The auto repair business is huge and it’s a great industry to be in at the moment. It is extremely competitive, however. If you don’t do your research properly, you could end up in an oversaturated market and have difficulty surviving. But that’s only one of the things you’ll have to worry about when starting a garage. Few people truly know what it means to be a garage owner and what it takes to be successful, and they end up making costly mistakes as a result. This is why you need to know what you’re getting into, as well as some of the obstacles you may have to face. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you will need to know before starting a garage in 2021.
It’s a Tough Business
There are many challenges to running an auto repair business today and they don’t all have to do with competition. Cars today are much more complex than they used to be, and keeping up with recent advances in technology can be tough. This not only means that you’ll have to constantly invest in new equipment, but you will also have to find staff qualified enough to use it.
Turnover is a major issue in the business, so you will spend a lot of time recruiting and trying to make your employees happy. You will need to look at what the competition is offering by way of pay and benefits packages. You will need to offer training and development opportunities and invest in your employees’ progress as well. So, expect to get involved with the HR side a lot when running a garage.
There are Tons of Liabilities
As a garage owner, you will open yourself up to all sorts of liabilities. If you or one of your employees performs a faulty repair on a vehicle and the client ends up in an accident, you could be held liable for it. You also have to worry about employees injuring themselves or clients getting injured on your premises. Then, you have issues like vandalism, theft, and property damage you’ll have to worry about. So, you will need to look at business auto insurance before you even start thinking about opening a garage. Look at different plans, what they cover, and what you can expect to pay. Also start learning how you can prevent incidents from happening in the first place.
You Don’t Need to Be Independent
You should consider starting as a franchise instead of starting as an independent garage. Even if you’ll have to give up some of your profits, you’ll get many benefits that will increase your chances of succeeding. Franchises, the good ones at least, want their franchisees to succeed. Every garage under their banner that closes reflects poorly on their brand, so they will take all the steps necessary to help your garage get business and stay open.
Depending on who you go with, you could get help not only for securing a location but also with picking locations where you’ll be most likely to be successful. This is a major advantage as lots of owners don’t know what separates a bad location from a good one. Going with a franchise also means that you’ll get to benefit from their marketing resources. The branding will already have been done for you and people will be more likely to go with a brand they trust. Most of the heavy work will be done already, and you’ll have a team there to help you if you have any problems. This could end up being a very valuable resource and they’ll be able to guide you through the business side and help you avoid mistakes.
You Might Need to Specialize
Another thing you will have to consider is if you want to specialize your services. Some people may want to cast a wide net, but it may be a better idea to focus on one specific service or type of vehicle. If you have a good knowledge of performance vehicles, for instance, or vehicles from certain countries, this could be an opportunity to serve an underserved niche. You could also decide to only fix specific parts, like suspensions or mirrors. This could allow you to reduce your overall costs and stand apart in your landscape.
These are all things you should be aware of before starting a garage. This will allow you to go in with a clear idea of how the business works and make better moves.