Are you the owner of an auto repair shop? Or do you plan on starting one? Whatever the case may be, it always helps to have a blueprint that you can use to start or grow your own auto repair shop.
The auto repair business is one of the top businesses to start and grow. With over a 5% annual growth rate, the automotive industry has been growing over the past few years. This means that the auto repair industry holds tremendous potential.
So whether you are planning to take on a part-time gig or want to launch a full-fledged career, this article will teach you how to start and grow your auto repair business.
Top 10 tips on how to grow your auto repair business
If you are the owner of an auto repair shop, you would know how competitive the auto repair industry can be. With so many auto repair shops sprawling every nook and cranny, it can become quite challenging to even retain your existing customers.
But if you really understand and put our tips to use, chances are you will be able to get a serious advantage over other auto repair shops in your area and claim your spot.
So without further let’s get started.
1. Turn your auto repair shop into a brand
Auto repair shops, like any other business, can be turned into a brand with the right marketing strategy.
To turn your auto shop into a car repair business here is what you can do:
- Research the automotive repair industry and seek out a few best practices on how to keep customers engaged by looking at market leaders
- Understand your target market so you can know what the pain points of new customers are and how you can address them.
In order to make money in auto repair, it is essential to have a good understanding of your customers. If you know exactly who you are dealing with, you will know what they want and how to treat them, and you can adjust your services of auto repairs accordingly.
- Create creative marketing campaigns. Given the competition you will face from other local businesses, you need to invest in marketing to create an engaging campaign to help you get more customers.
- Build your business presence online – in today’s world, you need to have an onsite and online model. So many businesses fail because they are not in line with market trends. An online business like a website and social media handle would allow you to market it on top platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Add customer testimonials and value
2. Offer good quality services
It doesn’t matter how good a marketing strategy you have. If you want loyal customers, you need to offer good quality auto repair services which will have your past customers knocking on your doors again.
While curating your service menu, you can have a look at your own preferred auto repair shop in the previous days and ask yourself what made you a customer?
If your services focus on solving key pain points, you will start building a base of loyal customers.
3. Specialise in a few key services
At the heart of every good business model, is the ability to niche down. For this, you will need to add a few unique services which will attract new customers.
It’s possible that your service menu’s highlight will be a few auto repair services that are not widely available.
But it’s also important to remember point number two here – make sure there are no compromises in quality. This will help you retain your existing customer base and acquire a new one.
4. Hire a qualified and trained team
Like all other small businesses, you need to build a small but qualified team for our auto repair business. Shop owners who have been successful in the automotive industry focus on hiring top talent who can provide quality services.
But in addition to good hiring practices, make sure you provide the team with quality training and certifications and provide them with all the tools they need to provide customers with world-class repair services.
You can use your personal networks to look for suitable candidates who share your vision and have experience in working for successful businesses in the past.
5. Manage your labour costs
This one is related to the last point – while you’re on the hunt to build a qualified team for your business, be mindful of your resource costs. In the auto repair space, mechanics and repair staff can charge you on an hourly basis.
It’s your job to manage labor costs while also making sure the team stays motivated. To motivate the team and keep expenses down, you can also offer your team a commission-based model.
Just avoid inefficient labor management, all good businesses require a great team working behind the scenes.
6. Invest in automation
The last tip might have you wondering how you can keep down costs while maintaining quality. Here is your answer – invest in automation!
Automation and technology will help you in getting rid of inefficient processes. For example, a good auto repair software will help in mechanising different processes so you can focus on other important matters.
For example, automotive software can automate invoicing, and inventory control and also manage customer relationships. This can help you balance just enough customers so you can grow profits.
7. Focus on your relationship with existing customers
While all other ways are great to grow your business, never forget your current customers! Your existing network of customers can be much more useful than you know.
You can use them to create word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials. Or you could also run a loyalty program and reward them based on the number of customers referred like a free oil change. A good way to keep in touch with customers can be through direct mail.
However, make sure they have agreed to be on your subscription list first.
8. Become a female-friendly auto repair shop
You would be surprised to know that making female customers comfortable in your auto shop can actually go a long way in establishing your auto shop’s brand identity.
In the auto-repair business, the repair shops are often very male-dominated and the women are often reluctant to visit those places. You can train your staff to offer repair services in easy terminology which is easier for your female customers to understand.
As a small business looking to make a change, you can also hire female staff and promote diversity in the repair business.
You can also make the physical location more female-friendly – set coffee tables with magazines, and play areas for kids, in the waiting lounge to make your female customers more comfortable.
9. Draft a good marketing plan
You can’t make your business grow if you just keep offering services to your personal friends. If you want a waiting room full of customers and repeat business, it’s time to sensibly spend your marketing dollars.
You need to draft a good marketing plan that focuses on getting the word out there. Don’t just spend money without having an effective strategy in place.
Some of the tactics you can use include:
- Set up your company website and invest in local SEO to drive traffic to your website
- Distribute your business card in dealerships and other areas with target customers
- Get your customers to post about your shop on review sites
- Generate word of mouth leads through loyalty programe
10. Network with other business owners
You will need to ask other business owners for advice. You can find out about the different types of repairs their shops specialise in. You can even learn about a type of repair that you never knew you needed to know about.
Networking allows you to meet potential customers. When you meet potential clients face to face, you can learn how to best approach them and how they like to do business.