Long before the ink has even dried on your brand-new degree, you’ve probably already thought up a name for your automotive, truck or motorcycle repair shop. You’re ready to get out there and open up your own business, but before you do so, keep this practical and useful advice at hand to avoid the blunders that can plague any new shop owner in these booming industries.
1) Don’t Be Blindsided by Expenses
Opening a new shop isn’t cheap – just getting set up can run you upwards of $50,000 to $100,000. Between purchasing diagnostic machines, getting properly insured, and a good set of tools, you’re already looking at a major investment even before you open your doors.
2) Make Sure You Have a Solid Business Plan
Know exactly where you see yourself in one year as well as five years from now. Don’t expect to just open your doors and find a flock of customers waiting for you, either. Have a marketing strategy in place to get your name out there and keep your income stream steady. Know your areas of specialty and make sure you absolutely excel in both your work and your customer service.
3) Get (and Keep!) Loyal Employees
Your customers aren’t just looking for someone to fix their vehicle; they’re also looking for a relationship. When they show up with complaints of a suspicious rattle under the hood, they may also be looking for a familiar face. Make sure your employees are well taken care of, have their needed certifications, and ensure that you have all of the proper insurances in place to help protect both yourself and them.
4) Dot Your I’s and Cross your T’s
Don’t let little mistakes sideline you. Have an accountant and lawyer in place to help you run your business, and make sure that you have the required permits, licenses and insurance to avoid legal pitfalls. Be vigilant when choosing your location to help draw in customers. Choose a facility large enough to not only accommodate your shop, but also your customers with a comfortable lobby or waiting area. Little things like this can go a long way in helping build your first shop! Owning your own business can be exciting and even a little scary, but you can avoid mishaps that sink other businesses if you heed these tips.