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Auto Repair Shop Owners: Five Foundational Building Blocks to a Strong Partnership


Five Foundation Building Blocks to a Strong Partnership!

by Rick White, President 180BIZ                                                                 (Estimated Read Time 4 minutes)

I work with a lot of clients who are a husband-and-wife team. One of the things I work hard at is getting them to work better as a couple. 


Previously, we talked about goals. We talked about how important it was to have goals that you both believe in. And what's amazing about that is when a husband and a wife, or a significant other, or a partnership have the same goal, it brings them closer.

There are some other foundational building blocks they need to work successfully together. Let's talk about what these other blocks are. 


So besides having goals, a mission that means something to you that you both are seeking, you must have Standards.  In an auto repair shop, there are four standards.

  1. Your standard for QUALITY. What kind of quality work do you provide to your client? And the key is consistency. If you don't do it consistently, then you don’t have a standard. Consistency is the secret sauce to McDonald's success. It isn't their great food. It isn't the great staff. It isn't even the amazing interiors like Starbucks. It is consistency. Make sure that your standard of quality is set.
  2. Your standard for customer or CLIENT EXPERIENCE. You must know your desired result. In other words, how do you want your client to feel as they walk out the door? What do you want them to think as they walk out the door? This is important to understand because if you're not setting it with intention, then it's happening by accident. And that's not something you want to happen.
  3. Your standard of PERFORMANCE. The standard of performance for everyone on your team, including the two of you, the two owners. You must have a standard for performance.
  4. You also must have a standard for how you will show up. Your standard for BEHAVIOR. How will treat each other? That's really big.

So once you have those standards built, and here's that keyword again, TOGETHER, now it's something that you make sure happens every single day, every single time. That's part of your job as Auto Repair Shop Owner. 


Next, you must identify your strengths. There are certain things that you are better at than I am. I might shine here and not so much there, and you shine there and not so much here. Make sure you are working within your strengths, not your weaknesses. There are three reasons.

  1. Working to improve your weaknesses is extremely difficult.
  2. Working to improve your weaknesses happens in very small increments.
  3. it's a waste of your precious time. You are so much better off building your strengths and hiring someone to fill your weaknesses gaps 


The next foundational building block is to know what your lanes are. If you don't have a clearly defined lane with the two of you, you will be constantly banging into each other and overstepping each other. You did it, she did it, they did it, I did it once. You did it a second time and I dealt with it. You dealt with it. This is a huge time waster. Figure out what your lanes are, what your responsibilities are, and what your goals are for that area. Then stay in those lanes. 


The last foundational building block is boundaries. And what do I mean by that? Decide who can make what decisions without consulting the other. And what do I need to bring? What do I need Brenda to be on so that we can make the decision together? That's really important. And it goes the same way for Brenda. What is okay for her to decide on her own without consulting me?  When do we need to sit down, talk about it, and come up with a decision together? 

Apply these foundational building blocks to your business.

Here’s another little secret. Every one of these things that I talked about, your goals, your standards, your strengths, your lanes, and your boundaries are great when working with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant others, or whoever it is.  But it also works really well with your team. 

You need the same foundational blocks with your team. When was the last time you went through this with them? What's your mission? What's your goal? What are the standards? When was the last time you reviewed them? When was the last time you went over them with your team? When was the last time you reviewed them to see if they needed to be adjusted? 

Review your building blocks twice a year.

For example, in the past, we needed to get a signature. Today, you can do that online or through text. There are different paths to take when getting authorization signatures. So, review your standards. That's important. Then review your strengths, your partner’s strengths, and your team’s strengths. Then review the lanes and boundaries. These are all super important. 

Have fun, stay safe, and go make some money.

Take care. Thank you so much.


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