Lesson: Be current, and candid, about prices and services. Now, being the car dunce that I am, I have no idea what the cutting edge of auto-repair technology actually entails. But I do know that Frank’s garage is the only one in his area that relies on an actual computer that prints out an actual receipt detailing parts and labor. When you call for a quote, he takes your information and calls you back after researching it through an app. By comparison, his competitors blurt out a figure off the top of their heads and a receipt is scribbled on a carbon-paper notepad–but only if you ask. And he takes credit cards. The last guy I used was cash or check. And all checks were to be made out to "cash."
Takeaway: You build authority and trust with customers and vendors if you use the latest information and transparent methods to explain your pricing and services.
Of course, Frank's business model is nothing new. But the principles by which he’s succeeded could be the basis for a business school course. Fortunately, he’s been willing to share them for the (very reasonable) price of an oil change and a new set of spark plugs.
Emma Johnson blogs at WealthySingleMommy.com.