A Guide to Starting an Automotive Industry Business
Going into business for yourself can be a rewarding experience. One industry which has steady growth and plenty of opportunities is the automotive industry. Plus, there are numerous franchises available, so you do not have to go it alone!
Some of the more common automotive business opportunities you could consider include:
- Quick Oil Change Shops
- Tire and Wheel Shops
- Auto Body Repair Shops
- Auto Glass Shops
- Self-Serve and Full-Service Car Washes
- Auto Repair Shops
- Tow Truck/Roadside Assistance Services
- Car Rental Services
- Car Dealerships
As you are thinking about what type of automotive business you want to start, it is equally important to determine if there will be a strong customer base in your community, by using these steps:
- Evaluate what automotive businesses are in your community.
- Think about what businesses would be of benefit to your community.
- Consider the competition from other automotive businesses in the area.
- If entering the market by opening another business that is already in your community, ask yourself if there will be sufficient customers to support it.
For instance, if the nearest car wash is 30 miles away, then building a car wash in your town would meet a need. On the other hand, if there are already dozens of car washes all within close proximity of each other, then you may want to choose a different business.
Next Steps to Opening Your Automotive Business
Once you know what type of automotive business you want to open, there are several steps to making it a reality.
- Develop a business plan. You will need a business plan to attract investors and obtain financing. Your business plan should be thorough with a detailed description of what products and services you will offer, how you will market the business, and how you will staff it.
- Find a location for your business. Most automotive businesses need a physical location. You will want to find a suitable place to build your business. Make sure the land you are considering is zoned for commercial usage. You also want the location to be in a high traffic area to attract customers.
- Apply for financing. To get your business off the ground, unless you just won the lottery, you will need to apply for financing. There are many different types of business loans available. If you are franchising, the franchisee may even offer to finance the business.
Break ground on your business. After securing financing and purchasing land, you will be able to break ground and start construction. During the construction phase, make sure to start marketing your business and developing your brand to generate excitement in the community.
Marketing and Brand Development
There are all sorts of ways to market your automotive business and develop your brand, including:
- Print Media: You can mail postcards, pass out flyers, hang up posters, and put up signs to announce your new business.
- Social Media: Select a few sites like Facebook and Twitter to set up your free business account and start posting. You could even document the construction of your business by posting pictures.
- Online Localization: Register your business name, address, and phone number on Yelp, Google My Business, and other such sites. This will help you start to establish a local presence and show up in local search results.
Another effective way is to incorporate the business name and logo on automotive work uniforms that you and your employees will wear once you open your doors. Having uniforms not only displays a level of professionalism but also helps to reinforce your brand.