Planning For Training Part 2 – Sources For Training

Last week, we talked about the importance of having a formal training program, how the training program should be structured, and the return on investment that you can anticipate due to implementing the training program.

But where do you go to actually find training?

Industry Education Support

Trade associations and suppliers of various products and services to the auto repair industry are concerned about the ability of their members and customers to survive and prosper. If the shop fails, they lose a member/customer and revenue. Therefore many of the associations and suppliers to our industry have committed time and money to assisting their members and customers with acquiring necessary education. This investment helps assure that their members and customers will be there tomorrow.


There are several forms of coaching available. They include individual or group formats that are available in person, by phone, or by video conferencing. Coaching allows for addressing each individual’s specific needs.

Single Sessions or Programs

There are many companies providing excellent training for both technical and management to the industry via conventions and tradeshows, as well as their own scheduled training workshops around the country. To find out about these events and sessions try contacting your suppliers and trade associations.

Banner Programs

Many suppliers have banner programs that include training as part of the package. Contact all of your suppliers to find out those that have this type of program available in your local area.

20 Groups

First, let it be known that the term 20 group applies to a broad description of processes. These groups vary in number of members, meetings per year, days of the week they meet, number of hours devoted each day to the meeting process, items on the agenda, what information and experience the facilitator brings to the process, and what the facilitating company contributes to the group members and process in terms of information and resources.

Having said all of that, all 20 group processes are extremely valuable to its members as part of an on-going educational process, as well as to the implementation of what is learned. Peers contribute to the success of each member by offering ideas, support, and commitment to common goals and practices.

Owners who are involved in the 20 group process take ideas and information back and share it with their employees with the intent to make everyone’s job easier and more efficient. This is one of the most economic methods of obtaining management training available to shop owners.

RLO Training offers the Bottom-Line Impact Groups (BLIG) as our 20 groups. BLIG members meet in person three times each year, each time visiting and evaluating the host’s shop, and meet online in-between each of these meetings. Members also turn in composite numbers each month, and are assigned composite partners, with whom they talk at least once a month to review each other’s numbers, in order to keep each other accountable. They also have access to coaching with our facilitators and copious amounts of resources.

In Conclusion

Overall, a very small percentage of the shop owners in this industry have taken advantage of any of the outstanding training opportunities that are available. The ones who need it the most are the same people we rarely see in any sort of training classes because they are too busy working “in” their business instead of “on” their business. Their typical response to the opportunity for training is that they are too busy to go.

If you are one of those business owners, my suggestion to you is to begin immediately by challenging all of your current methodology, become very open-minded, and continuously seek information and training that is directly applicable to your business. With that approach, you stand a much better chance for survival in the coming years.

To those savvy business owners who regularly seek and attend training, revisit your training budget and plan to ensure that you are investing in each employee and achieving the expected results.

If you’re interested in classes or workshops with RLO Training, or would like to join the Bottom-Line Impact Groups, please call us at 800-755-0988 or visit See you in class!

Written by RLO Training