STARTING A MECHANIC BUSINESS
Garage is a place where vehicles are brought for repair or for maintenance. To run an effective garage you need the right mechanics who can provide the right information and service to the customers. This business is good for people who are mechanically-inclined. The target market here is unique. Clients for auto repair businesses are unique in that they all have one thing in common: a broken or serviceable vehicle. The best types of customers are those with a service contract. The worst type of customers may be the one-time customers who take advantage of special discounts. These types of customers are price shoppers and may actually cost the shop money. An auto body shop or car repair shop makes money by charging a flat fee or hourly rate for service. In some shops, owners set routine maintenance fees, charging a set price for simple maintenance like an oil change.
The following are the points to be kept in mind for starting a mechanic business
- Startup costs
- Legal advice
- Right mechanics
Getting your business certified helps in obtaining finance for the business. It gives car owners confidence, and can be a very important marketing tool. Before you qualify to take the certification test, you’ll need a minimum of two years of work and educational experience combined, with at least one year obtained on the job.
Before you spend a dime opening your shop, you need to know the total projected cost to get up and running. If you don’t, you might run out of funds before gaining your first customer. While it is impossible to project certain costs ahead of time, the most common and expensive line items are easily predicted.The total cost is mainly around the equipment, insurance, and rent. Buying a building and making alterations can significantly change that number, depending on construction costs. Choosing to buy an existing auto shop can also affect the bottom line.
You might want to specialize in a particular area to gain more attention to your business.
- Collision Repair
- Medium – Heavy Truck
- School Bus
- Transit Bus
- Truck Equipment
You can also specialize in repairs for specific car manufacturers or types of repair. If you specialize, you might earn a reputation as the best garage for brakes, but you lost out on a lot of other business. Before you open up, you need to know the scope of the services you plan to offer. If you want to specialize, you’ll need to do some serious market research to make sure there is enough demand to support your new shop
You’ll need to obtain a business license, look into the regulations surrounding liability insurance requirements, open accounts to handle payroll and tax reporting, file your articles of incorporation, and other pre-sale steps
If you have a very small shop, you might do all of the work yourself, but you will probably still need at least one employee to handle telephone calls and customers. If you have a couple of lifts and want to maximize your capacity, you’ll need additional mechanics to help service vehicles. The hiring process should start at least a month before your grand opening. You’ll want enough time to check references, find the best candidates, and negotiate compensation packages.
Marketing is another big part of opening the doors. Be sure to schedule a Grand Opening, so locals can stop in and see the shop. You might want to advertise special discount pricing for that first day or week, just to bring customers through the doors.
It takes a lot of work and general mechanic skills. Starting your own car repair shop can give you control over your own hours and allow you to reap the benefits of owning your own business.
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