At the recent ABP Club’s Night of Knight’s Conference, we were lucky enough to catch an entertaining presentation by industry veteran and published author David Luehr.
David has worked in various body shop businesses over three decades and gained invaluable experience. He’s formulated those learnings into bite size chunks in his new book, “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops”.
Despite the subject matter referring to body shops from across the Atlantic, the tips and advice David gave definitely rung true for many of those in attendance at the Birmingham (UK) event. David Cresswell, Chairman of the ABP Club went as far to describe it as, “The most fantastic read, full of incredible insights.”
Below, we’ve provided a very brief summary of the recommendations that the author provided.
6 Secrets of Successful Body Shops
1 Busting Old Beliefs
If things aren’t how you want them to be, you must have the right mind set. Take full accountability for current predicament. Be positive and be prepared to challenge the existing norms. Don’t just accept old beliefs, pick them apart.
2 Overcoming Challenges
Businesses must continually reinvent themselves and seek to find the opportunities beyond their current obstacles. One challenge facing many body shops is the issue of succession within family ownership. Families must have a succession plan. By that, he means a training strategy to hand over to the next generation before the times comes.
3 Building a Sustainable Business Model
Make sure your systems are strong. Audit and coach your people up to the required standard. Help your technicians develop your business, and you’ll be a successful business owner.
4 Getting Customers to Your Door
A lot of advertising can be a waste of money. So before you spend your hard earned cash, you should consider focusing on improving your customer interactions. Happy, loyal customers are the best advertisers. David was also a big advocate of getting involved in the local community to help generate recommendations.
5 Modern Leadership
Think about how to attract, keep and train a modern workforce. Young employees don’t want to simply serve a company. They want to buy into a bigger vision. They want a reason to come into work over and above a pay package. They want to know they work for a company they can trust, one that is striving to move forward with integrity and strong values they can believe in. Modern leaders develop and communicate a positive vision of their company’s future along with the necessary steps required to make it a reality. This positive outlook helps motivate and inspire.
6 The Power of Peer Groups
There is not only safety in numbers but also power. Working with your peers in groups such as theABP Club can help you achieve success. David firmly believes that you get out of such organisations what you put in. He encourages business owners to surround themselves with people of a similar mind set. You should aim to build collective knowledge and influence. Though you mustn’t allow it to become a “pity party” where you sit around and discuss how bad things are.
If you found the above tips useful and would like to read more, Plan are very lucky to be in possession of a signed copy of David Luehr’s book “The Secrets of America’s Greatest Body Shops”.
We’ll be giving it away via an online competition in the near future, so make sure you follow us on Twitter @planinsurance to stand a chance of winning.
David also helps body shops succeed via his consultancy Elite Body Shop Solutions.