By Andy Fiffick, Owner Rad Air Complete Car Care, Cleveland, OH and MACS Board Chairman
After a slow winter season, we had a busy summer and actually grew our business a bit. Hopefully you did too. Now it’s that time of year where we can catch our breath and get back to planning and really managing our businesses. In the hussle-bussle of the busy season, I find that little things fall through the cracks as we go into “reaction mode” and away from “management mode,” but this summer was a bit different. I actually dug in and worked at the shops, and I came away with a new appreciation for what our entire staff does every day. I know some of you must think that all I do is ride my Harley and play golf all day, but we’ve been in business for 38 years, and since growing to ten locations, all my time is spent on expansion, advertising, marketing, interviewing, hiring, training, parts negotiations, employee handbook revisions, shop operation manual revisions, health insurance changes, legal obligations, outside sales and the overall management of ten locations. All of this “stuff” takes up my entire day and most evenings too, and for the last several years I hadn’t been spending much time in the shops. I was actually starting to forget why we do what we do and how much I enjoy working there.
This year I reworked my schedule so I could spend more time in the shops.
Normally our managers try to fit in their last week of vacation near the end of summer, before their kids go back to school. Of course, this creates a service manager shortfall, and we normally let our second in command work the counters. Well this year I went back to where I belong, filling in as service manager for a week at a time. It gave me a new appreciation of our business, and I found I could actually get a lot of my “stuff” completed at any of our shops. Spending time in each shop every week or so has brought me back in touch with our business.
It was refreshing and fun to manage the counters and work along with the staff. Taking care of clients, making sure they were happy and their vehicles were repaired correctly was very rewarding. The days flew by because I was busy and happy doing what I love and doing exactly what it took to build our business in the first place.
I know there are coaches out there telling shop owners that they need to work “on” their business so they don’t have to work “in” their business. For sure, we need to grow to survive; however, I would argue that you are actually better off if you make yourself successful by working on your business while still working in your business. Bottom line: do what you love, work smart and the success will come in many forms. One definition of success is being happy and content doing what you do best. Never again will I never forget how rewarding it is to work in our business.
Looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans in January at the MACS Training Event and Trade show.
The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!
When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.
If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, http://bit.ly/10zvMYg for more information.
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The 34th annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Power Up will take place January 16-18 2014 at the Sheraton New Orleans.