Table of Contents:
1. How Do I Succeed In Auto Repair Business?
Do you have an interest in automobiles and want to open your auto repair business one day? It is impossible to own a vehicle, and not having to get it repaired, at some time or another. In India, more and more people are buying luxury cars, so the focus for repairs has shifted from cost to quality. Vehicles have become very technical, so most people take them to a workshop for even simple things like changing the oil.
So, an auto repair business is definitely a lucrative idea. An automobile repair workshop is a garage where modern vehicles are repaired by mechanics and technicians. It is a highly unorganised sector but has good potential. So, more and more entrepreneurs are entering this business to provide customers assured car services and repair. Like all other businesses, you have to put in a lot of time, money, and effort to be successful.
2. How To Start A Automobile Repair Shop?
Starting an automobile repair workshop must figure in a list of top 10 small business ideas. However, it is better to start small and slowly build traction as the business grows. Another reason is that the equipment and tools are quite expensive, so you will need some time to build up your arsenal! Here, we describe how you can start an auto repair business:
- Have A Business Plan- A clear business plan is necessary to make your enterprise a success. Make a business plan and define the scope of your operation. Determine how many customers can you manage in a day, and in what ways can you help them. You can either start an auto shop business from the scratch or buy an existing business. Starting a business from scratch means that you have to buy all the tools and equipment. Franchising is another option. Though the initial fees are high, you get the advantage of marketing and a national brand name.
- Location- Starting an auto repair shop at a strategic location where there are not too many such services around will be a smart decision. It should also be close to main roads and highways, and at a centralised location concerning your customer base. If you have a garage or shed at home, you can start your business from there. One thing to note is that there should be enough space in the workshop to accommodate all your future needs.
- Finance- To start this business, you have to make some investments or get a loan. You will need some funds to lease or rent your workshop space, buy the equipment, decorate the space, and put up a signboard. Your business’s break-even analysis will be based on the average running costs, including fixed costs such as utilities, rent, etc., and salaries. Your business plan will help you create a set of financial projections that will help you to secure investments or get a loan to start your shop. Managing cash flow can be a challenge for some auto shops. The minimum return on investment should be 30 percent per annum. The car repair service cost is an important factor while pricing the services.
4. Manpower- Modern cars have many high-tech features like lane-centering steering, adaptive cruise control, and Bluetooth entertainment systems, that take a lot of expertise. You have to hire highly-skilled, professional technicians who are trained to attend to any issues arising on the vehicles. The mechanics should be able to handle multiple types of car engines. People skills along with a caring personality are important in this job.
3. Types Of Equipment That You'll Need To Open An Auto Repair Shop?
If you care about your work, you would need the right tools and equipment to get started. You can buy a lot of equipment second hand, where you can get a good deal.
- Floor Jacks and jack-stands to lift up the cars.
- A heavy-duty air compressor to power your garage.
- Wrenches, belts, gear, shafts, and other specialty tools.
- Oil drain bucket to hold coolant or oil.
- Battery charger and jumper to jump cars, especially if they are towed to your garage.
- Engine hoist for servicing engines.
- Brake blades-buy a good brand because these are going to be your bread and butter.
- A wall-mounted strut compressor will allow you to do suspension work on customer’s cars. Cars need to change their struts after around every 100,000 km. This gadget will help you to do that.
- Working bays where you will service the cars.
- A brake lathe.
All these types of equipment will help your business to be seamless, once it becomes operational.
Also read: Air Compressor Manufacturer in India
4. Layout And Structure For Auto Repair Business
While starting an auto repair business, you have to carefully plan the layout of your shop. Since you will be using a clear-lift hoist, the ceiling should be at least 14 feet high. Also, the access must be wide enough for the customers to drive their cars in. Among the different areas, you will need a reception hall for customers, a car lift area, a workbench area, a warehouse to keep spare parts and tires, and an office.
The auto shop should maintain a uniform, professional appearance for customers, maximising space and improving the consumer experience. The waiting area should be nice because this is where the customers are going to sit while their cars are being serviced. Make sure to have a TV and a coffee vending machine installed to make them feel comfortable.
Also Read: Best Tyre Brands In India
It is very important to keep the workplace and the office area clean. This will convey a professional look and also impress the customers. Customers can judge the quality of work in your shop, by how clean the place is.
The major issues that affect auto repair shops are a lack of standardised service, transparency, and trust. You would need to build the right infrastructure to give great service. The range of services that your workshop can provide are:
- Periodic maintenance and oil change
- Body repairs and denting- painting
- Wheel balancing
- Brake and engine service
- Repair and maintenance of fuel injection system.
- Overhaul of clutch and suspension system
- AC diagnostics and service.
- Tire service
- Automatic car wash
5. What Are The Most Profitable Automobile Repair Shop Ideas?
Your workshop can offer other value-added services like pick-up-and-drop, annual service maintenance plan, roadside assistance, cashless inspection and repair covered by insurance, etc. Other additional services might include the installation of customised alarm systems, the tinting of windows, and the beautification of the vehicle. Auto collision repair is another niche and profitable field.
All of the above require you to have proprietary knowledge, hi-tech tools, and software. You can also stock genuine spare parts because Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are often difficult to obtain. You can also start an auto body shop and repair business. This will be able to fix any damage to a car or SUV. This includes glass and windshield replacement and paint refinishing.
To avoid wasting resources, labor, and time in your auto shop, proper organisation is the key. Smart design and efficient use of space enhance aesthetics and streamline work. An efficient workshop should serve the daily needs of technicians, allowing them to work comfortably and efficiently. You have to make a catalog of all your special tools so that you don’t waste time looking for them. Wall systems and storage cabinets can be used to keep the tools and make the workspace clutter-free.
An organised auto-shop ensures ease of access for parts and tools, logical procedural sequences, and efficient use of space. Customer satisfaction should be your number one goal. You should form a tie-up with the major insurance service providers so that when a customer turns up with a damaged car, you can provide him with a cashless repair. This will be a seamless experience for the customer.
To keep your customers coming back, and to grow your business, you need to implement trackable marketing strategies. You can ask your satisfied customers to give you good reviews, which you can post on your social media page. You can list your business on any relevant business site like GoogleMy Business, and share relevant information like shop timings, prices of services, and more. All over the globe, the auto repair business is important, because there is a constant need to get cars fixed. So, this business will never be extinct, and there are lots of opportunities to make money in this venture.
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