Who Do You Want To Work For? - Engine Builder Magazine

Who Do You Want To Work For?

Most of us that are shop owners get up, go to work, deal with customers and employees, answer the telephone, schedule jobs, order parts, and by the time we get that done in a day, it is past time to go home. But have you ever stopped to consider how a customer sees your shop? Why did he choose your shop over the one down the street?

If your customer walks through your shop and sees the machine attachments well organized he knows he will not be paying an employee, machinist wages to dig thru a drawer looking for a machine attachment. Time is money, to both him and you!
If your customer walks through your shop and sees the machine attachments well organized he knows he will not be paying an employee, machinist wages to dig thru a drawer looking for a machine attachment. Time is money, to both him and you!

Most of us that are shop owners get up, go to work, deal with customers and employees, answer the telephone, schedule jobs, order parts, and by the time we get that done in a day, it is past time to go home.

But have you ever stopped to consider how a customer sees your shop? Why did he choose your shop over the one down the street? What sets your shop apart from your competition? How do you see your shop compared to your competition, and does your perception of your shop match your customer’s perception of your shop? The old saying is true…it’s all about perception.

Your accountant will remind you that just keeping the shop busy does not always make you money. If you are competing for the same jobs as the shop down the street it often comes down to price and who will work the cheapest. It doesn’t matter that not everyone’s overhead costs are the same. You’re in a dog eat dog market and the opportunity to work for free will always be there!

What if your shop was perceived as the quality shop, the one that does the highest quality work, charges the most per hour but the only one qualified to complete the precision jobs?

I discovered early on in my career that it takes about the same amount of time and effort to work for a rich customer as a poor customer, but the rich customer is often less demanding, communicates better, and most important of all, pays his bills on time. That is the kind of customer I want to work for.

Most of my customers were not born wealthy, but learned early on that the cheapest is not always the best.

Being clean and organized will help to build customer confidence.
Being clean and organized will help to build customer confidence.

They all say… if you find a shop that does quality machine work, does it right the first time, can meet deadlines, and can figure out a solution to the occasional difficult problem, that shop is a bargain. That shop will make you money. Stay with them!

That is how a wealthy customer sees it, which is not how a bargain customer sees it. The wealthy customers also know from being in business for themselves what it costs to run a business and to hire and keep good employees. They expect you to know that too and they expect to deal with the same employees every time. They watch things like turnover of employees because they know that can affect the quality of their job in the shop. They will pay for good quality and good customer service.

You as a shop owner can make more money doing specialized work because there is less competition and a better profit margin.

It may take some effort on your part to find out what type of high end jobs are available in your area and what your shop needs to do to get qualified to do those kind of jobs, but it will be worth the time and effort to establish you and your shop above the competition.

The additional benefit of your upgrade…

It also means the Mickey Mouse jobs will gradually disappear. Those ones you spend way to much time on because the customer wasn’t prepared, didn’t deliver what he said he had, was late delivering his job, which screwed up your schedule and affected your good paying customers, and then at the end is slow paying because the work cost more than he thought.

Even the little things that you do will be noticed by the right kind of customer. No detail is too small to make a good first, second or eighteenth impression.
Even the little things that you do will be noticed by the right kind of customer. No detail is too small to make a good first, second or eighteenth impression.

You need to pass those jobs on to someone else. As your public perception changes, those bargain customers will determine that you are too expensive for them to even consider having you do work for them. They couldn’t be more right!

You May Also Like

The Impact of Diesel Fuel Injectors

Diesel fuel injectors are an essential component of any diesel engine and play a crucial role in performance and efficiency.

diesel injectors

Every time I speak with a diesel truck owner, race team, or engine builder about their diesel engine’s fuel setup, inevitably we get to the specifics of the injectors they are running. Diesel injectors have such a big impact on performance today due to their ability to deliver fuel more precisely and at increasingly higher pressures, which helps to better optimize the fuel-air mixture in the engine, giving diesels more efficient and effective combustion.

Holley’s Latest LS Engine Giveaway

Holley has partnered with high-performance engine builder Prestige Motorsports for its latest giveaway LS engine.

The Road to AAPEX Season 2, Ep 8

The innovation of the Lincoln Highway wasn’t just about building roads—it was about putting them on the map. The Wyoming Historical Society notes that the abandoned routes laid down by the Union Pacific railroad from 1867 to 1869 were often the best, and sometimes the only, east-west path available when developing the Lincoln Highway. In fact,

The Road to AAPEX Season 2, Ep 7

Rolling through Nebraska, Babcox Media’s Joe Keene meets kindred spirits as he drives the rare Lincoln Blackwood he refurbished for his journey to AAPEX. Along the way, he meets a family traveling the Lincoln Highway section by section, taking in sights such as the Great Platte River Road Archway Monument and the Classic Car Collection,

The Road to AAPEX Season 2, Ep 6

It’s the unexpected moments that make a trip memorable. Babcox Media’s Joe Keene, an ASE-certified technician who fixed a rare Lincoln Blackwood, enters Iowa on his drive to AAPEX and discovers the charm of small-town America along the Lincoln Highway. A standout spot is the Lincoln Highway Hotel. Related Articles – The Road to AAPEX

Other Posts

Diesel Fuel Pump Technology

Companies in the diesel fuel pump space are looking to keep pushing the envelope by focusing on increasing flow and pressure capabilities, durability, and functionality.

Exergy diesel fuel pump
Fuel Additives Address Diesel Deficiencies

Advancements in diesel fuel additives continue to play a pivotal role in improving the performance and efficiency of diesel engines.

diesel fuel additives
Shop Solutions May 2024

Those who submit Shop Solutions that are published are awarded a prepaid $100 Visa gift card. Submit your Shop Solution at [email protected].

Shop Solutions April 2024

Shop Solutions provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops.