Over the last month, the markets wiped out the gains they'd made this year. From where I write this, European banks and governments are struggling to stay afloat (and Bank of America's financial and legal problems show things aren't much better here). Most people probably remember Lehmen Bros and what their collapse did to the market.
In other words, we're right back where we started in 2008. What are the chances that it goes differently this time around?
This isn't a big "I told you so" (though if you were listening 3 years ago, you could have bought gold at $800/ounce). This is your wakeup call.
Three years ago the government tried to keep people happy and confident in the market by propping up banks with the $800 billion TARP. This time around, the government is just shy of its shiny new debt ceiling, and is both unable and unwilling to solve a crushing debt crisis that just saw the country's debt reach 100% of the GDP — the value of everything produced anywhere in America.
We have a crisis on our hands, and by all accounts, it's going to be worse than when we dealt with this kind of crisis in 2008.
You have two options.
You can brace for impact: hope you've got the kind of customers who understand the value of preventive maintenance and excellent customer service and who don't see auto repair as a commodity where the cheapest option is the best option.
Or you can build up speed and pull out of this nose dive: spend money on quality marketing that attracts the kind of customers who will keep coming to your shop because they are trusting and loyal and know that you will save them money in the long run.
I won't waste your time reciting what Terry was saying this last December…click here to read Terry's blog called "Will Hyper-Inflation Kill Your Shop?" It's more applicable than ever, unless you think politicians will take a different path to solving the debt crisis than inflating their way out of it. (Here's the CEO of Pimco predicting exactly that, in case you're wondering.)
Instead, I'll just get down to brass tacks.
The biggest problem shops have is finding the space in their budget to do effective marketing. I get it…it's a catch 22: you don't have enough great customers in your pipeline to grow your sales enough to spend money on effective marketing to get more great customers.
But you're only stuck if you refuse to use your secret weapon: the money you're leaving on the table in your own shop. And don't get me started on the shop owners who are in denial! Many of our clients' shops (including our own) are setting efficiency and sales records this year and we are still leaving money on the table!
Which is probably why, no matter how many features we've packed into the RPM ToolKit — no matter how great it might be to remotely manage your shop, effectively train employees, or even compete against other shops for our top performer prizes — the one feature that amazes shop owners the most is its ability to find tens of thousands of dollars they already have in their shops and are simply leaving on the table.
Take Troy B., the owner of Accurate Automotive in Tennessee…after he started using the RPM ToolKit™, he found $138,000 his shop was missing out on every month:
"For the last few years, I've been doing over a million in sales, but I was frustrated because at the end of the year there just wasn't much money left. Thanks to the RPM ToolKit, I am now aware of where I am bleeding in the business.
I love the RPM ToolKit™ because, I now know what everyone else in the business is doing, how they're performing, and how it affects my profitability. Before the RPM ToolKit, I was completely unaware of the mistakes and poor choices I was making. My net Income has tripled so far this year and there's still room for improvement!
What's really exciting is that my business is so much more efficient. Now I have the money to invest in better shop systems and high quality marketing."
You can either stick your head in the sand…or you can go get the money being left on the table so you have the money to attract great customers by subscribing to the RPM ToolKit. Will you let history repeat itself, or will you grow your shop while your competition gets destroyed by the crisis we all know is coming?
It costs less than a single RO per month to get started on the RPM ToolKit.