If you’ve just graduated from an Automotive and Diesel Technology program, you’re likely excited to get your feet wet in the real world by pursuing a career related to your newfound education and expertise. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to go into business for someone else if you’ve got the drive to create your own company instead. People with an entrepreneurial spirit are the only people in the world willing to work more than 60 hours a week for themselves just to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else, and that sort of commitment can pay off in the long run.
As you start to draw up business plans for your own auto and body shop, it’s common to focus on things like finding a space to call your own, and determining to price for your services. While that’s all well and good, it’s just as important to focus on finding funding to keep the ground stable beneath your feet and looking into various perks to keep your customers coming back for more. The following tips and tricks can help you ensure that you don’t let any task slip through the cracks before you get to your big launch day. Read on for some helpful advice on opening your body shop.
Secure a business loan to ensure your business is sustainable.
You can’t start a business if you don’t have any money. While that sounds relatively plain and simple, many would-be entrepreneurs get in over their heads by not securing enough funding to actually run their business when they start with a big idea and don’t think much farther beyond that. Even though you’ll have automotive experience coming out of schooling, if you don’t hire other people, you’ll be hard-pressed to run your business effectively. That being said, owning or leasing property and paying your team’s salaries all cost money, whether or not you’ve got business coming in through the door.
If you’re fine running an existing franchise business focused on automotive work, it might be worthwhile to pursue that path if it’s your first time owning your own company. Franchise revenue loans can help you get the funding you need to open your own franchise and get to work, rather than needing to come up with a full business plan and attract funders on your own. Franchise ownership is especially prevalent among veterans and other types of people who know that they have what it takes to run a business and don’t mind tapping into the appeal of an existing brand and business model. As such, it’s never a bad idea to open a franchise, since you’ll have a lot of your marketing work done for you already and can focus on building your business within an existing blueprint for success.
Take proper care of your building.
Whether you lease or own your own property, it’s important to keep it clean and in proper working order. Many times, new business owners will look to cut corners by not servicing appliances regularly or trying to fix things themselves. While this leaner way of operating means that you’ll likely save some money in the short run, over the long term you’ll lose a lot of money by having more costly repairs to make later down the line. As such, it’s crucial that you find the right people and companies to help you maintain your business and keep it in tip-top shape.
Especially if you’re running your business in a part of the country where different seasons could impact your business differently, it’s even more important to prioritize this kind of work. For example, an auto body shop in Florida likely won’t have to worry much about snow or hail hurting its roof. However, you will want to make sure that you have a good company for AC duct cleaning in Miami if you want your HVAC system to work properly year-round. It’ll be hard to convince customers to come to your business if it’s sweltering on the inside and outside, so be sure to do your customers and employees a favor and get your AC serviced regularly to keep it working great even during the hottest days of summer.
Find ways to delight your customers and keep them coming back for more.
As you start to get ready to open your business to the public, it’s a good idea to find a few different ways to differentiate your company from competitors. When you think about hotel chains like the Double Tree Inn, the addition of a warm cookie at check-in can be a great example of how a small choice to delight your customers can keep them coming back for more business in the future. You can do something similar by subscribing to a coffee service to get great coffee options delivered to your business regularly. Having unique or consistent coffee isn’t just a perk for customers either; your employees will love getting to save some extra money each week by avoiding their favorite latte from Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts in favor of your brews instead!
While the above three tips are by no means the be-all, end-all of getting your auto body shop up and running, they’re three ideas that should serve as a springboard as you work to launch your new company. Obviously, funding is an important aspect of any business launch, which is why finding a franchise business loan can be a smart move, particularly if you don’t have a lot of experience running your own company and aren’t interested in getting into the nitty-gritty of coming up with your own business model.
Beyond that, though, there are important things to do if you want to keep your investment going well, whether that’s fixing problems with your building and property before they evolve into something much worse, or finding ways to keep your customers returning to your auto body shop for more than just your services. By taking a broad view of the tasks involved in launching your own business, and leveraging your newly-earned education in the world of automotive and diesel technology, you’re bound to find success as an entrepreneur.