Small businesses continue to thrive. For automotive businesses, whether you’re selling cars, renting cars out, repairing them, building them, or painting them, you can successfully build if you have the right systems in place. Because equipment in this industry is highly specialized and can be expensive when starting, it’s critical to maximize every dollar that comes in. This option ensures you have the finances needed to replace worn-out gear, buy new things, and keep up the inventory you need to thrive. Here are the most important productivity tips to help your automotive business.
Auto Maintenance Schedule
Keep your fleet cars on a consistent maintenance schedule. It’s important to block dates for regular maintenance and to do maintenance as vehicles come back in. For car rental places, this is especially important because it ensures the car is in top shape in between customers. If you have a rotating schedule for this, you’ll always have cars ready to go. Additionally, do quick checks, like using a tire pressure gauge each time the vehicle comes back to you. This scheduling will help you stay productive and minimize unwelcome surprises.
Having an office filled with paper can become overwhelming as your business grows. Imagine rooms filled with paper files. Electronic filing is far more efficient and makes you more productive in your automotive business. Whether it’s filing P.O.’s from vendors, contract management, or customer paperwork when they buy a vehicle, a good electronic filing system will save you time and space when you need to find something quickly. It also makes it easier to track documentation and finalize deals.
In addition to electronic filing, you want systems that do things for you. Payment processing systems can automatically put the transaction into systems like QuickBooks for you. Order forms can automatically route to the correct department. And when supplies run low, you can create designs that trigger a programmed order. Automation improves productivity at every level and is a must for those in the automotive industry. It helps you stay fast and agile and gives you the time to connect with customers and your staff.
Sharing your company with the world can take some creativity. Part of operating an effective automotive business is being able to market effectively. Do you rent out high-end cars? Is your business able to repair older vehicles? Do you build vintage cars? Knowing what you do and who would buy that service is an important part of marketing. Creating a name for yourself and brand recognition is also important. People need to know who you are and what you do, and marketing helps you tell that story.
Once people know about you, there needs to be a sales mechanism that moves people through the process. Whether you allow online rentals or scheduling for repairs or customers need to come in, you should streamline your sales process as simply as possible. Customers don’t like to hover over for car sales, but they also need to know that someone is there and available to help. When it comes to repairing shops, the pricing should be as transparent as possible to allow customers to make informed decisions about their vehicles.
There are things that you can easily outsource to improve productivity considerably. While it would be nice to have someone in-house who could do everything for your business, it might be worth giving these roles to companies who specialize in it, especially if it’s not for tasks you do daily. Accounting, for instance, can be easily outsourced to a local company that can manage all your books and file taxes throughout the year. Photography is another task that you can outsource. In today’s world, quality photography is critical for marketing, social media, and business. Hiring a quality photographer can help more of your products sell because people can see them before they arrive at your store.
Streamlining your customer service is critical. Your customer service agents should be as empowered as possible to make good decisions for the business. You want to create raving fans, happy customers, and one of the ways you do this is through good customer service. When you have someone on-site who gets pulled in too many directions can make the customer experience feel bad. Don’t skimp on training. You want to develop a team where the management doesn’t need to be involved in small decisions, but the customer experience team can thrive. You could even have someone responsible for just phone calls but someone else to handle face-to-face interactions in your automotive business.
Managing supplies is critical. If you repair cars, you want to have the most used supplies on hand. If you sell cars, you want to know what you have and need to buy vehicles that will work for your customer base. Having an inventory management system is critical for your productivity in the automotive business. With such a fast pace, you’d be amazed at how quickly these supplies get used and how quickly you’ll need them. Managing inventory can be as simple as daily checks, combined with what’s in the computer to ensure what’s on the shelves match what’s in the system.
What’s often overlooked in building a business is managing the people who work for you. You can easily streamline managing people. Good training goes a long way. When people are confident in their role, they will need less oversight than poorly trained staff. Creating a scheduling system that accounts for everyone’s availability helps offer a set schedule. It helps to use an automated system when it comes to paychecks, so you don’t have to tally everyone’s hours and deductions by hand each pay period. There are many ways to improve productivity with your people. Training them and giving them the tools they need will make managerial oversight that much easier. They can focus on their jobs, and management can focus on theirs.