How to Increase Sales in Automotive Repairs & Maintenance Business
Transforming your dream auto repair business into a reality is challenging, but ultimately extremely rewarding. Following the steps necessary to establish yourself and start turning a profit demands a lot of your time and energy, which makes the first few years the most intense as a new business owner.
However, even when you become profitable, you still need to be vigilant in ensuring the continued growth of your business. For any small business owner who wants to increase their revenue and counter slowing growth, here are some effective measures for increasing sales.
Identify the reason for slowing growth
It’s impossible to fix a car without knowing what’s wrong with it – the same is true when you want to counter slow growth for your business. Slow growth could be caused be one significant factor, or it could be the result of many smaller issues.
You need to reflect on the state of your business and see if any areas could potentially be improved or reinvented. Here are a few questions you can start with to help you identify the culprit behind your slowing growth.
- Is your service competitive? Are competitors offering a cheaper service of similar quality?
- How many other auto repair shops are you competing against in the local area?
- Are your customers entirely happy with your service? Is there any negative feedback you can act on?
- Are your employees happy? What’s your turnover rate?
- Are your tools or facilities outdated? Do you need to start upgrading?
- Is your budget being well-managed? Can you negotiate a better deal with your parts supplier?
Expand to other sales channels
One way to combat a slump in sales growth is to seek out an entirely new source of sales. For example, you could start promoting your business in an area you had previously ignored, or you could open up your services to repair vehicles you couldn’t before.
Rather than address any underlying issues behind low sales growth, you would instead be expanding your ability to get sales. With this in mind, it’s important that you still work to identify any other potential issues with your business.
Merging with another local auto repair shop could prove to be a lifesaver for both businesses. Instead of continuing to compete against one another, you could instead combine your assets and expand your customer base through a merger.
To do this, you would need to make an offer to a business with whom you are confident the merger would be mutually beneficial. This process requires time and careful negotiation but could ultimately be the best move depending on your circumstances.
A cross-promotion strategy wherein you generate trade mentions from other companies and thought leaders might be the key to unlocking new sales growth. The result of this strategy could be something as simple as a social media post referencing your company from an individual or group who is influential with your target market.
Increase industry knowledge
Increasing your knowledge of the automotive repair industry both in Australia and around the world could help you unlock insights that you can use to improve your business. Even if all your customers are happy with the job you’re doing, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for you to do some study into new tools, equipment, and processes that can help you deliver an even better service. An automotive repair business loan could help you finance the implementation of any new ways of doing business that you discover.
“Our competitor vs our company”
Directly comparing yourself to a competitor and hammering home your USP can be an effective means of driving up your sales. As part of your marketing strategy, you need to let potential customers know why you’re the superior choice.
Creating a page on your website titled (competitor) vs our company is a great way to get traffic from people searching for reviews about your competitor’s business. This page would capture the interest of people who are still weighing up their options.
Look at your pricing
An examination of your pricing is another step you can take in combatting slow sales growth. Perhaps your pricing is simply too high to be competitive, or perhaps the pricing model you are working with is difficult for customers to understand. Look at your budget to see if your pricing can be altered while still covering your base expenses.
Connect with your customers and enhance customer service
Building your credibility as a local auto repair shop requires you to form sincere customer relationships. Being accountable to your customers and showing them that their patronage is appreciated is key to generating word of mouth referrals and increasing your sales. Always make sure you prioritise customer service, as it is often the difference in whether or not someone recommends you over a competitor.
When you’re trying to combat slow sales growth, it’s always a good idea to audit your online marketing efforts. It never hurts to go over the fundamentals, so make sure that you have the following:
Google My Business
- Link to your website
- NAP: Business name, address, phone number and email
- Opening hours
- Description of your business – succinctly communicate your USP
- Service area
- Reviews from your past customers
- Photos of your facilities/staff
- Service offerings: Make sure that those visiting your website can get all the information they need about your services to inquire.
- Team page: Share photos and descriptions of your mechanics + other staff. Customers want to know that their vehicle will be in good hands.
- FAQ: Answer some of the most frequent questions customers ask you.
- Contact information: Ensure that it’s easy for website visitors to find out how to contact you.
- Links to your social media accounts: Give site visitors a way to connect with you on their preferred social media channels.
Social media accounts
Your social media accounts can be a key tool in driving sales for your auto repair shop. Make sure that you are engaging with your target audience by having frequent posts that interest them and keep your business fresh in their minds.
Depending on your target market, email marketing may be an effective means of renewing sales growth for your business. For example, if you are servicing commercial trucks you might reach out to businesses to let them know that they can rely on your services if one of their vehicles encounters an issue.
Referral programs are a way you can incentivise your customers to refer people they know to your business. By offering some type of reward, such as a discount on one of your services, you can get your customers to send new business your way.
For eligible businesses that need some extra funding, OnDeck offers flexible loans for amounts between $5k and $250k, and repayment terms ranging from 6 to 24 months. Our automotive repair business loans can be used to fund new equipment, expand facilities, or even just make up for a temporary shortfall in cash flow.
With an easy application process, you can apply in under 10 minutes and get a decision within 24 hours. Funds can arrive in your account within a single business day.
Apply online at www.ondeck.com.au or call 1800 676 652 today.
Automotive Repair & Maintenance Frequently Asked Questions
To get more customers in your auto repair shop, you need to build your credibility in the local area through marketing and customer relationships. You need to ensure that customers can trust you with their vehicle, having full confidence that they are being charged a competitive rate for the work you do.
The average profit margin for an auto repair shop can range between 50–65% for labour and 20–28% for parts. To improve profit margins, an auto repair shop needs to bring in more sales and find ways to decrease its costs.