Survey says!

Recently, I asked you to peek into your 2008 crystal ball and give us your outlook for next year. You did just that, and I thank you for doing so. I also promised that I would share the results.

You might ask, who responded? Well, a lot of you: Independent repair shops, specialty shops, dealerships and a few others shop types chimed in, in that order. Interestingly, 33.16 percent of you reported having seven or more bays, and 22.62 percent have six or more techs. AND, 95.77 percent of you specifically approve or recommend tool and equipment purchases. You are an impressive group with significant buying power.

This year was rewarding for most shops. Revenue for 2007 vs. 2006 was up; 86.17 percent of you said that revenue was equal to or greater than 2006. A staggering 21.84 percent of you were up more than 5 percent and another 30.83 percent were up 1 percent to 5 percent.

Being a marketer at heart, I have to ask if there is a correlation between this next set of statistics. There are 62.8 percent of you who do not advertise, which means 37.2 percent of you do. We did not set up this research to cross tabulate between responses, so I can't answer this question with hard facts — but my intuition tells me that successful shops are promoting their shops. Word of mouth goes only so far.

What's in our future for 2008? Overall you are buying tools and equipment at a rate equal to or greater than last year. The categories where the greatest increases will be seen are: battery chargers/testers, diagnostic tools and equipment, hand tools, cordless power tools, specialty tools and shop lights.

Happy New Year!

Larry M. Greenberger
PTEN publisher
LMG@pten.com

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