A new year is upon us. That means it’s time for a new webinar!
Fullbay Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Jacob Findlay sat down with Fullbay COO Chris O’Brien to talk about a subject that any shop owner will find appropriate and helpful: How to Make Your Shop Successful in 2022. In this webinar, the dynamic duo provided helpful advice and some free tools for owners looking to get their new year off to a good start.
The three main subjects they covered were:
- How to set realistic goals for your business
- How to grow your shop in 2022
- How to create a financial plan for your shop
We’re pretty proud of this webinar, so we hope you’ll drop in to watch it and absorb everything Jacob and Chris have to share. But if you’re pressed for time, give our recap a skim and see what’s in store!
HOW TO SET REALISTIC GOALS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
First, take a deep breath.
(That’s not in the webinar. That’s just our general advice.)
“It’s a new year and a new beginning,” Chris says, “and a time to reset.”
Usher in 2022 by taking stock of what happened in 2021. Did you do better than you hoped? Or was there a lot of room for improvement? Have you run a SWOT analysis?
You can probably see where we’re headed with this. Data is going to be your absolute best friend when it comes to looking at the old year and planning out the new one. Without hard data, you’re just guestimating: “Well, I think we lost some money on this, but maybe we’ll make it back.”
No, no, and no. If you’ve fallen behind in some way, you need to know that sooner rather than later.
Make sure you enter all vendor bills and reconcile statements, and enter all customer invoices and payments. Definitely complete an inventory count; if you haven’t done this in a long time, Chris warns, “plan on taking a hit.” Remember, inventory not tracked tends to walk away.
You’ll base 2022’s goals on how your shop came out of 2021. That’s why it’s so important to know exactly where you stand, even if your shop isn’t in the financial shape you hoped it would be.
“Recognizing hard truths,” Jacob says, “is a major competitive advantage for you.”
HOW TO GROW YOUR SHOP IN 2022
Once you know where your shop stands at present, you can determine how you want to grow.
That means asking yourself more questions. Here are some examples:
- What kind of earnings do you want to see in 2022?
- What does your market look like, and how does it impact your operation?
- How much do you want your shop to grow in 2022?
- How can you, the owner, help make that happen?
This is an extensive segment, and we encourage you to drop into the webinar to at least check it out.
But Fullbay, you may be saying, what do you mean me, the owner? What can I do about all this?
You, as owner, can make the kinds of decisions that can lead to growth. Things like:
- Targeting a new kind of customer or niche (for example, fleets or reefers)
- Increasing your shop’s efficiency (Fullbay can help with that!)
- Hire additional techs, or get the ones you have new certifications
- Put together a sales team to start getting the word out
Jacob and Chris also provided a free tool for watchers to check out—Fullbay’s Shop Financial Model. This spreadsheet lets you experiment with your numbers and review the outcome each change has on your shop, from yearly output right down to weekly.
It does the following:
- Track metrics across the shop so you can see how they’re impacting profitability
- Compare actual costs and revenue vs. original projections
- Get to the root of your leaky buckets
Once you have some goals worked out, you can move on to the third and last segment of the webinar…
HOW TO CREATE A FINANCIAL PLAN FOR YOUR SHOP
Jacob likes to reference the Hawthorne Effect: “When you measure something, performance tends to improve.”
Today, we’ve got something very special to share: a sample financial plan. Like the financial model, it’s a spreadsheet, but it’s a highly expanded version. Fullbay uses a similar process, and it works for us!
If it works for us, it will work for you. Here are just a few of the things you can do with it:
- Growth planning on new purchases, hires, software, and other expenses
- Profit and loss, cash flow, and balances projections
- Break-even analysis and business ratios
- Payroll deferral payback planning
- Gut check on capital
Jacob goes through the full instructions right here.
“I’ve done this for shops many times,” Jacob says, “and they think [its accuracy] is pretty creepy.”
This plan is tailored for a diesel repair shop, but you can likely use it for any business by changing the assumptions. So if you’ve got, say, a graphic design or beef jerky hustle on the side, go ahead and put this spreadsheet to work for you—it’ll get the job done.
Head on over to YouTube to watch the webinar in its entirety, or bookmark this page to come back and watch it later. We wish you all the luck in the world—along with plenty of common sense—as you head into 2022!