February '17

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54 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 up in your pocket. It is the unexpected expenses that kill the bottom line. We have our prices set on the products and services we offer to make money, but when something happens that we didn't intend, we go from making money to breaking even—or worse. Some of the key areas that can quickly affect the bottom line are unexpected pay- roll expenses like overtime or benefits. Also, warranties can quickly take time away from production as well as cost money in either supplies, damaged parts or product. Inventory is a necessity, but how much you carry can quickly affect the bottom line. Manufacturers and vendors sometimes make enticing deals to get you to buy extra inventory, but if it just sits on your shelf then it is tying-up cash flow, and when that starts to hurt you try to liquidate that inventory for less money—and that hurts the bottom line. So buy strategically. Think about how long it will take to move the inventory versus how much you are saving. This principle also applies to shop and office supplies. For everyday purchases, do you have a system in place to know to order product? Things such as which vendor and which model are important, but just knowing how fast you need the product is just as important. For example, paying for expedited ship- ping when it isn't necessary is a quick way to kill the bottom line. All of these variable costs have to be monitored, but it is a good idea to look at these costs on a monthly basis to see what other variable costs are costing you money. By looking monthly you can see what changes need to be made instead of allowing them to linger for months, killing your bottom line. TIP #10 GET INVOLVED Areas to consider: Networking SEMA The reason why support groups work when needed are because everyone is going through the same thing and can relate to one another. We all take comfort inter- acting with someone with similar problems or situations in life. It is obviously therapeutic to our psyche in some way. So why not do this in busi- ness? Business owners share a lot of the same problems and when they have the oppor- tunity to discuss and share ideas, it can be very productive. But these opportunities don't just fall in your lap; usually it takes some effort to network. An easy way to start is being active at the trade shows in our industry. At these events, you'll find fellow business owners to either formally or informally network with. Look for events held by manufacturers that give you a chance to network. Also, SEMA has set up 11 councils and networks to allow SEMA members to get actively involved. Which of these fit your business? Are you a member of that council and network as well as a SEMA member? Being involved will allow you an active say in the direction our industry is going, but it also allows you to tap into years of experience and knowledge to help you with your business. These are basic points to keep in mind when running your shop. Remember the principle of trying to do good in all of them versus mastering just one of them, because "a jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one." JOSH POULSON is the principal of Auto Additions in Columbus, Ohio, which was named Restyler of the Year, 2012- 2013. Auto Additions offers a complete line of product upgrades, including 12-volt and appearance packages with a specific focus on the dealership segment. Josh currently serves on the SEMA PRO council and was named 2015-2016 Person of the Year at the 2015 SEMA Show. Compa- nies that are always market- ing and branding themselves are always grow- ing. 5 Tips for Restylers more

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