Are You In Trouble?

To move forward as an independent shop owner in today’s business environment, it’s time to get your attitude in order. Here’s how.

With all the daily pressures of running an automotive service or collision repair business, it’s amazing how the personalities of owners start to change over time. This metamorphosis is dangerous because it affects the type of client base a shop attracts and the quality of staff it engages. This, in turn, affects the shop’s bottom line.

Therefore, it’s imperative to recognize the negatives creating this diversion, correct weaknesses and instill management disciplines to maximize the operation’s potential.

Consider the following management personality characteristics that are common to shops in financial trouble.

Management Fights Change.

They’re always struggling to maintain the “status quo,” defending what is vs. looking ahead to what can be. They oppose new ideas and insist on using methods of the past.

Management Becomes Defensive.

They guard against “attacks” of any kind. They do not want to be questioned or challenged, and they never move forward to take a perceived risk.

Management Is Fixed.

They consistently take inflexible positions and refuse to move away from them. They won’t bend and act as if they’re incapable of any sort of compromise.

Management Has No Team Spirit.

They want to do it themselves, with no suggestions, no criticism and no help of any kind. They act as if a helper is a threat.

Management Has Personal Problems.

They drink to excess or have family problems. They develop a type of neurosis, devising a secret “problem” that they won’t talk about.

Management Is Lazy.

They act as if they’re confident that the shop will support them for the rest of their career.

Management Won’t Take a Risk.

They won’t enter into competition of any kind. They behave as if a new system, new service or new way of doing things presents hazards too great to bear.

Management Is Without Imagination.

They cannot, or will not, think creatively. They refuse to stretch their minds to consider other ways of doing things.

Management Is Disorganized.

They jump irrationally from one job to another. They’re fragmented, and they waste time. They begin a job in the middle, work on two jobs at the same time and always do unimportant work first.

Management Flies Into Rages.

They don’t exercise emotional control. They rant and rave, insult subordinates and intimidate their colleagues. They’re upset and unproductive.

Management Passes the Buck.

Whether it’s a minor mistake or a colossal catastrophe, they don’t accept responsibility for it.

Management Has a Poor Understanding of People.

They lack the ability to listen to the people with whom they work. They’re not sympathetic or kind, and they’re rarely helpful.

There’s one common denominator to all those points: attitude. Management’s attitude makes a shop either financially successful or a financial disaster.

A positive attitude is a discipline that must be learned and nurtured – every day. It’s the way one looks at the business all of the time; it’s the way one looks at life. It’s easy, when doing the attitude analysis of the shop, to see why some shops are hugely successful while so many others are not.

If the independent sector is going to move forward and each shop grow financially, it’s time to get our act together – or rather, get our attitudes together.