If you have a car body shop, paint supplies store or a detailing studio, you are first and foremost a businessman. Not a car painter or mechanic, not a paint trader, not a detailer, but primarily you are a business owner. Being an entrepreneur is a big responsibility, and constant education and personal development is vital for success. I understand that most of the people in the industry haven’t had an opportunity to attend college or university, but the good news is – everything can be learnt by reading. Below I bring to your attention four books, which are really great read for a car repair professional regardless of the type of business you own.
- “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber
Summary: I would say that if you pick up just one book from this list, then “The E-Myth Revisited” should be the one. This book explores how to turn your car repair shop into a successful business by emphasizing the importance of systems and processes. Michael Gerber explores that fatal assumption: if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work. The sooner you read this book, the better.
- “The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook” by Michael L. George
Summary: A handy reference for implementing Lean Six Sigma principles in your shop to improve efficiency and reduce waste of time and money. In fact, in this book the author combines two popular management systems: Lean and 6 Sigma. Very useful book for the entrepreneurs who need improvement in the operations. And who doesn’t need, anyway?
- “Built to Sell” by John Warrillow
Summary: Explores how to transform your business, for example, auto repair shop into a valuable asset that can be sold or scaled. A proactive car repair store owner should always think about exit strategy. What if your children won’t take over the business? What if you will have to retire earlier for any reason? Building your shop as if you will put it for sale tomorrow will help you to create sustainable business with a great market value.
- “Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine” by Mike Michalowicz
Summary: Discover a practical system for managing your finances and increasing profitability in your business. MikeMichailowicz in a simple language explains how to allocate profit from your business so that the owner would feel that his hard work is fairly compensated. I personally read this book a few years ago, and I still use a lot of the advice given in this book.
The above list is not all-inclusive list, of course. There are hundreds of books on topics from management and marketing to finance and leadership. Automotive industry is complex, and it involves technical knowledge and skills a long with entrepreneurship spirit and business literacy. If you can “steel” half an hour a day from mindless mobile scrolling or TV zapping, and read a few pages of a book, your business intelligence will grow exponentially.