Opening a car repair shop can be a great way to turn a skill or a hobby into a lucrative business. Anybody who owns their own vehicle will need repairs and maintenance at some point, so there is always a market for new shops. However, many would-be business owners are regularly blindsided by how difficult it is to run a small business. It’s not just a matter of being an expert in your chosen field, having the right facilities and hiring the right employees. All of that is certainly important, but there is more to opening a car repair shop than that, especially if you have limited funds at your disposal.
Opening and running a successful car repair shop is entirely possible, even on a limited budget. You do need to know what to expect, though. Here are some things to keep in mind that should help you get your business off the ground.
Develop a Business Plan
Before you do anything else, you should have a business plan in place. You should know what kinds of services you will offer, what kinds of vehicles you will be repairing and how much you will charge. Knowing your target market should help you with this as well. You obviously don’t want your prices to be too high if you life in a lower- or middle-class neighborhood, and you should be hiring mechanics who are familiar with the kinds of vehicles that are common in the area. You should be planning for at least one year in advance.
Find the Right Garage for Your Shop
It will be tempting to find the biggest and fanciest garage you can afford for your new shop, but you will be better off finding something smaller and rent-free. Even a small space is better than one you cannot afford, and you may be surprised to find out how little room you will need at first. You could use your own home, a friend’s garage, an existing business or anywhere else that won’t charge you too much for rent. Factor in the costs of utilities in your chosen garage as well. Utilities can be just as expensive as rent, and it could ruin you before things get off the ground.
Advertise Any Way You Can
Advertising is one of the keys to success for businesses. Running ads in newspapers or on television does cost a lot of money, but there are other forms of advertising that can be just as effective. Word-of-mouth advertising is still very effective, so make sure that your customers have great things to say about you. Otherwise, print some cheap fliers and post them on community bulletin boards. There are plenty of these boards in your neighborhood if you know where to look. Check out community centers, local coffee shops and churches for some well-used boards. You will need to spend at least some money on advertising, so make sure you’ve factored that into your budget. Advertising could make all the difference in the world as you are starting out, so make sure you get on it. Don’t be afraid to hire someone to take care of this if you have the budget for it.
This article was contributed by Richard Craft, an MBA student who hopes to help you with your business. He writes this on behalf of Car-Research XRM, your number one choice when looking for car dealership CRM. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!