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Auto Repair Shop Owners: Just the Way You Are?


Just the Way You Are?

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

One of the reasons why we're in the position of needing help is that we fall into a trap that we create for ourselves. I don't want you to hear this just the way you are. What do I mean by that? When you hire someone and don't set goals and expectations with them, that’s a big problem.  You hire them to do things at a certain level, but you're getting way below that level and that gets you in trouble. This is called the illusion of transparency. It's a psychological term where you unconsciously expect everyone to know what you want and need. But it never works that way. It doesn't work in your relationships at home, and it doesn't work in your relationships at work.

You must be crystal clear about your expectations.

You must be crystal clear about your expectations. Let them know what your goals are and what the minimum levels are to keep their job.  When I set goals for my shop, they almost put me out of business. And that’s because all I ever heard was, “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. But when I put minimums in place, holy crap, my business grew by 30%. So you must give people a ruler so they know where they stand. It's one of the kindest things you can do for someone. How many of your team members are going home every day not knowing whether they won or lost, not knowing whether they did or didn’t make a contribution? That is so important.

I understand you might be afraid that they’ll leave. You might be afraid that if you push them, they will go somewhere else. But listen, it's your job to make your shop the go-to shop based on compensation, benefits, conditions, and reputation. I've said this before and I’ll say it again. You must create an environment that they can’t get anywhere else. If they leave your shop, it will hurt them. Make it so that they lose something they can't get anywhere else.

You must have goals and expectations for them.

If you don't share those in a crystal clear format, you are in trouble. This is where frustration starts. It starts because you think you're paying for one thing, but you're getting something way less. And you don't deal with it because you are afraid you’ll lose them. But I want to tell you something.

People genuinely want to do a good job for you. They do. The problem is they don't know what a good job looks like and they end up floundering. And as long as you're giving them a paycheck, they feel like they must be doing okay. But if you were to sit down in the beginning and say, “Listen, this is what the job looks like, and here are the responsibilities. Here are the outcomes that I want and need from you.” Now when you get buy-in from them, it makes a huge difference.

Don't hire people for what they can do today.

And then the last thing I just want to kind of touch on here with this. Don't hire people for what they can do today. That's what gets people stuck. You think you bring someone in, they are exactly what you need for today. But a year from now, guess what?  They’re not. Two years from now, They’re not. I need you to hear this part of it. Don't hire people for what they can do today.

I was talking to a shop owner recently and he has a B Tech in the shop. I asked, “How long has he been there? The shop owner replied, “Six years.” You can't hire people for what they're doing today. You may hire techs who don't believe in training. They know it all. They don't have to do anything. That is one of the biggest lies. The “I already know everything” line is a crock with this industry. Especially the way we're growing and expanding in technology. Your team must be constantly growing. If they're not constantly growing, then they're dying and they're not part of the team.

They must develop and become better and better

The first thing to do is not hire people for what they can do today, but get them to understand that they must constantly grow. They must develop and become better and better. Don’t wait for them to get better. It doesn't work that way. You are the catalyst to helping them get better. How do you do that? With your goals and expectations. When you share your goals and expectations, you are setting a bar that's higher than what they're currently doing. And that's exactly what you want.  

You need to create that friction. It's kind of like when you fill a glass carefully to overfill it. And this tension goes across the water where it's bubbled up over the glass rim, but it doesn’t spill over yet. That is what we need to create as business owners in our businesses.  We need to push our people to become better, to give more.

“Holy crap, my life was better because of Rick.”

When someone leaves me to go somewhere else, which happens, I want them to look back and go, “Holy crap, my life was better because of Rick.” I what them to say it’s because of you. That's what this is all about.

Number one, have clear goals and expectations. You must know what it is you want. You must know how they help you get there, and then you have to share that with them.

Hire them for who you believe they will be tomorrow

The second thing is don't hire them for who they are today. You're hiring them for who you believe they will be tomorrow. Constant and never-ending improvement. That's super important.

Here's the secret sauce to all of it. It's called accountability, it's feedback and accountability. You must give them a ruler and feedback on how they measure up to that ruler. Get them moving forward. You only do that with feedback and holding them accountable.

Share this video

If this resonates with you, please share it. We need to get the word out. There are too many shop owners struggling today. Not only just make ends meet, but to take care of themselves and their families. Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing a shop owner tell somebody else not to get into this industry. This industry is amazing. There are so many opportunities. So please share this video.

Also, I would love for you or someone you know to be there to attend our next Shop Owner's Round Table, absolutely free. Typically, we have about anywhere from about 40 to 60 shop owners in there. It's really a lot of fun. One hour to just talk shop.

And then the last thing is if you to dive deeper into “Getting Help” listen to the full webinar on it with the Pocket Business Genius webinar series.

God bless. Stay safe, have some fun, and go make some money.

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