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The Best Auto Repair Shop Owners Prepare for Valleys


The Best Auto Repair Shop Owners Prepare for Valleys!

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

Today’s topic is Valley.  The truth is that valleys happen. Most of us do everything we can to avoid the valley. We think that when we start building our business up, we think it's going to be a straight line to the top. But it never works out that way. It's peaks and it's valleys. You want to celebrate the peaks, but you should do something different with the valleys than what you've been doing.

There are dangers and blessings with valleys.

There are dangers and blessings with valleys. Let’s talk about the dangers first.

  1. the first danger with valleys is pretending that they're not going to be there. It's thinking that you can avoid a valley and not prepare for it. There’s a Pocket Business Genius webinar titled Weathering the Seasons: Strategic Planning for Variable Auto Repair Shop Workloads. Check it out.
  2. The second danger is staying in the valley too long. Valleys are given, but how long you stay there, is a choice. Choose not to stay there any longer than you have to.
  3. The third danger is just thinking that being in a valley is a problem and a bad time. I've been through some pretty bad times in my life. And in hindsight, those bad times were the most powerful in my life. The biggest impact and the biggest growth that I ever had was from those valleys. Don't make the mistake of thinking valleys are a problem.

Valleys are part of life.

Valleys are a part of life. They are there to help us.  If everything was high, we wouldn't get anywhere. We wouldn't learn anything. The reality is we don't learn from our success. Those are the dangers. (1) Not preparing for the valley. (2) Staying in the valley. (3) Thinking the valley is a bad thing.

 What causes valleys?

So, what causes the valleys? I thought of three areas.

  1. If you're not watching what's going on around you or in your business, you're going to hit a valley.
  2. When you're doing something new, there will always be a valley before you get better and that's okay.
  3. When you take a shortcut. That can create a valley. It can create a sales slump. That's a valley caused by taking a shortcut somewhere and you're not doing what you should’ve done.

Out of these three areas, if you recognize that a valley is going to be in that area, it doesn't mean avoiding it. It means to go through it. It means learning to understand what's happening.  Valleys are not meant to hold us down. Valleys are meant to refine us. Valleys are meant to help us grow.

Never make a decision in a valley.

If you are ever in a valley, the first rule is to never make a decision in a valley. Why? Because it's always going to be reactive. It's always going to be emotionally based and I promise you will regret every single decision you ever make in a valley. You will absolutely regret those decisions.

 Avoid contaminated focus.

The next rule is to avoid what I call contaminated focus.  What do I mean by that? You stare at the problem or the feelings that the problem is generating instead of staying focused on where you're going. Listen, if I'm going to Disney World and I hit some traffic or some construction. I'm not going to stand in the construction. I'm not going to sit there and worry about it and figure out how it's going to ruin my vacation. I just go around it or go through it thinking, “I do what I got to do.”

Recognize that a valley is simply your location, not your destination.

Why don't we do the same thing with our businesses or with our lives? Why don't we understand? This is where I'm going. This is who I am and that's bigger and better than any problem I can ever run into. The valley is there to learn from and be sure you don't hit it with contaminated focus. That's a big deal. Stay focused on where you're going. Recognize the valley is not your destination. It is simply your location.

Ask yourself, "Where's the lesson?" 

And instead of just putting your shoulder down and pushing through it, I'm going to ask you to do just one thing. Step back and ask yourself, “Where's the lesson?” The lessons may not be enjoyable, but you will be grateful for them. Some of the most painful times of my life were the divorces that I went through. I joke about them today, but the truth is they were very painful to go through. Painful for my kids and painful for my family but there was such growth out of them.

People don't quit all at once, they quit in stages. 

Remember to be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of what’s going on in your shop. People don't quit all at once. They quit in stages. If you see one of your team members becoming less engaged, more distant, and just doing their job, have a conversation with them. Talk to them. It's important to be aware and recognize that valleys are a part of life and to learn from them.

Please share this video to help others who are stuck. Also, join me in our next Shop Owner’s Round Table.  It’s the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM Eastern time. Check out my Pocket Business Genius webinar series you’ll find helpful webinars and webinar recordings there. It’ll be a game changer for a lot of shops. 

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

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