As a garage owner you are probably, quite rightly, focused on cost at all times. Increasing overheads or variation in footfall can have a dramatic effect on a business’s ability to make profit and for that reason many garages offer many additional complimentary services in order to draw that footfall and to drive the opportunity for profit.
Great care must be taken with this policy as customers, quite rightly, view some of these ancillary services sceptically in instances where these additional opportunities are not managed correctly.
Another problem for garages can often be the balance between “making do” and investment – a cycle that seems very hard to argue yourself away from with a traditional perspective on the operation of a garage workshop.
Inevitably investment means “cost” and where businesses are currently already able to make do and where profit, however marginal, is being made – a reluctance to further extend the overheads is a natural reaction.
Despite this, many more successful premises look at investment in a completely different way to the majority – they view an “investment” as an “opportunity” – perhaps it is time that more business owners look at things in a totally refreshed way where a benefit can be either generated or exploited; albeit with a cost attached.
These more successful premises view the investment as a straightforward decision based purely and simply on the “Return on Investment” (ROI).
Let’s look at an example:
“A fairly new garage (let’s say less than 3 years) offers service and repairs but does not have an MoT facility within the business currently. The garage owner is considering an MoT bay to add to the suite of services and to increase local footfall but is concerned that the cost is prohibitive”
In this example – the first thing to note is that operating for less than 3 years probably doesn’t make you an “established business” when looking at spreading the investment over a number of years… Despite this achieving up to a 5 year lease purchase of the equipment concerned is probably still feasible assuming that the company is being run correctly and a full suite of bank statements are available. For slightly weaker credits a deal can still usually be done but it is more likely to be over a 3 rather than 5 year period.
If a brand new complete MOT bay can be installed for as little as £97 + VAT per week the investment requires, even at a low price of £25/MOT only 5 tests per week for the MOT bay to be into profit – and this excludes the repair work that naturally falls out from the MOT bay and onto the service capability that already exists in the garage…
That’s right: Just 1 MOT per day and the investment has paid for itself and driven additional work into the existing business! This clearly illustrates a key fact:
With this alternative mind-set it is possible to look at the many opportunities that exist within garages – MOT, wheel alignment, tyre work and apply them in a transparent way (i.e. not artificially generating work) using a straightforward cost versus benefit mind-set.
Applying this logic in a transparent manner does mean that you can avoid the traps portrayed by the “Watchdog” type programming that often dogs our industry all caused by the (very) few garages who actually set out to mislead customers.
Where work is not being artificially generated, customers will start to view the garage as “adding value” i.e. where the garage is actually looking to help them either save money with, for example, the fuel efficiency that comes from a wheel alignment or even telling the customer that something has been checked; there is no problem or cost. Giving customers good news is not a bad thing and increases loyalty and trust which then often extends further to the customers family and friends – thus supplying the garage with additional work in the years moving forward.
Whilst the traditional oil and fluid check will always remain, the modern automobile – with the host of on-board electronics and equipment offers more opportunities than ever before to the garage – but striking a balance between customer care and profit is key.
Our own range of equipment has been designed primarily to make the life of the operative as simple as possible – but with an investment in equipment supplied by GETECH, you can also be certain that you are purchasing the most modern solutions possible, the longest warranty period from any garage equipment manufacturer and with a detailed analysis that then supports any professional recommendations you make to your customers.
Whilst this blog piece is written specifically for the garage and repair industry, the information contained can be applied to any business of any scale and in any sector. Please feel free to leave any comments on this blog article. And don’t forget – you can get more helpful information just by following our twitter feed: