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the next step

Posted by bobm 
the next step
December 21, 2011 03:35AM
I have reached that point where I can no longer keep up, even working 12+ hr days seven days a week. What do you feel is the minimum acceptable wage for a new employee? Im thinking about starting them at minimum wage and then bumping them up after training. I will need an average of 1.5 cars per day output from them. Are there any GOOD training dvd's out there? Heck maybe if I were properly trained I could double my own output?
Re: the next step
December 21, 2011 03:56AM
[www.carbrite.com] ( This is a good overview)
Right Look has some good videos
Automotive International - has a good one
Auto magic
then you can view some on Meguiars on line
Auto geek on line
Re: the next step
January 06, 2012 04:02AM
From your past posts, I'm under the impression that you aren't charging enough . That will make it hard to pay an employee .
If I'm wrong, well, I said it was my impression ...

You might want to consider making prospective employess pay for training. If someone is willing to pay you to better him, he is likely a motivated person.

Here are some " speed secrets " from the past :
1) Keeping spare spray bottles of chemical so you don't have to interrupt a detail when a bottle runs dry ; simply grab the spare.

2) Automated systems such as Bud's Chemspence system .

3) Bud's recommendation to have everything laid out as in an operating room, so everything is at hand and in the order it will be used.

4) Trying to reduce the number of products needed. An example would be using one dressing for all vinyl and rubber-and maybe leather.

5) Using stong cleaners and degreasers that require little agitation.

6) Using a one-step wax.

7) Applying and buffing wax with an 11" orbital buffer.

8) Employing a vapor steam device.

9) Doing another task while wax dries, degreaser dwells etc.

10) Checking the work after each step because returning to the step later will be more time-consuming.

11) Using dressings that can be applied and left to dry ; not ones requiring multiple applications and wiping off of excess.

12) Use of a set procedure because repetition builds speed.

13) Vacuuming and air blasting thouroughly but extracting with a "once-over" to avoid soaked fabrics and long drying times.

14) Replacing filthy floor mats when necessary instead of cleaning them.

15) Assembling an interior cleaning kit to be carried into the car with you so you needn't reach back out for supplies.

16) Task Specific procedures, in which the process is done by tasks rather than by areas of the car. Examples include degreasing engine and wheel wells at the same time or dressing everything in one step.

17) Area Specific procedures in which you do every task in one area and move on.

18) Bud's recommendation of an air-powered brush for carpet shampooing.

19) Grouping your products on the shelf by purpose instead of brand name.

Here is a list of tools that a well-equipped shop can use to turn out work quickly :
1) Broomstick-mounted brushes and mops to speed up the wash process. I include a stiff concrete brush here for getting mud out of truck wheel wells or for scrubbing filthy floor mats. There is also a telescoping bug remover for RV windshields. Cheap plastic sponge mops are great for applying dressing to Jeep cladding and can be used to spread some waxes too.

2) The aforementioned Drillbrush. I've since tried it on carpet stains and was impressed with its rugged construction and performance. The Drillbrush is is made of stiff bristles that should work well on tires but are too harsh for most wheels. Now I really must try the other drill-mounted tools. On another forum, someone said he cleans wheels with a drill by mounting a wooden stick and attaching microfiber towels to it with rubber bands.

3) A grout brush. These can be found at Home Depot and let you get dirt out from around seat track mounts and other tight areas.

4) Soft cosmetics brushes for fine dasboard dusting.

5) Natural-bristle paint brushes with the metal part taped to prevent scratching. These can be used for wheel-cleaning and interior dusting ( in conjunction with a vacuum cleaner ).

6) Plastic putty knife for general scraping.
Re: the next step
January 06, 2012 02:11PM

Many years ago I did cars for a local car dealer for a while. I found for the work expended was not worth what they wanted
to pay per car.

Here is the problem as I see it. You can only charge so much per vehicle, and the dealer expects a certain level
in every detail. Some vehicles are clean, but most are pigs that require more work.They figure because they are sending
you so many cars that that you can make money on volume, and they keep you busy. Well, that may appear true if you are doing all the work by yourself, but when you want to bring on help it changes things.

I do not think your training is a factor. It requires a certain amount of time to do a proper detail. Any less, then you will have
the dealership complaining about the quality, but I am sure you know what they expect by now.

There is a company in my town that does what you do for several dealers, and they pay employees for what they do. Example:$20 for a car wash. They are constantly running ads on Craigslist for help, and you would think as bad as the economy is down here that they should have people lining up to work.

Bob I feel there is no simple answer to your problem. Clearly you cannot work more than you are, and bringing on a new
employee with no training will require you to take time to train that person who may or may not work out. Expecting that
person to produce 1.5 cars out of the box for min wage is setting the bar high IMO.

Expanding a business is what is all about, and I get that. Although, having a business degree I can see the downside to.
You have a wife and a new baby. I am not married, but smart enough to know that your wife cannot be happy you are working this hard.

Here is what I would do. I would continue to work alone for now. Work 10 hours M-F, and spend the weekends with your family. If the dealership pushes you to do more cars, then tell them given what you are paying per car is not worth me expanding my business right now. Suggest they send the overflow to another vendor.

Working yourself to death is not the answer, nor is a divorce and alimony payments either. Remember this: Revenue
minus Expenses = Profit. What you have to consider is what that extra profit is worth.Maybe you should consider bringing in a partner with experince instead of a untrained employee down the road if you find the right person. I hope this helps you.
Re: the next step
January 08, 2012 11:28AM
Doug, I never heard of those drill-brushes before...

sigh,....where's me credit card? Here we go again!
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