Opening an auto repair shop is a huge undertaking.
Having said that, it can be made a lot easier if you give it plenty of forethought and planning before the day of your grand opening.
That’s why we’ve prepared these seven important considerations you should definitely think about before you open your own auto repair shop.
Let’s take a look at starting with one of the less exciting (but extremely important) pieces of the puzzle:
#1 – Do You Have Legal Advice?
Making sure you have access to quality legal advice is a smart thing to do before opening any kind of business, auto repair shops included. A legal professional can help you navigate the (sometimes confusing) business landscape.
Legal assistance can help you make sure you…
- Have a business license
- Are in full compliance with any liability or insurance requirements
- Can easily open the accounts you may need (e.g., for payroll or tax reporting)
- Have the help you need to file your incorporation paperwork
Research a local firm that helps small businesses get established and consider retaining an attorney. Do you have to get a lawyer to open a business? No, but if you hire the right one, it’s not as expensive as you might think and can save you from plenty of headaches.
#2 – Are You Certified?
For example, did you know that without a certification—particularly if you have an area of specialty—you may have a more difficult time finding affordable liability insurance and financing?
In effect, certification tells everyone, “Hey, I’m serious about this.” Customers, lenders, insurers, and others are likely to give you more leeway and respect when you have a certification.
#3 – What’s Your Budget for Startup Expenses?
Opening just about any kind of business will involve startup capital. The average cost of opening an auto repair shop from the ground up can run as much as $50,000, including costs like rent, equipment, insurance, and so on.
Unless you’re paying out-of-pocket, you may need to research your lending options, which is another reason why #1 on this list can make things easier.
#4 – Do You Know What Products You Want to Use?
Know what products your auto shop will use beforehand will be very helpful in determining your budget. It can also give you a great head start in the development of business relationships with distributors—you won’t have as much free time after you open your doors to the public, so now is a great time to start shopping around.
Of course, we recommend BG products. Plenty of mechanics would agree that we make the best automotive service products, whether you’re talking about additives, specialty lubricants, climate control products, or even equipment.
#5 – Do You Have Employees Lined Up?
You can’t very well open your doors to the public without any employees. While running a “one man band” is certainly possible, most auto repair shops need assistance from at least one or two other employees to help out—if anything just to interface with customers by taking calls, handling walk-ins, and scheduling service appointments.
Before your grand opening, it’s likely in your interest to start interviewing candidates for these positions. Having your team lined up before opening will ensure a smooth start.
#6 – How Much Training do Your Employees Need?
If you will be hiring employees, how will you train them? What information will you provide them with before your grand opening? Do they know how to pitch an ethical upsale to customers? Preparing some documentation or at least going over these basics with your candidates will make things easier, especially in the first few weeks of opening your shop when you’re sure to be extremely busy.
#7 – What’s Your Marketing Plan?
Every business needs a way to get the word out about their services. What special event will you plan for your grand opening? Will you offer special discounts? What’s your USP (unique selling position) that individuates you from your competition? Will you offer a customer loyalty program?
These are all great things to consider well in advance of opening your business.
Start Your Business Right With BG Products
At BG, we love nothing more than seeing small businesses in the automotive world succeed and thrive.
This is a competitive marketplace, so you need all the friends you can get—and it would be our pleasure to get to know you. Feel free to contact us today if you would like to learn more about BG certification or our line of high quality automotive products.