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

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

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

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...
  • 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
  • Available Subscriptions

  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
  • Similar Topics



  • Our Sponsors



×
×
  • Create New...