Helping Shop Owners grow into the successful entrepreneurs they imagine themselves to be.

Monday, April 13, 2015

How do the customer know what kind of day the shop is having?

How do the customer know what kind of day the shop is having?
by Mike Haley

This week I went to watch my son play a lacrosse game. The game was in Pittsburg which is about four hours from my house. On the east coast we measure distance by time not miles. On the ride back around 9:45pm my wife wanted to stop and get something to eat. Fighting off all my male instincts to continue driving until we are there or out of gas I agreed to stop at a well-known exit for gas and food off the turnpike. We approached the sub sandwich franchise (no names) and waited behind another couple. No one was at the counter and the couple in front of us made the comment they were not sure if anyone was working. After the young lady yells hello about a minute later here comes Jake shuffling around the corner trying to get his shirt tucked back in and adjust his pants. As he approached the corner with his slumped shoulders and head tilted down. It was obvious in about four seconds we were definitely a disturbance to his closing procedures. As the couple in front of us kept request certain subs Jake was quick to say what he was out of and not able to do anything. After about the fourth no from Jake my wife and I decided to try somewhere else. How many times has your actions or mannerisms at the service desk told the story of what is going on currently with your shop?

How many times have we stuttered when asked how long will that take or can that be done today? How many inappropriate internal conversations go on at the service desk within ear shot of the customers? Have what I will call elevated conversation between service writers and technicians taken place at the service desk and then a customer’s walks up to the desk and the service writer is unable to recover before speaking to that customer. Looking at your service desk area at any given time what kind of story does it tell? Are we clean, organized with no clutter? Or do we have everything we have done that day and two days prior spread out over the entire area and complaining we need more room and can’t find a thing? I think Dennis Snow a former Walt Disney World employee puts it best. Don’t ever let back stage become front stage. The service desk is where most of the interaction with our customers take place. So why would that be the place we drop off our business laundry? Whenever you see a great event (sports, concerts, and professional services) they go through pain staking detail so back stage is not seen to the customer. If it is seen it’s no longer magic or impressive. We absolutely need to follow this model. I would love to hear your feedback on what you do to keep back stage from becoming front stage?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Are You A Flea That's Stuck In A Jar?

  Are You A Flea That's Stuck In a Jar?

By Eric Twiggs

I thought about you this week, as I read the popular story of the fleas in the jar:   The flea has been endowed with the ability to jump over two hundred times its body size.  

If you put a group of these insects into a glass jar and closed the lid, their first instinct would be to escape.  They would jump to the top, hit their head on the lid, and fall back to the ground.  

This cycle would repeat several times until the fleas got discouraged and stop jumping.   Eventually, the discouraged fleas would reproduce offspring. 

Even though the babies didn't experience the pain of hitting their heads, they wouldn't jump either, because they were modeling the behavior of their elders.  

When the lid was removed, none of the fleas would make the leap.  It's not ability that's holding them back, so what's keeping them from enjoying the freedom that they were born to experience? 

The fleas didn't make the leap because they allowed themselves to be limited by either their past experience or present environment. 

The older flees couldn't get past the pain of their previous failures.  Like some shop owners I know who refuse to hire a new service writer because the last one didn't work out. 

The younger fleas associated with others that were afraid to leap and adopted their belief system. This is like the motivated mechanic that becomes negative after several weeks of working in a shop with other negative mechanics. 

If either you’re past experience or present environment is holding you back, I recommend the following two step solution:

1. Invest In Your Personal Development

You can acquire the necessary skills to help lower your failure rate.   Investing in your education will allow you to adopt a growth mindset recognizing that you can improve on any skill with the right focus.  Studies show that a one dollar investment in your personal development, can add as much as thirty dollars to your bottom line profit.

Listening to audio books, attending conferences, and taking classes, are examples of ways to invest in your development and increase your skill-set.

The training will give you the right perspective on your past experience.

2. Join A 20 Group

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said it best when he said the following:”You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with."   Joining a 20 group of other like-minded shop owners, who have the courage to make the leap, will inspire you to do the same. 

This concept was introduced to us by Author Napoleon Hill. While doing research for his book "Think and Grow Rich", he discovered that the most successful people of his day, met regularly with each other to share ideas and best practices.

Whatever it is that you are trying to overcome, you can bet that someone in your group has been there, done that, and has the tee shirt to prove it! 

By upgrading your present environment, you will take the lid off of your potential!  

If you commit to investing in your personal development, and joining a 20 group, you can leap to freedom. 

Like the flea, you have been endowed with the ability.  Will you make the leap?