Buying an auto repair shop is, for many, one of the best investments they will ever make. The auto repair business is solid and growing. The average American vehicle is older than ever before. Older cars need more repairs which means more business for auto repair shops. What’s more, there are more vehicles on America’s roads than ever before. More vehicles mean more business for Auto repair shop near me.
If all the above leads you to the conclusion that you should buy an auto repair shop, then you’re probably on the right path. But don’t jump in just yet. Remember, fools rush in where angels fear to tread. So, take a moment to think about the ins and outs of buying an auto repair shop. Here are four things that you should consider before you buy that auto repair shop.
Buy a Franchise or Start your Own Shop?
Before you do anything, you must figure out if you want to open and start your own shop completely from scratch or if you want to buy a franchise. Buying a franchise gives you an already established brand name right out of the gate. It also gives you franchisors who can provide you with guidance and ongoing training. Starting your own independent shop gives you…a more romantic career story? Maybe? Sure, a franchise requires you to pay a franchise fee and a royalty fee on sales (never agree to pay more than seven or eight percent). But buying a franchise gives you a reasonable chance at success. An independent shop? Not so much.
Location? Location. Location!
Of course, location is always important. Auto repair shops are big, so you can’t stick one just anywhere. If you have a spot in mind, that’s great. But you should still run it by your (potential) franchisor to see what they think. And, presumably, you’re not looking to move in order to buy your auto repair shop, so you need to find a franchisor who is looking for franchisees in your area.
Where Will your Money Go?
It takes quite a bit of money to start up an auto repair shop. That’s true whether you go it alone or not. If you’re buying an auto repair shop from a franchisor, make sure that they have the cost and criteria of buying an auto repair shop well laid out. You don’t want any nasty surprises. Going forward, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on parts and equipment, so look for franchisors who offer preferred vendor programs which allow you get top quality parts at reduced prices.
Where Will your Money Come From?
Obviously, your money will come from your customers. Therefore, customer service is so important. Return business is huge for auto repair shops. If you impress a customer once, you could have repeat business for decades. This also speaks to the importance of buying an auto repair shop from a franchise with a trusted brand name. If customers trust the brand, they will be likelier to come to you.