Investing In Quality Auto Repair Services – Is It Worth It?

Auto Repair Services- Why You Should Invest In Quality Auto Repair Services?

Investing in quality auto repair services can help you enjoy a safe and smooth drive. While you can always take a DIY approach for the general car maintenance services such as an oil change, tune-ups or diagnostics but always hire a professional for the complex car problems. If you want to get a better value of your car in future then you should know how to take care of your car.

Choosing A Quality Repair Shop

Always get referrals/recommendations from your friends, relatives, coworkers and other people you trust. Co-workers can help you find a good repair shop in your locality. It is always a good idea to find a good repair shop before you need one. This way you won’t have to pick someone randomly.

Thanks To The Internet!

Look online to learn about the top repair shops operating in your locality. Compare the different quotes to choose the best deal. Ask them to show the license and also check whether it’s an updated license or not.

Consult local consumer protection agency to see if there is any complaint against the repair shop from the old or existing customers. Above all, you should make sure that they can fix the problem easily.

Tips

Have a look at some of the following tips to consider before you start your search for the best repair shop:-

Tip 1

Read The Car Manual

You should always take time to read the manual and understand the specific instructions mentioned in the schedule. A manual has all the necessary information. So you should go through all the instructions carefully before choosing any repair station.

Tip 2

No Quick Decisions

Remember, it’s always a good idea to shop around for the best deal before you meet a breakdown. It will help you to make the right choice because you are not choosing someone randomly. Never ever choose a repair shop/repair mechanic without checking the testimonials. A little bit of research can help you choose the right service provider for your car.

Tip 3

Word Of Mouth

It is always a good idea to get referrals/recommendations from your friends and family. Word of mouth is still considered as one of the best ways to find a reliable professional.

Conclusion

Put a little bit of effort to find quality auto repair services. It will give you many benefits in the long run.

Happy Driving!

Micro Entrepreneurs

Micro entrepreneurs are the owners of small businesses that have fewer than five employees and have startup costs of less than $35,000 and annual revenue of less than $100,000. There are nearly 21.5 million micro entrepreneurs in the U.S. Examples of micro entrepreneurs are owners of bakeries, beauty parlors, child care facilities, repair shops, arts and crafts shops, painting businesses, contracting businesses, family-owned shops, auto body shops, small-scale restaurants, and small-inventory trading businesses.

Micro entrepreneurs face many hurdles in getting startup financing, and they sometimes lack the skills necessary to manage the financial aspect of their business. As a result, many micro entrepreneurs cannot grow and develop their business beyond a micro enterprise. Various micro enterprise development programs have helped micro entrepreneurs achieve great success and growth. These micro enterprise development programs have immensely helped micro entrepreneurs who lack collateral needed to secure a loan or those who have low or no credit by providing them with training, support, help in developing a solid business plan, and assistance in building their businesses. Successful micro entrepreneurs have contributed much to society by creating wealth, economic assets, and jobs.

How To Become A Micro Entrepreneur

It is essential to study the market thoroughly and understand that market’s customers before deciding on the type and kind of product or service to be offered.

Here are some suggestions:

Work out a sound business plan by doing extensive research and seeking help from the various micro enterprise development programs.

Make arrangements for the startup capital by using savings, opting for a micro loan program, or applying for a grant.

Do extensive market research, get the necessary training and skills required, and learn how to use technology to help run your business easily.

Study the competition and analyze how you can better them.

Get a good retail space to run your business as well as decide on the price, making sure it is right and has a profit margin; decide how to utilize the profit, whether you want to save it or reinvest and expand your micro business.

Make sure that the quality of the product is never compromised and that your customers are happy, ensuring customer retention.

Assistance for Micro Entrepreneurs

Micro entrepreneurs in the U.S. are in need of training and skill development workshops as well as help in utilizing technology to help run their business. Some micro entrepreneurs need access to easily available funds for startup and growth. In order to encourage more people to become micro entrepreneurs, state, federal, and private sectors should make available ample funding for such enterprises.

