When You’re a Master at Your Craft, Do You Really Need Help?
Groucho Marx once famously quipped that he would never join a club that would have him as a member. Self-esteem issues aside, since he was already part of one of the legendary families of comedy, he can be excused for not wanting help from outside organizations.
By Doug Kaufman
Unfortunately, a lot of engine rebuilders and remanufacturers seem to question the value of membership as well, and they’re needlessly working too hard.
Businesses are usually encouraged by profitability experts to band together with similar companies in their industry. Not to set prices or steal employees, mind you, but to share experiences, trade war stories and help each other realize they’re not out there in a vacuum.
But, due to the contracting of OUR industry, you might really be out there alone. A lot of your competitors have gone out of business and, while you’ve likely gained their share of the market, you’ve inherited their headaches as well.
Thanks to the Engine Repower Council (ERC) you’re not really alone.
The ERC is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating consumers about the economic and environmental benefits of remanufactured/rebuilt engines. You’ve seen the ERC logo on the cover of this magazine for many years and, if you’ve turned the pages inside, you’ve read about the hard work ERC and its partners do to support the engine rebuilding industry. And most likely, you’ve applauded those efforts.
But have you thought about the benefits of actually being part of the club?
The ERC’s primary mission is to educate consumers, yes, but the more professional businesses that join, the louder and clearer the message becomes. By increasing the number of ERC members and shop locations, it not only becomes easier to spread the word, it makes the message that much more legitimate.
ERC is hoping to get 200 new custom engine rebuilder (CER) members between now and the end of September. A newly reduced membership fee of $50 not only gets you snappy in-store signage and consumer benefit handouts, but you’ll be included in the ERC Shopfinder, an interactive online directory of places customers can buy a rebuilt or remanufactured engine (check it out yourself at www.enginerepower.org/shop_finder.shtml).
The Shopfinder is designed for customers to easily find listings of rebuilt engine retailers, engine installers and rebuilders by city, state and zip code.
This, says ERC’s Courtney Carbone, is a great value, because the Shop Finder currently receives well over 10,000 hits per month. In addition, ERC members will receive an enhanced directory listing, which includes hours of operation, services provided, shop pictures, website link, e-mail link, ERC logo and association affiliations.
PLUS, membership in ERC automatically makes you a member of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), so you’ll have access to many other resources that will help you grow your business in ways you might never have imagined.
Your unique business identity isn’t at risk when you sign up on the contrary, you can maintain and even enhance your shop’s personality.
For more information on membership, visit www.enginerepower.org.
Editor Doug Kaufman has covered various segments of the automotive aftermarket
for more than 20 years.