Time could be your biggest ally at the onset of the new year as you think about ways to increase your shop’s profitability and productivity. But how many times have you said, “If I only had more time?”
While you have good intentions of making the best use of your time during the course of your busy day, there are inevitable distractions that prevent you from doing just that.
Vic Tarasik, owner of Vic’s Precision Automotive, The Woodlands, TX, realizes the importance and value of protecting his precious time and offers this advice* to avert some typical time stealers:
Lack Of Planning
This is when you show up at the shop and the day takes on a life of its own. Start off each day with a list of items you want to accomplish and consider that your road map for the day. Like any journey, you may have detours, but by the end of your day you’re closer to your destination.
E-mail, Internet And Smart Phones
Wow, these can be the “black hole” of time stealers! Check the Internet, answer e-mails and return phone calls during down periods. Remember that keeping up with things on the Internet won’t change their outcome.
Have you ever found yourself working on a project and someone stops in with a “quick question”? Well, it never really is quick and it can take you 15 minutes to get back on track once you wrap things up with the person who just dropped in.
Have a method in place to communicate to your staff whether you’re available or not. At Vic’s, I have a sliding sign on my doorway that shows my availability. If the sign indicates that I’m on “Green Time,” I’m available for any need. Whereas, “Red Time” signifies that it’s not a good time unless there’s an emergency.
As a shop owner, your phone rings for different reasons. But just because it rings doesn’t mean you have to pick it up. If you’re busy, let it roll into voicemail and get to it when you have the time. And, if you want to be really focused, set your phone on “do not disturb” and you won’t be tempted to pick up the ringing phone.
Your customers’ expectations for quicker repairs and their demand for greater value will continue to accelerate, so you will have to work smarter and harder than ever. Having a little more “time on your side” will give you one more tool, as you work on more ways to deliver service excellence.
*To read Vic’s full story on our sister publication Shop Owner magazine’s website, click here.