Four Business Lessons Learned As a Body Sculpting Champion

Back in October 2004 I won the Central North Island Novice Body Sculpting Championships and went on to compete in New Zealand Nationals. To achieve this I trained 7 days a week, twice a day for up to 1.5 hours at a time and monitored my nutritional intake like a hawk. I shed 15 kgs off my frame and got down to 10% body fat.

In short I applied a tremendous amount of discipline and focus to achieve this amazing result of sculpting my body into this ideal symmetrical physique the judges required.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Would I do it again, no.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy eating chicken and broccoli 7 days a week but I’d rather not. I also don’t think being that lean is a natural state for anyone to be in for a long period of time – bones and muscle is not altogether attractive.

Plus it had never been my intention to stand on stage in a skimpy outfit, wearing 6 inch heels and bronzed up to the max, striking a variety of poses to be show of my physique. But as the competition date drew nearer, I realized I owed it to myself to enter to acknowledge and justify all the hard work I’d put in. I’m so glad I did!

What I am forever indebted to though, is the entire journey I experienced, because it proved to me that I could do anything I put my mind to.

1. Keep your eye on the end goal

I recall the moment when, standing on stage, my name was called and I was asked to step forward as one of the top 3 contestants. I realized at that moment that every single day leading up to this moment I had never contemplated losing.

There I was excited to have made it, trying to balance on these ridiculous heels and exude grace and confidence when suddenly it struck me that I may not win. I hadn’t planned for that! I set myself a goal to win that competition, I put my heart and soul into training and diet, I made a ton of sacrifices to stay on track no matter what and look what happened.

2. Apply determination liberally

It’s interesting to note that during that same year, applying that discipline and focus to other areas of my life meant they also blossomed as a result. In my new role as National Brand Manager for a major haircare company, I pulled off the best ever Hairdressing Awards in my first 3 months and increased brand performance across the board by 30% in the first year.

As if that wasn’t enough, I had also decided to take on part-time extramural study by completing a University Certificate in Fitness Management to learn more about nutrition, anatomy, physiology and exercise prescription.

Due to my 5am starts and training time I had to make creative use of my study time often reading on the exercise bike at the gym while doing a 1.5 hour low intensity workout to burn fat. I maximized the time I had by working smart and managed to get all As and even some A+s as a result.

3. You can achieve anything you put your mind to

I’m telling this story not to brag (because even I was amazed by it) but to show what amazing results anyone can achieve when they choose to.

“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret to success”. Norman Vincent Peale

It is this belief in ourselves that makes us the entrepreneurs we are. It’s our ability to pick ourselves up when we fail, which we never plan to, and learn from it. This belief allows us to sculpt ourselves into a better person and make our business stronger.

4. Be an artist and create daily

We are sculptors at work. Constantly chiseling, scraping and polishing our creations with the help of specific tools, as Karen McGregor writes in her book ‘Sculpting the Business Body.’

Taking purposeful action each and every day towards achieving our goals means that we will achieve our success. Especially when combined with a support crew and an accountability team. Back in 2004 that was my nutritionist, my friends at the gym and my friends and family.

I hope you choose to invest in yourself and your business this year for real. If you want to get your business in shape then sign up for the September Business Builder online coaching program today http://womanzworld.com/business-success-academy/

The Profit and Consequences of Body Language Training

Is this A Good Time To Sell Your Body Shop Business?

Have you ever asked yourself the question? “Is this a good time to sell my business?” That is a question every business owner asks himself, every time he has a bad day. I once received e-mail from the editor of the Auto Body News, asking me that key question. “What is happening in the market today? Is this a good time to sell? ” My quick answer was “These are very interesting times.”

Of course that answer doesn’t tell you anything that you can get your teeth into. So! Let me clarify my answer. Since I have been selling body shops for nearly 5 years, I have seen many changes in the body shop industry. One thing that hasn’t changed is that there have always been an abundance of both sellers and buyers. The buyers have always been, and still are picky about what they were looking for.

The perfect shop in the eyes to the buyers is (A) one that has a customer base and a revenue stream that is reliable and isn’t dependent on the owner being there to retain each individual customer, and. (B) doing a volume of at least $100,000 per month, but really much more. Large volume sellers think that if they have a DRP (Direct Repair Program. This is where the insurance companies set up a relationship with the body shop to do all their clients business. Much like an HMO in health insurance) contract, they have what the buyers want.

