As of 2013, the number of cars active on UK roads rose to a record 32 million. With such a vast potential customer base, it’s no wonder setting up a car maintenance business is such a popular idea. This means it’s a competitive industry, though, and attracting customers away from the competition might be difficult.
Here’s what you need to know about starting your own mechanics business.
1. Acquire local knowledge
It’s crucial that you thoroughly research your local area. Find out if there any similar businesses nearby and ask yourself the market can support everyone. You’ll need to know what kind of rates they charge to have a better idea about how much money you could earn, as well as the services they currently offer.
Differentiating yourself and striking a niche might be the trick that makes your business stand out from the crowd.
2. Focus on Management
It goes without saying that you’ll need to have experience in the field, but there’s also a required level of managerial knowledge if this project is going to be successful. Managing jobs, finances and human resources – you need to be able to orchestrate well so every part of your business runs like what it is intended to run.
Early on, make sure you don’t wear too many hats. Managing orders, finances, marketing, legal, etc. is difficult to juggle. Hiring or outsourcing may costs you some money, but it’s worth doing in the long run.
3. Get necessary equipment
Even the most skilled tradesmen are nothing without their tools. While you may have what you need to work on personal projects, running a business will require you to scale up.
You need to well-equip your garage with all the necessities, such as trolley jacks, engine cranes and toolboxes. Working with trusted companies like SGS Engineering can give you the much-needed equipment quality – and peace of mind.
If you’re working on a tight budget, consider looking for deals on used equipment. If you decide to do this, however, remember to only buy from a trusted supplier. Any savings you make won’t be worth it if they give your business a bad name in the long-run.
4. Marketing – in the right way
No matter how good a job you feel you’re doing, if no-one else knows about it isn’t going to be a successful business venture. With that said, you need to reach out to your target market – and engage them.
These days, social media is a must. Set up a business profile on Facebook and join local community groups where you can advertise your services.
Consider holding competitions to boost your image. For instance, for everyone who likes your profile, enter them into a raffle for a complimentary check-up.
Finally, attend any local trade shows. The knowledge you can gain from these is invaluable. Even if you feel you’re an experienced mechanic, you may have a lot to learn about running your own business.
It won’t be easy to get your business off the ground floor, but the end results will be worth it. Focus on priding your service on its quality, timekeeping, and customer service.
5. Plan for growth – and execute it
Knowledge, experience, and tools are all important, but execution is what separating you from the competition. You need to have plan for growth, and make sure that you execute your plan well. If you are not sure how to execute your plan well, seek help.