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Employment advice?

Fivepointfive

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Cliffs- company might be sold. What do I ask the prospective buyer for?

So I find myself in an interesting position. I run a repair shop. Just a four bay independent shop, located downtown in a small college town. A friend of mine bought it 15 years ago. One year in he realized he needed someone to run it, and I've been here ever since. We are are scrupulously honest, have the best reputation in town, and have really gotten to the point in life where we can chose the type of work and caliber of customer we want, all because of me. Think of it like an absentee owner. He doesn't have to show up; I do everything and we make money even if he stays home.

Sometimes this is good. To put it briefly, the owner has a pretty manic personality. There have been times he becomes so worked up over things that I send him home. For months sometimes. And everyone is happier. Well, he's finally had enough and wants to sell. And surprisingly, might have found a buyer. He's local, and good people. He also knows the role I play here, and very much wants me onboard. So...

We're getting together tonight. What should I be asking beyond the obvious? What should I negotiate? I'm already near the top of the pay scale for the industry in this area, do I try for more? I'm really thinking about asking for a four day work week. I can make it happen pretty easily, even if we still do m-f. In return I make his purchase fairly seamless and turnkey. Yes I have a back up plan, no I don't want to do it BTW. I work in a great area 5 minutes from home and 10 minutes from my kid's school.

Appreciate all input, thanks.
 

junkytj

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I think you show him baseline cash and net over the previous 3 or 4 years. You keep your salary, you set your schedule and bonus off anything above baseline. You maintain hire/fire hammer.
 

2big bronco

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I think you show him baseline cash and net over the previous 3 or 4 years. You keep your salary, you set your schedule and bonus off anything above baseline. You maintain hire/fire hammer.



If he knows your role and you know you are already near the top of the pay try for a couple percent of profit every year as a Christmas bonus
 

grumpy356

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40k Base and a percent of revenue. (you chose the percent.) And I typically would want the percent off money in the door, NOT profit. Profit can be easily manipulated, depending on how you calculate burden or overhead.
 

SomeGuy

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Are you happy? If so, don't ask for anything more than to keep things exactly the way they are or maybe some guarantee of cost of living increases over the next x years.

The other thing you could ask for is investment in equipment/facilities that would allow you to make them more money. Something you haven't been able to do previously because of lack of equipment but in high demand, or something that is getting old and difficult to use and could use replacement, or even just something to freshen up the look of the shop to draw in customers. Most new owners expect to invest a bit and if you can show them something that has clear ROI but will also make your life better (who doesn't like fresh new equipment?), then it's win win.
 

Fivepointfive

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Are you happy? If so, don't ask for anything more than to keep things exactly the way they are or maybe some guarantee of cost of living increases over the next x years.

The other thing you could ask for is investment in equipment/facilities that would allow you to make them more money. Something you haven't been able to do previously because of lack of equipment but in high demand, or something that is getting old and difficult to use and could use replacement, or even just something to freshen up the look of the shop to draw in customers. Most new owners expect to invest a bit and if you can show them something that has clear ROI but will also make your life better (who doesn't like fresh new equipment?), then it's win win.

I like this too. I am happy- apart from the negativity that this will eliminate- I'm proud of what I do (if you couldn't tell above). And I could use a new office. :smokin:
 

landscraper

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If you already do everything but own it, buy it yourself. Take some P&L's to the bank and see about a loan or ask if he'll finance personally and stay on payroll for a few years.

Unless the new owner is going to be absentee as well, there's a good chance they'll tank the place coming in and mixing up what has been profitable.
 

Fivepointfive

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No desire. For one I am not a mechanic. If everyone quit tomorrow, I couldn't open. As it is I've been dealing with a shortage of talent for most of my time here. Plus, I can walk away at any time if the shit hits the fan. For various reasons I don't want to be married to this place. I do my job and get paid well. I'm cool with that.
 

Emiller22207

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Does the new owner want to be hands on? If so, you don't have as much leverage. I'd try to negotiate a profit sharing incentive based on accomplishing specified targets. If I were a potential new owner, I would be dismayed to hear my key guy wants to work a reduced schedule. I certainly would not be offering you a raise or bonus incentives if you start with that line. I'd stick that one in your pocket until things are stable and on track under new ownership.
 
