So, you’re opening an auto shop, congratulations! Taking an idea or a dream to a store front can be an intimidating step. Of course, it may be that your auto shop is still simply that, an idea. So, how do you take the idea of your auto shop – whether it be body work, mechanics work or even a used car lot – and turn it into a lucrative business? Here’s how to get started.
What is your business plan?
Let’s start with your business plan. You need to think about your mission, policies and procedures, finances and employees. Further, you’re going to have to take a moment to become familiar with your local, state and federal laws around what you would like to do.
Many people start to focus their attention on “fun” things like what your brand looks like or what to call your business; however, developing a solid business plan for your auto shop will ensure that your business will have a long and happy tenure.
How are you going to get materials you need?
You know what you’re going to do and you know what direction you want to drive your business in, now you need to think about what you need to get the job done. While some people may argue that you need a physical location to house your business, it may save you money by working out of your garage while you’re building a reputation in your community.
Another great way to save money at the start of your new business venture is to buy in bulk to help streamline your supply chain processes. In the current climate, finding quality supplies consistently is a struggle, especially for essential products like seals. Finding a reliable supplier, establishing a relationship and buying in bulk will save you in the long run.
Finally, there are many other tools and materials that you’re going to need to have on hand. Not sure what to get or where to get them? Go talk to individuals who run shops similar to yours. Fellow auto shop owners are a great resource for any rookie starting out.
How to save on start-up costs?
Trying to figure out how to save can be extremely challenging. Opening a shop in your personal garage and buying in bulk can help, but there are some start-up costs that just can’t be avoided. One easy way to save money is to start your business by looking for quality tools and equipment online. Often times, equipment is old and dirty, but not broken or unusable. You may find a tool set worth a couple of hundred dollars for a fraction of the price, if not free. Snap up those offers as they come because saving on tools that will last you a long time is a no brainer.
What is the real first step?
The real first step to opening and running a successful shop is to have a driving passion and motivation to keep going. Opening a new business for anyone is a struggle. Few companies make it, fewer make it overnight and much of their competition folds too soon. If you have a true motivating factor, you won’t just be successful, you’ll thrive.