What if you could spend an hour each month getting personalized advice from a leading shop expert?

Get advice tailored to your specific situation from a leading industry expert (yup that's me!) and a community of shop owners like you. 

For free.

Now you can.  

The second Thursday of every month at 7pm Eastern, I host a free online Shop Owner Round Table The next one is coming right up!

Reserve my spot!

Auto Repair Shop Owner's Daily Dose 19: What If vs. What Is


What If vs. What Is by Rick White, President 180BIZ

Rick also answers questions about SBA Loans at the end of the video.

 I am going to start off by saying Hello and I hope that you're doing well.  I hope that you're finding things are going okay. If you are settling for what is going on right now, please reach out to me because we have a motto here, “No Shop Left Behind.” So, if you're slowing down and you've slowed down a lot, that’s not okay.  I want you to reach out to me.  

I hope you really took to heart those three magic questions I spoke about in previous episodes. 'm asking you to ask yourself every morning:

  1. What am I grateful for?
  2. Who do I want to be today?
  3. Where can I make a difference? With whom can I make a difference?

It will put you on such a great path that you are going to be in a much better place emotionally.  Believe me, it's will help.

I’ll keep this short today so I can answer some questions at the end. I must be honest with you, I'm borrowing this message from Richard Flint. If you haven’t heard of him, he has some great books and products out there that I highly recommend.  What he talked about was the difference between WHAT IF and WHAT IS.

We have this psychological thing that happens inside when we start asking “WHAT IF” questions.  These types of questions are designed for survival. “WHAT IF” questions are designed to create doubt in yourself, in your plan, in your business, and your future. They are asked by that little voice inside your head. You know that little inner critic. It asks, “What if this” and “What if that.” And it doesn't just ask one question, it can go on forever. “What if business slows down? What if I don't get the car count? What if I have to lay people off? What if I have to close the doors? What if I can't open again? What if I lose my house? What if I am homeless?” and so on and so on.  It overwhelms us by exponentially making things worse.

How many of you have ever felt that way, where you start with one little thing that's going on and your mind just turns this into a nightmare? I'll give you a perfect example. Brenda's was traveling up to Massachusetts quite often before the virus.  She went every four to six weeks to see our grandkids. When I called her, she didn’t answer. Twenty minutes later I called her back and she still didn’t answer. It wasn’t a big deal, but I was starting to get concerned.  A while later, I called her again.  When she didn’t pick up for the third time, I was very nervous that either I did something wrong or she was hurt laying on the side of the road.

What happens is our mind has different facts. (1) Brenda is on a trip. (2) She is not answering or returning my call.  Those are the two facts. My mind has to create a story that bridges the facts. So, suddenly I've got her on the side of the road in a ditch somewhere bleeding out.  In my mind, that's the only reason she could possibly not be talking to me right now. And then later she calls me and says, “Oh, I'm sorry, my phone went dead. I didn't realize it.”  That doesn't happen often. I'm just using this as an example.  Our mind does this trick to us where it stacks “What if” questions to the point where it scares the crap out of us.

And I want to kind of go down a rabbit hole here for a minute. If you own a business and you are not communicating in total transparency to your team, they are going to do the same thing. They see you coming in upset. They see the work slow and they think you're going out of business. You must talk to them and let them know what’s going on. Make them feel at ease. Reassure them. Be calm and make them feel great.  When you give in to the “What if” questions, it will overwhelm you. You will wind up doing nothing and retreating. This is your imagination taking you hostage.

When your internal voice starts to do the “What if” dance, talk to that little voice and tell it “What is” instead. Start identifying the facts.

  1. This virus sucks
  2. We will get through this.
  3. I am healthy. My family is healthy.
  4. I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge.
  5. Etc.

Tell yourself to not listen to that little voice. If you get sucked in, I must be honest with you, it's going to be tough to pull yourself out. When that little voice starts, you must literally say, “No, this is what it is, and I got this.” It’s a secret from a great book called The Little Voice Mastery by Blair Singer. It was one of the things that really sticks with me most when my little voice starts up. I don't let it tell me what's going on. I don't let it create my reality. I tell it what's real. I tell it what's going on.