With a little effort, you can find firms that sell their services as well as products to help run successful businesses. You can even seek professional help to arrange business credit for micro enterprises.

Do You Know What EQ Means?

How many times have you seen the term “EQ” on your car radio or CD player, or your home entertainment system? If you are just learning audio production, no doubt you’ve been bombarded with references to different kinds of EQ (parametric, dynamic, etc.). But has anyone ever just broken it down for you in terms anyone could understand? Let me see if I can do that for you in this article.

Some people just take in information better if it is explained with very few technical terms, regardless of education or intellect. Heck, I have a bachelor of science degree and a masters degree, and I still hate reading overly-technical descriptions. So in that spirit, let’s talk about something that is bafflingly called “equalization,” or “EQ” for short. See, the name itself is not very descriptive, I don’t think. Here is what it really is. Ready for this?

EQ is turning volume up or down. That’s pretty-much it. Too broad? OK, let me add one more thing. EQ is turning volumes up or down on bass and/or treble knobs. I happily use those last two terms because you seen them on your car stereos all your life, so I am making an assumption you’ve played with them and kinda know the difference between bass and treble.

Wasn’t that an informative article? Oh, you need a bit more? Ah, you’d like to know why it’s useful, or at least why you should care. Oh, alright; if you insist. Let’s take probably the easiest example I can think of…your car stereo. The most basic EQ controls are bass and treble. If you’re listening to hip-hop, you may enjoy turning the bass knob (or slider) up because it will make the kick drum and bass synth or guitar much boomier. You can actually feel that bass now. On the other hand, let’s say you just want to listen to a basketball game on the radio. If your bass is turned up, the voice may sound muddy and hard to understand. Turn the bass back down and maybe bump the treble up a little bit. Bingo, you can now hear the voice much better. It will be more clear and easier to understand.

Are you getting the idea? Sometimes people turn both the bass and treble knobs all the way up. Well, this didn’t really accomplish anything except to do exactly what turning the “volume” knob up would have done! Now are you getting it? The difference between the main volume control and the EQ control is that the EQ adjusts ONLY the bass or the treble independently, while the volume turns EVERYTHING (bass and treble) up or down.

Now I sense you can handle a new term…”frequency.” When we say bass, we mean the sounds in the low frequencies of a song. Treble means the higher frequencies. More sophisticated EQs allow you to control more than just the bass and treble, adding a few more frequencies between the two, like “middle” or “low-middle” and “high-middle“. Obviously this gives you more control over what parts of the sound you turn up or down.

There is quite a lot to learn about EQ and frequencies. But for now, take this useful lesson: if you want to impress your friends with what an audio-geek you are, never turn all the EQ knobs or sliders all the way up or down at the same time, or else all you’ve done is turn the master volume up or down. Try turning one up and one down to see how that sounds. Or try moving just one control up or down and leaving the other one alone. That will make you seem much cooler;). In the mean time you can learn more about audio at Home Brew Audio. Come on by for a visit!

Business of Blacksmithing – How to Determine Your Hourly Shop Rate

How to Price and Charge for Your Work.

Blacksmithing like any craft takes a lot of thought when your price your work. We all struggle with what we think should be a fair price. Often we enjoy the work so much it seems hard to price the work at what it should be priced to make a proper living.

Let’s look at the reality of pricing your work when you work in a specialized, labor intensive craft. The numbers I will use may be a bit different for your country or location, but I am sure you will be able to adjust the numbers to your situation.

In my area minimum wage is about $8.00 an hour. This gives a bare subsistence in quality of living. So what is a reasonable wage for the type of work we do?

Let’s look at the nature of our business first. We use specialized equipment to create precision pieces of metal work. We assemble our creations into complex shapes and functional items.