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I like this.

call it a quarterly profit sharing program and put a due date on it. do not call it a bonus, that implies it doesnt have to happen and skews the emotional attachment to it. i would include a certain percentage to give to the guys in the shop.

if you are running the show, ensure you have access to cash and the ability to take care of your guys. be it tools, lunch, raises, etc.
 

TRINDU

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No desire. For one I am not a mechanic. If everyone quit tomorrow, I couldn't open. As it is I've been dealing with a shortage of talent for most of my time here. Plus, I can walk away at any time if the shit hits the fan. For various reasons I don't want to be married to this place. I do my job and get paid well. I'm cool with that.

So you're not a mechanic, but run an automotive shop. How does that work?
 

Fivepointfive

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Does the new owner want to be hands on? If so, you don't have as much leverage. I'd try to negotiate a profit sharing incentive based on accomplishing specified targets. If I were a potential new owner, I would be dismayed to hear my key guy wants to work a reduced schedule. I certainly would not be offering you a raise or bonus incentives if you start with that line. I'd stick that one in your pocket until things are stable and on track under new ownership.

Nope. Peace out sale. Good points though.
 

Fivepointfive

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So you're not a mechanic, but run an automotive shop. How does that work?

I'm a manager. Went to college to be a manager. Ran a trucking company. Worked in parts sales. Worked sales in heavy equipment repair. I like cars. I have a gift from God. Hell if I know, it's just what I do. *shrug*

:laughing:
 

Az Scooter

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I own my own business. I also have confidence in my ability to run said business. If I was you, I would be looking for a solid base, and then a cut of sales. Say, you know the average net is 30% of sales, I would look at maybe 3% of gross sales, so, if the little shop takes in $300k a year, your bonus would be 3% or $9000. If your shop does what it should and grosses around $1.8 mil a year, you are looking at about a $54k bonus. I do think I would put a monthly payment on the bonus. You could even say your bonus goes in effect over a certain sales number. This would include parts and labor. You might also want ot have a reinvestment guarantee, where a certain percentage of gross revenues are reinvested in the company for tool, training and equipment upgrades. Maybe you could even maintain control over the upgrade budget, or negotiate it.
 

rockdog57

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I agree with some sort of comp for your workers. You stated the shop would close if you had to wrench. Take care of the people who earn the shop money. You cost the shop money. I always tried to show my crew how much I appreciated them. I gave cash bonus’s out of my own pocket at Christmas. It paid dividends well beyond what I paid out.
 

Swayzeexpress

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Try to buy imo if everyone quit tomorrow sounds like you'd still be out a job, owner or not...
 

2big bronco

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I'm a manager. Went to college to be a manager. Ran a trucking company. Worked in parts sales. Worked sales in heavy equipment repair. I like cars. I have a gift from God. Hell if I know, it's just what I do. *shrug*

:laughing:

The two most successful shops I know are owned by people who were/are awsome service writers. The customers dont know or need to know the mechanics in a shop with more then 1 bay.
The least successful shop I know that's still in buisness is owned by the mechanic that is very proud of himself for owning the buisness.


Buy the shop, give your employees a significant raise so that you end up starting ownership making what you do now and you will have production go up, employees that are Stoked on working there, and your profits will follow.
 

Slander

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I would try to buy the place and give evreyone a raise, or negotiate a raise or performance bonus for yourself and the techs that work there. I would not start a pay negotiation at what you or the techs make now, can only go down from there if the new owners are cheap asses. Sounds like that would be a fairly easy negotiation if you have the reputation you say you do.
 

Ghetto Fab.

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Not being a mechanic is actually a good thing. Mechanics need to wrench, managers need to manage.

I guess I don't understand why you expect anything more than you already have? I guess I'd be more interested to know what their intentions are for the place and how that is going to affect your position. Will they stay out of the way and allow you to manage it as you have been? Are they going to second guess every decision you make?

Kevin
 
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But negotiating for the techs goes a long ways too, in both directions.

absolutely agree.

25% profit sharing across the board at all levels minus ownership. fully level. none of that % bullshit. 5% of 30k a year is not even remotely the same as 5% of 250k yea. by making it level it makes the bottom guys extremely loyal and rewarded. thats how my company is setup and everyone is content knowing the bonus's are the same regardless of your level. The low people don't put up with slackers at all. they're more ruthless than leadership IMO.


do profit sharing and AC in the shop. the techs will be more attentive to your needs than a 1000 hooker in vegas.
 
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