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Hey guys, this is my first post and it will not be my last.

I know that I am opening up a can of worms, but I am hoping to get some good advise, so take it easy on me.

 

I am working on opening up my shop, I have been scouting some locations and I have a meeting tomorrow with the land owner on what I think will be a good location.

 

I was hoping to get some advise on how I should start up my new business. I have a lot of automotive experience, mainly in dealerships and a Pepboys here and there but I haven't been in the industry for some time, but my love of cars, and that fact I have a lot of family in the business still, I have always been around it.

 

As I am looking to open up in the next moth or so as long as everything goes well.

 

I have been trying to read as much as I can on what I need and should do to be successful, but I wanted to get some of your advise, from people who have been there and done that.

 

Thanks in advance,

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hey fixit -

 

welcome and good luck - having gone through this not too long ago - i can say - your probably very exited - DONT let your excitement get in the way of making smart business decisions- it is too easy to jump on something out of fear of waiting too long so you dont loose it - but at the same time - just when you jump on a good deal or a good property something better comes along - i was so excited about every property i looked at i wanted it- thinking back on the ones i passed by - im GREATFULL my partner had the restraint to say "no" to them. now we have a great building at a great rate- once you get the building - start telling everyone you know your opening a shop and to keep your name out there to everyone they know - talk about it to everyone you have a chance to. word of mouth is one of the best and cheapest forms of advertising you can get.

equipment - i would start out making the least expensive investment you can on equipment- not the lifts though- the reason i went that route was to keep my initial investment as low as possible just in case things didnt work out - and dont be naive enough to think your gonna be a success- i bought my trans jack from harbor freight for 199$ - it paid for itself in 2 jobs - i have yet to need a new one but when i do i can now justify making the 800$ investment for a "good" one. if you get my point. dont buy junk , but be reasonable on your startup costs. ive seen alot of people buy the best of everything right away and be closed in 6 months-

does anyone else think rachel ray is hot?

and like joe said - start looking at things from a MANAGMENT perspective - i found out being a tech and moving into the ownership role was a real eye opener. its easy when your an employee to say the company should do this or that - but when it becomes your money your working with and trying to budget, and STILL have enough left to pay yourself - things take on a different perspective - because you know if you dont keep a close eye on it - it will be YOUR 10-15k investment thats lost. i cant stress enough how important that part is. in other words - if you go into this and are not truly worried about things, (income, initial investment , expenses etc.) ....then your not ready. because those worries are what drives a business owner to make good decisions, to step back and think about things, and manage with your brain and calculator instead of your heart. and trust me - your excitment will turn into worry... are you scared yet?

 

GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!

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It is very difficult to start any business on a shoe string. Most businesses fail because the lack of capital. If possible, you should have at least 6 month of

operating capital. Remember... location, location, location. When we were looking for rent space, I was amazed at the number of landlords that refused to rent to anything related to car repair. We looked for 6 months before finding something suitable. Try to find someone to mentor you. Someone in the business but not so close to your location that they will feel threatened.

 

Good Luck!

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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