Girls, Girls, Girls! Ideas For Running A Small Business
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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!
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
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.
Auto Body Repair
- Auto Body Repair Shop. What Do They Really Do.
An Auto body repair shop deals with auto body and repair of damaged automobiles. It mainly specializes in the repair of collision vehicles which have been dented or had its body scratched through the impact of such collisions. An auto body repair...
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.