If you’re handy with tools and cars, starting your own auto repair shop can be a lucrative opportunity. With the right garage and storage space, you can even run your business right out of your home. However, like any business opportunity, you have a checklist of important responsibilities to take care of before you secure your first customer. Be prepared with these tips for starting an at-home mechanic shop.
Budget for Everything
Money is, of course, one of the most critical aspects of any business. As you build your business plan, you have to think beyond prices and income. Craft a comprehensive budget that addresses every expense you’ll face. This includes heavy equipment, business licensing, and insurance.
You’ll also have to think about property expenses. While you’ll save money on rent by running your shop out of your home, you have to think about factors like increased utility bills from the power your shop takes up.
Plan ahead for all of these details so that you can create a pricing and spending system that meets your needs.
Get Your Paperwork and Certifications in Order
Paperwork is the least exciting part of owning a business, but that doesn’t make it any less important. You can’t operate without the right licenses and certifications. Start by becoming a licensed automotive mechanic. While you’re at it, keep an eye out for extra certifications and credentials that can help set you apart from other mechanics in your area. Next, you must obtain a business license. When you have these certificates in order, you’ll be able to get to work.
Find a Supplier You Can Trust
Running to the store every time you need a new part or tool won’t cut it anymore. You need to build a partnership with a supplier that you can trust to deliver high-quality tools. Working with an online auto parts store makes it convenient to get all the supplies you need whenever you need them. Keep an eye out for discounts, deals, and other offers you can get by buying in bulk or becoming a repeat customer for a supplier.
Find Your Audience
As a small-business owner, you’re going to go up against companies that have more resources for advertising and marketing. How will you draw customers to your business instead of theirs? One of the best tips for starting an at-home mechanic shop is to find your specific market.
Think about what sets you apart. Do you have flexible hours for busy families who can’t make it to other businesses when they’re open? Do you specialize in a specific kind of vehicle, such as trucks, vintage cars, or farm equipment?
Whatever your niche is, advertise it as a significant part of your business. This will help you stand out, attract attention, and bring more customers to your door.