Auto manufacturing plants shut down when the pandemic started to prevent the spread of the virus. This resulted in a drop in the supply of new cars in the market. It also increased the demand for used cars as people were anxious about taking public transportation when they go to work.
While these used cars were checked before they were sold, they may still break down in the future. This allows entrepreneurs to enter the auto repair industry, especially entrepreneurs who are car enthusiasts. Here are some tips entrepreneurs should consider when they start an auto repair shop during a health crisis.
Have Experience and Certifications
Before starting an auto repair business, entrepreneurs should check if they have experience in auto repair. The experience may not be in a business, but fixing their cars at home. It would be better if they have experience as a mechanic in a garage. This is important since they will be supervising the repair of the vehicles of their clients. Having experience in fixing a car allows them to ensure their employees are doing their jobs well.
Aside from experience, entrepreneurs should also have a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence professional certification. Many states require this certification before an automotive technician can open an auto repair shop. The certification also allows the entrepreneur to get liability insurance for the shop.
Obtain the Necessary Insurances
After obtaining the necessary certification, entrepreneurs should also get insurance for the business. Insurance protects the business from unexpected catastrophes that happen in the business. All businesses need to get insurance for their employees, including workers’ compensation, disability, and unemployment insurance.
These three insurances cover the medical, disability, and unemployment needs of the employees. On the other hand, the entrepreneur should also get professional liability insurance for the auto repair shop. This insurance covers any losses due to property damage, negligence claim, libel, and medical expenses. Commercial property insurance covers any damage and losses to the properties of the business due to fire, storm, or theft.
Getting these insurances increases the level of trust that customers will have in the business, especially if they handle expensive vehicles.
Get the Right Equipment
The entrepreneur should also get all the necessary tools and equipment for the auto repair shop. Since the tools and equipment play a major part in the business’s success, entrepreneurs should get the best ones they can afford. They should make sure they can use these tools and equipment for the years to come.
They should get an automotive scanner or a diagnostic machine to diagnose any issues that a vehicle may have. The number of these machines in the shop depends on the services it offers. The auto shop should also purchase a mechanic’s toolset containing all the tools a mechanic needs to fix a car.
Getting mobile column vehicle lifts for the shop allows the auto shop to create a repair bay in any open space inside its premises. It also allows the shop to hold off any costly renovations since it does not yet require the shop to implement any major expansion to offer more services. The entrepreneur should also get safety equipment that the employees can use. Working on vehicles is dangerous, so it’s important to have enough safety equipment to keep the employees safe.
Hire the Right Employees
At this point, the entrepreneur can look for suitable employees who can work in the auto repair shop. The entrepreneur can hire three full-time licensed mechanics to ensure productivity in the shop. They should make sure that the employees are skilled mechanics and good at providing positive customer service.
The employees should take care of the reputation of the business. So, they should learn to take care of their customers and provide them with a positive experience. This increases the chance of getting repeat customers and word-of-mouth marketing from their clients.
Promote the Shop Online
With most consumers going online, auto repair shops should also turn to digital marketing to reach their market. Aside from word-of-mouth marketing, they can develop an online and social media presence to connect with their customers. The website should be user-friendly and use search engine optimization strategies to reach its desired audience.
On the other hand, the shop’s social media accounts should focus on connecting with its customers on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It should provide all the information its customers need about the shop and encourage them to visit the website.
Opening an auto repair shop is a good option for entrepreneurs looking for good business ideas during the pandemic.