Thom Tschetter
Thom Tschetter
Thom Tschetter has served our industry for nearly four decades as a management and sales educator. He owned a chain of award-winning transmission centers in Washington State for over 25 years. He calls on over 15 years of experience as a certified arbitrator for topics for this feature column. Thom is always eager to help members of our industry and continues to be proactive in pursuing ways to improve your business and your life.
Dumb Luck or Foolproof Method?
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. Imagine my reaction to getting the following letter from the HVAC company that repaired the air conditioner in my home last month. Dear Mr. Tschetter, Here at Best Price HVAC Company, we take pride in providing our customers with the best quality parts and ski...

J & B Transmissions: We Do It Right Or We Don't Do It At All
J & B Transmission in Dayton, Ohio is as close to being a 100% family-owned and operated business as you’ll find. Operating under the corporate umbrella of J & B Transmission Services, Inc., the company is composed of two distinct divisions – torque converter remanufacturing and the transmission division. A Long History The company was founded by Jesse Broadstock in 1964. Jesse ran t...

So Many Cars... So Why No Profit?
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. Last week I received a phone call from a shop owner who started the conversation with, “Our parking lot is stuffed to overflowing with cars, but we’re losing money.” Over the years, I’ve received many calls from owners making similar statements, but the so...

One Secret to Turning Good Techs Into Great Techs
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. One secret great business owners know about turning good techs into great techs has nothing to do with providing them with more technical training. It also has nothing to do with how much you pay them or how their pay plan is structured. Like most shop owners, ...

Reflections
Steve Bodofsky passed away on April 29, 2019 after a brave battle with cancer. He’s survived by his wife, Diane and daughter Tara who were both at his bedside when he peacefully passed. He also leaves behind his mother, Suzanne, brothers, David and Gary, sister, Joslin, his Aunt Sandy, and Uncle Richard. Steve was one of those great guys who was always there when you needed a creative solution t...

It's Just Not Right
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. Sometimes, there’s simply no other explanation for the way things work or don’t work out, other than to say, “It’s just not right!” Here’s a great example of one of those situations. One of our ATRA Good Guys towed a car into his shop because the cu...

Just Two Slices of Bread
I heard about a local restaurant that prides itself on its great food and hospitality, which results in large numbers of repeat customers. Many of their customers are daily regulars. One customer in particular came in every day and always ordered the special soup of the day and salad, which included two slices of still-warm homemade bread. He came in literally every weekday and never deviated f...

Start Today To Make a New Ending
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. I recently had conversations with two separate shop owners who talked about their desire and motivation to retire with their health and plenty of time to enjoy their retirement years. They both said the same thing in two different ways… “I want to retire while...

Shrinkage
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. I’d love to see a show of hands of how many of you immediately thought about the old Seinfeld episode when Jerry’s sidekick George Costanza gave the term “shrinkage” a whole new meaning. If you never saw it, just ask anyone within earshot and I’m sure th...

Save a Tree... Go Paperless
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. Are you looking for new ways to boost productivity as well as sales, profits, and customer satisfaction? Taking your shop paperless may be a great first step… and you can even save a tree. New-generation auto shop software can make the transition to paperless...

Butterfly or Moth?
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. The other day I was about to tap my secret code into my garage door key pad when I noticed the most beautiful moth I’ve ever seen. It was perched right next to the key pad. At first, I thought it was a butterfly because it was so large and so pretty. I’d alway...

It's Who You Are
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about business and life. Last month, I asked you to consider what having a servant’s heart means to you. I said that it starts with a commitment to serving — serving customers and serving mankind in general. Your homework was to observe encounters in your life that exemplify the quali...

I Couldn't Wait to Tell You About This
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. This month I have two unrelated experiences to share with you. Both contain great examples of service commitment… service to customers and service to mankind in general. As you read these brief true stories, look for the ideas you can apply in yo...

Don't Aspire to Be Great
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. You might think I’ve lost my mind with the title of this article. I hope it caught your attention. After over 25 years of reading and listening to me talk about how to make your business the best it can be, how to differentiate yourself from the ...

Seek Wisdom In Dispute Resolution
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. In this article, we’ll look at wisdom’s role in resolving disputes. At one time or another, we all face situations in which we’re asked to intervene or to interject ourselves into a dispute. It might be between employees, your children, your ...

Seek Wisdom to Take the Gray Out of Your Ethical Dilemmas
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. To get the most out of this article, you might want to reread my last two articles. In those articles, I presented the importance of using wisdom to revolutionize your decision-making process and how wisdom can help you make the wisest and best use...

Seek Wisdom: The Wisest and Best Use of Time
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. Most of you have probably heard the phrase “highest and best use.” It’s usually used for determining the value of a piece of real estate. For instance, how many times have you seen perfectly good buildings torn down and replaced by a resta...

Seek Wisdom: Revolutionize How You Make Decisions
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. As we turn the calendar page from 2017 to 2018, this is a good time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. Have you ever noticed that, when we reflect on the past, we tend to think in the negative? We say things like, “If I coul...

A Cure for Imperfect Memory
It’s been a while since I’ve written an article about a customer complaint, a small claims court or arbitration matter, or an example of bad customer service. The fact is that I rely on you folks contacting me with your own real-life adventures and misadventures in customer service. Lately, the well of stories has gone dry. Maybe it’s because you’re all getting so good at keeping custom...

Inspiration or Desperation? When's the right time to upgrade your shop management software?
Over the past few months, I’ve had conversations with shop owners, software providers, and most recently, with GEARS Managing Editor Rodger Bland. The conversations have focused primarily on how to help shops make good choices when purchasing shop management software. The reason Rodger and I decided to include this article in this issue is because it’s the Powertrain Expo edition. We know t...