Quantcast
Jump to content


Buidling a Business from Start to Finish.


DonaldPG

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

My name is Don. I am from Nashville, TN and am in the beginning stages of putting together a business plan to open up an automotive maintenance and light repair shop. My goal through all of this is to explore every possibility of the business and build a business plan through comprehensive research, other business owners, and future customers that could be taken to the bank to obtain the money needed to build and start this type of business the way it should be done.

 

About me: I have been a part of various past business ventures, some profitable, some not so profitable. I have a business degree and am still in school pursuing my MBA. I would like to gain as much experience through this forum that I possibly can about the particular operations of an automotive business. I have been lurking around here for a week or two and decided to join this morning. I am not simply stating that I am going to throw a plan together and start a multi-million dollar business overnight. This thread is to walk through a step by step process of putting a plan together and assesing the risks and rewards of getting into this type of business. If it seems promising in the end, it will be a plan I take to the bank and pursue opening and managing a shop around the western area of Nashville, TN.

 

My goal for the shop is to handle all manufactuer scheduled maintenance, light repair work, tires, battery, things of that sort. I want things that will come in and go in one day for most cases. I would like to explore the possibilities of implementing a wash bay and light detail shop to service customers as well and maybe keeping up fleet maintenane for businesses in the area with fleets of vehicles that could be washed and maintained on a regular basis.

 

Please chime in with experiences from your own business and what you would change if you were going to start over from scratch. I am interested in hearing all of your experiences and way to improve your business. I want to put a business plan together that is as close to bullet proof as possible. I am willing to do the due dilligance I am just looking for a little information from experience. I will be asking things such as opinions on equipment, advertising, building layouts, services offered, management systems, inventory, customer service followup, etc.. Please join me on this journey over the next several months to build a business the right way!

 

Don Garside

Nashville, TN

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Flash Sale + Social Proof


Flash Sale + Social Proof


Flash Sale + Social Proof

Don, I think you are getting into the business at a great time. There is great opportunity in the near future and when all the dust settles from this economic down turn you will be in a position to reap the harvest.

 

My name is Joe Marconi, one of the creators of AutoShopOwner.com and a shop owner for over 28 years. I am now in the process of a major expansion. I recently purchased the building adjacent to my business and in the process of constructing another 4 bay facility. We removed the old building and erected a new building. The new 4-bay facility will focus on express service and maintenance and will accommodate customers who need while-you-wait service or repairs done in the same day. The existing 6-bay shop will focus on larger jobs, such as timing belts, engines and transmissions. This new business model is the future of auto repair and service.

 

Please see my blog in the blog section of AutoShopOwner.com. It outlines the steps I took to start this process and outlines the current progress of the construction.

 

I welcome your comments, questions and thoughts.

 

Joe Marconi

Osceola Garage

AutoShopOwner.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply. I thought you might be one of the first to chime in Joe. I have read many of your posts and you seem to be very knowledgeable of the industry. I have read a few of your blog entrys. I am going to check it out start to finish one afternoon when I have a little more time. I look forward to hearing of some experiences you might have pertaining to some issues I am going to come up with while writing up this business plan.

 

I agree that with the economic down turn if a buiness can start up and be set to operate on lower revenue levels it will greatly reap the benefits in the near future when people start to get loose with their money once again.

 

In the next week or two I will be laying out the ground work for this business venture I hope many of you will chime in.. Thanks

 

Don Garside

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be there, putting in my 2 cents, don’t worry.

 

The business plan is the foundation of you business. It’s your game plan. Without a game plan, you cannot win. Dreams are one thing, but realistic goals and planning are always written down. This is the first step.

 

With your education in business, you do have an edge over most of us. I started my business in 1980 as a mechanic who decided to go into business. I had no business skills, and as a result, did not do very well until I realized that running a business takes a different set of skills.

 

It wasn’t until I dragged myself out of the bays and into the office did I start to grow a business. Amazing things happen when you think of yourself as a “businessman” and not just a “man in business”.

 

Keep your focus on business and never loose site of the big picture. Too many shop owners spend too much time in the bays fixing cars. That’s not to say it’s wrong. It’s just that in order to grow and build wealth you need to build a business that runs on it’s own. Most shop owners today realize this and are making the change. This is why AutoShopOwner.com is needed in this day and age.

