The joy stemming from getting your hands dirty under the hood of a car is a feeling that is hard to replicate for many. Some people even take this passion and turn it into a profession by opening their own garage. But this leap is a challenging one to make if you aren’t ready for the hard work you’ll need to make this dream a reality. Here are several tips for opening a mechanic shop.
The first thing to do for anybody seriously considering opening a shop is to become ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) certified. This certification makes procuring insurance and funding much easier. It also alerts potential customers that you have taken the time to master your craft so that they can have confidence when they bring their car for servicing or repairs in your garage.
Generalize or Specialize
While getting your ASE certification, you will have to decide if you want to specialize or stay more general. You can gain your certification in any of 16 different specializations, ranging from regular automobiles to school busses, so knowing the type of vehicle you want to service is critical.
It is also possible to specialize in a specific vehicle brand or a specific part of the car, such as the transmission. These specializations may allow you to charge more for your services but might limit your client base.
Understand Startup Costs
Knowing and understanding the costs associated with opening a garage is another tip for opening a mechanic shop. There are many expenditures associated with opening a garage, making the expense a significant barrier to entering the market. After factoring in supplies, insurance, certifications, and rent, the capital necessary to open a shop adds up quickly. There is also the cost of hiring staff and marketing your new business. All told, it’s not uncommon to spend tens of thousands of dollars before the doors ever open.
You may also need to make modifications to your shop. Auto shops often require garage doors and lifts that are large enough to handle the vehicles you’ll service. You’ll need a plethora of tools, a point of sales system, and inventory that you’ll need to handle. Safety precautions, such as emergency eyewash stations, protective clothing, and a coated or finished concrete floor for a no-slip grip, are all features that will keep customers and employees secure.