Many people who go through mechanic school end up enrolling in an apprenticeship right after and working for a repair shop or a dealership as a mechanic. Others may have more entrepreneurial ambitions and consider opening their own repair shop instead. While it’s not for everyone, starting your own shop is still a very viable business, provided you do it the right way. Here is what you need to know to before you build your own auto repair business.
Know Your Market and Get Your Formation
Before you start, it’s important that you know which segment of the market you’re going to service. For instance, if you’re thinking about working on truck engines, then it would be smart to get a diesel mechanic formation. Even the best auto mechanic schools will focus on one area more than the other, but by enrolling in a diesel mechanic program, you’ll have the kind of expertise you’ll need to work on big rigs.
If you decide to go for cars specifically, you can either go strictly for motor work, body repairs, or both. If you have a mechanic formation, then you could decide to hire people to do body work. Mechanic work is a little bit more difficult, but there tends to be more mechanics on the market, so getting a formation yourself wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Find a Location
Location is essential if you want to start your business right. The best places to open a garage is near high traffic areas in the city center or near highways. These places tend to see a lot of traffic, which will be beneficial to your business and give you tons of exposure.
Don’t go overboard with the place at first. Remember, you still don’t have a clientele, so you should start small at first and build your reputation. However, make sure that the spot is in good condition, relatively clean, and that all the equipment is in working order; you could go over budget if you have to replace some of the equipment right away.
Find Some Help
Your team will eventually determine the quality of your service and your reputation, so hiring good help is essential. While scouring for new graduates is a great way to get employees fast, you have to make sure you have experienced mechanics on your staff as well.
While new employees will be motivated and work hard, experienced employees will help show them the ropes and prevent them from making costly mistakes. Remember, you’ll be dealing with people’s property, and one simple mistake like putting the wrong fluid in the wrong reservoir could completely total a car’s engine, so be on the lookout for that. Also make sure that you relegate the bigger jobs to more experienced employees and let the new guys do the simple stuff at first till they climb the ropes.
Starting your own garage is definitely feasible and can be a very profitable business. However, you have to make sure that you have the proper savoir faire and the proper staff around you to offer the best service to your clients and start building a name in your community.