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jamesCA

Start auto shop for non-mechanic owner

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I am wondering if any owners out there are not mechanic and doing well. Any pro and con? Any training I should get?

 

I do have some some basic auto knowledge, work in it and have other business knowledge like customer service, computer operation, basic maintenance etc.

 

I am thinking of opening up a small shop in So CA. I believe with the current economic, more folks will keep their old cars. My mechanic that I goes are very busy and expanding. He said you don't have to be mechanic to be successful..maybe I can use him as a coach as he is a master mechanic too. Some of his challenges come from dealing with difficult customers who try to blame him for problematic item(s) that he didn't repair or touch.

 

 

Thanks

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I am a none mechanic owner. It can be done but there is a fairly steep learning curve. The hardest part is without a background in this industry it is hard to evaluate who is a good candidate to hire as a technician and who is not. Most people you will interview will talk a better game then they are able to deliver. You will have to find someone you can trust and lean on them until you learn the ropes. It probably took me a good 8 years to become half way decent as a manager.

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I am wondering if any owners out there are not mechanic and doing well. Any pro and con? Any training I should get?

 

I do have some some basic auto knowledge, work in it and have other business knowledge like customer service, computer operation, basic maintenance etc.

 

I am thinking of opening up a small shop in So CA. I believe with the current economic, more folks will keep their old cars. My mechanic that I goes are very busy and expanding. He said you don't have to be mechanic to be successful..maybe I can use him as a coach as he is a master mechanic too. Some of his challenges come from dealing with difficult customers who try to blame him for problematic item(s) that he didn't repair or touch.

 

 

Thanks

 

I am a Mechanic turned shop owner. I opened my business in 1980. From my perspective, being a mechanic hurt my business. For the first 10 to 12 years I felt that my business could not run unless I was the focal point in every aspect of the business. I had this notion that no one could do as good a job as I could, and the consequences of this attitude were not good. I nearly lost everything and just about went broke in the process.

 

When I finally put away my tools (for the most part) and learned about the mechanics of business, things started to turn around. I had to have trust in other people, hire the right people, put policy and processes in place, watch my numbers and understand what it took to turn a profit. Little by little I dug myself out of the deep hole I was in and by the late 90’s I was well on my way to growing a nice business. Since the late 90’s I have expanded 3 times and now have 2 facilities and looking for another. One of reasons I cofounded AutoShoOwner.com is to share my experiences and help others like yourself.

 

My advice to you: if you are going to do it, then do it right. One of key things that helped me was getting involved with a company called Elite (http://www.eliteworldwidestore.com/). Elite is a company that helps automotive shops become more successful through proper business training and coaching. I actually work now as a business coach for Elite helping other shops around the country.

 

One more thing, you will need to become proficient in business and in the world of automotive, but your success is not dependent upon your mechanical skills. Your skills as a leader and management will be your greatest asset.

 

Great post, hope to hear more from you and best of luck!

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I am wondering if any owners out there are not mechanic and doing well. Any pro and con? Any training I should get?

 

I do have some some basic auto knowledge, work in it and have other business knowledge like customer service, computer operation, basic maintenance etc.

 

I am thinking of opening up a small shop in So CA. I believe with the current economic, more folks will keep their old cars. My mechanic that I goes are very busy and expanding. He said you don't have to be mechanic to be successful..maybe I can use him as a coach as he is a master mechanic too. Some of his challenges come from dealing with difficult customers who try to blame him for problematic item(s) that he didn't repair or touch.

 

 

Thanks

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I am a woman owner of 43 years. I started out in high school as treasurer, then went to work for service stations as a book keeper. Got my start in service stations. I have been aroung cars for ever, but no mechanical history. Years ago, I was told if you took the best mechanic and a person who had business training; the person with the business training would succeed over the mechanic, probably. A person with good business tools could actually run any small type of business. The principals are the same. Yes, you have to have business sense, common sense and want to work really hard. LOL. Get lots of training, get in a mastermind group. Watch for a successful owner and pick their brain to what classes or group he or she is in. Good Luck.

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I am a woman owner of 43 years. I started out in high school as treasurer, then went to work for service stations as a book keeper. Got my start in service stations. I have been aroung cars for ever, but no mechanical history. Years ago, I was told if you took the best mechanic and a person who had business training; the person with the business training would succeed over the mechanic, probably. A person with good business tools could actually run any small type of business. The principals are the same. Yes, you have to have business sense, common sense and want to work really hard. LOL. Get lots of training, get in a mastermind group. Watch for a successful owner and pick their brain to what classes or group he or she is in. Good Luck.

 

This is true and it is good advice

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