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hasoon2000

Planning on opening a shop.

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Hey everyone.

 

I've been talking about opening a shop on and off with my former boss/friend.

 

My background:

I use to manage my friend's shop (then, former boss) + other businesses. He specialized in European repairs. I used to run diagnostics for the Mercedes via laptop. We closed his shop down. Reason being, he's more of a shop foreman, than a business-minded guy. I'm an IT and business guy. I build out networks and computers for clients.

 

He works at a big name dealership and he got me a job with him. He's a journeyman and I was a service advisor. This was over a year ago. I quit the job, due to terrible pay (practically slave labor) and terrible hours (65+ hours/week).

 

I now do mobile programming. What got me into it was, my last 2 weeks at the dealer, we had a car that came in. Brand new 2016 with 1000 miles. Had a check engine light. Dispatched it and the tech came back to me telling me it needed a software update. P Code was regarding low fuel pressure (generally a fuel pump). It got me thinking and I did a lot of research and 2 months later, I started to program cars.

 

I program cars on the side and I work another job so I'm always staying busy.

 

My friend and I got in talks again. He still has all his tools + more from his old shop. I have the IT stuff (laptops, computer hardware and more) + a ton of scan tools and subscriptions. I can program GM, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Kia, Toyota and much more.

 

I handle the business side + do programming/computer diagnostics and he handles the shop side + whatever techs we hire.

 

Stuff we will need:
Lifts

Smoke machine (not sure if he still has his old one or not)

Air Compressor

TPMS tool (Been reading a lot about Autel's TPMS tool)

Mitchell POS system (I used to use and loved it)

Brake Lathe

 

Stuff we have:

Scan tools / Programming subscriptions

All Data / Identifix subscription

Tools

Waiting room furniture (from the old shop. Still like new)

MPI Sheet (Multi-Point Inspection)

IT hardware

 

Stuff we'd like to do:

Carry common parts (air filters/cabin filters, etc)

Structure a streamlined hiring process.

Do book time and use Mitchell to keep track of book time. If not, create an excel formula to keep track.

 

Stuff I'd like to know more about:
What do you offer for benefits / What company do you go through for benefits?

Employee handbooks / how to come up with them?

What insurance do you have for the shop?

Alignment rack (Very expensive, but curious to what brand/model people have)

Possible hourly rate for shops that work on European + Asian/Domestic.

Do you start off a diagnostic charge at 1 hour and if a customer accepts the job, do you still charge them the diag fee + job fee or is diag fee discounted?

Do you use an outside payroll company/accountant or do you use Quickbooks or something similar?

 

I do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions to further learn and prep myself.

 

Thank you for taking the time in reading this.

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