Shop coaches help boost operations, profitability

Shop coaches help boost operations, profitability

LAS VEGAS — Maybe you do need a coach. Even LeBron James has one.

You’ve been running your tire and auto repair business for years, but it’s just not as profitable as you had hoped. It may be time to seek some outside advice.

“People think asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength. It means that you are comfortable enough with yourself to realize, ‘I don’t know everything,'” Rick White, president of 180 Biz, said during an AAPEX 2022 Shop Coach seminar with Bill Haas, president of Haas Performance Consulting.

Professional shop coaches have been around for years, offering advice and strategies for auto repair shops to improve their operations and bottom line.

Even the shop coaches have coaches.

“We have coaches that we work with to help us be better. There’s nothing wrong with having a coach,” Haas noted.

Many shop owners won’t seek help out of a sense of pride, that “I should be able to figure this out,” according to the two shop coaches.

Many shops were started by technicians and the transition to becoming a shop owner can be difficult as they deal with new responsibilities, such as pricing, profits and employee benefits.

“You have to transition into becoming a business owner instead of a technician that owns a shop. It’s a big step. Sometimes it’s a little scary, but it’s absolutely amazing what’s on the other side,” White said.

“We provide understanding of how different your life is going to be and how the role of your job changes,” Haas said, adding, “People in our industry have great technical backgrounds and very little business background.”

“The reality is you can only manage a business to the point you have been managed, too,” White added. “You need someone that’s up here that can show you how to get there. That’s what’s going to make a big difference.”

Seeking help can also improve your work/life balance. “So if you feel like your life is consumed with work, we can help with that, too,” Haas said.

“You can step back and spend 20 years trying to figure out how to do things in your shop. Or you can use other peoples’ experience,” White said. “And what it does is turn decades of struggle into days of learning and it makes a really big difference.”

He said one of his favorite sayings is: You can’t read the label when you’re in the jar.

“What you need is other people outside of the jar to tell you what you can’t see. And I think that is one of the big things that a coach brings, along with accountability,” White said.

“When you’re an employee, you’re accountable to your boss; when you become the owner, it’s really easy to start feeling lost because you’re not doing the things you should be doing and there is nobody there to hold you accountable. So a good coach will also help you get accountability.”