For as long as we continue to drive cars, there will always be a demand for people who can effectively diagnose and repair automotive problems. This means for anyone thinking of designing their own business from scratch, opening a garage or repair company can be an excellent opportunity.
If you know everything there is to know about vehicles, and you’re confident offering a range of services for everything from standard repairs to MOTs, then a garage company could be ideal for you. However, it’s worth remembering that any business, even one built with knowledge and passion, comes with challenges to consider.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the steps you’ll need to consider when opening your own garage company, so you can ensure you’re fully prepared.
Deciding What Kind of Garage You Want to Open
There are various ways to approach your new life as a garage business owner. Some entrepreneurs offer a wide range of general services, ranging from maintenance and consulting to comprehensive services. However, you can also consider specializing in certain areas. For instance, you might decide you want to focus your attention primarily on vintage cars or sports vehicles.
Or perhaps you could look at offering services other companies don’t provide, like repainting or finishing for car owners looking to update the appearance of their vehicles. As the demand for hybrid and electric vehicles continues to grow, you may want to look at servicing cars with electrical components too.
Make sure you look into the demand for the services and skills you’re thinking of offering before you dive in. You’ll need to ensure there’s a clear marketplace for you to take advantage of.
Secure Your Funding
Once you’ve decided on the kind of garage-based business you want to open, the next step is figuring out how you’re going to fund your new venture. This can be one of the most complicated processes for any business owner, as finding money can be easier said than done.
While business loans are available, they can be difficult to access as a complete beginner. An alternative could be to take out a personal loan to manage some of the initial costs you’re going to need to take on when buying equipment and machinery.
However, you might need to look into various forms of investment to ensure you can cover all of the costs. Take the time to plan out your initial business expenses, as well as the running costs you can expect to encounter when managing your company. This will give you an idea of how much money you need to borrow or raise for your new venture.
Find the Ideal Location
Figuring out the top equipment needs, and various marketing campaigns is important but won’t matter much if nobody can find you. The location of your repair store or garage will be crucial to ensuring you can attract the right customers and a regular income.
Take the time to research your local area. Usually, city center locations are popular, as they’re easy to access and find, and often get a lot of recognition from passing foot traffic and drivers. Ideally, the location you choose should ensure your customers don’t have to travel too far to find you.
The further your customers have to drive to get help with their cars, the more likely they are to look for an alternative solution.
You’ll also need to ensure any location you choose has the right amount of space. You’ll need to be able to store and work on multiple cars at once. Depending on the budget you have, you may even be able to buy a garage that already has a lot of the features and tools you need already installed. Alternatively, you may have to consider creating your location from scratch.
Look to Qualifications and Licensing
You may not need a specific degree or education to become an expert garage owner, but it helps to have some credentials you can use to gain the trust of your customers. You might find that expanding your education makes you more attractive in a competitive marketplace. At the very least, you’ll need to ensure you have the right licenses before you can open for business.
There are various trade and motor repair licenses that experts need to legally operate when it comes to repairing and improving cars. You’ll also need various forms of insurance to protect your customers, business, and employees from any potential damages. If you’re not sure what kind of license you need, you can look into speaking to a legal advisor for additional guidance.
Bring Your Garage Business to Life
There are various other factors that are often involved in bringing a garage business to life, from marketing and promotional strategies to hiring new employees. However, if you start with the four steps above, you should at least have the basic foundations you need in place to ensure you can start your company successfully.