Don’t let Franchises steal your business

When times are hard the temptation to take on work that is outside your capabilities and muddle-through can be overwhelming. The simple fact is that customers deserve better. Ability is close to the top of my list of must-haves for a garage. A simple analysis of job cards and invoices, together with shared anecdotes from technicians, quickly highlight shortfalls.

Marketing isn’t a dirty word

In CAT recently I listed the important elements for review in a modern garage and first on the list was volume. Volume is the key ingredient. However, as Joni Mitchell sang: “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone” and right now there must be several garages wishing that “a big yellow taxi” would come and take them away. Volume and marketing are synonymous yet their interests are opposed. When you have volume you don’t want the cost of marketing, yet when the volume dries up it’s too late to start marketing your business effectively.

Don’t under-pay your workers

According to pay monitoring site Payscale, motor mechanics can earn as little as £9474 per year, while a parts advisor earns, at the lowest point, just £15,510. Considering that these numbers are the mid point of the salaries reported, the pay might actually be much worse. The Low Pay Commission has reported in the past that motor trades and retail are problem areas for them.

Industry blog: The future is far from certain

The last few years have shown that predicting the future is far from easy. One certainty is that vehicles will continue to become more technologically advanced, particularly when it comes to fuel. Rising diesel prices could see lower capacity petrol engines using turbo or hybrid technology becoming more popular. Also, expect to see further progress in technology, such as regenerative braking, that utilises

How to beat the Monday blues

Do you ever get that Monday morning feeling? How about your staff? Many a business that I have visited on that day seems to have a lethargy that lasts until lunchtime and of course by that time 10% of the week is gone! So, a clear and focused Monday morning mind can make all of the difference to your business.

The Complete CAT Council

Codes and licensing is the subject of much debate in the aftermarket. Some argue the industry is mature enough to regulate itself, while others maintain that mandatory garage licensing is the only way forward. This month we ask the CAT Council for their view.

CAT Council: supplier (M-Z) responses

“Garage systems and online catalogues play vital roles in helping aftermarket businesses remain competitive. Garage systems enable workshops to increase their professionalism, productivity and profitability. They allow work to be scheduled efficiently, finances to be closely administered and enable customer relationships to be nurtured.