Thinking of opening your own auto repair shop? First things first - creating a business plan. This will give you an overview of what your business looks like and make it easier for potential investors to see your vision.Creating an automotive repair shop business plan may seem daunting, but the path towards profit is rarely found by accident. An attractive business plan requires time, thought and effort.
Here are some areas to focus on when putting your business plan together:
Think of your executive summary as the bait for prospective investors. Essentially, it’s a marketing slogan with more substance, giving a brief, yet attractive overview of your business plan. This section should include your objectives and your mission statement.
Your objectives are your long term goals for your automotive repair shop business. For example, your objectives for the first year may be to acquire 100 new customers per month and hire 4 certified technicians.
A mission statement is the formal summary of the goals, purpose, and work of your business. Here is an example of a popular automotive repair business mission statement:
Sears Auto Centers are dedicated to providing excellent auto service, customer service, and workmanship by ASE Certified technicians.
Now it’s time to decide on what services your shop will offer and emphasize anything you plan on offering, that your competitors may not. Start by listing each individually. For example:
- Scheduled maintenance
- Computerized wheel alignments
- Brake repair
- Comprehensive diagnostic services
- Engine repair and replacement
- Transmission repair and replacement
You’ll also want to provide specific information on how you plan to provide these services.
- Who will do the work? You, an employee, an outsourcing company?
- Which technology or knowledge will be necessary for it?
- Is this different from what others are offering? How?
- Which consumables or suppliers will be needed?
There are two core objectives when it comes to a market analysis, to prove you know your industry and that the market is large enough to sustain a business. To do well in a saturated market, such as the auto industry, you have to know how your business fits in.
The Positioning Statement
A positioning statement is an expression of how a given product, service, or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors do not. Essentially, why should they choose you opposed to other shops?
You can have a great auto repair business, but if no one knows about it, then it won’t be very successful! This is where the marketing portion of your auto repair shop business plan comes in. There is an endless amount of strategies out there to market for the auto repair industry, so this section of your business plan is dedicated solely to laying out how you plan to tell the world about your shop, bring customers in, and keep them coming back.
Some of the key areas to focus on during start-up may include lead generation and customer retention.
Since you’re just starting your auto repair business, chances are you don’t have any customers yet. Generating leads (people interested in your services) with different marketing tactics will help you to establish a clientele. In your business plan, you should consider mapping out the specific marketing strategies you plan to use, such as:
- Digital search engine campaigns
- Social media campaigns
- Street-level advertising
- Email marketing
As a new business owner you’ll find out that it is much more expensive to bring in new customers than it is to nurture and retain your current ones. This makes it a necessity to include customer retention strategies in your marketing mix. A great way to do this is to include these strategies, offered by BayIQ, in your auto repair shop business plan to make sure your customers keep coming back:
- Friends and family promotions
- Special discounts for referrals
- Service reminders
- Customer loyalty program
An important part of your auto repair shop business plan is mapping out the financials. The financial analysis portion of your plan should have all the necessary information for financing your business today, what will be needed for continued growth, and an estimate of any operating expenses to come.
Specifically, it should include line items, such as:
- Balance sheets
- Break even analyses
- Profit and loss forecasts
- Cash flow analyses
Automate Marketing Tasks with BayIQ
Starting a new automotive repair shop business is exciting, but managing so many moving parts can feel overwhelming. Let BayIQ do some of the heavy-lifting with their automated marketing software! BayIQ helps you to increase your car count and average spend per visit by effectively building customer loyalty. Keep your customers coming back in with a loyalty program, an appointment scheduler, service reminders, custom promotions, and so much more.