Starting a business has been made more difficult over the past couple of years, due to the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding it – but it is not impossible. In fact, certain business types are needed more now than ever. While challenging, you can still start and operate a very successful business. The key is to follow certain steps and utilize the right resources.

Now that you have your perfect business idea, launching a car repair shop, you can move forward with setting your plan in motion. There is much more to starting a business than simply registering with the state and finding a location. To ensure long-term success, you’ll need to make sure every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed.

Here are some tips on how to start a mechanic shop.

Determine startup costs and ongoing expenses

You will need to map out your startup costs and your ongoing costs. Some startup costs will likely include a business license, insurance, ASE certifications, mechanic’s hydraulic lift, shop rental fees, mechanic specialty tools, etc. Once you throw in other necessary machines, total startup costs can easily reach $50,000+.

Ongoing expenses also need to be worked into your business plan. These include shop rental (unless you own your own building), insurance, labor costs, etc. Mechanics, for example, can be paid anywhere between $25 to $100 per hour. While overhead and supply costs will vary, your shop could easily incur $10,000 and $20,000 in expenses each month.

Identify the target market and industry trends

You will also need to identify your target market and keep up with new technology-driven trends that are poised to disrupt and transform the auto repair industry. Auto repair clients are unique in that they are dealing with a broken or serviceable vehicle. The best type of customer for your business will be those with a service contract, as they ensure a steady income for your shop.

Trends are important to keep up with because they heavily influence your customers’ needs for specific types of automobile repair. They also affect the technology required to deliver it, along with the types of tools, equipment, and replacement parts involved. Knowing your customers and keeping up with industry trends ensures you’re in the best position to satisfy their needs.

Pinpoint how much you will charge customers 

Your shop’s location will greatly impact how much you are able to charge customers. In addition, dealership mechanics are paid differently than at an independent shop. Dealerships typically charge customers between $80 and $150 per hour, while independent shops charge between $70 and $100. Still, others choose to charge their customers a flat fee for services for routine maintenance jobs (e.g. oil changes). All of these details will influence how much you ultimately charge your customers.

The future is bright for the auto repair industry and aspiring entrepreneurs hoping to set up shop. The key is to make sure you properly position your shop from day one, from covering startup costs to meeting your customer’s changing needs.

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