Investment, Steps & more
A mobile garage service is not a new concept, but it is just that the number of independent garage shops outnumbers them. Vehicle owners would find it quite convenient if they get the vehicle servicing done right at their homes. It eliminates the trouble of dropping the vehicle at the destination and arranging a ride back in case of conventional garage service. Let us check more about starting this business in the next sections.
The concept of mobile garage service
This service involves a mechanic who can perform vehicle repairs and maintenance in the customer’s desired location. It can be booked through a message or call, or online. Thus there is no need to make an appointment and drive to a nearby garage. A person who is a certified car mechanic can start it if he has the required funds.
Things to do for starting a mobile garage service
1. Making a business plan
A successful mobile garage service needs to begin with a clear business plan with a well-defined scope of operation. Plan the number of customers that the business can service per day and in what ways.
You can begin the business from scratch by buying everything, franchising, or buying an existing business and rebranding it. For the financial part, the loan can be availed. The different costs involved are those of running it, along with fixed costs and salaries. Proper planning is essential to manage the cash flow efficiently. Based on the repair service costs, pricing can be set, and the minimum return has to be 30% every year.
3. Company registration
This involves obtaining licenses by completing all the paperwork for the new business establishment. Based on the state where you will be doing it, check for all the regulatory requirements and comply with them.
The mobile garage should be spacious and placed in centralised locations to grab the attention of customers. It has to be spacious enough to provide maximum services to the customers.
5. Ensure availability of tools
In the initial stage, if you do not have enough for investment, focus on only a particular set of services to be offered to customers. This will help you cut costs in getting the tools. But as your business starts growing, new services can be added to the list.
6. Business website for online promotion
When customers look for mobile garages, they will start searching online to book the service from the comfort of their homes. This makes it necessary to create a website and publish useful content so that your new business gets a good number of visitors. Creating a Google My Business Account is recommended so that it will show up during Google searches.
Email marketing, social media ads, PPC ads are other ways of marketing the business online. It is also important to reach out to local people through print media and collaborating with car sales companies.
7. Manpower with expertise
There are various latest features in modern cars which need the expertise to deal with. So it is essential to hire skilled professionals who can address various issues in different vehicle models. Along with this, there have to be the right tools for getting all the work done without any hurdles. All these ensure seamless business operations.
8. Ensuring cleanliness
Invest time in regularly cleaning your mobile garage. This shows your professionalism and effectively attracts customers as they gauge the quality of service offered from it.
9. Make strategies for business growth
It is essential to track the effectiveness of your marketing strategies and keep tweaking them for better results. Taking their feedback is a great way of knowing their satisfaction level. Positive feedback can be posted on social media platforms, and if there is any negative feedback, that can be worked on to improve it further.
10. Offering value-added services
Some of the services which add value include offering an annual service maintenance plan, auto collision repair, auto body shop, and other repair work, assistance in case of road accidents, installing customised alarm systems, window tinting, refinishing the paint, and making the vehicle aesthetically pleasing, stocking the Original Equipment Manufacturer(OEM) parts is a good idea as it is difficult to obtain them.
To offer all such services, proprietary knowledge is extremely important. Assuring the customers that genuine products will be used and reliable technicians will enhance their trust in your service.
11. Organising to avoid wastage
It is essential to prevent wasting resources, labour, and time to enhance efficiency, and the proper organisation can do this. It will streamline the operations and ensure that all the technicians can work comfortably. Keeping a tools catalogue saves time in searching for them. Special cabinets on the walls can categorise and store the tools for better accessibility and better space management. To provide cashless repair for a damaged car, you can tie up with any major insurance company to better the customer experience.
12. Setting up a back-office
A back office is needed for book-keeping and other similar tasks. Use the right software like OKCredit to avoid missing out on any transaction records. Similarly, the expenses for the business, such as the need for replacing tools, getting protective gear, and ensuring the business, can also be tracked by doing so.
Challenges in starting mobile garage service
1. Lack of infrastructure
It is not practically possible for a mechanic to carry all the tools and heavy equipment to the service destination, but it is easily accessible at a garage.
Gated communities may restrict vehicle maintenance and repair works at the property.
3. Getting the parts
This can take a lot of time, especially when the need for additional parts arises during the servicing.
4. Weather conditions
It becomes impossible to carry out the servicing outdoors during heavy rains.
5. Lack of safety
It is expensive to insure a vehicle. Risk increases when a person services the vehicle alone as anything can happen, such as bad weather, leakages leading to accidents when not cleaned well.
6. Extra charges
For mobile garage services at home, the charges would be higher than those offered at service centres. This is because of various overheads involved.
Mobile garage service is one of the businesses whose demand would never fall if you can ensure customer satisfaction by fixing various issues with their vehicles. Even though it has shortcomings, certain services like basic maintenance, limited repair jobs, diagnostics can be offered and gradually scaled up to more complex ones. The key to remaining profitable is to plan it well and address all the smaller consumer needs.
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Q. Is it essential to hire certified car repair technicians for a mobile garage service?
Ans. Yes, because this has numerous advantages, such as ease of dealing with insurance and finding finances for the business. Even it helps you to win the confidence of consumers. It also offers a competitive edge to your business against your peers.
Q. Is it important to offer specialisation facilities in a mobile garage?
Ans. This is not mandatory and comes with advantages and drawbacks too. This includes specialisation in horns or brakes or other parts. So when people have issues with respect to these parts, they will only reach out to you. On the other hand, it may drive away customers with other issues; thus, you might lose opportunities.
Q. Can a mobile garage service be profitable?
Ans. Yes, if planned well and experienced/ certified technicians are hired to do the work, a mobile garage service would definitely flourish. Depending on the types of services that you are offering, the profitability rate will vary.
Q. What is the minimum investment needed to begin a mobile garage service in India?
Ans. The initial investment would begin from 5 lakh and will increase with the type of services offered. The different costs to be taken into account while deciding the investment amount includes the list of tools to be purchased, insurance charges, fees for accounting, marketing, and managing the inventory.