Monday, March 24, 2014

"Estimates" or, information finding work for no pay.

Estimates are something most everybody who has a service business needs to do. Sometimes it's easy, but sometimes it means half an hour of parts shopping and research in order to give someone a good answer.

If I'm certain that I will get the job, the estimate is simply doing the bill first and the job second. If it's a just another (lowest) price shopper, it could be half an hour of hoop jumping for no pay. I don't know how may folks asking for pricing see this side of it. I've been trying to find ways to explain what goes into estimating a large job, but how I say it always seems to come out harsh. I'm not sure what to do. I want to be pleasant, but I don't want to get chumped into extensive research for jobs that will never happen.

I might have to go to booking a $10 inspection before doing an estimate. Or at least add the qualifier of having the customer pick the estimate up in person. One of my old jobs did this to qualify the intent of the customer.

It's something I need to find a solution to that respects the customer's needs and my time.


Monday, August 5, 2013

TAG MK III: The Golden Valley Shop

Man I take a long time between posts here.

Thanks to the goof who is trying, and so far failing to buy the building I was in on W80th in Bloomoington, the shop has been moved to Golden Valley.

I can't say that "I" moved it, because about fifteen friends actually did the lion's share of the work.

The address is 6124 Olson Memorial Hwy. It's on the Hwy 55 north frontage road just west of Hwy 100, off of Douglas Drive. We're having trouble logging in to update the address listed on my website, thus the reason for this update.



Monday, December 28, 2009

Has it been a year?

More than that actually.

Thanks to my returning as well as new customers 2009 wound up to be another growth year. This spring, with a little help form my home equity credit line, I was able to replace my old alignment computer for a new Hunter system. A little extra cash at the end of the year gave me the down payment for a new Hunter tire changer with the balance again coming out of my HE credit line.

The winter season slow down is when I look at all of the other things that fall to the side during the summer when there is little time to plan and promote. The biggest decision in front of me at the moment is where to move the shop. There is simply not enough room at 1009c W 80Th for a two bay shop. The leader so far is 1300sf on the back of Bloomington AutoMax. Yup, if you count working in my home garage behind my house, this would be the third straight location where I'd be on the back of a building. At least at A.M. I'd have room for three bays, and (drum roll) a freekin bathroom. I'm so ready to not have to walk 200 feet around the front of my current building to use the restroom. So far the folks in the business that I've surveyed, like my tool guy, parts guy, equipment sales guy etc. have all agreed that the AutoMax building would work out well. I'm still a little unsure, but I'd like to make the call as soon as possible because I still have a 60 day notice at my old shop, so giving notice any later than Jan. 2010 means the risk of losing work by closing to move during my busy season, or paying double rent for a month.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Is this thing on?


My teeny cheesy primitive website ( does not have the capability of adding a blog so I'm fixin' to do so here. I hope to include news, reports of event success of customers at Autocross, track, and Rallycross events, and probably some ramblings regarding car maintenance hints, cool tool finds, and maybe even must see live band gigs and Roller Derby event dates.

Thanks for visiting,