What has Advanced Automotive done to succeed in 2020? If you ask Cody Morelock, owner of Advanced Automotive in Redding, CA, he’d say, "Focus on your business and not the crisis."
Cody’s leadership skills of not being misdirected by fear or panic has been a key element of not just the sustained success of Advanced Automotive but the key to growth – even during the first half of 2020.
As a second-generation owner, Cody knows the key to moving forward is being a respected leader with effective strategies as part of his arsenal of management tools. The following are his rule of thumb to grow his business.
Don't react emotionally and never panic
Make all decisions based on facts with clear goals. If important decisions are made from an emotional standpoint, they won’t be the right moves for the business. Always think strategically about what’s the best decision to achieve continued growth as your goal.
In order to grow, your business must be on stable ground. Financial stability is the framework for any successful business - including contributing to your reserves. But it also demands you have a stable work environment for your team. If employees have a sense of support and consistency with management, they’ll look forward to coming to the shop each morning. It’s important for Cody that his team members look forward to coming to work each day.
Stay calm and bring a sense of normalcy to your shop
Staying calm communicates you’re in control. Team members, and possible team members, want to know that management knows what they’re doing, that they have a plan forward. If an issue arises in the shop, the employees know the owner can address it in a calm manner and find a solution. As Cody says, "happy employees equals happy customers."
Never be complacent
Your shop may be doing just fine today or this week, but you need to always actively be planning for growth. One of Cody’s most important strategies is never being satisfied and thinking today’s success is OK – looking forward and planning for future growth is a fundamental core belief of his. "I never sit back and get too satisfied where things are with Advanced no matter how well we are doing. I truly believe in order to succeed you need to always be pushing forward,” adds Cody.
Cody is always tweaking his procedures to achieve greater efficiency. This process will never be done. A good owner knows that they will be learning new and better ways to achieve this every day. And a great owner needs to be open to those ever-evolving changes and know how best to translate to their business. This is never finished. It is a work in progress that is continually adjusted.
Ratchet up marketing
All forms of outreach have become more important than ever this year. Cody knows the more his "phones are blowing up" the more new customers he’ll see come through his doors. He attributes that to his greater emphasis on all forms of Marketing, but especially Google Ad Words. He sees an immediate affect on his bottom-line with each budget increase of his weekly Google spend.
Keep the team focused
A priority for Cody is to keep his team focused on their tasks-at-hand. Each employee has their responsibility and he knows having each of them invested in that job is important for the business to run smoothly. You want your crew to be focused and not be distracted. Each member needs to feel confident that the owner has their back.
Maintain transparency with the team
Being transparent with your employees creates a cohesive team with each member feeling confident that they are in good hands. Continual and open dialogue is something that Cody not just encourages but knows is a mandatory part of being a great owner. Have regular meetings with everyone. For Cody that means daily meetings at the beginning of each day. The meetings can be just 5 minutes, but it lets everyone know there is part of a team with common goals.
And don’t be hesitant to upend the business a bit right in the middle of outside forces happening. Recently, Cody moved his office to the back of shop and in doing that he forced his talented crew to find their own solutions and to not automatically go to him for all answers. After all, if you have hired the right people like Cody has, your team may just need a bit of encouragement and confidence to make those decisions. And with this change, Cody has more time to be the CEO of Advanced Automotive and plan for future growth.
For Advanced Automotive, 2020 is turning out to be a banner year. They have been awarded the prestigious AAA Top Shop Award for their region. And they are on-target to have a $2MM 2020. Down the road, Cody is planning for a second and bigger shop with the same continued level of excellence that their customers have come expect in Redding, California since 1993.