July '16

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50 THE SHOP JULY 2016 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES A very good customer of mine who owns a car dealership once told me a fact when it comes to how many employees are needed to run a business. He simply said, "One less." What he meant was that two people can accomplish a "three-person job" and many times be more productive than actually having three people. I have tested this out many times and you will be surprised how many times he was right. On the other hand, this is not a universal truth. There are other times when three people get at least twice as much work done as two. So it depends on the project—what each task is and how well the work flow is organized. But you can save a lot of over- head if you're not paying someone to just watch. Good employees like to stay busy and be productive and you may be hindering that from happening with having an extra person on hand. I am not saying go fire someone right now, but if your employees have extra time on their hands, are there other areas or tasks they can help with to make them more productive and help your bottom line? Good employees will always find some- thing that needs to be done and will work on it when they come to a stopping point on another project. PLANNING ON THE UNPLANNED Variable expenses can come without warning and can be very costly. Here are some things to consider: • Do we regularly maintain our vehicles and/or equipment so that the long-term cost is lower than unexpected repairs? • What are our travel expenses, including fuel, and are there any discounts or rebate/reward programs that can be taken advantage of? • Is our advertising so variable that it is becoming hit-or-miss? Can we make better use of that money by making advertising a fixed expense so that we can monitor it more closely? • What kind of supplies are being utilized and purchased monthly, weekly, daily? Are they necessary and being purchased responsibly? I will never forget way back when I became the shop manager and we seemed to always be low on paper towels. I went to Sam's club and bought 10 cases of paper towels. The shop owner came to me and commended me for caring, but explained to me why we always seemed to be low. He told me about the "waste factor," which comes into play when there is seem- ingly plenty of something. Employees tend to make resources last when they feel there's not much left. As we have learned, expenses come in many forms and sometimes can eat up a lot of money quickly. Being aware and managing your expenses can be a challenge, but it is well worth the effort. Questions and ideas like these things may seem small at first, but just like your sales, Get rid of the clutter and enjoy a more efficient and streamlined place to work! Presenting and maintaining a good, clean inventory is valuable in many ways. Watching the Bottom Line

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