deal on a floundering business just doesn't make sense. So what can you do to boost your auto shop's growth in 2023?
The automotive business brokers at AutoCenter Sales share revenue-boosting tips below.
1. Make Sure Your Customer Service Is On Point
Excellent customer service is a cornerstone of any service-based business's long-term success, and auto repair shops are no exception.
So what does your customer service currently look like?
More importantly, does it encourage repeat business? Are you getting referrals?
If your customer service is lackluster, it's time to fix it. Otherwise, you'll continue losing business to your competition. No one wants to deal with bad attitudes, poor communication, or unprofessional staff members.
Observe your employees closely – what do you notice? How can you improve?
Make sure everyone on staff is:
● Making an excellent first impression
● Actively listening to customers' needs and concerns
● Explaining complicated topics in easy-to-understand terms
● Dressed professionally, preferably in uniform
● Listening to feedback and responding accordingly
● Communicating with customers promptly and consistently
As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. It costs far less to keep a customer than to find a new one, so keep that in mind.
Plus, when you please your existing customer base time and time again, they'll naturally bring in referrals too.
2. Analyze Your Customers
As a business owner, your job is to solve a customer's problem. In your case, that's fixing vehicles. And although you no doubt understand how to fix a vehicle properly, it's not the vehicle you're serving; it's the customer.
Do you know what your customers are looking for, specifically?
Do you know what they want out of their experience at your shop?
If not, it's time to learn.
There's no excuse for not knowing your customers well in the digital age. Today, small businesses have more analytics tools at their disposal than ever before, and if you're not using them, it's time to start.
Research your customers' needs, wants, pain points, and anything else you can learn about them. Use surveys, industry research, web analytics, and other resources to understand what they like and don't like about their auto repair shop experiences.
Once you learn what they're looking for, focus on giving it to them.
3. Let Data Drive Your Decisions
Far too many auto shops (and businesses in general) make the mistake of letting opinions guide their decision-making in the digital age. But with the amount of data we have at our fingertips these days, making opinion-based business decisions could be costing you.
Historically, the highest-paid person in an organization always made the final call. It was generally assumed that if someone had risen through the ranks, their experience qualified them to hold that responsibility.
But today, we have volumes of data, and we're collecting volumes every second. That data can turbocharge your business if you know how to use it.
Data can tell you about customer behavior, preferences, intentions, and so much more. It can give you insight into your marketing effectiveness, industry trends, and whether your numbers align with industry standards – the information you have at your disposal is virtually unlimited.
Remember the analytics tools we just mentioned? Use them. Leveraging analyzed, verified data to work toward your business's goals will result in more profit than following someone's opinion, even if it's your own.
You might be the most qualified, experienced shop owner in the world, but if your business is barely turning a profit, you must be missing something.
Data will help you discover what it is.
4. Re-evaluate Your Distributors & Suppliers
Finding parts suppliers can be tricky; once you have them, you might feel like staying put. But what if there are better options out there you don't yet know about?
Even if you've been with the same suppliers for years, you may leave money on the table without knowing it. That's where data comes in...again.
Do you know if your costs are in line with industry standards?
Do you know if you're getting the best deal?
Are you getting the highest quality parts for the price?
Might you have access to suppliers that offer more timely delivery?
If you don't know, it's time to find out.
If you're using old-school product procurement tactics, it's time to consider modernizing. Switching to cloud-based supply chain management software might be one of the best business decisions you make all year.
If you're unsure how to gather and analyze this information, an automotive business broker can be instrumental here.
5. Offer Additional Services
Does your customer base want or need specific services you're not offering? Or are you offering those services but not actively promoting them?
Either way, you're missing out on customers and sending their business straight to your competitors.
While certain aspects of auto repair will always stay the same, others evolve and change over time. Why are you not paying attention to trends or actively looking for opportunities to expand your service offering? Change is a catalyst for growth!
If you offer in-demand services but are not actively marketing them, now is the time to start. It's all too easy to let marketing fall by the wayside when you have a full plate of operational responsibilities, but don't lose sight of the forest for the trees!
Always remember the big picture: Marketing brings in more customers, and serving more paying customers boosts your bottom line.
6. Engage in Advanced SEO Practices
With Google being the dominant search engine on the market, if you haven't invested in efficient advertising, learning how can help increase your business sales.
Over 8.5 billion searches are completed daily, and investing can get you high-quality and relevant results matched to your client's needs and help you get to the top of the charts for local and regional searches.
Optimizing your business with SEO practices helps create a greater attraction and increase your sales because your customers can see what you offer and access your services more easily.
7. Make Direct Contact
For some customers, it can feel overwhelming with the digital messages coming into their emails daily, and experienced businesses recognize this. Direct mail marketing is an opportunity to reach millions of customers In a more personalized fashion than digital options.
Using location and demographics, you can streamline who you target, and with an average response rate of 4.4% compared to.12% with emails, it offers you a multi-channel option to enhance your sales.
8. Use Cutting Edge Automation & Technology
Boosting your sales also means using the most advanced automation and technology available. Incorporating options like cloud phone systems to give your salesman more mobility and freedom and VoIP solutions for easier texting and emails within your team allows them to be more productive when they're away from the office, giving them more time to stay focused on the customers.
When it comes down to the basics, you want the experience to be as easy as possible for your customers. Automated appointments or digital chatbots can improve their overall experience and save time and money, making your company a more attractive option for return business.
AutoCenter Sales: Nationwide Automotive Business Brokers
Whether you're looking to buy or sell an auto repair shop, a tire shop, a car wash, or any other type of automotive business, our team at AutoCenter Sales is here to serve you. For over 25 years, we've helped buyers and sellers close profitable deals throughout the United States, and we're ready to help you too.
To learn more about how we can help you prepare to sell your auto shop, give us a call today at 1-800-874-5793 or send us a message, and we'll be in touch.