Tips to Opening Your Own Auto Repair Business in a Budget-Friendly Way
For years, you have dreamed of opening your own auto repair business. You love cars and are highly knowledgeable about how to fix them, and you have an entrepreneurial can-do attitude.
What you don’t have a lot of is a ton of money or knowledge on the specific details associated with starting your own company. You want to be sure you are following all of the proper steps and doing things the right way; you simply need some guidance to get started.
To help you get your new business off the ground, in a way that won’t break the bank, consider the following tips.
Create a Solid Business Plan
The first thing you should do to fulfill your dream of starting an auto business, notes How To Start an LLC, is to create a detailed business plan. This will include your estimated startup and ongoing costs, what you plan to charge for each type of service and what you will name your new company. For your startup fees, include things like your business license, insurance, shop rental fees, and tools and equipment. To save as much money as you can, take your time choosing a location and, if possible, see about taking over an auto repair shop that is going out of business and will include the equipment as part of the lease agreement.
Buy in Bulk Whenever Possible
Once your shop is open, you will find that certain repairs are done more frequently than others. To help save money and also be able to assist your customers immediately with their vehicle’s issues, you may want to consider buying a number of your commonly used supplies in bulk. For instance, oil, air filters, brake pads and o-rings are all items that you should have on hand at all times. As you research your supplies, Apple Rubber suggests resisting the urge to cut costs in your supply chain by outsourcing to overseas vendors. While you may save a bit of money upfront, your supply chain may suffer and you run the risk of supply interruptions, which could cause customers to go elsewhere for their repairs.
Form a Business Entity
As Starting Your Own Business notes, you will also need to form a business entity. The four main choices are: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and LLC. Each has a number of plusses and minuses; it would be wise to consult with an accountant for advice to help select the best option that will make the most financial sense. You will also need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which is a 9-digit number assigned to you by the IRS.
Look Into Marketing
Over time, many of your customers will become regulars and you hope that they will also refer their friends and family. But first, you will need to do some marketing to let people know your auto repair shop is open for business. Print and TV ads are certainly options, but they may be more expensive than advertising on social media. Create business pages for your new shop on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and announce your grand opening, specials and more. If you are savvy about social media, you can tackle this task yourself; however, since getting a new company off the ground is very time-consuming, you might want to hire a college intern who can help you.
Good Luck and Congratulations
Achieving your goal of owning your own auto repair shop is a huge accomplishment and you have every right to be very proud of yourself. By creating a business plan and making sure your proper documents are in place, looking into bulk buying and getting the word out on social media and other channels, in no time your new shop will be filled with customers who are pleased that you are open for business.