Girls, Girls, Girls! Ideas For Running A Small Business

Typical Day At Work

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Girls

Girls: I used to work full time for a small business that primarily dealt with collision repair. The unique thing about this business is that it is run by women! It was started in 1985 by a man with a family. He had a wife and three children, and two of those children are girls. Both girls, along with their mother, are keeping the business running after the death of their father a couple of years ago. It is a very active business that gets the largest majority of auto body repair business in the county where I live. I am fortunate the be a part of this family run, family oriented, business.

In addition to the family members, there was one full time female employee (me) and five technicians. We worked hard and we managed to have fun while doing it. I am very good at paperwork, computer, and general office work which is what I do most of the time. I also help with the bookkeeping and filing, with an emphasis on customer service. In addition, I handle parts delivery and make sure the technicians have what they need to get the job done.

The younger sister checks in the damaged cars and oversees quality control, while the older sister cranks out the estimates, deals with the insurance companies, and keeps the rest of us working. It is a well run office and it has the respect of the community at large. The girls’ mother heads up the financial end of the business and makes sure that we all get paid.

Business Is Booming!

Boys

The Boys are the actual body repair technicians. In addition to the five technicians, there was another employee that detailed and waxed all repaired vehicles and an all around Mr. Fix-it. Each of the guys have their own unique skills. There were three guys that fixed the actual body damage and one guy that paints. He was and still is one of the best auto painters in the county. The painter also had a helper that washed, buffed, and sanded cars as needed, and lastly, there is the guy who cleaned up after everybody. He detailed the cars to a degree that I have not seen anywhere else. He was the first step in quality control and customer satisfaction and, thus, he was a very important part of the business. Everyone that worked for this company was focused on customer satisfaction because we understood that without that, there may be no job to go to, and thus, no paycheck.


Back In Business

Source

The Secret

The Secret that made this small business work so well is the personal attention that every customer received. You wouldn't think that this type of business would get very much repeat business, but you might be surprised. We also did very well with word of mouth advertising. In addition, we had very nice references from peripheral businesses. I was happy that I was able to find such a nice family to work with and I had planned on staying for a long time.

Although I no longer work for this company, I still respect the work ethic that was modeled by the owner. She worked as hard or harder than anyone else there, as did the two daughters.

Driving Privileges

It Is The Personal Touch

Personal attention to each customer is what made this small business thrive. From the first phone call, the customer was assured that "we will take care of it". Most people are already upset when they have had a car accident and then having to deal with the insurance company just made it worse. We took all of that out of their hands and had them into a rental car and on their way before they knew it. Within a few days, in most cases, their car was ready for pick up, often looking better than it had before the accident. This is how they were able to get repeat business and referrals. We treated each customer as if they were our cousin, albeit a second cousin.

Once we had repaired a car for someone, many people would tell their friends and co-workers about their experience and refer them. Word of mouth is a great advertising tool. It was, and still is, very important to make sure that the customers experience with us was positive or word of mouth can turn on a business. It cuts both ways. We did all we could to please the customer, including going to bat for them with the insurance companies. In addition, this company stood behind all of their work as long as the customer owned their car.

Finally, we were able to get many peripheral references. That is, other companies that we dealt with, such as, car dealerships, part suppliers, and material suppliers, would often refer their customers to us. On a daily basis, we dealt with tire stores, glass companies, and alignment shops, among others. It is extremely important to keep a good business relationship with all of these other businesses because it could mean the difference in having plenty of work or very little. Even the pizza shop where we used to get our lunch may send a customer or two our way. That is why everything that one says or does has the potential to either reflect well or reflect badly on the business. I have worked with many a company in my time and have never found any that treats their customers better than this one.

It does make sense. Without customers, there can be no business, small or otherwise.


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Comments 20 comments

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Janiek, Good hub. I like the idea of girls running the shop.


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Girl Power, you girls go ; )


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thanks, pamela and tattoguy! I sure do have a lot of fun working there!


carol wilson 6 years ago

Girls / women rule


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Right! So true!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

It sounds like a fun place to work!!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

It is. I am getting ready to go there now.


TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Great Hub! I am in total shock and awe. I read your Hub on Snow Boarding last week. Now you tell me you work in an auto body shop. What is going to be your next surprise?


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thank you! I am so glad that you liked it.


helloCas7 6 years ago

Great writing and I am flattered. You do a great job at our shop, you learn quickly and have a great attitude.

Thanks :)


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thank you, Dahlin! So glad to work with you!


jayjay40 profile image

jayjay40 6 years ago from Bristol England

interesting hub, sounds like you enjoy your work. Well done janiek13


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thanks, J.J., I really do enjoy it there. It can get very hectic, but that makes the day go faster. We also get along very well after hours which helps.


Debbie 6 years ago

WTG, this business really is the best in Brevard!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Why, yes it is. Are you familiar with them?


Alexr 6 years ago


Frank Crandell 6 years ago

Great hub. Women working in a male dominated field. Nothing better.


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 6 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Thanks for the comment, I agree, there is nothing better!


BizTipOfTheDay profile image

BizTipOfTheDay 3 years ago

Great insight on how your small business works. Thanks for the post!


janiek13 profile image

janiek13 3 years ago from Florida's Space Coast Author

Your welcome, thanks for reading

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