What an opportunity.
School closures. Cruise ships anchored. Flights canceled. All residuals from the recent COVID-19 protocols. But there are many other things that individuals can do while waiting for the virus to run its course, become a history note. And, most likely, those activities involve a vehicle of some type.
The aftermarket auto repair industry is going to experience a resurgence — not seen since the 9/11 terrorist attacks — in the days ahead. And, with good reason.
Vehicle odometers will begin to "tick-upwards" on those extra trips to the home improvement store or outdoor pursuits that don't require too much interaction (eg., fishing, camping, boating, biking, the beach, mountain cabin retreat, hiking, etc.).
It doesn't matter what the activity; at the base of the project, there is an automobile.
Not in the mood to travel?
Well, there are those home repairs that have been put on the back burner for a rainy day; odometer ticking to and from the home improvement store.
And, let's not forget those household items that were teetering on the brink of mechanical failure. More activity in the home equates to more stress on said object; it fails.
You call the repair company to come out for the fix. How are they going to get to you? A van or pickup will pull in your driveway — loaded with the tools needed for the repair — transporting the tech to your home.
What about those Class-8 trucks that transport the goods to be placed back on store shelves?
Great news for the heavy-duty arm of the industry -- their employees will be driving their cars and trucks to their home stores … added miles.
Your customers are going to need you more than ever.
That means it's time to get in gear and make sure certain items are addressed before the flux of cars and trucks start to come your way.
- Clean up that lobby;
- Get rid of those old magazines;
- Sweep and wash the floor;
- Maybe a $35 gallon coat of paint – clean it up; make it more inviting;
- Swap out those fluorescent bulbs/ballasts that don't work;
- Get rid of those chairs with missing arms, torn fabric;
- Clean up that shop;
- Get rid of empty boxes;
- Sweep the corners;
- Pick up that oil dry and dispose per federal, state and local laws;
- Organize your stock; don't have it lying round here and there; and
- Move those seat covers, floor mats and steering wheel covers — display the stock to customers; make sure customers see the display; show them you care about their vehicle.
These recommendations are a base to start. There are other items that could use attention.
What are they? Take a look around the property. Is this a place you would want to bring your vehicle for repair, a place that says, "We are professional status."
You're probably already seen a downturn of business. But not to worry, this is the perfect moment to have your techs review new instructions of various automotive operations.
And, I'm not talking "YouTube University." Have them tune in on qualified sites, such as: Delphi, Diag.net, Standard…to name a few.
Nothing like a little training to help make the shop run stronger and keep up with the ever-changing transportation advancements.
And, don't forget to continue the training venues. Just because profits improve, that doesn't mean you have to stop learning. Don't want to go into reverse and have the industry leave the shop in the dust.
You've got this.