Opening Your Own Shop: A Guide for Aspiring Mechanics

Once you’ve developed a comprehensive mechanic skillset and industry experience, you might start to consider whether it’s possible to become your own boss. Starting an auto repair business isn’t as difficult as you might think. It’s all a matter of turning your business plan into numerous smaller tasks and making sure you fulfil the criteria needed to create a profitable service.

Raising enough capital to fund the venture is an obvious concern, but if this money is sourced and spent the right way, then you’re on the road to a long and happy career in auto repair. Graduates of mechanic colleges can look forward to solid demand for their skills. If you want to use this expertise to go on and carve out your own niche in auto repair, this fun challenge can offer a world of opportunity.

Whether you’re an industry professional with years of experience, or a student completing mechanic training, it’s never too early or too late to start thinking about opening your own shop. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors to consider.

Opening Your Own Shop: A Guide for Aspiring Mechanics

Where to look for capital:

Start-up costs run quite high, so make sure enough money is sourced

  • Bank loan
  • Canada Small Business Financing Program
  • Personal savings
  • Loan from family/friends

What to include in the business plan:

Determine the business’s viability with a robust analysis

  • Unique selling point
  • Market analysis
  • Financial projections
  • Company structure

Did you know? 12% of Canada’s auto service technicians are self-employed.

Do you want to choose a speciality?

Spotting a gap in the market for specific repair services

  • Vintage cars
  • Electric vehicles
  • Brake, engine, etc

The legal requirements:

Make sure it complies with necessary business laws

  • Register your business with the government
  • Apply for required permits and licences
  • Get insurance

Choosing the right location:

Pick an area with a large potential customer base

  • Buy/rent a building
  • Include an office/waiting room space
  • Find a convenient location for motorists
  • Get parking for customers/staff

Did you know? Intuit Canada forecasts that 45% of Canadian workers will be self-employed by 2020.

Acquiring the right tools

This essential equipment can take up a lot of the budget

  • Diagnostics machine
  • Vehicle lift
  • Jack and jack stands

How to get your marketing right:

Build exposure about the new business

  • Set up a website/app
  • Run print/online ads
  • Organize a grand opening
  • Build a professional network

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