Avoiding the things that will destroy your business

July 31, 2014
Richard Flint, chairman and CEO Flint, Inc., put it in another perspective. Everything you do should be based with one thought in mind: to create a presence that has presence when you aren’t present.

DETROIT — Throughout the year, any repair shop or body shop owner will hear at some point that they should be working on their business, not in it.

Richard Flint, chairman and CEO Flint, Inc., put it in another perspective. Everything you do should be based with one thought in mind: to create a presence that has presence when you aren’t present. When this is the result you have created, you have painted a picture of value people don’t question and cannot forget.

Flint, the keynote speaker at NACE and CARS 2014, explained in his address how you lead and work with your employees dictates the business environment, which affects sales, staff relations and your own feelings as an owner.

“You spend your every day building your business, and you build it form the inside, but yet there are certain things that can happen that with all of your hard work, all of your commitment, all of the sweat that you put in it and can take your business and within a brief time, destroy it,” Flint says.

There are four things that you as a person or business you need to pay attention to or they will destroy what you built: inconsistencies, inefficiencies, non-partnership people and tired leadership. When you combine these thing, you create an environment of disconnect.

So tying in that presence you want to create to improve your business, you need to bring people – your employees and customers – with a common purpose, a common agenda and a common commitment. When there are not these three things, the result is an environment of disconnect. That results in confusion, disappointment, frustration and the lessening of a customer’s expectation of the value of the service.

“When people experience an environment where they feel good, the word is value,” Flint notes, adding that when they don’t, the word is cost.

Before you can make sure your customers value your services, you need to make sure your employees are on board. “Nothing can improve without honesty,” Flint explains, so do you really want people to be honest? Once you do, then you can create a spirit of partnership by making sure your purpose is understood and agreed to by the people, being open to seeking ways to improve, working together becomes the common commitment, making sure each person brings their best to work each day and refusing to settle.

Opening Remarks
The NACE CARS General Session kicked off the morning, with Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director, offering that the group saw a 40 percent increase in registration now over same time last year.

The biggest change, aside from the move in date and location, he adds is 20,000 square feet of the show floor dedicated to live demonstrations.

“For the first time…we are able to do that under one roof. That was one of our attractions to Detroit,” Risley notes. This includes running vehicles, so they can demonstrate scan tools and welding.

The addition of the live demos is just one feature Risley, Darrell Amberson, ASA chairman, and Bud Denker, executive vice president of Penske Automotive Group, all noted in their opening remarks.

“We’re here in the mecca of the automotive industry and the birthplace of the automotive industry,” Risley says. 

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