By Travis Alsgard
I've worked as a tech and, more recently, tech / part time manager at a very busy shop for close to 7 years now. The owner approached me a few weeks back with talks of retiring next January and selling the business to me.
I'm in my mid-30s and have been working towards a similar opportunity since I started down this path almost 20 years ago. Spent my younger years bouncing from place to place, city to city, and state to state. Finally landed in CA by way of MI and am thoroughly enjoying the lack of rusty bolts.
Looking forward to using the search function (unheard of no doubt!) first and foremost, but also gathering as much wisdom as I can with questions of my own. Maybe I can even lend a hand somewhere myself, who knows?
Here's a preliminary thank you to the staff and members. Seems to be just the place I was looking for.
Any quick tips are much appreciated as I begin this adventure.
This is true for Most States not just California)
The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out, bites the Governor and attacks his dog.
1. The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie "Bambi" and then realizes he should stop; the coyote is only doing what is natural.
2. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures coyote and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.
3. He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.
4. The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged.
5. The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is free of dangerous animals.
6. The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a "coyote awareness" program for residents of the area.
7. The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.
8. The Governor's security agent is fired for not stopping the attack somehow and for letting the Governor attempt to intervene.
9. Additional cost to State of California: $75,000 to hire and train a new security agent with additional special training re: the nature of coyotes.
10. PETA protests the coyote's relocation and files suit against the State.
The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A Coyote jumps out and attacks her dog.
1. The Governor shoots the coyote with her State-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent $0.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge.
2. The Buzzards eat the dead coyote.
And that's why California is broke.
By Chucks Creations Autobody
Hello everyone out there in ASO land. You will all become use to seeing my screen name all over this forum because I have a lot of questions lol. A little about why Im here. My father has been doing bodywork for 40+ years and about 12 years ago, he decided that he wanted to open up shop for himself. Business was up and down since and actually closed the shop about 3 years into it because it wasnt making enough to keep the doors open. It started because my father enjoyed what he did, and was very good at it... but didnt know how to manage a business. He was great at his trade, but didnt know what came along with actually running the business side of it. He was the only tech there and my brothers and myself lent a hand but could only do so much. He felt defeated at the time but wanted to try it again when the time was right. They opened up again in 2008 and moved into a bigger location in 2010 where they are at right now. Now my brothers are older and picked up the knowledge from my dad and have done well for themselves as far as getting customers. Problem is, there is no management in play. They know how to do the work and enjoy it, but the business aspect of it is wearing them thin since my younger brother has been stand in office manager/tech/painter. I see the potential in the business and would love to see it flourish so we can continue to build what my father had envisioned. I have a lot of goals and doing my research so that I may see them through. I came across a site that really put things in prospective as far as starting a business. It explained that many times businesses fail because someone gets the itch to open up for themselves because they enjoy something and want to do it for themselves... but dont think about the business aspect of it.. only the trade part. They called the "entrepreneurial seizure" and its explained as:
An entrepreneurial seizure is the moment the entrepreneur decides it would be a great idea to start his or her own business. It's when one believes that knowing how to do the work of a business is all one needs to understand in order to start and grow a business. So the accountant starts an accounting practice; the mechanic starts an auto repair business; the cook opens up a restaurant. They go to work, accounting, fixing cars, or cooking meals, none of which is the true work of the entrepreneur. In doing so, the person who starts his or her own business is lost in the teeming confusion created by demands he or she never anticipated...the demands of organization, the demands of cash flow, the demands of people -- employees, customers, suppliers, banks, family -- and so forth and so on. They are simply not prepared for the demands that are going to be made on them. The longer they're in business, the worse it gets. There is no vision; there is only being a slave to work and staying alive. The seizure is long gone, the entrepreneurial vision a vague memory.
And I believe this is what happens a lot. Which is why I know that getting feedback from experienced shop owners like yourselves, can only help with what im trying to do to get this business going. I am looking for workflow ideas for organization, management/estimating systems, I have Quickbooks and I'm working on getting the shop cleaned up and looking like a professional location instead of a pile of bondo dust lol (although I love the smell of bondo lol). I do have questions but feel that my "intro" has been super long and I mightve lost a few readers along the way lol. For those that have stuck around, thank you =) I look forward to feedback and to building "friendships" with my fellow ASO'ers . Thanks again for your time.
*** for those wondering the site that excerpt was from, its called www.e-myth.com ... highly recommend it for the newbies out there looking to start a business from their hobby just for insight ***
I wanted to reach out and say hello and thank all of you for your input on all of these wonderful topics in this forum.
It's nice to know I am not alone out there when it comes to the struggles and the positive parts about being an auto shop owner.
My name is Henry Villegas. My father and I started Integrity Transmission four years ago this past august. From the first year of just us two working in a 600 square ft facility
to now being in a 3000 square ft facility we have came a long way. Lots of failures and successes along the way. And definitely dealing with lots of growing pains now
Just wanted to reach out to you guys as you all will definitely see me in the forums with lots of questions to one day be as successful as all of you
Thank you & take care
Well I guess its time I introduce myself. My name is Kevin Burk and I'm slowly considering opening up a shop.
Some background info:
Originally I was trying to go to school for a mechanical engineering degree. I wound up getting a part time job at an auto shop cleaning the shop and shuttling customers around. I very quickly started working on cars and within a year had my own bay and lift there. While the engineering idea was failing, I was supporting myself as a mechanic. After 8yrs there, I thought there had to be better ways to make money, and I really wanted to get into manufacturing and do more engineering oriented work.
I was able to find my current job. I work for a small engineering firm doing prototype work and small production runs. We do a lot of work with drones, but its been slow due to budget cutbacks these past few years. I generally like what I do, machining, fabricating, design work. However, I have some differences of opinion with my boss who seems unable to lead well, and I feel like I've topped out here. No real benefits and no raises for the past 6yrs now has me looking for other opportunities. The more I stay here the more this job feels like a dead end. I feel its difficult for interviewers to get a sense of what I do exactly for this company and how that might relate to the job I'm applying for. On top of that the lack of any sort of degree, engineering or otherwise doesn't help. My work is pretty close to that of other engineer friends that I have, maybe a bit more hands on though, but the lack of an engineering degree prevents me from applying for engineering positions.
So I feel kinda stuck. If I could find another job with greater opportunity and future growth I would go that direction. I've been trying to break into the equipment repair side of things for a while now with no luck.
In the back of my head though, I've always had this interest in owning my own company. A year and a half ago I started doing offroad fabrication work on the side out of my home shop. That actually went better than I thought it would and I made more money than I thought it would. However, that went on hold last april with the birth of my son. I didn't make a ton of money with it, and I wasn't allways busy, but it gives me some confidence that I could handle and run my own shop.
I know enough to know that offroad fabrication in my area won't support a full time shop. Its difficult to set a shop rate for a fabrication shop. Typically there are few other shops doing what you do, and your customer base tends to compare your prices to bolt on solutions. The repair industry is different, very comparable, and I have some experience there. If I could start a shop with repair as the backbone, I could indulge my other passions when I have time and someone willing to pay.
It looks as though I'll be going back to school for a bit this next spring to finish out my AS in Auto Technology at the local CC. It'll help to finally add a degree to my resume. I'm actually looking forward to taking the auto shop management course they offer.
I've got a thread in the business help section 0-60 Starting out as a larger shop, that describes a bit more of what I'd be looking to do.
Currently its just a pipe dream. Once again if I could find a better job I'd go that route instead. Not sure I have the cojones to start a legitimate business just yet.
Now that I've rambled your ears off......
Thanks for listening,