Leveraged Loans | Ratchet+Wrench
STORE STATS: Premier Auto Repair Site: Worcester, Mass. Owner: John Cayer Staff size: 4 Store size: 950 square feet Number of lifts: 2 Average monthly number of cars: 210 Annual revenue: $1.3 million
At less than 1,000 square feet with just two bays, you might be surprised to learn that Premier Auto Repair in Worcester, Mass., sees 210 cars a month and has an annual revenue of $1.3 million, but it is true. The small powerhouse, owned by John Cayer, has made the most of its limited space and is finding ways to compete with larger stores and dealerships in the area. One of the biggest contributors to the store’s success? His loan fleet.
At around 950 square feet, the small store is often overlooked by customers. Because of this, Cayer had to find ways to retain customers once they arrived. One way to achieve this is to provide a quality repair with the least inconvenience to the customer.
Cayer says the two main objections he sees from customers about having additional work done on their vehicles are that they don’t have the time or the money. Cayer offers third-party financing, which reduces costs, but he had to find a way to solve the time problem.
“The second most common objection I hear is ‘I need my car to do stuff,'” Cayer says.
When a customer says he doesn’t have time or can’t leave his vehicle at the store because he needs it to get around, Cayer says, “I can put you in a car right now. continuation”, which disarms this objection.
Premier Auto Repair is a member of Shop Fix Academy and, inspired by Aaron Stokes and the importance he places on loaner vehicles, Cayer purchased his first two vehicles in June 2021. His loaner fleet has now grown to seven vehicles in total.
Being able to offer clients a loaner vehicle not only worked in his favor by allowing him to sell more work by removing the time objection, it also allowed him to mix up the work. Customers in loaner vehicles aren’t in such a rush to get their vehicles back, he says. If, for example, there is a larger job that will take four hours, Cayer is able to push it back if that client is in a loaner car. Of course, he lets the customer know that it might take a little longer, but more often than not, he’s more than okay as long as he has a vehicle to use.
To stand out and attract customers, lenders are advertised on the website, in all store mailings, and mentioned to customers as they enter.
Loaner vehicles are not available for simple services, such as oil changes, unless specifically requested. Every customer who has a major repair is offered one and if for some reason one is not available they are offered a carpool service or can schedule the repair based on when a vehicle from loan will be available.
Before the lenders, the average ticket at the store was $283 — it’s now $525, which Cayer says has a lot to do with the fleet. The number of cars also increased by 60 cars compared to the previous year. While it may seem expensive at first, Cayer’s extra business has more than recouped the costs, and he says third-party guarantor companies often pay back a certain amount per day to lenders, all you have to do is ask.