Thom Tschetter
Thom Tschetter
Thom Tschetter has served our industry for nearly four decades as a management and sales educator. He owned a chain of award-winning transmission centers in Washington State for over 25 years. He calls on over 15 years of experience as a certified arbitrator for topics for this feature column. Thom is always eager to help members of our industry and continues to be proactive in pursuing ways to improve your business and your life.
That’s How It Should Be
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. This article tells a story and provides a lesson we can all learn from, about two tradespersons from outside our industry. The stories come from my personal experiences with two professionals from separate industries that share challenges similar t...

5 Steps to Boost Technician Efficiency
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. When considering the shop equipment and tools theme of this issue of GEARS, don’t ignore the importance of management equipment and tools as well. This article focuses on five steps you can take to increase technician efficiency. Ironically, f...

House Call Diagnostics
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. Have you ever thought about the expression, “My way or the highway”? Why is the “highway” a negative when its counterpart, the “high road” isn’t? Makes you want to say, “Hmmm.” Today I want to share two recent customer service ...

Diagnosing and Fixing Profit Leaks
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. In keeping with the diagnostics theme of this issue, I thought it’d be appropriate to share some quick tips for diagnosing and fixing some common profit leaks that many shops are experiencing — some known and some unknown to the owners. With...

First Oil, Then Water… Now What?
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. In over 20 years as an arbitrator and mediator, I’ve observed that most customer disputes are over unmet expectations or misunderstandings. The BBB reports that warranty disputes significantly outnumber almost all other categories of disputes. ...

The Golden Rule
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. In over 20 years as an arbitrator and mediator, I’ve observed that most customer disputes are over unmet expectations or misunderstandings. The BBB reports that warranty disputes significantly outnumber almost all other categories. You often h...

Proactivity: A Good Start to Great Leadership
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. Lately, I’ve been contemplating what it takes to be not just a good leader, but a great leader. Is there something you can start doing today that you aren’t doing now that will move you toward becoming a great leader? In his 2001 book, Good ...

Manage Things But Lead People
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. I don’t know about you, but back in school, I used to hate when a test question started with the phrase, “Compare and contrast…” It always meant that I was going to have to think and then write an essay about what I thought. Who knew that s...

When Do You End a Warranty?
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. In over 20 years as an arbitrator and mediator, I’ve observed that most customer disputes are somehow related to misunderstandings about warranties. The BBB reports that warranty disputes outnumber almost all other categories by a significant per...

What I Learned Watching TV
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. At this year’s Powertrain Expo, I’m presenting a workshop entitled Pea Soup:The Cure for Entrepreneurial Split Personality Disorder.I’ve compiled some practical tools to conquer the two-hat challenge that I wrote about in the May 2016 issue. ...

People-First Advertising
At this year’s Powertrain Expo, I’m presenting a workshop entitled Pea Soup: The Cure for Entrepreneurial Split Personality Disorder. I’ve compiled some practical tools to conquer the two-hat challenge that I wrote about in the May 2016 issue. These tools will help you take your company exactly where you want it to go. You’ll learn the secrets for managing things and leading people. Thi...

Payoffs: Everybody Wants One
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. At this year’s Powertrain Expo, I’m presenting a workshop entitled Pea Soup: The Cure for Entrepreneurial Split Personality Disorder. I’ve compiled some practical tools to conquer the two-hat challenge that I wrote about in the May 2016 issue...

Let's Go Fishing
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. At this year’s Powertrain Expo, I’ll present a workshop titled Pea Soup: The Cure for Entrepreneurial Split Personality Disorder. I’ve compiled some practical tools to conquer the two-hat challenge that I wrote about in my Up Your Business co...

Customer Acquisition to Retention Cost Ratio
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. It’s likely that you’re familiar with the phrase “customer acquisition cost.” But have you ever actually taken the time to calculate what it costs you to acquire a new customer? If not, you should do it and do it now. In this article, I...

Monte's Tree
Monte's Tree
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. There’s a particularly frustrating hole at one of the golf courses where my friends and I frequently play. It’s a dogleg left that requires three shots to reach the green, unless you can “cut the corner,” in which case, you can make it with...

Making Wishes Come True
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges. 2016… a new year. Time sure flies when you get old. By now, you’ve already written your goals and objectives for 2016, right? If you have, you get an “atta boy” (excuse the gender-based political incorrectness). You get a double atta boy if ...

When Enough is Enough; Part 1
Up Your Business is an exclusive GEARS Magazine feature in which I share stories, insights, and reflections about real business and life challenges.  Lately I’ve received a number of inquiries for information about retirement and transition planning.  This isn’t surprising when you consider the rising average age of the typical shop owner, and that our industry is now in its seventh dec...