CCC News & Insights

May 14, 2024

Running a Shop vs. Running a Business

By Heidi Harris, Director of Solutions Engineering

Let's face it, you probably didn't get into this business because you love paperwork (though a clean estimate is pretty satisfying). You're here because you have a passion for turning crumpled metal back into showroom shine. But the reality is, running a successful collision repair shop requires more than just expert craftsmanship. You have to know about running a business too.

You don’t need an MBA to run a successful shop, but you may still wonder:

  • How can I find new customers and stand out from the competition?
  • How can I get more profit out of my business without sacrificing quality?
  • Is there a better way to track employee hours and ensure accurate payroll?
  • Am I keeping up with the latest regulations for overtime, benefits, and taxes?
  • Am I protecting my customers’ data?
  • Do I really have to do all this data entry to see how my shop is doing financially?

These are all valid questions, and the good news is, you're not alone. In fact, these are some of the most common challenges facing shop owners today.

That's why we're excited to unveil a new section in our newsletter starting in June dedicated to helping you navigate the business side of your shop. Introducing Run My Business.

Run My Business is your practical guide to all the behind-the-scenes processes that keep your shop humming. We'll tackle topics like:

  • Finding New Customers: Today, consumers search online before ever stepping foot in your shop. A strong online presence, like a website and reviews, is no longer a luxury. It's table stakes. We'll show you how to leverage the power of the web to attract new customers and manage your online reputation.
73% of consumers rely on a company's website to judge its legitimacy 1
87% of customers used Google to decide on a business 2
A positive online review can influence up to 91% of consumers 3
  • Managing to Profitability: Not all expenses are created equal. While parts and labor costs are crucial, we’ll delve deeper into margins, indirect expenses, fees, and other areas you may want to improve. We'll help you identify where you can tighten your belt, manage effectively, and keep a watchful eye.
Shops with strong financial controls see an average profit margin 6% higher than those without 4
Businesses that track their expenses see a 23% increase in profitability 5
  • Running the Back-Office: Payroll, accounting, taxes – the list goes on. Manual processes are expensive, time-consuming, and prone to errors. We'll provide practical tips and resources to streamline your back-office operations and free you up to focus on what you do best: fixing cars.
Businesses that automate back-office tasks reduce processing time by 40% 6
The average cost to process a single paper check is $21, while electronic paychecks cost $2 7

Run My Business empowers you, the collision repair professional, to take control of your entire operation. We're here to bridge the gap between your passion for the trade and the knowledge you need to thrive as a business owner.

Stay tuned! In our next Run My Business article, we'll dive deeper into the crucial role of payroll providers and the three key features you should be looking for when choosing one.

1 Clutch 2023

2 Consumer Review Survey, 2022

3 BrightLocal, 2023 Local Consumer Review Survey

4 National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) study

5 Xero

6 American Productivity & Quality Center

7 APA's2023-2024 Benchmarking Report