For those who are passionate about cars, auto repair is a golden ticket to entrepreneurial success. The industry demands that business owners build their customer-base one client at a time, so not only do they need a solid business plan, but a love for service, too. Even in today’s digital marketplace, auto repair shops are heavily reliant on word-of-mouth marketing. There is no wriggle-room for substandard service.
Training, certification, and accreditation are oft-chosen first steps to success. An associate’s degree in automotive service provides hands-on experience under the guidance of experienced professionals. It’s possible to manage an auto repair shop without this kind of education, but the more shop floor skill an entrepreneur has, the better they can supervise their staff. Those who have the luxury of superfluous time and money will gain the oomph they need to race ahead of their competitors by doing a business management and marketing course.
The more comprehensive a business plan is, the more likely it is that a company will achieve its goals. There are three ways to begin achieving those career dreams:
1) Buy a Franchise
Franchising comes with a pre-packaged business plan and marketing strategy, but it requires owners to adapt their management style to suit their franchisors. If expertise is limited, franchising offers a framework that makes life far simpler than it would otherwise be. Some franchisors help with bookkeeping and fee structures, often negotiating tenancies and securing clients on franchisees’ behalves.
2) Start a Business
Those with unique corporate dreams need the flexibility of start-ups, which offer an unmatched sense of achievement over the long-term. Starting a company will come with plenty of handwringing, but those with a head for business and the marketing know-how to acquire a large enough corner of the market will find the process rewarding.
3) Buy an Existing Business
A profitable business comes with an existing client-base, tenancy, and brand. If books are combed through with due diligence, this option provides a window into the future by sketching out a returns history. The buyer knows up front whether the location, pricing structure, and human resources policies produce profits, which is invaluable for financial security.
A business plan is a map of a company’s future. It should include projected revenues three, five, and 10 years into the future. Will it have more than one location? How many staff members and clients will it have? What services will it offer, and how large is the local market?
It doesn’t pay to open a shop next door to the city’s most profitable competitor. Look at the key strengths and weaknesses of those in the same suburb, along with ways to gain competitive advantage. Once that picture is painted, a marketing plan should be drawn up that defines the kind of customers the shop will target. Carve out a unique demographic that’s different from that of local competitors, and then market purely to it.
In the auto repair sector, high-quality work is integral. A shoddy review travels half way across the country while a compliment is still putting its shoes on, so this kind of business hinges on the knowledge and skill of its staff. Service-oriented mechanics with a penchant for perfectionism will serve not only the human resources division of a company, but also act as fodder for its word-of-mouth advertising.
The auto repair industry is highly competitive, and failing to tap into the technological revolution loses businesses significant competitive advantage. Innovative computer diagnostic equipment and the capacity to service increasingly advanced automobiles are certainly needed, but low-tech sollutions are still often used to get the job done, for example, a car mover is very helpful in many cases and can save both time and money in the long run.
Marketing campaigns should also capitalise on high-tech techniques. Social media advertising, a website, and online listings put companies on the virtual map where today’s clients look first when they need repairs done.
Today’s cars have coding that’s more complex than that of fighter jets, so toolkits need more than wrenches and spanners. Gone are the days when repairing a car entailed a box of tools that could be carried easily across a shop floor. This only makes the auto repair industry more rewarding, offering entrepreneurs a constantly evolving sector to grow in.