I have a dog at home named Penny who is a rescue animal. She’s part australian cattle dog, part pit bull or maybe boxer, but in all a great dog. A couple months ago She started limping on her left hind leg really badly. When we took her to the vet, they warned me that they’d have to run x-rays and a handful of other tests, and I said go ahead – you have to diagnose the problem, right? In auto repair, we tell people that all the time. So we got a bill for $499 but they couldn’t tell for sure what was going on with her. They put her on medication and we kept her in bed and she was feeling better for a month or so, but then she started limping again. We took her back to the vet and this time they needed to do an MRI, more x-rays, and a handful of other tests, and this time the bill was $900. I’m $1,500 in on this almost, and they still can’t really tell me what’s wrong with Penny. They said they think it’s her ACL and she probably needs surgery. There were two different surgeries – there’s the $2,000 one and the $4,000 one, depending on what I want, so I was like, how much is it to put the dog down? Haha just kidding! So after $1,500 into this diagnosis there’s still no solution in sight.
This situation kind of reminded me of the auto repair business. Just like a doctor or veterinarian, we have to diagnose a car, spend time with it, and hopefully give a conclusive diagnosis. We don’t spend $1,500 of your money and say this is what we think your problem is. We will spend about $200 of your money and give you a proper diagnosis.
It also struck me how since the dog is part of our family, of course we’re going to spend the $2,000-$4,000 to get her operated on because we don’t want her to be in pain all the time. Well a car is kind of part of your family too, right? Because you need a car to get to work, to drive your kids to their activities, and basically for everything in your day to day life. So you want to trust the people who are looking at your car, trust their diagnosis, and get the vehicle fixed effectively.
So I thought Penny’s story was an interesting parallel to my business. Be prepared to spend money to get your body, animal, and car diagnosed properly, and make sure you’re bringing yourself to competent people who know what they’re doing. At Curry’s Auto Service my guys are the best, we have cool tools and we know how to use them and our guys are awesome. Find someone you trust and be prepared to pay the diagnostic charges when necessary. Also if you’re in business with computers, electronics, etc. make sure you charge for diagnostics. Time is money and we need to charge for our professional opinions and diagnosis.