A new online video series has been launched with the aim of helping independent garage owners maximise their workshop’s efficiency, profitability and long-term success.
Tea Break Talk, featuring host Jim Lang from Garage Services Online – the current holders of CAT’s Industry Partner Award – the Youtube video series will cover topics such as how to attract the best staff and customers, investing in tools and equipment, and making more money.
Each of the six episodes, which will be released fortnightly, will feature a different guest.
Released today, Episode One sees Lang talk to Andy Savva, The Garage Inspector. Savva talks about the dangers of taking a busy garage for granted and not calculating hourly rates properly.
“In the UK, 99 percent of independent garages do not make a profit on their labour,” he said. “They’re busier than ever, more stressed than ever and still not making the returns they deserve.
“A garage’s main income must come from its labour, not the mark-up on parts. If we put 40 percent on a part, why not on the labour rate? A lot of garages’ hourly rates don’t even cover their overheads – they’re effectively losing money with every hour they charge out.
“It’s a myth that customers won’t come if the labour rate is increased. The key is working smarter, not harder. Garages must be able to say ‘no’ to non-profitable jobs.”
It’s a view echoed by Lang: “Garages need to promote themselves for the jobs that make the most money. The best way to find that work is via their website. It’s the most cost-efficient way to bring the most profitable jobs through the door.”
In future episodes, Lang and Savva are joined by Sean Satchwell from The Tool Connection. The conversation turns to topics including Block Exemption; investing in new tools and equipment; planning for the aging car parc; staff shortages and a very lively discussion about EVs.