 

Our success as shop owners will be determined by our strength in business, not necessarily in our ability to repair cars. Servicing and repairing cars is how we make money, but you must understand and secure your role as the leader of your company. So, your focus must be on the “mechanics of business”.

 

Let’s keep this dialogue going. Maybe you can start your own blog. I’m sure that people will enjoy reading it and helping you out. There are a lot of shop owners out there with years of knowledge. If you have any questions along the way, post them. I for one would welcome the opportunity to help you, along with the future of our industry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the first stages are going to start tomorow with mapping out the competition and drawing up exactly what I want in the business. I will post it up tomorow night and let you guys take a look at it. I look forward to learning a lot from you guys.

 

Don Garside

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well the first stages are going to start tomorow with mapping out the competition and drawing up exactly what I want in the business. I will post it up tomorow night and let you guys take a look at it. I look forward to learning a lot from you guys.

 

Don Garside

 

Hey Don, where did you post it? Is it in another forum?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I have actually been throwing around a few different models as to weather I want to focus on larger commercial vehicles (big trucks, landscape trucks, dump trucks) or stick with the more traditional type shop and just service cars/trucks. I have grown up around the commercial transportation industry and know that many times a quick oil change and lube is all that is needed. You have to call dealers many time and make appointments and the drivers have to wait 4 and 5 hours to have the truck greased and the oil changed. I believe there is a good opportunity for a shop that focused on these things for commercial transportation companys and also local companies that have oversized vehicles.

 

Any thoughts?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I have actually been throwing around a few different models as to weather I want to focus on larger commercial vehicles (big trucks, landscape trucks, dump trucks) or stick with the more traditional type shop and just service cars/trucks. I have grown up around the commercial transportation industry and know that many times a quick oil change and lube is all that is needed. You have to call dealers many time and make appointments and the drivers have to wait 4 and 5 hours to have the truck greased and the oil changed. I believe there is a good opportunity for a shop that focused on these things for commercial transportation companys and also local companies that have oversized vehicles.

 

Any thoughts?

 

I would probably try and build on the commercial end first and have the main stream automotive secondary. But, before investing in this type of business with equipment, etc...I would analylize the market and visit potential customers. There are bigger $$ in the commercial end, along with contracts, fleets, repeat business. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Joe,

 

I read all your blogs and wanted to thank you for keeping us updated. I was wondering if you were going to try to post some pictures of your new 4 bay facility? I am new to this business with no prior experiences. My shop is 6 months old. I am 26 years old and everything that has happened has been an emotional roller coaster. I read all your blogs in one day and wanted to let you konw that it helped me feel better.

 

I know it might be too far back to remember your first year but what were your biggest obstacles and how did you overcome them?

 

In one of your blogs you mentioned that marketing & advertising for growth is critical to the success of the business. That has been my main focus since starting and I have been trying them all, some worked some didn't. The ones that didn't I haven't given them a second chance yet. Do I keep trying new techniques, even though I have been spending quite a bit of money?

 

Thanks...Robert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert, it makes me proud to have a fellow shop owner read my blog. My goal is to help other through my experiences. I wish you the best of luck.

 

I was 25 years old when I opened my shop. I rented 4 bays in a large building shared by two others business. And although that was 28 years ago I remember it like it was yesterday. As you may know we grew to six bays and soon will have 2 facilities with a total of 10.

 

As far as obstacles go, I would have to say that the biggest obstacle I had was to learn how to be a businessman and not just a tech that happened to own a business, there were so many business skills that I did not have, and that actually hurt my business for a number of years. When I left the Ford dealer I was an A rated tech, performing everything from transmission overhauls to engine rebuilding. But, what I did not know is that being the best tech does guarantee success in the business world.

 

Marking and advertising are two key elements in growing a business. In my opinion, marketing is more important because advertising may get them in the door, but how you market your business keeps them coming back. The best brake job in the world means nothing if you were rude to the customer or did not get the car back to them when promised.

 

If a marketing strategy or advertising promotion works, stay with until it does not work. Don’t be afraid of trying things new. If something does not work, no big deal. Learn from it and move on. Don’t give too much away either. Sell value, not price.

 

Remember, if price was the only factor people cared about, people would be driving Yugo’s not Honda’s and Toyota’s. Yugo was about price, not value.

 

Let’s keep in touch and please ask me anything. I will be making a blog entry this weekend and will be posting photos soon.

 

Joe Marconi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Joe,

 

Thank you for your response, I look foward to reading your next blog and seeing some pictures of the construction.

