My first seminar to today was Ignite the Internet! Internet Marketing for Auto Repair Professionals. A great seminar facilitated by Danny Sanchez, the CEO of Autoshop Solutions Inc presented some tools to move a business forward in the world of internet marketing. I learned that there are basically three types of websites, A Corporate Website; a practical more matter-of-fact universal website, An E-Commerce Website; which main purpose is to generate on-line sales and are very busy, much brighter and eye catching, and a Marketing website is designed to cause a visitor to take action. I will expand a little on the marketing website because I think that is the one most of use depend on to drive business to us. The marketing website nees to create a positive professional feeling in a very short period of time.
- You have 8 seconds to show you are a relevant solution
- You have 30 seconds to establish your business as a local option
- Your website should hold visitors for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes
After that Danny went on to talk about visits, page views, pages/visits, bounce rate, average time on site, and percent of new visits. All things we should be checking on our website to see if the site is actually effective.
He covered Search Engine Optimization which is all about getting your website moved to a higher position in searches. But, you don't necessarily want your website to be number 1. You really just need to make sure you are in the top five.
I also learned there are five steps you should consider in a Internet Marketing Action Plan
- Identify the services you offer, determine the specific services you want to market
- Analyze your online competition, kind of like I have told you about walking around your neighborhood and seeing what the competition is doing, same applies here.
- Establish a budget, use a specialist to help you understand what you need to invest to beat the competition.
- Hire a professional, this is not a place for your nephew, the internet has grown beyond the reach of most novices.
- Measure the results, use a phone number tracker, review the statistics I mentioned above.
The internet has become the highest source of new customers for many shops all across the country. I have only scratched the surface of what you need to know to have a successful website. I hope I provided enough to get you thinking about your website, a strong website has become a necessity, make it the best you can.
Lean 3.0 - Flow = A practical path to using Lean to improve process flow. The very first thing I learned was that if you are not blueprinting properly and completely you should not even think of trying to create true flow. To have complete-true flow you need to have all the questions answered before you start the repair process or "flow". In reality that is the purpose of blueprinting, to answer all the questions that may arise during a repair. The more thorough you are in blueprinting the less obstacles you will have in the repair process. The more obstacles you eliminate in blueprinting the faster the flow process will move. Once an obstacle occurs during flow you cannot go past it, you need to eliminate the reason for the obstacle...permanently! A band-aid repair will only cause the obstacle to occur again and again and again, create a resolution that will eliminate the obstacle completely. If you can, think of flow as a river, and the obstacles are rocks. To make the water flow down the river with the most speed possible the river must be free of rocks. Using pull production you would need to eliminate obstacles at the beginning of the flow process, not the middle and not the end. Leaving an obstacle at the beginning but removing a obstacle in the middle will create a "lake" in your river where flow stops and production ends. Remove the first obstacle and then the next in order of production to eliminate "lakes" in the process to ensure steady flow. There are three rules of flow tht must be followed, No reversing; everything must move forward, once it leaves a production position it cannot return, First in - First out; nothing should be passed over in flow, each vehicle should move progressively through the process, Must move forward without defects; this is the most important rule, do not pass an incomplete repair to the next station, you will create an obstacle at the next process because of the incomplete repair. Once you begin using the flow process you will find it is another continual improvement concept. Problems/obstacles will occur and removing the first obstacle is only a starting point, flow will change constantly, your job will be to adjust to the changes and reduce the "rocks" to keep your river flowing.
During lunch I met Brad Weisberg, Founder and President of Body Shop bids a unique website based business that allows vehicle owners to solicit estimates for vehicle repairs online. The process is quite simple, the vehicle owner takes pictures of the damage, e-mails them to a participating shop and then waits for the estimates to be submittes. As a shop provides an estimate to the vehicle owner they are bidding for the repair.