According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor, on an average weekday, a full-time employed person spends 9.1 hours working, 7.6 hours sleeping (compare that to a 15- to 19-year-old teenager who sleeps an average of 9.4 hours a day), 3.0 hours doing leisure and sports activities (half of this is spent watching TV), and 0.9 hours doing household activities. Does that sound like your day?
I don’t know how much sleep you’re getting, but our latest market research asked readers of this magazine and its sister publications, Underhood Service and Brake & Front End, how they spend their time on specific work activities. The below chart reveals their responses.
As we enter the tail end of 2006 and start to think about how business will be in 2007, you need to ask yourself if this is how you want to spend your days. There is no doubt that someone needs to do these things, but does it have to be you? How can you shift more of your energy into managing the business? The time to start planning these changes is now.
Do your technicians need some specific training so you don’t have to diagnose vehicle problems? Do you need to hire another tech so you’re not turning a wrench? Our research shows that in a typical week you work with six different parts suppliers that include various jobbers, retail stores and new car dealers. Is there a more efficient way to get the parts you need?
When we ask about your top concerns re-garding your business, the number one answer is shop profitability. The two paths to profitability are cost control and revenue growth. Control-ling expenses is always the easier task and it’s why too many of you are fixing cars, but it can only give you a limited return. Concentrating on growing revenue is where you need to put your energy.