Very few industries can call themselves recession-proof and actually mean it. One of the more notable is car repairs. Car owners will always need their vehicles looked after, so there’ll always be business for local mechanics.
That makes starting a car repair shop relatively attractive if you already have the skills needed to look after a vehicle. You’ll need to go about this the right way, however. Simply because you’re good with cars doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be good with business.
You’ll need to follow a few tips when you’re starting up to make sure you go about it the right way. Three simple, practical tips help with this, as they’ll make sure you’re covered, able to do your job, and get customers in the door.
Starting A Car Repair Shop: 3 Top Tips
1. Get Licenses & Permits
Licenses and permits are vital to starting a car repair shop. If you don’t have these, you risk getting hefty fines, and your shop might even be closed down. Should it be left to operate, you’ll be forced to get these anyway.
You don’t want to risk this happening, so take the time to get them before opening your doors. The earlier you get this done, the better.
2. Buy Your Equipment
Equipment will be vital to starting a car repair shop. You won’t be able to fix a vehicle if you don’t have anything to fix it with, after all. That means buying a car hoist, diagnostic tools, and much more before you open up shop.
While this can cost a significant amount of money, it mightn’t need to be as expensive as you could think. Spending time looking into different options and comparing prices can help you find the right deal. It might even be possible to rent the equipment when you’re starting out.
3. Define Your Brand
For a business to stand out, it needs to have a brand. This is how you’re perceived by customers and potential customers. You’ll want to make sure this is as high-quality and appealing as possible to generate interest in your car repair shop.
You wouldn’t want to be known as somewhere overpriced that does low-quality work, for example. By putting the effort into becoming known as a company that does solid work and has high-quality customer service, you’ll be better off.
Spend time figuring out what you want your brand to be, and put effort into achieving this.
Starting A Car Repair Shop: Wrapping Up
Starting a car repair shop can be an appealing thing for multiple reasons. If you’re already a skilled mechanic, it could offer the potential for a decent living. In time, you could end up making more money than you would’ve thought possible.
You’ll need to follow a few tips when starting out so you can achieve these. By defining your brand, having all the necessary permits and licenses, and getting the equipment you need, you shouldn’t have a problem with this.
There shouldn’t be anything stopping you from getting there.
An essential part of making any business more efficient is taking a look at your budget and seeing where you’re spending too much money. There are a lot of potential problem children to deal with here but a common trend amongst businesses that use company cars is that they can often spend way too much on them. Here, we’re going to look at how you can cut the costs while keeping the wheels your business needs.
Reconsider your ownership
First of all, you should take a look at your roster of cars and consider selling any that don’t get driven as often. You should only keep as many as you need on the regular. However, you should also consider different ownership structures like contract hire and leasing if they could be more cost-effective than buying the cars outright.
Help drivers drive more efficiently
You could potentially be saving a lot of money on fuel costs. You can, for instance, swap your existing cars for more fuel-efficient models, as well as buying fuel cards that can help you top up more cost-effectively. You can also teach drivers to lose bad driving habits, such as speeding, idling, and braking too hard, all of which can reduce the fuel efficiency of a car, meaning you’re spending more on them.
Take care of the cars
If you fail to maintain your vehicles properly, you’re going to be paying for repairs and replacements more often. It’s most cost-effective to pay a little for the right servicing, but make sure you got the right team to help you keep on top of your cars. If you have a fleet of BMWs, you should have BMW specialists servicing them. Work with those who know the specific cars that you’re driving and they’re more likely to help you avoid the types of malfunctions most likely to affect those cars in particular.
Utilize the right tech
If you’re running a fleet of delivery vehicles, then effective routing to get to A to B matters. Cutting journeys times not only helps you save against fuel costs and wear and tear; it also enables you to potentially fit more stops into every trip. Take a closer look at some of the telematics systems out there that allow you to more efficiently route your vehicles.
Mind your insurance costs
Be mindful when you’re shopping for vehicle insurance, that business vehicle insurance can be more expensive, especially if more than one person is driving the car. As such, it pays to take time to compare different insurance offers. If you have several company cars, then you should look at fleet insurance instead. Make sure that you are deducting insurance costs and other vehicle costs from your business taxes, as well. It’s easy to miss this.
Take a good look at your company cars, ask if you need them and, if you do, ask how you can cut the costs of them both in the short-term and the long-term. The tips above can help you find some answers.
Lee Iacocca was a legend in the motor industry, introducing the Ford Mustang, the first US minivan, saving Chrysler, the list goes on! During his time, he gave 663 speeches and learned a huge lesson in leadership.
Forbes has more on what made his so good.
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