This may be true but the contracts are not automatically transferable, and a buyer will be very unhappy if the DRP leaves after paying money for this “reliable revenue stream.” Smaller volume sellers, on the other-hand, not having corporate accounts, dealerships or other contracts still have hopes of getting lot of money for their shops. The average shop I run across is only doing about $300,000-$500,000 annual gross income. So what we have is a situation where a lot of buyers are looking to buy a shop, but there are not a lot of shops available, that fit what they are interested in.

This year, one change has occurred. There are fewer shops available than at any time in my career. Not fewer of the large volume shops for sale, that is fairly stable, but fewer of the small mom and pop repair shops that have not been in heavy demand. The reason, I believe this has happened is because of the booming economy. Low volume shops are doing better than they have in years. They are making money, and do not feel as much pressure to close down. They still would like to get out, but when they find out that their 5,000 sq. foot shop which is making them a $100,000 net profit, is only worth $100,000 on the open market they decide to keep on working.

As always, the shops doing $1 Million to $3 Million per year gross income is still in demand. The price alone still is the main factor, in determining if these shops will sell. A good example of this is what is happening in lower Orange County. There are currently a couple of shops in Lower Orange County that are for sale, by the owners. They appear to be very profitable but the asking price is too high and the buyers all know it. Even the fact that these are the only shops available for sale in this prime area has not changed the fact that buyers just refuse to over pay.

Last year I was marketing a high volume shop, in Ventura County. The buyers refused to pay the asking price, even though the volume was there. Why? The profit wasn’t. In this situation, the buyers would not pay for the volume and stability of income unless the net profits were there. They didn’t assume that they would make a profit where the current owner was not. It appears that buyers of today are very careful. I believe they do not trust their own ability to get business and are too careful.

To clear up any confusion about what kind of buyers we are talking about, lets break the buyers up into categories. The first category is the consolidators. There are two large ones in Southern California but they are not the whole market. I have talked to out of state consolidators that have inquired about moving in to the So California market. Consolidators want shops that fit their model. That model sometimes changes but basically they will buy a shop if it fits their model.

If it doesn’t, they will not touch it. The price by itself doesn’t turn their interest on or off. We do not have enough space to discuss what this group will buy, in this article. It is enough to say, ” If your shop fits their criteria they would have contacted you and expressed interest. If they haven’t contacted you, they are not interested.” Period! They know their market place and who is in it.

By the way, if I owned a shop that a consolidator wanted, I would never sell to them. Being a professional negotiator for 20 years, I find the requested seller financing terms totally unacceptable. When I have found out about these sales, after the fact, I am amazed. I had buyers for the same money, or more, without the seller being at risk, but no one asked me.

The second category is the multiple location shop owners. Usually with one or more DRP contracts shop that wants to expand into more areas. They are very interested in the sq. footage of the shop, and its ability to handle over $2. Million Gross Income per year. This buyer only looks in limited areas. The areas being where they have been offered a DRP contract. When they are looking, they need it now, while the window of opportunity is open to them. If they can’t find it quick, they will not need it at all. Recently I had a multiple shop buyer who had made an offer and was negotiating a shop in West Los Angeles. By the time we finished the negotiations, the DRP contract was gone and so was the buyer.

The third category is the buyers who have worked in the industry before, but do not currently own a shop. Also in this group are the buyers who have family in the industry, and money is no problem. This buyer believes ” If it doesn’t have a DRP, forget it. If it has a DRP and isn’t making much money, also forget it”. If it has a DRP, and it is making money, they are interested but only at what they consider is a fair price (In their eyes). This group I have successfully changed their mind at how they analyze what a good shop looks like and on occasion have bought shops with “a steady reliable income”, other than insurance contracts.

The fourth category is the person that just wants a shop. They will do what they have to, to afford a shop that will work for them. This group is the working body man or auto repair shop mechanic. Because of their limited funds, this buyer will only pay what he or she feels the equipment is worth. They will pay nothing for goodwill because they believe that the seller’s customers are not stable and will leave when the ownership changes. Are they wrong?

In Conclusion: There are a lot of buyers out there. My database has over 250 current names of body shop buyers. There is currently a shortage of shops for sale but mostly in the properly priced category. Most days I feel like a marriage broker with a lot of plain brides and a few beauties. The dowry for the beauties is more than most good-looking boys will pay. The balance of the girls may not be pretty, but some of them can sure cook. . Anyone want to get married? “Have I got a girl for you”