The automotive industry is one of the most lucrative in the world. That’s not true only for business in auto sales, but it’s also true for auto technicians and just about every other type of business in the auto industry. Because automobiles will always be around, there will always be plenty of work for those with the passion and know-how for working on cars.
Running your own body shop may be your passion project, but you also want it to grow and flourish. Making the jump from mechanic to entrepreneur/mechanic is quite an accomplishment, and to continue to advance, you’re going to need to be as business savvy as you are car savvy. If you’re planning on opening an autobody shop, be sure to read this first for some crucial pointers.
Build relationships with other people in the automotive industry.
When you open an autobody shop, one of the best decisions you can make is to establish business relationships with used car dealers. Many of them go to a dealer auto auction to stock their inventory and being that they’re used cars, sometimes they have cosmetic imperfections even if they run perfectly.
Establishing relationships with used car dealers is a great way to ensure you have a steady influx of work. You should also establish relationships with other mechanics. They may have a customer who comes to them to fix their brakes who also wants a new paint job. Building relationships with auto technicians is one of the best ways to get professional referrals.
Hire people who are as passionate about cars and high-quality work as you are.
In any industry, to be the best, you have to hire the best people. That means finding people who are talented, passionate and have excellent customer service skills. You also need to make sure they’re a good fit for your shop environment.
Even though you don’t need a certification to be an autobody man, it would be best to hire candidates with a certificate from an automotive and diesel technology program. Candidates who have trained for the job and displayed academic excellence are more likely to develop into the types of team members who can take your autobody shop to the next level.
Become as passionate about marketing as you are about working on cars.
Increasing brand awareness must be one of your top priorities if you want to grow your auto body shop. You have to start marketing your body shop before it even opens to have any chance of getting off to a successful start. One of the main reasons small businesses fail is because they tend to think marketing is only important for big businesses, and they couldn’t be more wrong.
The good news is that social media has leveled the playing field for small businesses with even smaller marketing budgets. Of course, you can create social media profiles for your business and make posts about your business for free, but you should still invest a little capital into your social media marketing. When you boost your social media posts by paying the social media platform to make your posts more valuable, you could see more than a 200% increase in engagement with your posts.
Outsource your accounting.
Running your own business is stressful enough without having to manage the finances, which is also one of your main duties as an entrepreneur. If you don’t have any prior experience owning a business or managing finances, it would be wise to outsource your accounting.
Outsourcing the financial management of your company will allow you to focus on handling essential operations. The more you can stick to your area of expertise, the happier you’ll be and the more sound your business will be.
The most important thing to remember in any industry is to put the customer first. You want their experiences with your business to outshine the experiences they’ve had with your competitors. If you prioritize customer service, establish business relationships, hire the right people, and make smart financial decisions, your body shop will be around for a long time.