beat and knock drunk

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One of the most tedious parts of my job is finding art. You know, find photos or illustrations for a particular story. It can take a lot of time and research to find the right image that goes well with the words written in an article. But when I found old Ben Franklin who looked like he had done a few rounds with Mike Tyson (see the cover of the August issue), I knew I had found the right photo for the August issue cover story, “Labour Rates: Getting What You Need.” With the rising cost of everything from gas to groceries to, in your business, the cost of paint, materials, and technology, we’re all probably feeling a little bruised and drunk.

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To be honest, before the story came in from Consolidation Coach contributor and owner Laura Gay, I thought I’d read about competitive pricing going on and insurers saying, based on their own proprietary investigation, that body shops in your area charge $XX per hour on average. And I thought Laura would advise stores to do their own investigation, emailing their colleagues in the area and asking them what they charge. You know, things I’ve heard in the past about how to fight the suppression of labor rates. But surprisingly, Laura offered some of her own thoughts that I hadn’t heard of before: mostly, ask, ask and ask again…nicely. And justify.

It’s pretty sad that we have to crawl for a few extra bucks per hour, but we all know the complex dynamics of getting paid what we need to make a decent profit. Sometimes it seems like “profit” is a dirty word in the auto body repair business, which is ridiculous.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the difficulties of removing the labor rate, but I implore you to read Laura’s article if you haven’t already. I think you will glean some ideas about the current world we live in, inflation, consolidation, managing your finances and the compensation you need. Good reading!

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