The perfect time for planning is the present
By DARRYL SIMMONS
And not a minute too soon, 2021 is in our rear-view mirror. From all accounts it was a challenging time, but most repairers weathered the storm and are ready for the year ahead. Interesting times ahead for sure. But we’ve been warned before about “living in interesting times.”
Aside from the regular discussions about insurer rates, OEM certifications, ADAS, and supply chain problems, this coming year promises a bit of a shock. A lot of shock. Just when you thought repairs would be easier and repeatable a whole new wave of electric cars is about to come into your shop. And there’s no time like the present to be prepared!
The start of every new year is always a good time to plan for training and education. There’s never a bad time for training, but the new year always brings it to the top of my mind.
Getting up to speed on electric cars is crucial, but it’s not the only thing. As an industry, we’re always preaching the importance of training for technicians and painters, but there’s no reason education should be limited to the back of the shop. Isn’t there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Now is the perfect time to get started.
Shop owners and managers seem to fall into two distinct groups: former or current technicians, and businesspeople. These are backgrounds with very different skill sets. The top leaders in our industry have at least a little bit of both.
If your background is technical, then take this opportunity to polish up your business skills. No doubt you’re already running your business and running it well. I bet there’s still at least one thing you would still like to learn. You might not be able to get an MBA at night school, although it’s possible, but there are plenty of courses available on how to manage and motivate employees, make the most of social media and other essential topics. These are certain to help you, even if they’re not directly collision related. You’ll likely meet other businesspeople in your community and build relationships. That alone is worth the time.
Education doesn’t have to be formal. Some of the best schooling available can come from your peers and suppliers. Most of them will be only too glad to share their knowledge with you. The best part? All you have to do is ask.
This year will surely be filled with many challenges and opportunities. Preparing a plan, carrying out that plan and being able to adjust to unforeseen changes are some things to think about as we start a new year.