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How is Your New Year Going?

BodyShop Business Publisher Sean Donohue offers advice for the New Year to help auto body shops have their best year ever.

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Sean Donohue is the publisher of BodyShop Business. He joined Babcox Media in 2008 as a regional sales manager and was later named Group Publisher of TechShop, Motorcycle & Powersports News and AutoSuccess.

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The New Year is upon us, and it has me reflecting on what advice I can offer you to help your business have the best year it ever has.

The New Year offers all of us a fresh start, both personally and professionally. If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy to hold off changing things until Jan. 1, but then again, if you’re never otherwise going to change, and Jan. 1 serves as a motivator, then so be it!

So here are some tips I’ve gleaned from years of observing business:

Be Different

Are you different? Do you stand out in your marketplace? Will people remember you after getting their vehicle repaired at your shop? I once heard of an oil change place where employees literally ran out to customers’ cars as soon as they pulled in. Think those customers will remember them? And tell their friends? And post comments on social media? You bet.

Measure

I know, I know, we’re all tired of the saying, “You can’t manage it if you don’t measure it.” But it’s true. Are you measuring all your key metrics? Are you reviewing them monthly or even weekly? If you’re not, you should be. We’re not just talking about KPIs here but your financials, too.

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Train

You don’t know what you don’t know. Today’s vehicles are not your grandfathers’ or even your fathers’. The only way to properly repair them and return them to a safe condition is to educate yourself on the construction materials and electronics they feature.

Step Back

We’re all so busy working in our businesses that we fail to work on them. So step back. Go to a trade show, a conference or a workshop. Get out of your shop to refresh yourself, learn something new and be able to look at your business with a fresh perspective.

There are so many other bits of advice I can give you, but let’s keep it simple with these four things. Even if you just set one goal this year, follow through on it and absolutely knock it out of the park, I feel like you can call the year a success. We here at BodyShop Business will be with you every step of the way.

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