That little voice is there to protect you.  It's there to keep you from getting hurt, but everything you want, everything you need is on the other side of that little voice. So do not let it slow you down. Do not let it stop you. When you stop listening to that little voice and start talking to it, you will reassure yourself.  Every day you get up, you need to sell the most important person in the whole world. That's you. You need to sell yourself on what you believe is true. You need to sell yourself on what you believe the future looks like. You need to sell yourself on what you believe the steps you're going to need to take in order to get there.  If you don't sell yourself every single morning, then your ability to influence those that you could and should and need to be influencing will not happen.  So, this is the difference between “What if” and “What is.”

Tip for the Day. What I want you to do is find some customers in your database who are first responders. Make a post with their picture on Facebook from your business page giving them a shout-out and thanking them for what they do. Tag them in it. Then, challenge other people to do the same thing. Pick a first responder every day, such as a doctor, a nurse, or even someone that works in cleaning.  How about fire firefighters, EMS, or Police? Get everybody you can and give these people a shout out. They need your support. You can have food delivered to them, delivered to the entire police department. Let them know it's coming and then get a local business to take care of that lunch for those guys and gals. Don’t forget franchises like Domino's. Domino's is a local restaurant too. It's owned by a franchisee and is a small local business just like you just like me. We need to support as many people as we possibly can. We need to lock arms, figuratively speaking, stand strong.

Please share these videos. Why? Because we want to help people with this message. We want to help make a difference. I want to be sure that any shop that needs a lifeline, a preserver, that these videos are a preserver. Or even you can do some videos to help other businesses and be their preserver. So, please share these videos.  I want to keep as many people above water as we possibly can.

Now I’ll answer some questions about the PPP program and/or the CARES Act

  • We’re going to get slammed when this is over. That’s right. We are going to be slammed when this all breaks. We're going to go nuts. But I don't want you to shrink back right now. Now is not the time to shrink. Now is the time to expand and create a bigger audience. It's something as an industry that we have been terrible at. We need to create a bigger audience and get much clearer about our message.
  • I've already laid off some people. Will I still qualify for the grant? If you bring them back before June 30th, the answer is YES. Also, if you laid someone off, you don't have to bring them back. You just need to make sure that your workforce stays either the same or grows. So, you can do either one that works fine.

    Now is a great time to reset. There might be people in your business right now, that you and I both know, shouldn't be there. Now's a really good time to let them go and find somebody else. Depending upon where your location, there are a lot of people looking for work right now and you could be a blessing to someone.  So, get your help wanted ad out there. I'm finding that Facebook is one of the best places to put ads in right now.  If you think about, Techs and Advisors, who have been laid off, are sitting at home consuming content on Facebook right now. So, start looking now.
  • Should our business just hold off? We are still working and have a little reserve to survive. You shouldn't be thinking about surviving. I don't recommend going for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) because it will not be forgiven. What you're basically doing is you're borrowing oxygen because cash is oxygen to your business. You're borrowing oxygen from tomorrow to breathe today.  But you will suffocate tomorrow because of this loan. You must pay it back, and it will reduce cash flow. And that's a real problem for me. Now there are other steps you can take before that happens. You should investigate those first and then use EIDL as a last resort.

    Your goal shouldn't be to survive. If you can apply for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which opens today. It provides two and a half times payroll with benefits and you can use that for payroll. You can use it for rent. You can use it for interest on your mortgage. You can use it for any of your utilities as well as your benefits, health insurance, and stuff like that. And it is completely forgiven at the end of six months. Now here you go.

This is going to be a tip. I don't think you're going to hear this anywhere else. My recommendation is when you get this loan, have it in a separate account, and write checks out of that account for only qualifying expenses.  That way in six months when you're asked to certify that you used that money for qualifying expenses, you basically have your check register and you're done. You don't have to sit there and spend hours and hours and hours trying to sort through everything. The other thing you should do is have an “Other Expense” account set up in QuickBooks, not an “Expense” account, set up an “Other Expense” account called Coronavirus. And anything that you're spending extra on now, put it in that account so that you can track it in case you can write it off. And while I'm sure you're going to write it off, you need to track it in case there's a government program for it later.

