Lessons from McDonald’s That Will Help You Run a More Successful Auto Repair Shop

When we think of fast food, hamburgers, or amazing success stories, it’s hard to not think of McDonald’s. Since its inception in 1955, they have grown into a global company, and today the brand is one of the most recognizable on the earth. Over the years they have given millions of gifts to their customers, ranging from free hamburgers to plastic toys, yet I can’t think of one that is more valuable than the one they are giving us today. You see, this time, rather than giving us something we can eat or pass along to the kids, they are giving us a business lesson that is unlike any other. McDonald’s is showing us that if you take your focus off of the customer, you will pay a dear price, if not lose your entire business. Consider this…

If you pick up any business magazine today you will see that McDonald’s is going through the toughest time in the history of the company. Additionally, many question whether they will ever be the company they once were. So, what happened? Although everyone will certainly have an opinion, I feel their decline has been brought on by three things. First of all, I feel they got their priorities a little mixed up. Rather than focusing on their customer, and the customer’s experience, they were focused on store growth. Although this strategy may bring healthy profits in the short term, there is an incredible price that’s paid over the long run. The lesson for all of us? Don’t put so much attention on profits that you forget the customer.

Secondly, they grew to a point where they were trying to be everything to everybody. Although they found incredible success in the early years by limiting their menu to hamburgers, milkshakes, and fries, more recently their menu has grown to include kid’s meals, senior meals, healthy choices, desserts, and a whole lot more. Ironically, while they were busy expanding their menu, companies like In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys swooped right in and took their core business.

The lesson here is that we need to focus on what we do really well, we need to continue to hone that product or service, and we need to avoid trying to be everything to everybody.

The third lesson McDonald’s is now providing us with is that we can never get lazy. When companies get to the point where they feel they have it all under control, when they take their customers for granted, and when they underestimate the strength of their competitors, they begin their journey to the bottom.

I ask that you consider the priceless gift that McDonald’s is now providing us with, and learn from it. As you move forward in the coming years you’ll need to need to remain laser-focused on customer satisfaction, and not let the quest for profits blur your vision. Secondly, you’ll need to remember that you can never be everything to everybody. This doesn’t mean you can’t service different types of vehicles, or offer different types of services, but you will need to have a clear vision of who your ideal customer is and build your business to fulfill their needs. And then last but not least, you can never become complacent, and take your customers and competitors for granted. You’ll need to pay close attention to the upcoming changes in our industry, and the changes in your customers as well. Hybrids, electric vehicles, and infotainment systems are certainly a part of our industry’s future, so they need to be considered in the evolution of your business model.

In closing, if you have clearly defined goals that extend out for years, and the passion to reach those goals, hire truly remarkable people, and if you live by a principle of never putting money ahead of people, then you will not only be able to build an amazing business, but you will find that this priceless gift from McDonald’s is one that will pave your way to success.

For additional help building a more successful shop, while having a positive impact on your employees, your customers and your community, learn how you can team up with one of the top shop owners in America through the Elite Coaching Program.

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