There are few things as personal as your car. It’s not just a way to get from point A to point B. It’s a ticket to freedom, a source of stress relief, and, last but not least, an investment. When something goes wrong, it can be costly.
The auto repair business is a booming industry. That being said, several thousand people are buying auto repair shops.
The car service and repair market is expected to grow by 10% by 2021, so now is the perfect time to consider buying an auto repair shop.
Whether you’re looking for your first business venture or a new opportunity, buying an auto repair shop might be right.
Before a business purchase, research the cost and money involved. The acquisition will take up most of your time and cost you money, upfront and ongoing. You will also have to pay for the start-up costs and be prepared to work long hours.
It’s not unusual to work over 70 hours per week when buying your own shop. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and the ability to prioritize to succeed.
There are plenty of auto repair shops for sale, but it can be tricky to know what to look for when you’re ready to invest in one.
To help you get started, here are some tips on buying an auto repair shop.
Things to Consider While Buying An Auto Repair Shop
1. Know What You’re Getting Yourself Into
When you buy your own shop, you’re getting yourself into many things. First, you’ll be taking over the day-to-day operations of the company.
This includes everything from answering phones to managing employees and hiring and training new staff members to deal with a customer. If you want to purchase an auto repair shop, it will probably take at least six months before it can sustain itself economically.
So if you buy a franchise that is already up and running, keep in mind that there may be employees who are not happy with the new boss and may even quit.
If you buy a start-up, there will likely be more work to do while still establishing your reputation in the market. Here are 5 things you can do to make sure you’re getting a reliable and healthy auto shop business:
Research the Industry and the Competition:
The first step before buying an auto repair shop is to research the industry and control your competition. This will help you understand what you’re getting into and what challenges you may face. It will also give you advice of what customers are looking for and how much they’re willing to spend. You can check out industry reports, such as those from IBISWorld, and read trade publications, such as Auto Service Professional. You can also talk to other business buyers and get their insights on the business.
Create a Business Plan:
Once you understand the industry and your competition, it’s time to create a business plan. Outline your goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them. It will also be helpful when it comes time to apply for financing. If you need assistance putting together a business plan, plenty of resources are available, such as the Small Business Administration’s website or SCORE’s templates.
Develop a Marketing Plan:
Once your own shop is up and running, you need to let the customer know. Develop a marketing plan that includes both traditional and digital marketing techniques. Make sure your website is optimized for search engines and that your social media accounts are active and engaging. You should also consider running ads in local publications or on radio or TV stations.
2. Research Your Options Carefully
Buying an auto repair shop is a big decision. First, you need to think about the things you like and dislike, the size of the business, and how much time you can invest in the auto repair business.
The best way to go about this is by researching your options carefully. Your research will help you decide what auto repair shop to buy and whether it’s a good fit for you.
To do that, ask questions like:
- What are their customer satisfaction ratings?
- Are service contracts with loopholes?
- Do they have good service with due diligence?
- Why do the franchise sell?
- Do they give special offers?
- Will I be able to grow with them, and will my ideas be considered?
Take a paper and note down these answers. If you may have a doubt, connect with the locals and research everything before becoming a new owner.
You can also check reviews on your Facebook page and on Google Maps. Connect with existing customers or workers on LinkedIn or post a random question asking about the experience/advice from the shop. You’ll be amazed to note how citizens will come out to reply and help you.
If you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help from business buyers. Of course, you can always consult with a business broker or an accountant. They will help you understand the financial side of the things sales process and make sure you’re making a sound investment.
Note that buying an auto repair business in debt will only put you in trouble financially and mentally. If you’re going to buy, invest in something worthwhile.
Keep in mind to research, take a few days off and check everything out. It may cost some time, but it’s worth the effort.
3. Look for Seller Financing
When buying an auto repair business, a great way is by purchasing an already established business.
It may be hard to find an automotive business for sale without purchasing one, but it’s not impossible. One of the best ways to find an existing business for the sales process is by searching on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. You can also search important things and classified ads from websites like Craigslist and AutoTrader.
Be sure you’re looking in your geographical area as well. Once you’re buying an auto shop for sale, be sure to ask the business brokers if they will provide financing options to purchase their company.
Many sellers are willing to finance a portion of the cost of their franchise so that they can stay involved in the process or receive some type of benefit until the full balance is paid off. This option gives you time to prove yourself as an owner-operator before taking on all responsibility and risk in a new venture.
You can always check:
- If the shop is under renovation
- Has low space
- Auto repair equipment
- Pays staff less
- Has loan or contract
Check out this data before business purchase. Connect on 1-1 with the current owner and ask the following questions. Make sure you ask for 6 months to 1 year excel sheet data about business sales.
This is a great way to know more about the company when buying an auto repair business. And of course, if the company is in loan or debt, negotiate the deal fairly. Let the owner know you’re already doing a favor by putting him out of the mess.
The main task here is to check, decide on the value of the auto repair business, and then finalize a price. Make sure you deduct loans and renovation charges beforehand so it doesn’t cost you after buying the company.
4. Find the Right Location
One of the most important factors to consider when starting an auto business is its location. Proximity is key when you’re trying to get customers in the door.
So, if you’re purchasing a location on a busy street corner with plenty of foot traffic, it will be easier to find customers than if your business is located on a residential or side street. The location also needs to be close enough to travel between the shop and your home or other destination quickly and efficiently.
The next step is finding a suitable customer base for your shop. Ideally, it should be in a high-traffic area with good visibility. If you plan on 24-hour service, you’ll need to find good lighting and a secure location.
Keep these 3 strategies in mind:
Remember that most people who come to the auto repair shop or customer base urgently need services. If you aim to target normal people, know that your business will flourish—final, an area that meets residential plots or is near supermarkets.
Repair and shop:
People love doing two things at once. It’s better to let their car wash, repair, and cleanse than t make it sit in the scorching sun. Once you’ve received a customer, tell them that you can wash, clean, and retouch their car when shopping at the grocery store.
The main concern here to reach gen z people is social media and google maps. Ask people to rate you then, and after that, complete their service. Also, put banners and proper posters nearby the area to show them the right direction towards your auto shop.
The right location can become a blessing if you follow these simple ways. Start small but pull quality acts. Remember that marketing and putting offers on social media do not hurt to cost you a dime.
Also, try reinvesting the money in the business and looking for nearby plots to make storage and expand your shop.