You’ve got the service and repair know-how down pat. Maybe you’ve even got a storefront and a loyal crew. So what comes next? In this week’s blog post, we will explore the business fundamentals you need to take care of before you open up shop. Here are 3 things you need to know about how to start a mechanic shop, make it a valuable part of your community, and ultimately create a thriving business.
3 Business Tips for a New Shop
One: Invest in Professional Certification
For some people, car skills come naturally. You may be able to take a brief look at a vehicle and instantly know what needs to be done to solve a problem. However, your clients won’t know this until they decide to trust your work and see the results that you can produce. In order to get them in the door, you must provide professional, quality service - and that means getting certified by an outside source. This will help your potential clients know that they can trust you with their vehicles and that you are adequately able to provide them with the service they need.
Two: Have a Business Plan
Before your doors open, you should have a clear idea of what your business is setting out to accomplish. If you’ve never written a business plan before, don’t be intimidated! It’s more straight forward than it sounds. We love this resource for clear instructions on how to think through your plan and create actionable goals for your auto shop. A business plan is made up of several pieces, and should always include:
- A description of your company and the products/services you offer
- A market analysis that discusses the market you’re trying to enter and where you fit into it
- A description of your management team and their roles
- How you plan to market your new business
- An analysis of your shop’s strengths and weaknesses, and an honest look at the opportunities and threats that you face
- A cash flow statement that includes revenue projections
Three: Develop a Thoughtful Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve put together a thoughtful business plan, it’s time to take a deeper dive into your marketing strategy. Acquiring new customers is one of the biggest challenges that a new business faces. By developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, you'll pave a way to generate leads for your business, increase awareness as you start your mechanic shop, and create brand visibility.
To start developing your marketing strategy, ask yourself the following three questions:
- Who is my audience, and how can I best reach them?
- Are my prices fair but competitive?
- How do I want people to feel about my business and the service that they receive in my shop?
Think critically about how you want to present your shop to the community that you are serving, and then think about the best way to put those thoughts and desires into action. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to running a successful mechanic shop.
Succeeding in this competitive industry doesn’t have to be a struggle. Entrepreneurship is difficult and often intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. We are committed to providing tips, trends, and advice for automotive industry entrepreneurs of all levels. Whether you are considering opening your first shop or already manage 500, our insider info will help take your shop to the next level!
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