How to Open an Auto Repair Shop

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If you're a skilled mechanic, it can be exciting and lucrative to own your own auto repair shop instead of working for someone else. Auto repair shops can do well, since there is a large profit margin and there will always be a demand for repairs. There are some tasks that you need to complete when you decide to open an auto repair shop.

Consider an automotive repair franchise. Compare the fees and costs against the cost of starting up and advertising an independent shop.

Join local business associations and national groups like the Automotive Service Association, which can offer marketing tips, training, and discounts on programs you need to run your business.

Write a business plan that details your budget, advertising, goals and plans for achieving your goals. Specify what type of repair service you will offer, how many mechanics and bays are available to service customers and how your service will differ from the competition.

Create a website that includes information about monthly or weekly specials, automotive tips and customer services features, like the ability for customers to check on the status of repairs, access their vehicle's repair history, schedule an appointment or receive email reminders. Include keywords related to your specialization and area of service so that it is indexed by search engines.

Find a location. Great locations for an auto repair shop are existing shops right next to an interstate or major highway or in the center of town. Find a building that already has the equipment and space you need. Make sure the location is zoned for an auto repair shop.

Advertise in the phone directory, online and in local newspapers. Check into referral programs with other providers of auto-related services, like auto detailers, gas stations, car sales lots and especially towing companies.

Set up your shop so that it makes a good impression. Invest in up-to-date diagnostic and repair equipment. Make sure the shop and your employees look clean and orderly. Create a comfortable waiting area and reception space for customers.


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