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How to Grow Your Auto Repair Business in 6 Steps

Whether you've been in the auto repair industry for decades or you've just recently opened your own auto shop, you should understand how to deal with growing pains. Any business can run into difficulties when scaling, but you shouldn't let that stop you from taking your shop to the next level.

One of the most effective ways to expand an auto repair business is to work from a rock-solid growth strategy. Here, you'll find six tips from the pros at AutoVitals on how to grow auto repair business.

1. Keep an Eye on Today's Auto Industry Trends

As a business owner in the auto repair field, you already know just how traditional this field can be. But while sticking to "old-school" services may be tempting, it's hard to deny that modernizing your business can make it more attractive to newcomers while keeping your existing customers satisfied.

As part of this, it's wise to take some time to read up on trends in the auto repair industry. Specifically, you'll want to know about:

  • The increasing prominence of older vehicles. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic/production issues, people are waiting an average of 12.1 years to replace their cars. Because of that, your shop needs access to the mechanics and resources it needs to keep these cars up and running.
  • The importance of financing for repairs. According to a recent Synchrony study, 64% of consumers felt financing options made it easier for them to stomach larger services and parts purchases. With that in mind, you'll want to consider adding financing options if your shop doesn't already offer them.
  • How much people value a shop's in-person experience. The same Synchrony study found that 79% of shoppers still make car-related purchases in physical stores. And there's good news for independent auto shop owners — 62% of these customers chose to visit locally-owned businesses for these needs.
  • Why you need to take your online presence seriously. Did you know that 58% of consumers now check a company's website before deciding to buy from them? That means you need a web presence that stands out from the crowd — it's smart to research tools and strategies that can help in this regard.

2. Seek New Opportunities

Keeping up to date on the state of the broader auto industry is crucial when you're thinking about expanding your business. At the same time, you should know about smaller-scale auto shop issues — namely, the problems affecting your own shop that you can take steps to deal with directly.

While taking steps to enhance your everyday business operations, it's advisable to:

  • Keep track of your shop's data. If you're making changes to how your auto shop works, you need some way of knowing whether or not these changes to your garage are having the intended effect. The best way to do this is by having some way to track best practice metrics and other data points for your store.
  • Pay attention to your team's successes — and struggles. Every auto shop has things it already does well and things it could improve on. The first step towards fixing your team's problems is simple: just talk to your employees about what they're having trouble with.
  • Take your store layout seriously. If your auto shop has a smartly-designed floor plan, your customers (and mechanics) will thank you. Focus on making your garage as spacious, welcoming, and technologically advanced as possible.

3. Update Your Marketing Strategies

No matter how much time you take to improve your auto shop, these changes won't matter if no one stops by to experience them. For that, you'll need to take your marketing to the next level. Don't overlook the importance of key marketing strategies like these:

User-Friendly Web Design

Even if you already have a website for your store, there's a good chance that it could use an update. If you haven't renewed your auto shop's web presence recently, aim to build a site that boasts a mobile-friendly design, online appointment scheduling, SEO content, and an intuitive user interface.

Digital Advertising

"Legacy" advertising platforms like TV and print have been used for decades, but they're no longer the most effective marketing options. Instead, it's best to run digital advertisements and create a social media strategy that fits your brand.

Online Reviews

These days, potential customers want to hear about the quality and trustworthiness of a given business from other people. Be sure you can automatically solicit reviews of your services whenever someone has an appointment at your shop.

Finding providers for the services listed above may sound like a time-consuming, expensive process — but it doesn't have to be. Instead, choose AutoVitals' Web.X solution for all your digital marketing needs.

4. Invest in Technician Training

No matter how qualified your auto shop's technicians are, you can't afford to rest on your laurels. Instead, spend the time and money needed to keep your technicians (and other employees) up-to-date on advances in the auto repair industry, skill development, and customer service. That may be an added expense, but it'll more than pay off in the long run.

Training can have some serious benefits beyond the obvious, too. For example, leadership training can help reduce turnover at your shop — allowing you to save cash and hours that you would have spent training new employees.

5. Don't Pass Up Opportunities for Revenue

Vehicle inspections aren't uncommon at auto shops, but it's essential to ensure you're doing this job the right way. "Standard" vehicle inspections leave you at risk of not selling up to 66% of technician findings to customers, cutting you off from a possible revenue source.

Instead of providing a basic inspection with little information, be sure every inspection your team performs is a full inspection. To keep these inspections as efficient as possible, count on guided tools like AutoVitals' DVI software.

6. Be Sure You Have the Right Tools

No matter what it feels like sometimes, the auto repair industry isn't immune to change. Today, more and more auto shops are using automation to increase the efficiency of their work and the quality of their services. As you plan to expand your business, you'll need to keep your competitors' automation efforts in mind and respond with technologically-advanced solutions of your own.

AutoVitals is the leading name in digital solutions for independent auto repair shops. With digital vehicle inspections, workflow automation, and digital marketing all available through AutoVitals, you'll benefit from technological advances while still focusing on running your business. 

Schedule a demo today for a closer look at how services from AutoVitals can help you determine how to grow auto repair business!

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