Are you a mechanic? Have you been contemplating opening up a repair shop? Beyond your mechanical skills, opening an auto repair shop requires a lot of forethought and planning. Here are four must-have items you will need to invest in to have the greatest chance of success in this new venture.
Toolboxes and Work Benches
If you’re going to work in your shop as one of the mechanics, you’ll be needing your own set of tools as well as a toolbox. Any mechanics you hire should bring their own tools and toolboxes to the job. You’ll probably also want to purchase less common tools that might be needed for the shop and that individual mechanics aren’t likely to own. While getting your shop set up can be pricey, many businesses offer auto shop equipment financing.
To become a reputable repair shop, you need to have certified mechanics. The current, most widely-recognized certifying body is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). They offer tests and certifications in a wide variety of mechanical skills. Getting these certifications for you, your employees and your shop will make you much more marketable to potential new customers.
Appliances and Equipment
There are several appliances and pieces of equipment that a repair shop should own. You’ll need an air compressor. Scale the size of the compressor to your needs (based on the number of mechanics working). Many of your jobs will be routine maintenance; things like oil changes and transmission fluid swaps. You’ll need a good solution for draining and storing these liquids. Another important appliance is a battery charger and jumper. An engine hoist and transmission jack are also important for those bigger jobs you have to tackle. Last, a good air conditioning machine capable of recovering, recycling, and recharging air condition systems will be needed.
While this might be considered an extravagance for many shops, to be truly effective, a vehicle lift is necessary. Some jobs are just too big, too complicated, to do using a floor jack. Jobs like exhaust work, transmission replacement and driveline repairs are all made infinitely more accessible with a vehicle lift. If your shop has multiple mechanics, you don’t necessarily have to have multiple lifts. Get one lift and slot its use for whoever might need it the most for the given job they’re doing.
If you’re thinking of opening your own repair shop, make sure you go into it with your eyes wide open, and knowing what you need. This list of must-haves will get you on your way to a successful business.