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GenX Auto Works

What do you think? Need advice from Guru's

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Ok folks I need some help. I have been reading a lot here lately but just registered today. You folks are a wealth of information and I would be extremely grateful for any help. Warning, this is a bit long-winded!

Let me give you a quick background on me, then what I am trying to do, and where I am at with the process.

I am 37 years old and have had a dream of opening a hot rod shop for about 30 years. I have wrenched on cars for most of my life off and on, building several cars over the years including a 70 mach1, 67 cougar, 85 camaro, and others. Working on cars has always been just a passion, nothing I really made money with, nor do I consider myself a true mechanic. I did ten years in the Army as infantrymen and two tours to Iraq. Since being home and out of the Army I have worked as an Army contractor where I teach soldiers how to use the computer systems they will use in combat. My education includes an understanding of accounting, business law and ton of information technology. Leadership wise I was a team leader, squad leader, platoon sergeant, and battle NCO in the Army so I think I have the leadership stuff covered. As for financing I have gathered 10 investors that are very interested in the idea. My wife and I also have loans available to us as disabled combat veterans. Long story short, it is time to reach for my dreams and make my shop happen.

As of now I am in the planning, and data collecting phase. I have a rough draft of my business plan done and I have an appointment with the local small business administration next week.

Let me tell you about the proposed business. The business will consist of three buildings in a U shape configuration on around 6 acres of land. The middle building will be for admin and inventory, the two side buildings will consist of four bays each. One side for general repairs, the other building will be a performance and detail shop. These services (performance and detail) are not currently available in the town I live in (population 40,000 and growing rapidly, not including surrounding areas). I feel the market would be huge as there are many gear-heads in the area that have to go two towns away for these services. In the front lot I will offer 3-5 cars for sale that I will market to parents who want a safe dependable first car for their teen while not spending a lot of money. I will purchase fleet cars at auction, conduct the maintenance and repairs and then resale. I plan to keep around 2 “special” cars for sale on the lots as well. These cars will be sort of a middle class hot rod. The only place to buy any hot rod is 40 miles away and for over $20k. They only carry things like 69 fastbacks and 67 camaros, you get the idea. These cars are not in very good shape and VERY expensive for what you get. I will find and repair cool cars that can be bought and repaired cheap, and then sold as a cool hot rod to those who cannot spend 20K plus on a car that sits in their garage 9 months a year but still want something fun to drive that doesn’t leave a puddle of fluids where they park. Where I am, you can find 70 novas, impalas, monte carlos, and all kinds of neat cars to fix up and sale without breaking the bank. I will need to lease a flat bed for hauling from auction, so I suppose if things get slow I can use the truck for towing as well.

Once up and running I would like to experiment with electric hot rods and gas to electric conversions.

So now for my questions….

1. Assuming business is decent, how many employees would it take to run this monster?

2. What positions should I hire?

3. Given my experience what should my role be?

4. What are a must for tools? Hand tools, power tools, lifts, and so on. How many and what? Best way to purchase in bulk?

5. I have no desire to start small, what are the pitfalls of starting this large.

6. Anyone else sale used cars AND fix them? Any advice?

These are just a few questions I have, but I don’t want to bombard you too much 

Thanks so much for your time and knowledge!

Guy,

GenX auto works

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