Opening an auto repair garage can be an excellent venture for anyone you possess the passion and the entrepreneurial spirit. However, these people should be well aware that opening a garage takes more than just fixing cars.
They must have an intimate knowledge or be willing to quickly learn, about advertising, marketing and accounting. It also takes a tidy sum to get the idea off the ground. The process can be made easier by purchasing an existing garage, which would mean that they would already have a lot of the necessary equipment, and links to the community. However, either way, they go about it, there are a few key elements that a new owner should keep in mind.
You can buy a ready-made garage, a property that used to be one but has been stripped down, or start completely from scratch. However you go about doing it, you will need a nice chunk of money to start off with. A business in a box sounds ideal – and it is, if it has all the right equipment and if you have the money to pay for it. Rather than slowly building your business up, you will be paying for everything that the existing company had. If you are planning to build or buy an empty unit then think about location – on an industrial estate, city centres and along main roads are the best areas for a garage. However, that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be successful in a smaller town or village. Find an opening and take it.
And not just yours, but your staff’s. It’s imperative that you have a thorough knowledge of your business, including fixing cars. You need the right qualifications in this area, as should any person you look to employ. But, as the owner, you also need to have experience in how a business runs. This doesn’t mean that you need a degree in business management – however, that wouldn’t harm you in any way. You need to have worked in the industry and learnt everything you can about every area of the business for you to have a hope that yours will succeed.
Your garage is going to be holding a lot of expensive equipment – and that’s putting it lightly. Anyone who knows anything about fixing a car knows that a fully stocked tool box costs upwards of a couple of hundred at a resale price. And, not only is it your things at risk, but you will have your customer’s cars left in the garage for extended periods of time. Your motor trade insurance should cover your things, and there’s, cover you for MOTs, for your staff driving customer cars, and anything else you can think of. The more you have in your insurance contract, the more you’re covered.
As previously mentioned – you need to have a head for marketing and advertising. No business did well just sitting there. You might have acquired some clients from the previous owners, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be reaching out to show who you are and what you can offer.