Management Marketing Sales Small Business Strategy

Tick, tick, tick. What are spare minutes costing your business?

So how much is each minute costing you? Now is not the time to be letting them slip away unused.

If you own an quick lube oil change store and it takes you 11 minutes on average to change the oil in each customer’s car, your store loses $39.95 every time there isn’t a car waiting to pull in behind the one that just pulled out.

Empty bays cost money. Can you put a finger on how many times a day there isn’t a car waiting to pull in?

Let’s say that your 2 bay quick lube changes 6 cars per hour on an average work day. If you just do regular changes with no upsells, that’s about $240 an hour in gross revenue. Not too bad I suppose, but what are you missing out on?

6 cars times 11 minutes = 66 minutes. That leaves 54 minutes that go unused that hour. $240 per hour is about $4 per minute, so that 54 unused minutes works out to about $216 in potentially lost revenue.

$216 per hour, that is. $1696 per 8 hour day. And that’s if you have just 2 bays.

  • In a 6 day week, that’s $10176.
  • In a 24 day work month, $40704.
  • In a year, over $488,000.

And then there are the additional sales possible on each vehicle from things like annual services (transmission or radiator flushes, air filters and the like). If on average, you manage just $1 per car in upsells, that adds $13284 to your annual revenue. Naturally, every dollar you raise that average results in an additional $13k per year.

On the other hand, increasing the number of cars per hour per bay by just ONE does EXACTLY the same thing, while adding another $639 in revenue per day. Do it for an entire year and see your bottom line increase by over $184,000.

By adding one more car, per bay, per hour. Doesn’t seem like much of a goal, does it?

And it isn’t just the quick lube shops:

  • Got a barber shop? Empty chairs have the same kind of cost.
  • Small engine mechanics on your staff? Unbilled time can’t be recovered.
  • Stylists in a floral shop? If they aren’t arranging….

The list goes on, no matter what you do.

Your marketing needs to be filling those chairs, mechanic hours, empty bays or whatever you can’t monetize once it is gone.

A day that might normally seem busy, when examined for unbilled time or unused equipment, suddenly seems a little empty when you realize each unused minute means a potential lost of $4, day in, day out.

One reply on “Tick, tick, tick. What are spare minutes costing your business?”

Great post, Mark. We often look for big things that will make a big difference, when we can make a world of difference by just taking care of the little things.

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