New Year, New Workshop: Checklist

Start the New Year with a bang – by knocking out the tasks on our business checklist. We’re not reinventing the wheel with these items, but everyone needs a reminder every now and then


  • Review your current position to the goals you set at the beginning of last year, what helped you achieve these goals or held you back.
  • Set goals for the year ahead and develop action plans to get there (download our tracking spreadsheet).
  • Think about areas of your business that are costing you a lot of time, how can you find efficiencies in these processes?


  • Book in regular catchups with team members to thank them for their contributions, provide feedback on areas for improvement, and to keep a handle on their engagement levels.
  • Map out the skills you need in your team. Does your team's skillset fit the requirements? If not, start planning how to upskill your techs, or start recruiting for new hires.
  • Review upcoming changes to employment law and the impact this could have on you and your team (keep up to date with the updates from Employment NZ or Fair Work AU).
  • Review staff productivity and efficiency and use the data to set goals for their performance moving forward.


  • Adjust your labour rates for inflation. Increasing labour rates by $5/hour won’t have a big on impact on customers but it could have an impact of $200/week or $10,400/year for you.
  • Review the parts margins in your pricing matrix, increase your margins by 1-5% depending on the category of the part (read more about parts margins for your workshop).
  • Set a target for gross profit per hour and train your team to calculate this before issuing a quote.

Review upselling and cross-selling strategies

  • Review with your team the most successful upsell and cross-sell promotions and what worked best.
  • Schedule regular meetings with your team to discuss wins and losses when upselling and cross-selling customers so you can learn from each other.
  • Motivate the team by showing them the impact each person can have on your bottom line by making one extra upsell/cross-sell.
  • Provide staff with a script for upsells and cross-sells so they have confidence in what to say at crunch time. For an added confidence boost get the team to practice with each other.
  • Enroll staff in an online training course for selling (start with this webinar on “Advanced Closing Skills”).


  • Review and update the message library used for service reminders and requests for customer reviews.
  • Map out the ideal follow up schedule for review requests and service reminders.
  • Set reminders each week to bulk send out service reminders and requests for customer reviews following their service.
  • Schedule reminders to update the text in your reminders based on the time of year or events going on at that time. For example, using “Happy New Year” or “Happy Holidays” at the start or end of the year.


  • Optimise your Google My Business profile (check out this checklist for tips).
  • Update the information on your business listings, check links work, contact information is up to date, and services offered are correct.
  • Request reviews from your customers.
  • Create a 2021 schedule of posts/updates for your Google My Business and other social media profiles (Not sure what to post? Take a look at this guide). Planning in advance will help take the pressure off each month.
  • Review your advertising and the return you’re getting for your efforts. Are the same channels paying off? If you’re not recording where they’re coming from, start making a note to ask new customers when they make a booking.


  • Create a schedule for regular stock takes.
  • Shop around for deals for your utilities, see where you can save money.
  • Back up your systems, review your backup process, and implement a regular monthly backup schedule (check out our guide on backups here).
  • Audit your hygiene practices, check your COVID Scanner QR codes are still working, stock up on sanitiser and toilet paper.
  • Refresh your waiting area – Give it a spring clean and update those old magazines, take out the dead plants and flip dirty cushions over. Replenish supplies of the elusive 10mm socket.