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The modern automotive garage first appeared in the 1920s and, in addition to parking cars in them, inventors began to utilize them for different purposes.

Twenty-six years old and already a reality TV show star? For Body/Paint Tech Keenan Hons, his 15 minutes of fame happened fast and randomly.

Every body shop owner in the country wants to be green. Just ask them. But, are they willing to commit to a total green approach in every aspect of their business? Changing some light bulbs and installing low-flow toilets are positive things, but how many shops will really invest significant time, money and effort to be as green as they possibly can?

As I start to pack for my annual pilgrimage to SEMA, I’m thinking about all those overloaded shopping bags carried through the exhibit halls bulging with what we know in the business as the advertising specialty.

Even though the Internet is continuing to explode and cable TV advertising is flourishing, radio is still alive and well and more body shops are using it, according to people who know—such as: advertising agencies, media buying companies, radio stations and body shops themselves.

Every time I talk to body shop owners about social media issues, they invariably bring up three things: Yelp, Facebook and how to defend their reputations online, in that order.

Social networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are rapidly gaining momentum as content distribution tools and becoming more and more attractive for B2B purposes, including within the collision industry. When new forms of social media get hot, others fall off and disappear—so how do we know which ones are gaining while others are failing? While many body shops use one or more of the aforementioned sites, smart operators can gain an advantage over other body shops that don’t know about them or care.

When I see a body shop that doesn’t have a website, two things happen. First I have to recover from my surprise, then I start asking questions.  I sat down recently with Angel Iraola, the owner of Net Business Consulting & Solutions in Santa Rosa, CA, and he blew huge holes in the following arguments, each of which is a common misconception about websites. Here are the top five:

“What’s this Google+ thing I’m hearing about?” or “Should my business have a Google+ page?” and “We just figured out this Facebook thing and now we have to worry about doing Google+?” are among the comments I’ve heard recently at CAA meetings.

A body shop owner came up to me at a California Autobody Association meeting recently and shared his tale of woe. A Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) had opened a location in his hometown, where he had been doing business since the 1970s.