Is your shop engaged with your community, especially the younger generation?

Article By: Stan Creech, Owner of Creech Import Repairs

 

Community involvement is always a win win for everyone. From youth sports team sponsorship, hosting car clinics, to partnering with local church and schools, the possibilities are endless. And with this Covid-19 new world we live in, there are more opportunities than ever before. Getting your shop involved with your community could be the spark you need to energize your business!

I will admit right here and now that my shop is in the guilty category of not being involved enough with the community youth. We have sponsored little league and soccer teams in the past, and have participated in the new High School Apprentice program, but we could do much more.

And while talking about youth in our community, is it possible that part of the technician shortage we are all experiencing now could be partly because of our collective oversite of community engagement. Yes there are many factors affecting our lack of techs in todays world, but maybe this shortage started many years ago before we realized it.

There are 2 directions I want to go here, the first is simple and straight forward. It is promoting your shop and our industry on your website. A job application tab should be labeled career, career path, occupation, position, etc. Once that tab is clicked, use that opportunity to sell your business and the industry FIRST! It’s okay to include an online application, but don’t say “no available positions at this time.” Keeping applications on file is a better alternative than creating a dead end for someone willing to fill out a job app. I mention this because in my online searching I did see a shop who’s “application link” went to a page that said “not currently hiring.” Sad.

Second, when you do get more involved with the community show it on your website. Create a tab and call it “Our Community” or something similar. The tab can take viewers to your community page with all the information about your community activity. Include pictures if you can. Get permission from the organizations and charities you work with to use their logos or images and have your web people create that as a hyperlink to their site. And don’t forget to promote anything your shop does community related on social media.

Out of curiosity I spent some time researching websites of many shops across the state to see what if anything they are saying about charities and engaging with the community’s youth. And honestly majority of shops, even if they are involved with their community in some way, are not communicating it on their website.

A good friend of mine, Keith Ivey, owner of USA Automotive in Raleigh, has this on his site under the “About Us” page: “USA Automotive in Raleigh N.C. sponsors the local little league baseball and softball teams, and we also volunteer with special programs in our area, such as the annual Triangle ALS Walk and the Special Olympics.” Keith also participates in MS bike ride for charity and has pictures to go along with the text.

Performance Auto Specialist in Wilmington has a tab labeled “Why PAS?” and in it’s a drop down menu has “Community involvement” page. Simple informative text with a few pictures is all it takes to show engagement with your community.

Bottom line is getting involved with your community is easy, helps your business and your community. Win Win.

 

Photo from a car blessing with local organization Wheel4Hope. June 30th, 2015.

 

Creech Imports provided labor to diagnose and repair for service for approved recipients as a proud partner garage for Wheels 4 Hope since 2006.

 

Wheels4Hope is a faith-based, volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping economically vulnerable families and individuals by providing them reliable, affordable vehicles. To learn more about Wheels4Hope or how to get involved, visit their website: https://wheels4hope.org/.