Saturday, October 31, 2015

Body Shop Business Opps

I recently was posting a list of body shops in Portland for my firm and was wondering what it took to start a body shop business.

What Are Some Body Shop Business Opps?

Your decision to start body shop business is without-a-doubt a good one. Let’s face it; the body shop business is among the most lucrative businesses around. For starters, the number of cars on our roads is always increasing. Secondly, people always want their cars to look good and function well at all times. Thirdly, accidents whether minor or major will always occur. Fourthly, the body shop industry is one of the fastest growing industries [1]. These are probably the key reasons that inspire you to
start or buy a body shop business. Nonetheless, similar to other trades, starting an auto body shop is also challenging. And to make the start smooth and less stressful you need to follow the steps below:

Step 1- Know Why You Are Starting the Business

People start auto body shops for various reasons. Some people are driven by passion; others fall into it by accident, why many view it as a quick way of making money. It is always important to have the right reason from the start. Yes, it is true that you can learn the trade and become quite good at it. However, a person who is driven more by passion than for monetary gains is more likely to succeed. In fact, the most successful businesses are run and managed by people who have always loved well-maintained and beautiful car bodies right from when they were young.

Step 2- Acquire Sufficient knowledge To Start A Body Shop Business

The auto body industry has greatly evolved. Long gone is the era when you only required basic skills and a simple structure to start the business. Nowadays, the cars have become more complicated, customers are more demanding, and technology is always changing. Before starting or scouting around for a business for sale, you first need to make sure you have the up-to-date skills. This entails taking an online course, enrolling in a technical or vocational program, or taking refresher courses from another auto repair shop. Good skills are key to your success [2].

Step 3- Start from Scratch or Buy Body Shops Businesses?

Starting an auto shop business sounds simple on paper. But, it is quite challenging in reality. You need to ascertain whether you are going to start the shop from scratch or buy an already-existing business. Starting from scratch requires more time, patience and involvement. However, it may cost less and allows you to grow and understand the business better. Buying an already-established auto body shop requires less time, is less stressful, and you also enjoy goodwill from the previous business. But, it can be quite costly. You need to look at the figures, time in your hands, and how soon you want to start.

Step 4 – Have a Business Plan: Building Body Shop Business

An auto body shop is no different from other businesses. And unless you have an idea of your expected income and expenses, you will most definitely end up blowing the budget or buying on impulse. When planning to start body shop business, you should be guided by a business plan. This is a schedule that lists the financial projections. For instance, approximate cost of setting up shop, buying equipment, paying salaries, as well as what you expect as income or revenue. Always leave a small margin for emergencies or unexpected expenses [3].

Step 5- Know the Cost of Launching a Body Shop Business

The cost of setting up or buying an auto shop is not carved in stone. It will vary with location, size, equipment needed, type of market and much more. A pre-cast building is more affordable than a brick building. Expect to pay approximately$50 per square feet. Land in rural or remote areas is much cheaper than the big towns. Customers are also fewer in small towns. Land costs in rural areas can be around $ 10,000 while it can cost more than $ 250,000 in the big towns. On average, a 3-acre land in metropolitan towns can cost $150,000 while a12, 000-square-foot building costs $600,000 [4].

Step 6- Funding the Business

This is arguably the most difficult part of starting an auto body business. Unless you are among the lucky few who have rich parents and uncles willing to fund you, or have some large sums of money stashed in the bank, you will most definitely have to look for finances elsewhere. You can seek a loan from the bank, credit society, or microfinance institution. Pursuing angel investors or venture capitalists who will in turn demand a share in the company is also another option. You can also look for a partner. It is important to work with investors or partners whom you share common goals.

Step 7 –Find a suitable Location For Body Shop Businesses

The location of the business will determine whether you make it or windup sooner-rather-than later. It makes no sense to setup a shop in the middle of nowhere just because you are buying an auto shop next to nothing. Also, you shouldn’t spend too much money on a shop that is centrally placed in town but you are yet to understand the trade. The best strategy is finding a strategic location that is easily accessible and highly visible. Ensure the shop is served by a number of bays and has ample space. Also look at the possibility of expanding the shop in future in case business booms.

Step 8 – Register Business and Buy Equipment: Owning A Body Shop Business

After identifying the right location, you need to complete the purchase. Thereafter, ensure the shop is properly registered with the relevant authorities. The next step is acquiring the equipment which is costly venture. The modern auto shop relies of sophisticated equipment that gives the car perfect finish. You may choose to buy new equipment which can cost as much as $ 500,000. Alternatively, you may buy used (second-hand) equipment or lease. Notable equipment includes; unibody equipment, frame platform, paint department, lift tools, computerized measuring, and other equipment.

The above are some of the main steps to starting an auto body shop. Like any other business, the beginning will be challenging since you have to penetrate the market. You also have to employ good marketing skills and make sure your employees are competent and reliable. Patience, persistence, and market knowledge is vital to helping you remain afloat. According to analysts, the future looks bright and positive [5]. You should therefore strive to start body shop business  soon.

Read more about how to start a body shop here.







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