Are you about to start your auto shop business? For as long as you can remember, you have dreamed of opening your own auto shop. You were the type of kid who played with Hot Wheels all day, as well as the teen who loved to tinker on cars.
Now, you are an adult and you are ready to take the plunge and open your own auto shop. In order to do this the most effectively, and save some hard-earned money along the way, please consider the following tips.
1. Rent a Space as Opposed to Buying One
Ideally, you will want your auto shop to be in a high-traffic area that will have lots of space to work on vehicles. Rather than spending a huge chunk of change to purchase a business, renting a space is a great idea, especially at first.
You won’t have to save up a huge amount of money for a down payment and can get your business off the ground sooner rather than later. As the Houston Chronicle notes, make sure your rented space is reasonably close to residential neighborhoods; this way, it won’t be as costly for your customers to have their cars towed to your shop for repair. And since you’ll want your lobby to look nice and be inviting, watch for notices about other companies going out of business and purchasing their waiting room furniture and/or buy certain pieces at consignment shops.
2. Buy in Bulk if Possible
When you are ready to start ordering your inventory for your auto shop, consider buying as many supplies and parts in bulk as you possibly can. This can help you save big bucks on a number of products that you will use frequently. A great example of this is o-rings.
These small but vital parts are found in the braking and air conditioning systems, among other places in cars. To save money on o-rings, consider purchasing them in large quantities from a manufacturer like Apple Rubber. They keep 300 million o-rings in stock, which is the seal industry’s largest inventory. They offer standard imperial and metric sizes as well as non-standard o-rings and have 8,000 different varieties available. So it should be no problem to find the specific o-rings you need for your automotive shop and then buy them in large quantities, which will save money and help ensure you have them at all times.
3. Handle as Much of Your Marketing as You Can
One of the most important parts of starting a new business is marketing. And that is applicable for auto shop business as well. After all, if no one knows you have opened up your auto shop, you won’t get any customers. As Business Blogs Hub notes, hang up marketing flyers around town and offer great deals on oil changes and tune-ups for the first day or week you are open for business.
You should also create social media profiles for your new store on sites like Facebook and Instagram, and if there are private neighborhood groups, ask to join them and post plenty of updates about your new shop and discounts.
Promoting your business online is often something that you can handle yourself, and as you work with your first satisfied customers, entice them to post a positive review by offering them a discount on their next service. And of course, remember that people like to deal with nice people, so be courteous and friendly and your new customers will want to come back to you for that alone even before you’d had time to prove that you are also an excellent service to them.
While you may also want to work with a local public relations firm to get the word out about your new auto shop business, handling as much of it as you can will save you money.
It may be surreal to think that after decades of dreaming about owning your own auto business, you’re about to start taking tangible steps towards achieving your goal. By renting instead of buying a shop, looking for opportunities to buy in bulk and handling your social media campaigns on your own, you will be able to open your own business much sooner while still being smart with your money.