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How to start your own automotive garage

Have you been fixing cars as a hobby for a while? Maybe you’ve been helping out family and friends for years and often wondered if you could make a career out of helping people get their motors back in working order.

If you’re finally taking the plunge, here are some tips to help you build your business and realise your dream career.

Are you sure?

First up, you need to make sure you’re ready to make the move from hobby to full business. This is because there are some key differences to be aware of.

While you might have picked up basic skills over the years that have allowed you to do the odd favour for a friend, starting your own garage means you’ll need to invest in formal training. You’ll also need to create a business plan and decide if you’ll want to expand to have people working for you. This is going to be a big commitment, so you’ll need to thin carefully before you go ahead.

Work out your next steps

Now you’re sure you want to proceed you might want to get some qualifications under your belt. This isn’t a legal requirement, but it can be beneficial.

Will you be a general motor mechanic or specialise? If you specialise, what types of vehicles will you work on?

As well as considering getting fully trained up so that you have everything covered, you’ll need to work out your business plan. Here are the key questions to cover:

  • Where will you be in five years’ time?
  • How much do you need to make to turn a profit?
  • Do you have a space where you can work from or will you be a mobile mechanic?
  • What budget do you have in place for tools and will you hire additional staff in the coming years?
  • How will you market your business? Set up Facebook and Instagram accounts and consider investing in print materials, such as signage for your company van or leaflets.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on the latest industry news. This will help you if you suddenly get a lot of requests for help with ne model or make. You’ll know to expect there’s been an issue and to be ready to fix it if it comes up.

Invest in the right tools

You’ll have budgeted for tools in your five-year plan. Before you can begin to promote your services, draw up a list of the tools and equipment you’ll need. Order in everything you need, such as jacks, spanners, sockets and wrenches from stockists like RS.

Get the right licences

There are several licences you will need before you can start operating as a business, including a Motor Vehicle Repair Business Licence (MVRB) and MOT testing authorisation, along with environmental permits. You might need insurance too.

Research what you need and make sure everything is in order before you open your doors. Once you have everything in place, you can officially launch your motor repairs business.

 

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