In all aspects of life, business or otherwise, we’re always more successful when we continue to learn.
Take Tiger Woods, for example. Over the course of his decades-long career, he’s racked up 82 PGA tour victories and is hands-down one of the top golfers of all time. But he didn’t do it alone.
Even at the pinnacle of his success, Tiger relied on several high-profile swing coaches to help him succeed in one of the most challenging games on the planet. Many pro golfers rely on this type of coach to analyze and adjust their golf swing to be more accurate, consistent, and powerful on the course.
Auto shop owners can learn a thing or two from this level of investment. We, too, have experienced coaching companies to learn from. So, why don’t we leverage those opportunities?
As a coach and a shop owner myself, I understand the hesitation. How do you know if hiring a coach will be worth the money? Or, if you’ve been running a shop for years, do you really need someone to come in and tell you what you already know?
In a word, yes. Sure, Tiger Woods knows how to swing a golf club, but a coach has dramatically improved his game. And the right coach can do the same for your business.
I’ve been through training with a few of the great auto business coaches, and it’s taken my business to a whole new level. Here are the top 5 reasons why working with a coach, mentor, trainer, or consultant will help you do the same.
- Connect With New People — Our industry is full of forward-thinking individuals who’ve been there and done that already. They’ve had great success and experienced painful failures. So, why not learn from their experiences? Owners, managers, top-performing technicians, and service advisors want to share their knowledge with you and are often willing to lend an ear to help with your specific hurdles. And when you work with an automotive coach, they’ll be there to bridge the gap and connect you with helpful experts.
- Expose Yourself To Ideas — Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” and this sentiment definitely applies to your business. We find ourselves facing new problems on a monthly, weekly — sometimes daily basis. And as the shop owner, many of these issues come back to you and your leadership. Working with a coach can change your perspective, helping you to see the big picture and even approach the problem as a new opportunity.
- Keep From Becoming Your Own Worst Enemy — Let’s face it, many of us have a history of getting in our own way. (I know I do!) Over the years, I’ve made plenty of mistakes out of impulse, including firing my entire staff only to leave myself in a shop with 6 cars in 6 bays, a phone ringing, 3 customers in the waiting room, and a vacation planned for the next week. (Gulp.) At the time, I couldn’t call on a coach to help me through that situation. But fast forward a few months, and my coach was the voice of reason when I wanted to repeat the same stunt. Having that coach helped me make a plan rather than act on emotion — an invaluable resource for making decisions that are better for the team, the customers, and the business in the long run.
- Focus on The Big Picture — Tunnel vision can be deadly. Not to be dramatic, but there are countless accounts of pilots under stress that focused so intently on one tiny problem that they forgot the bigger picture (altitude, past training) and crashed the plane. The same can be true for business owners. We’re under so much stress running a shop that we sometimes forget about the importance of building a strong reputation, improving customer service, and investing in the health of our team. Instead, we spend too much time worrying about a single advisor’s ARO or neglect team burnout just to achieve a record week. Whatever it is, a coach can help you identify when you’re in a downward spiral and make the necessary changes to reverse course.
- Identify Success and Avoid Failure — This may seem like an easy thing to do, but it can actually be difficult when you’re caught up in the day-to-day business of your shop. When you work with a coach, part of their job is tracking and acknowledging things like hitting a record profit, dropping below your efficiency benchmarks, or making gains in your daily operations. Reflecting on these events is crucial to driving success and avoiding failures in the future. Dissecting these wins and losses and creating processes for a more successful future is the top benefit of working with a coach.
When you take a closer look at the successful shops in our industry, you’ll see they’ve prioritized continuous training, education, and coaching — even if they appear to already have the right pieces in place. Of course, as a coach myself, it’s convenient for me to suggest hiring a reputable business coach. But I’m a shop owner, too, and I can attest to the game-changing benefits of working with a coach and how it’s taken our shop’s success to a whole new level. Remember: Even when Tiger Woods was on top of the world (and at the top of his game), he relied on a coach to help him identify problems, avoid failures, plan for the future, and stay on top. So, why not do the same for your business?