Keys to Starting a Successful Auto Body Shop

People get work done to the bodies of their cars all the time. Some people just want to add something extra to their cars and others need damage repaired. As long as people view their vehicles as an extension of their sense of style, auto body repair shops will be in business.

If you have a love of automobiles, then you should think about opening a body repair shop. You could even open a body customization shop if you’re a car enthusiast with artistic ability and creativity. The opportunities are endless. Continue reading to get some tips to help you get your auto body shop started.

Plan Ahead

It would be extremely difficult — if not impossible — to wake up and start your own auto body shop with no plan and no real experience. It usually takes years of preparation and hands-on training to get the expertise to build a successful business.

The first thing you should do is go to a technical school to get the necessary training and certifications to become an autobody repair technician. Just having the appropriate certifications opens a whole world of new opportunities.

When you get your certifications, you should be able to find work in a garage or shop pretty easily. Use your time as an employee to master your craft and learn the best practices of your trade. You should also take some online business courses in your off time. You’ll need to learn as much about business as you do about cars.

Everything you do when you’re an employee at someone else’s shop relates directly to the success you’ll have at your own business. Value this learning experience, and it will serve you well.

Auto body repair

Find the Right Spot for Your Shop

When it comes to finding a place for your shop, you have to think differently about location than a place that does oil changes. Oil and tire shops work well in high-traffic areas because they solve “on-the-go” problems. You’ll be performing heavy-duty work and dealing chemicals that give off strong fumes.

Instead of getting a commercial lease in a shopping area, you should rent warehouse space on industrial property. A warehouse will work well as a garage. It’s the perfect place for your heavy-duty equipment, enough space to work on multiple vehicles, and offers proper ventilation in an area with light foot-traffic.

Develop a Business Plan and Get Funding

To be successful in any business venture, you need a plan. You have to know what your company’s mission is and how you aim to accomplish it. If you don’t have those things at the foundation of your enterprise, then you’re planning for failure.

You’re going to need some heavy machinery, a lot of tools, and expert team members. All of those things come at a pretty high cost. You need a business plan to put before lenders and investors to get the capital necessary to get your shop up and running.

Once you’ve got a location and funding, you need to get your business license and zoning permit. As a small business owner, your best bet is to form an LLC where each investor is only financially liable for what they invest and can only lose up to the amount they bankroll.

Buffing car

Be Diligent About Marketing

Before you open your doors for business, you need to come up with a strategic plan to market your business. The best place for startups to market their business nowadays is social media. You can watch the popularity of your business grow on platforms like Facebook and Instagram in real-time.

You also need a way to track the success of your marketing campaigns and the overall performance of your shop. OKR software  — OKR is short for objectives and key results — allows you to monitor the success of your marketing. It even allows you to measure how your team members are helping your business meet certain goals.

The more you know about what’s driving the success of your business, then the better you’ll be able to adjust to maximize your company’s potential. OKR software isn’t just for large corporations — it’s for any company that wants to give their business a competitive edge in the 21st century.

Successful auto body repair shops aren’t built overnight. You need to attain the necessary skills and experience, get funding, find the right location, and market your business to be successful. With so much work to do, there’s no time like the present to start preparing.


Lynne Huysamen

Mommy to a pigeon pair, blogger and online marketer. Lover of chocolate, good books and buckets of coffee.

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