When you open your auto mechanic shop, you will realize just how hard it is to run a business. Some days you feel like all you do is extinguish fires causing you to ignore growing the business. Before you know it, months have passed, and you’re stuck in the weeds of just getting cars fixed.
When that happens, you begin to lose sight of important things like spotting trends in your P&L statements, and expenses start to creep in that you didn’t notice are adding up. You may also become blind to inefficiencies and inaccuracies in your business. When working in a vacuum, it can take months even years to identify and solve your shop’s problems.
Somedays, you may find yourself wishing you had some guide or a business coach to help you sort out all these issues and guide you forward. But one on one coaching and consulting is expensive and can be time-consuming. Luckily there is an alternative option, and it is called a “Peer 20 group”.
Initially conceived by Benjamin Franklin, the 20 groups consisted of like-minded tradespeople who gathered frequently and discussed ways to improve themselves and society.
Fast forward to today and modern auto repair, 20 groups meet a couple of times a year, and conduct a concentrated auto repair shop owners meeting where owners come together, bounce ideas off each other, and help each other grow. Over 2-3 days, members meet in a designated auto repair shop owner’s shop and take an in-depth look at improving auto repair shop processes.
In the auto repair industry, 20 groups can be a powerful way to make connections, network, and see what other auto repair shops are doing to thrive in a changing industry.
In the hands of a great auto repair shop coach or consultant, a 20 Group can be a powerful way to improve your shop’s performance and improve your business skills as an auto repair shop business owner. The benefits of working face to face with an auto repair shop consultant are immeasurable.
What are some of the benefits of joining an auto repair shop owner 20 groups?
Forces you to step back for a moment. Forcing yourself to step away from day to day at the shop gives you moments to gather perspective. This break also allows you to focus on improving the high-level performance of your company. 20 Group members can expect to be exposed to the latest breaking news from inside the industry, as well as business management techniques from other industries that can be applied to automotive repair.
Tightens up your numbers. Each 20 group has as its primary focus, operational data analysis. While it can seem daunting at first, there are benefits to having 19 of your peers review all of your business data, ask questions, and share constructive observations and suggestions. This review also allows you to tap into your peer group’s knowledge and experience on issues and obstacles you face every day.
Where to find 20 groups? Automotive Management Network has a comprehensive list of 14 20 group providers. Most providers cover multiple states, so you are sure to find a 20 group close to you. https://www.automotivemanagementnetwork.com/view/associations-9/
Is an Automotive shop owner 20 groups right for you? The best way to find out if a 20 group is right for you is merely trying it out. Reach out to the group you want to join and ask to attend the first group as a prospective member. That will give you a chance to see firsthand what that particular 20 Group is like. You can expect to be asked to share background information on your business, such as the name, location, years in business, sales history, and future plans. This will allow the group members to get a feel for you and your company.
What does it cost to join a 20 group? Membership fees will vary from group to group. In some cases, groups are segmented by sales volume or business types such as independent shop owners, dealership shops, or franchise network shops. Membership costs for 20 Groups can range from $150 to $600 per month plus travel expenses. Most 20 Groups meet three or four times per year and are usually made up of shops from across the country, with a minimum distance requirement between members.
What will Automotive 20 group members expect from me? To maximize the value you experience out of participating in 20 Groups, be prepared to submit accurate, timely numbers, actively participate in group discussions, be ready to learn, contribute and offer suggestions and observations, ask questions, take it seriously, and be committed to growth.
Will I have to travel for my Automotive 20 group meetings? One of the best parts of being in a 20 group is the ability to travel to other members’ shops periodically, but the time away is well worth it. You will learn directly from each member and see how things are done at their shops. The quickest and surest path to success is to interact with other like-minded professionals striving for better performance.
It may be daunting in the beginning stages of establishing and nurturing your auto repair shop, but you can’t do it all alone. Consider getting involved with an automotive 20 group early on and leap ahead of where you would be if you had to figure everything out all by yourself.