 

THanks...Robert

 

Robert, it makes me proud to have a fellow shop owner read my blog. My goal is to help other through my experiences. I wish you the best of luck.

 

I was 25 years old when I opened my shop. I rented 4 bays in a large building shared by two others business. And although that was 28 years ago I remember it like it was yesterday. As you may know we grew to six bays and soon will have 2 facilities with a total of 10.

 

As far as obstacles go, I would have to say that the biggest obstacle I had was to learn how to be a businessman and not just a tech that happened to own a business, there were so many business skills that I did not have, and that actually hurt my business for a number of years. When I left the Ford dealer I was an A rated tech, performing everything from transmission overhauls to engine rebuilding. But, what I did not know is that being the best tech does guarantee success in the

 

business world.

 

Marking and advertising are two key elements in growing a business. In my opinion, marketing is more important because advertising may get them in the door, but how you market your business keeps them coming back. The best brake job in the world means nothing if you were rude to the customer or did not get the car back to them when promised.

 

If a marketing strategy or advertising promotion works, stay with until it does not work. Don’t be afraid of trying things new. If something does not work, no big deal. Learn from it and move on. Don’t give too much away either. Sell value, not price.

 

Remember, if price was the only factor people cared about, people would be driving Yugo’s not Honda’s and Toyota’s. Yugo was about price, not value.

 

Let’s keep in touch and please ask me anything. I will be making a blog entry this weekend and will be posting photos soon.

 

Joe Marconi

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Welcome to AutoShopOwner.com and best of luck. You are in a great position to start an auto business today. Read my blog when you get a chance on my expansion. I have been in business for almost 30 years, and there are many other shop owners out there who are willing to help you. So post any question you may have.

 

Joe Marconi

AutoShopOwner.com

Osceola Garage

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Joe,

 

I read all your blogs and wanted to thank you for keeping us updated. I was wondering if you were going to try to post some pictures of your new 4 bay facility? I am new to this business with no prior experiences. My shop is 6 months old. I am 26 years old and everything that has happened has been an emotional roller coaster. I read all your blogs in one day and wanted to let you konw that it helped me feel better.

 

I know it might be too far back to remember your first year but what were your biggest obstacles and how did you overcome them?

 

In one of your blogs you mentioned that marketing & advertising for growth is critical to the success of the business. That has been my main focus since starting and I have been trying them all, some worked some didn't. The ones that didn't I haven't given them a second chance yet. Do I keep trying new techniques, even though I have been spending quite a bit of money?

 

Thanks...Robert

 

Welcome to AutoShopOwner!

 

Hello, I'm a new member, also looking for advice, for opening a shop. I haven't had a chance to read the blogs yet, but I look forward to anyone and everyone's guidance.

 

Welcome to AutoShopOwner!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I'm having a hard time finding any current data that shows that the independent repair shops are "kicking ass", cause it'd be really helpful for my business plan. Does anyone know where I can find this data?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm having a hard time finding any current data that shows that the independent repair shops are "kicking ass", cause it'd be really helpful for my business plan. Does anyone know where I can find this data?

 

Good question, I would like to know myself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

dear friend

i have a smog check shop in california and i am thinking to hire a employ as a contractor...plus please can you guide me to have him sign, some guidelines that he has to follow during the work....i heard about a form 1099.....but i think you have more experience,,,,so plz help me....you cam e mail me

thanks in advance....................pammi singh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Similar Topics

    • By Joe Marconi
      From what I am hearing from my fellow shop owner friends, the shops in my area, Northeast (New York), auto repair shops are busy and steady. However, there is a feeling from many shop owners to be cautious about the future. 
      Things that give shop owners concern: Inflation, the cost of living affecting the consumer's ability to afford auto repairs, dissatisfaction with the current administration,  and possible recession. 
      Your thoughts? 
    • By Joe Marconi
      We are almost into the 4th quarter of 2022, which means that you need to consider your 2022 tax return. Many shops are having a very good year, which means there may be more taxable income at your bottom line.
      What do you do to plan for and minimize paying taxes, while still maintaining a cash reserve? 
       
