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Profitability is the number one concern of shop owners across the country. And, as the cost of ­running a shop continues to escalate, it’s important to always keep your eyes open for ideas you can implement to improve sales, cut costs and make your shop more profitable.

Babcox Research asked a sample of shop owners for their ideas on this topic, and we’re sharing their responses below.
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1. Survey the competition and see if you can raise prices. Don’t just look at what is advertised in the newspaper; make some phone calls, too.

2. Take care of your customers and teach them about the need to keep their vehicles/engines maintained.

3. Conduct very thorough inspections. Teach employees (especially new hires) how to inspect components during a teardown.

4. Make the extra effort to communicate with customers so they understand the importance of doing the job right.

5. Watch what you spend and stop giving things away. Make sure every item used on a job is billed-out, including “extra” time.

6. Hire good people. Provide and require on-going training.

7. Get the right profit margin and don’t rely on a “suggested” list price.

8. Give the customer what they want because a returning customer will bring in more ­referral business.

9. Actively work your customer contact list/management database to drive traffic to your shop and bring back good customers.

10. Do the work right the first time and use quality parts. One comeback can destroy a good week.

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