As people keep their old cars for longer periods of time to avoid committing to a car new payment, knowledgeable, skilled mechanics are in greater demand than ever before. As an experienced mechanic, you may nurture the dream of owning your own garage one day. The ability to be your own boss and the additional income that accompanies business ownership are powerful incentives for you to start your own repair shop. If you harbour the dream of your own garage, hard work and preparation will enable you to meet your goal.
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Save up a down payment for your own garage. Even if you have a stellar credit rating, banks still want to see that you have some cash behind you. Putting up a down payment reinforces your commitment to the business and shows that you have the ability to manage your money.
Obtain the appropriate business licenses. You will need a tax identification number and the appropriate permit to allow you to collect sales tax. Check with your local government to see what, if any, licenses or permits are required to open a business in your area.
Draw up a business plan. Several models are available on the Internet or through various publications. You will need this when you go to the bank to apply for financing for your business. A well thought out business plan is the mark of a good businessman and eases lender's minds when it comes to gambling on your business.
Apply for pre-approval for a business loan. Once you have a lender behind you, you can start planning in earnest. You'll be able to budget your monthly expenses including rent, utilities, salaries and supplies.
Find a location for your garage. Look into local zoning laws to guide your search. Consult a commercial real estate agent to help you locate the perfect spot. Consider how easily accessible your location is to your target market. Have a lawyer look over your lease before you sign, so there are no ugly surprises in the future.
Purchase all needed tools and equipment. Look for a supplier with reasonable prices and a guarantee on their products. Look for someone you can build a relationship with over time so you don't have to change suppliers later and waste valuable time.
Hire a competent and reputable staff of mechanics. Choose both experienced mechanics and those who have recently graduated from a certified program. The two types of mechanics will bring a good mix of experience and education in the newest techniques to your business.
Advertise your garage. Purchase business cards, business telephone listings and reasonably priced advertising. Hand out your card to everyone you meet. Advertise in small, local publications in order to keep advertising costs down.
Tips and warnings
- Get the word out to potential customers even before you have your garage set up. Put the word out that you will be offering your professional services in the near future.
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