    • By Joe Marconi
      As a former auto shop owner, one of the things that kept me up at night was not knowing enough about all the labor laws and human resource regulations.  
      How do you keep up with all the changes to the labor laws and human resource regulations in your state? 
    • By carmcapriotto
      As one of the top 10 industries in America, we need to advocate consumer choice in a competitive market, and if we don’t do what is pro-consumer and pro-aftermarket, the dealers will get all the business. I’m with Bill Hanvey, CEO of the AutoCare Association, Paul McCarthy, CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), and Ryan and Andrea Goff, shop owners that went to Washington to speak to their representative and to show support for the Right To Repair initiative.  Have you signed the petition? Go to RepairAct.com so easy to tell your congressperson you support the Right to Repair.  Stay tuned for an important episode that affects ALL OF US.
      Bill Hanvey, President and CEO of the Auto Care Association. Find Bill’s other episodes HERE. Paul McCarthy, AASA President. Find Paul’s other episodes HERE. Ryan and Andrea Goff, Rogers Tire Pros and Auto Care Key Talking Points
      Massachusetts helped set the tone two years ago, but it is embroiled in a fight between the OEs and the voters and a judge who has yet to make a ruling. There are recent discussions that 75% to 25% of voters approved overwhelmingly “The right to repair is alluring in its simplicity. In theory, it seems obvious that if you do buy something, you own it, and you should have the freedom to do what you want with it,” said U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the subcommittee. “The right to repair, if properly designed, can create a world of consumer choice, competitive pricing, and potential cost savings. “However, when this issue is examined in full depth, it becomes substantially less black and white,” she said. “Today, many machines are essentially sophisticated supercomputers… they perform seemingly miraculous feats thanks to delicate and complex electronic components integrated with highly specialized, proprietary software. Even with all the possible tools and resources at one’s disposal, attempting to sell, fix, or modify products with electronic components could lead to disastrous results, such as product failure or, even worse, serious injury to the consumer. In addition, these alterations can put the privacy and security of the user at risk.” To industry: Do not abandon your interest in this initiative. Access to data is critical for the survival of our industry. This is anti-consumer because there isn’t enough bays or technicians in the dealer network to service the repair and maintenance of our car park. It is also pro-consumer as it creates competition. What can we do? Right to repair needs to be on 20 and networking group agendas. We must speak to our legislators If you own a shop, you must make an appointment with your local congressperson's office and see your congressperson in person. Don’t be nervous to share with your customers- we are at the tip of the iceberg By 2020- 4% had advanced connectivity that allowed for remote diagnostics. By 2025 almost every new vehicle will have that advanced connectivity Right to Repair Info Graphic download https://bit.ly/3BOotBI Right to Repair Media Kit for Graphics and postcards. https://bit.ly/3eZOi8Z  
      Connect with the Podcast
       
      Aftermarket Radio Network
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partners: Shop-Ware: More Time. More Profit. Shop-Ware Shop Management getshopware.com       Delphi Technologies: Keeping current on the latest vehicle systems and how to repair them is a must for today’s technicians. DelphiAftermarket.com
      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio
    • Advertise your services or products to passers-by attracting them towards your business
    • By carmcapriotto
      Guest Host and Shop Tour with Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX. Four years ago Todd left his medical sales job and became the new owner of TC Auto Service.
      Todd Cole, TC Auto Service, Corpus Christi, TX.
      Key Talking Points
      Was in medical device sales but looking to make a change. His great grandfather, grandfather, and father were all in the automotive business Was a customer of the business and bought the business from the owner (who was 80 years old) Senior tech has been with the business for over 30 years- loves to teach and help others, maintains quality. He is a mentor for apprentices.  ‘Running out of concrete' as they started growing- purchased satellite location  7 lifts total Look at productivity by technician weekly- scoreboard with names listed, fun competition Drive through lanes with vehicles- 3 lanes  
      Connect with the Podcast:
      Aftermarket Radio Network
       
      Subscribe on YouTube
      Visit us on the Web
      Follow on Facebook
      Become an Insider
      Buy me a coffee
      Important Books
      Check out today's partner:
      Dorman gives people greater freedom to fix vehicles by constantly developing new repair solutions that put owners and technicians first. Take the Dorman Virtual Tour at www.DormanProducts.com/Tour
       

      Click to go to the Podcast on Remarkable Results Radio


  • Our Sponsors


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End


As a New BannerBuzz.com Customer You Get 20% Off Your First Order! Use Code: FIRSTORDER for 20% Off Custom Banners, Decals, Marketing Materials, and Any Custom Print Needs! Offer Does Not End

×
×
  • Create New...