There is a high degree of skill, and planning involved in many of our projects. We also have to deal with customers and suppliers on a daily basis. Solve problems and quote projects as well do your own accounting and bookkeeping. There are many hats that we have to wear as one person business operators.

The manual skills required in the blacksmithing business as well as the technical knowledge are closely related to the skills of a welder, or auto mechanic, or a machinist. There are some differences in each of these trades but the skill level is about the same.

In my area auto shops and machine shops charge $75.00 to $100.00 an hour. Individual mechanics and welders get paid $25.00 to $35.00 an hour.

So let’s take an average of $30.00 an hour over a 40 hour week. That gives $1200.00 a week times 50 weeks (remember that you should be able to take a two week holiday and this is paid). So 50 weeks gives a total income of $60,000.00. This is considered a good solid income in my country.

You only get paid for the work you sell. The time you spend consulting with your clients you are not paid for. The time spent designing the gate or grill is not paid time. The time spent getting materials and supplies you are not paid for. If you do your own bookkeeping you are not paid for. If some one else takes care of your book keeping then you have to pay them.

There are many areas that you have to spend time on that you do not get directly paid for. Everything is paid for by what you sell so you have to take into account all the time spent other than smithing.

To calculate what your time is worth when you are working on actual blacksmithing you will need to at first keep strict records of how long it takes you to make your items. You must include the time to paint and finish your work. If you ship to your customers you need to include the time it takes to package it up.

You also need to keep a log of all the time spent that is work related but you can’t charge for. You will need to keep your log-book very detailed so you can isolate what proportion of time actually brings income in, and what proportion supports your income but that you don’t get paid for.

You also need to calculate all your consumable costs, electricity, rent, business insurance, vehicle costs, etc and add to your wage costs. This will give you the total that you need to bring in a year.

The next step is to calculate the number of hours used on non paying work. This includes the running around and consultations, or the sitting at the craft show selling your products. This should be part of your log book as well!

If you keep track of all the time spent on your business, and the time of actual making of the products you will probably find a 60 / 40 ratio. That is 40% of your time is actually working on salable products. 60% of the time is spent on related but unpaid work. You will have to determine this ratio from your own log book.

Let’s take a look at some sample numbers in the equation. These are rough yearly totals.

Wage $60,000

Shop Electricity $1200

Shop Rent $3600

Business Insurance $1200

Vehicle Costs $6000

Show Fees $2000

Advertising $2000

Equipment Repairs $1000

Total $77,000

You may have other expenses that you only incur since you are in business. These will need to be added to this list. Everyone is a bit different, and check with your accountant.

Our actual equation looks like this:

Hourly Shop Rate = (target yearly wage + business expenses) / (ratio of paid hours per week x 40 hours x 50 weeks in a year)

Now let’s plug into our time ratio.

0.40 x our a available paid hours (40 hours a week x 50 weeks in a year)

0.40 x 2000 = 800 paid smithing hours in a year

So $77000 / 800 = $96.25 per hour plus your material costs. This should be your shop rate. As you can see your actual wage is much less than what you have to charge.

Going back to the beginning of this article you can see why my local auto mechanic and machine shop is charging $75 to $100 an hour. Your blacksmith work is the same value!

Let’s add another twist to this scenario.

Suppose you hire an employee. Obvious expense is wages and deductions. When I was hiring employees it would take a month before they had been trained well enough that they were making me significant money. It took a week before they would break even and I could use the components they were making. If you pay $10.00 per hour, the first week they may just break even. The second week they may get up to $20 per hour in production for you.

After a month I found that they could bring in about $40.00 hour if I kept them busy. If you have the work rolling in this is when you start to make money. Remember you are still paying them $10.00 an hour. If your work dries up, paying employees is a fast way of going broke.

In short you need to start keeping a logbook of how much time you spend on each facet of your business. Time for everything. Then break it into time spent directly making your products and time spent on non-billable supporting hours. Do the simple calculations to find what you should be charging in your circumstances. It will probably be more than you guess.