At-home Auto Shop: How to Start Yours

man holding wrenches

For a car enthusiast who’s looking to be an entrepreneur as well, opening an auto shop is an ideal plan. Not only you get to do enjoy your interest, but you can also make a living from it. With the growing population of individuals with cars, a business that revolves around cars has a high potential of expanding and generating high earnings.

But while the opportunities in this sector are constantly increasing, it’s important to take note that embarking on this business venture is not that easy. To make it easier for you, here are a number of tips on how you can start an at-home auto shop.

Pick a specialty

Since you’ll be opening the shop at your home, it’s best to pick a specialty that can both work on your skills, budget and the space that you have. Each type of auto shop is a bit different in terms of its services. For example, you can focus on tire retail and repair, which is a great idea since every car owner will eventually need a new set of tires.

Or you can offer automotive paint through a car paint booth equipment, which is ideal if you have limited open space to work on. There are also body shops that focus on the repairs of the exterior of cars. Services may include replacing damaged body panels and fixing scratches and dents.

Write your business plan

Creating a business plan is a crucial step in opening an auto shop. This helps you define the type of shop you’re opening, the particular services to open, the pricing, as well as goals of your business. Other essential things to include in your business plan are your target customers, competitors, budget, day-to-day operations, marketing strategy, licenses and permits needed, startup costs, and the number of employees to hire. This is a fundamental step for opening a business so if you have no idea how to create and finalize one, it’s best to find a consultant to help you out.

Find the right spot

After identifying the type of auto business you want to open, you can now start deciding on the location to set it up. In fact, having enough space in your residential property is a vital requirement for getting an automotive mechanic license or business permit. Ideally, you should have ample space for a garage built in tailored to the type of business you’re opening. The area should also be accessible and safe for the clients to drive in. Clients won’t likely visit your auto shop if there’s limited to no space for them to park.

man fixing a car

Equip the auto shop

Next thing to work on is the equipment needed for your auto shop. Be sure to spend time researching the market costs of the equipment and tools you need to run the shop. In general, a traditional auto body shop will need a tire pressure gauge, a hydraulic lift, an electronic diagnostic tool, a wrench set, cutter tools, and clutch alignment tools. Also, if you’re planning to use your home garage for the auto shop, you’d also need to invest in an improved ventilation system and the installation of extra lighting.

Hire qualified people

You may be an expert on what you do or already have experience working in an auto shop, but the people you’ll be hiring may not. While it’s usually more budget-friendly to hire inexperienced people, this can jeopardize the quality of your operations and the entire business. As much as you can, you need to run your business as smooth as possible. Find mechanics who know the ins and outs of the trade and have proven, relevant skills and experience. Managing an auto shop is not a one-person show so choose your team members wisely.

Get licenses and permits

Generally, opening an auto shop does not need licenses, Still, it’s best to check on the specific requirements of your local state or city. As for the general business requirements, you’ll need to acquire an Occupancy Permit, Employer Identification Number, sales tax permits, and more. Get the necessary licenses to operate the shop legally. Also, while certifications such as the Automotive Service Excellence isn’t a legal requirement, acquiring one can help you get an insurance and seek financing for your business.

Starting an auto shop can set you up in a business sector that’s already proven to flourish all year round. And the best part? You get to turn your lifelong hobby into a living while also providing a necessary service to other car owners. Begin planning for your auto business today with these tips.

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