“The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer… form the great body of the people of the United States, they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws.” – Andrew Jackson
Are you passionate about repairing motor vehicles? If so, are you ready to open your vehicle maintenance shop? There are significant benefits to opening your own business; however, these benefits are countered by high exposure to risk. The way to make a success of your business is to balance the benefits and the risks so that the benefits start to outweigh the risks.
Benefits versus risks
Before we look at a couple of pointers to guide you in the right direction when starting up your Small Medium Enterprise (SME), let’s have a quick look at what some of the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment are:
You are the boss. Ergo, you control your working hours, and you make all the necessary management decisions. In other words, you are in control of your destiny. Furthermore, you get to follow your dreams and build a legacy for your family and the generations to come. There is also a financial benefit to self-employment. Not only do you decide what salary to pay yourself, but there is also the added advantage of earning more than you would as an employee working for someone else.
All the advantages mentioned above can also translate into disadvantages or risks. For example, you need to make sure that you get enough work in to cover your overheads. In real terms, you will have to work harder and longer hours to make sure that your business grows from a startup into a mature, stable business. Furthermore, it is challenging to stay afloat during tough economic times.
Startup business requirements
The most important starting point is to define your business scope. In other words, you build a business plan detailing the practical day-to-day running of the business. For example:
- Are you going to specialize and only repair and maintain certain vehicles, or are you going to work on all types and makes of vehicles?
- Where is your workshop going to be situated? Is it easy for customers to get to your shop or is it in a remote area?
- What size workshop are you planning on acquiring.
- What equipment, tools, and machinery do you need?
- Do you need to buy auto service repair manuals?
- How many vehicles can you accommodate per day?
- How many employees do you need to hire so that you can meet your daily targets?
This list of questions does not contain everything that you need to determine before you open your doors. However, it is a good starting point. Once you have put together your business plan and have determined that it is solid and makes sense, the next step is to procure a workshop, purchase the necessary equipment and tools, as well as advertise for experienced staff. After this has all been completed, you are finally ready to open the doors to your own auto service and repair business.