PRO Education: 10 Steps to Operating a Successful Restyling Shop

SEMA Member News—March 2017

By Katie Carson

PRO Education: 10 Steps to Operating a Successful Restyling Shop

 PRO Education
PRO sponsored four education sessions during the 2016 SEMA Show.

Josh Poulson of Auto Additions, Manny Moncada of Autohaus and Jared Cohen of Auto Action presented to restyling professionals at the SEMA Show on the topic of “10 Steps to Operating a Successful Restyling Shop.” In case you missed this valuable education session, here are 10 things you can start to implement today to improve your business.

1. Know Your Business (Retail vs. Wholesale): Truly understand your customer and focus on what you do best.

2. Company’s Image/Reputation: Promote your brand and image in a way that you want to be seen. Use promotional items to build your brand, and make sure that your employees are wearing and using your logo. Communicate the importance of the company’s image to your sales reps, as they are often the main touch point to customers. Be aware of online reviews and the perception of your company, as many consumers consult popular review sites before purchasing.

3. Professionalism: A professional appearance is an important customer-service component of your business. Always dress professionally when selling to dealers. Strive to raise the industry standard. Invest in training staff to always maintain a professional appearance and attitude.

4. Work Environment: A respectful environment is as important to customers as it is for staff. Staff should be respectful of one another and should always be respectful to customers. Keeping your shop clean has many health and legal benefits but also provides an inviting environment for customers. Remember: Simple can sometimes be better.

5. Employees: Employee management is a lot more than just creating a schedule and making sure tasks are being completed. Keeping your employees happy will prevent frequent turnover. Look to promote within; it gives your staff goals. Cross training is important for days where you may be short staffed. Don’t wait until you need to hire; always be on the lookout for new employees to grow or better your team.

6. Customer Service: Customer satisfaction is everything. You want customers walking away from doing business with you with a positive feeling and a great review for their friends and families. While you won’t be able to make every customer happy, work with them and try to turn the negatives into positives. When you are a third party (working for dealerships), you especially don’t want to do anything that can negatively affect customer satisfaction.

7. Sales: Train your sales reps to be consistent in their approach. Offer your customers diversity by carrying a variety of products. Providing customers with package offerings by outfitting showroom cars gives sales reps a great story to tell.

8. Marketing: Giveaways and promotions work if you have a plan. Set a goal, and use effective giveaways to get your brand into your customers’ hands—paired with a promotion to draw them into your store. Be sure to keep in mind what is expensive vs. practical. You want to come out on top when implementing a promotion.

9. Watch the Bottom Line:

  • Overtime.
  • Warranty.
  • Inventory.
  • Purchasing.
  • Shipping.
  • Variable costs.

10. Get Involved in the Industry: Networking is powerful. Getting involved with industry organizations such as SEMA and PRO is a great way to meet other industry professionals to either exchange information or to make business connections. These organizations also act as a support system for your business.

For more restyling education content sponsored by the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO), be sure to check for published content and upcoming events.