Starting Your Own Auto-Repair Shop

Opening any small business can be a challenge. When it comes to doing what you love, however, some things are worth the stress, financial risk, and extra hours. If owning a small business wasn’t worth it, we’d probably see each one of them go under. Instead, countless people have found that running a business that’s all their own is deeply satisfying. If you love working on engines, then you probably have an interest in opening your own auto-repair shop. If you’d like to join that list of business owners and open your own shop, you may discover it was one of the best choices you ever made. Without further ado, here’s a checklist of advice to get started.

Certification
In order to begin, you’ll need to be certified. Acquire an ASE Automotive Degree, so you’re equipped to handle each job that comes in. While this degree is not legally required, it could be very difficult to gain business if customers know you’re not certified. That certification is proof that you’re reliable, do a good job, and it will help reassure new customers that you can deliver the services they need.

Finances
Before you open, you’ll want to make sure your numbers are looking good. Between rent, employee salaries, insurance, and equipment, you can expect the overall start-up cost to be fairly high. Consult with Wiss & Company or another accounting firm to make sure you’re financially prepared for business. Most new businesses go under due to running out of funds, so keep your shop thriving by being financially prepared.

Legal Assistance
Opening a auto-repair shop comes with some legal requirements, like having proper insurance and a business license, and you’ll also want a system set up for payroll and taxes. While you can figure all these details out on your own, you may wish to consult a lawyer for help during this process.

Employees
Unless you want to turn away customers, you’re most likely going to need one or two more people on your team, even in the very beginning. Part of your planning will be conducting interviews and gaining a good, reliable staff. Find people you trust, who stick to their commitments and always come in to work. Getting good people to begin with, before the business is up and running, will save your stress and hassle later.

Marketing
Last, but not least, running a successful repair shop will hinge on your ability to get customers. While you might get a customer or two each year simply because they “drove past and noticed you,” you’ll want to get the word of your repair shop out there. Have a grand opening, and consider offering special prices for your first few weeks. If you do well, a lot of your customers will visit from word of mouth, but have a website and a small online presence, as well. Soon, you’ll have a steady stream of repairs coming in, you’ll start making back your financial investment, and you’ll be well on your way to succeeding as an auto-repair shop.

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