What’s your two-year plan?

It’s December 22, 2023. You’re closing the shop or locking your toolbox for the long weekend or the holidays. What does the store look like? What does your toolbox look like? What are the new wall training certificates?

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If Christmas 2023 is far away, it is not impossible to visualize this future deadline. You can look at current trends and events to create a crystal ball that you can control.

For a store owner, it’s always good to have goals against which to measure their success. It is essential to set achievable goals over the next two years. Looking at the number of cars, the average bill and overall profitability are important for survival. My best guess is measuring and reducing the time between when the customer arrives in your parking lot and when they pay their bill is key.

Parts delays and difficult repairs will only increase. The workshops that survive will be the ones that can program the technician, part and bay so that the vehicle spends as little time as possible will be the true measure of success. But being able to reach a confirmed diagnosis within or within the allotted time will become more critical.

It is likely that hiring new technicians will also become more difficult over the next two years. Part of your two-year plan should be to train your current technicians and keep them longer. Training is an investment that builds capacity and loyalty.

If you ask some traders what will keep them awake at night for the next five years, they’ll tell you electric vehicles. But, the two-year window looks different. The majority of repairs in 2023 will still be done on internal combustion vehicles, no matter where you are.

As electric vehicles experience rapid growth and gain market share, the total number of electric vehicles registered is only three to four million in 2021. This is down to the bucket of 276 million. registered vehicles.

Even at projected growth rates, the EV population could number 6-9 million registered vehicles in 2023. If you live in California, EVs should be part of your two-year plan. But if you’re in St. Louis or Cheyenne, you might want to wait a bit before trying to grab the market.

Hybrid vehicles will offer more replacement opportunities as they age. New opportunities will include replacement of high voltage batteries, UPS diagnostics and HVAC service. But, they will also include mundane services like rotary electricity, strut replacement, and brake maintenance.

If you want a glimpse of what you’ll be working on in 2023, check out BST’s latest batch for 2019, 2020, and 2021 vehicles. One trend that will be more prevalent is programming and reflashing.

What are your customers like?

Customer 2023 is likely to be a lot like customer 2021. But it’s likely that they will keep their vehicles even longer and be more willing to invest in repairs. This is because the prices of new cars are likely to become even more expensive.

If you’ve been in the business for over a decade, you’ve realized that the auto repair industry is almost recession-proof. In my 30 years in the aftermarket, I have experienced four recessions and one pandemic. Even though the markets have collapsed and unemployment rates are skyrocketing, people still need car repairs.

What is the coin forecast?

You have probably realized that there is a problem with the parts. It’s not that the parts aren’t available, it’s just that they are in a warehouse across the country. In my opinion, it will only get worse. Many supply lines and inventories have been extended to the point where any disruption can leave workshops waiting indefinitely for parts.

But I think it’s an opportunity. Stores that can program the part and technician for the customer to have the least inconvenience will thrive.

Christmas 2023 is around 730 days or 104 weeks away. You can plan now, or just react and live from day to day. It’s your choice.

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