Being a good mechanic and being an efficient entrepreneur behind a car repair business are not the same things. Sure, the first one helps, but without the knowledge of how to budget your business, how to register it, how to prepare your location and how to advertise it properly, you’re doomed to fail. With that in mind and in order to avoid this grim fate, here are six tips for starting a car repair business that might just come in handy.
Get necessary licenses
As soon as you start planning a car repair business, you need to understand which licenses you will need. Like any other enterprise, you’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in order to properly pay your taxes. Next, if you aim to sell parts, you will have to apply for the reseller license issued by your state. Lastly, you need some industry-specific licenses that are both business and region-dependent. For instance, most countries require licenses for automotive repair services, yet, brake light adjustments and smoke checks might need additional certificates of their own.
Assess the equipment needs
The next task you should commit to is the equipment needs for your business. Sure, basic tasks require basic tools but this is merely the tip of the iceberg. Specializing in certain tasks means that you’ll also have to buy specialized equipment, which creates additional costs but also opens up new opportunities. Marketing your business as a specialized venue might bring you more lucrative work opportunities, as well as put you on the map of local business to look out for. Before you do so, however, make sure you have the necessary skill, as well as the budget that can support this idea. Speaking of which…
Do the budget
Budgeting for your car repair business is incredibly important but there’s a reason why it’s done after assessing the equipment needs of your business. Namely, tools are one of the major issues on your checklist (it can be as much as $15,000) but they are not the only item there. Insurance is about $4,000 per year and shop rentals may range from $1,500 to $15,000, depending on the size and the location of the place. Lastly, keep in mind that you might need to remodel the space and install a lift, which, once again, costs little short of $3,700. Overall, it’s expected that the total of starting the business (with licenses and equipment) amounts to little short of $50,000.
Consider franchising it
One of the ways to cut costs and even get some brand benefits is to franchise your business. In this way, you can get the initial capital, facilitate your growth and further motivate your staff by reducing the risk and setting a clear and transparent path for your company’s further development. Just make sure you choose the right mechanic business for sale. They support entrepreneurs financially and provide marketing training opportunities, as well as income guarantee.
Set up the location
Unlike with some other businesses, it’s impossible for a client to work with you without visiting your headquarters. Therefore, it has to be not only functional, but also highly presentable. With that in mind, it might be a good idea to start by designing a lobby or a waiting room where they can spend the time while their vehicle is being looked at. Keep in mind that this is a life-saving business practice since you don’t want to have them breathing down your neck while you’re trying to focus. As for the other preparations, we’ve already hinted on the importance of lift and proper tools, some of which have to be specifically installed and prepared.
Market your business
At the very end, you need to find a way to attract customers and there are several effective ways for you to do so. First of all, you should set up a website and enable an option of scheduling online. Next, you should register on all major social networks. As for the traditional (non-digital) methods, you should advertise on local television, distribute flyers and offer discounts on some of the minor maintenance tasks like an oil change.
Keep in mind that all of this requires a huge investment, not just in resources, but in money, as well. This is why you need to get familiar with all the expenses and options that you’re facing. Finding a way to cut your overhead and increase your profit will make your business rest on a solid foundation, while a failure to do so may turn out to be a dangerous business practice. With that in mind, well-conducted preparation stage is your only safeguard in the face of the unknown.