And then the second thing is when you're looking at your numbers, you will have increased expenses. You will be able to pull that out as a unique situation. You will be able to look at your financials and compare them year over year without that situation involved.

  • Is the PPP going to be delayed? Not that I've heard of as of this morning, but I'm sure that could change.
  • Why are people scared of a cold? The issue with this is it's that it’s not much more than a cold. A cold has an infection rate of about 1 to 1.3, which means that for every two people, another person gets it. So, in a period of 10 instances, you end up with like a thousand people that have the flu. With the Coronavirus, the rate of infection is 2.3 to 2.6.  When you go out 10 times, it's exponentially higher. The other thing is instead of just being a common cold, the Coronavirus attacks the lungs and it's very, very easy to get pneumonia. And that's what they're dealing with. So it's not just a simple cold. This is not a hoax. This is real. There are people dying from it. I was talking to somebody whose accountant’s best friend died from this. This is a real thing and we must treat it as a real thing. So, I hope that makes sense.
  • If you don't bring certain people back, will we be disqualified for the PPP grant?  No, you just need to keep the workforce the same. That's all they're looking for. But be careful. If they qualified you for a certain amount of payroll and then you cut payroll by more than 25%, there will be parts of it that won’t qualify for forgiveness. The whole idea of this stimulus package is to keep people on payroll and pay them. Although, it can be somebody else. But make sure that you're keeping them and paying them.
  • Is the EILD loan the 10,000 loan? No, the EILD is typically for a tornado or something that comes through and you need to rebuild. Part of is they can give you a $10,000 advance. And that's forgiven. You don't have to pay that back. But the loan can, I believe, be up to $2 million.

Serve your community to the best of your ability. And let's keep going. Don't give up. Don't let your foot off the pedal. Listen, we must change the way we're doing things right now. Right now, you are only seeing two options. (1) To push ahead and feel a little sleazy. You know, pushing for sales. (2) Retreating.  What I'm suggesting is that these aren't our only two options. We have an option where we can pivot and then push and that's what we need to do. We need to pivot. We need to change our message. We need to change the way we're doing things a little bit so that we can be seen as a service provider that cares. And that's really what this is all about. And feeling good about doing it. This is not the time to be ashamed of being open and still in business.  This is not the time to be ashamed of helping and serving others. This is not the time to be ashamed of being able to revive a life or provide a living for the people that work with you. You should be proud of that and you should be there to protect them, your customers, your family, and serve at the same time. In my eyes, every one of you is indispensable. We love you and we want you to do well. We want you to stay safe.

For the SBA Loan, the PPP, you should go through a local bank to get it. Now with the EIDL loan, you go through the SBA. But for the PPP, you will work with your local bank.  You're going to need documents. You're going to need personal and company returns for the last year filed. If you've already filed for 2019, that’s fantastic, bring them. If you haven't filed for 2019 yet, you need your 2018 returns and they're going to need financials for your 2019 as well as payroll reports showing the outlay that you've had. They need to calculate the 2.5. Your average monthly payroll times the 2.5 to get 250%. Now it's unclear as to whether they want fiscal year 2019 or the last 12 months. As a business coach, I'm going to ask you to run both, and then whichever period you have a higher payroll in, go with that one. Until they change it. But as of right now, as of this morning, they did not have a classification on it.

If fiscal year 2019 gives you a higher payroll average monthly cost, go with that. If going from February 2019 to March 2020 gives you a higher payroll, go with that.

  • Do we declare the stimulus package next year on our taxes? No. Part of this, whether it's the $1,200 check that comes to us plus the $500 or the or the PPP, we do not have to show it as income even if it's forgiven.  It is 100% free money. If there's some part of the PPP program that is deemed either not qualified or you have some amount leftover, then that converts to a two-year loan at 0.5% interest. That's what the treasury is recommending. That’s what our bank has said they will do, but by law, they're allowed to go up to 4%.

If you have any questions about this, email me, [email protected]. I will get you some answers. Make sure I get your phone number and I'll call you back. God bless.


Want to learn more about transforming your business?

Join my mailing list to get advice you can use to improve your shop, the day it lands in your inbox.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.