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Hello! New Shop In NJ


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Hello,

 

I decided to find a forum of shop owners to learn and share information with and came across this one. There seems to be a lot of information here along with a friendly atmosphere.

 

I am opeing up a motorcycle shop in Mahwah, NJ hopefully before spring. I will be doing repairs along with performance upgrades to almost any extent on sportbikes, dirtbike, ATVs, and some other street bikes. Mostly going after the performance and race markets, but doing general repairs to fill in the rest of the time.

 

I have a few questions. I searched around a bit on this site with not so much luck (though I found and read a lot of other great information) so if any of these topics have already been discussed, please direct me to the right thread.

 

As of right now I will be the only one working in my shop... officially. I may have a few family members come and give a hand from time to time, but nothing that would be recorded on paper in any way. What sort of insurances should I be considering? General small business inurance, liabilty inurance for my products and services, etc. What do i insure, and what do I roll the dice on or not worry about too much?

 

Also what kind of disclaimers is everyone using on their invoices? Is the a collectiong of examples with different option in them around somewhere? Also for racing and high performace customers, what liabilities should I be fairly waived of for their work? When I worked in an engine machine shop they had a strict policy of no warranty on anyting race related. But that is pretty much my business so I can't deny it on everything I do.

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Hello and Welcome to the Group!

 

Main Street America Insurance Group has been my carrier for 3 years. Their price is over 50% less than others that have quoted me. Contact an independent agent in your area, or contact the Company for an agent in your area. The local agent can make recommendations as to coverage. The kind of coverage you want is the kind that pays if someone gets maimed or killed after the wheel or wheels come off a bike, etc. Always think "worst case" when buying insurance, because you want it for "worst case" real events.

 

I now own and operate a full service auto shop, but my primary training and initial expertise came from the automotive machine shop profession. I did a tremendous amount of performance work for drag, circle, and boats, and I guaranteed my work to meet specifications, but did not warranty it against "blowing up" or guarantee them that they would win. Any other warranties would cause the shop owner to "go broke" quickly.

 

Good luck in your venture. Please call on us for any more advice!

 

Hi-Gear

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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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