So, you want to start an auto repair business. You’re not alone; auto repair is one of the most popular types of home-based businesses. But before you can open your doors for business, there are a few things you need to do to get started. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to do to get your home-based auto repair business up and running.
1. Do Your Research and Niche Down
Before diving in, it’s important to do your research and decide what type of auto repair you want to specialize in. Do you want to focus on diesel repair? Domestic vehicles? Imports? Narrowing down your niche helps with marketing and identifying potential customers and allows you to become an expert in a specific area and provide top-notch service.
For example, if you decide to specialize in diesel repair and diagnostic, you may want to invest in the proper tools and equipment for diesel engines and take specialized training. This sets you apart from other auto repair businesses and helps attract customers who need diesel repairs.
2. Get Certified
Unless you already have a degree or certification in auto mechanics, you’ll need to get certified before you can start repairing cars. There are several ways to do this, but the most popular option is to attend an accredited trade school or community college. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll be able to take the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) exams, which will certify you as a professional mechanic.
You should also consider getting additional certifications, such as the EPA 608 certification for handling refrigerants and the NATEF (National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation) certification for meeting industry standards. No matter which certifications you choose, ensure they are recognized by the industry and will be valuable to your potential customers.
3. Get Insured and Licensed
Once you have the necessary certifications, getting insured is important to protect yourself and your business. This includes general liability insurance to cover any accidents or injuries that may occur while repairing a vehicle and professional liability insurance in case any errors or mistakes are made during repairs.
You’ll also need to obtain any necessary business licenses or permits in your state and a federal tax ID number if you plan on hiring employees. Check with your local government for specific requirements and regulations for auto repair businesses.
4. Set Up Your Workspace
Once you have the necessary training and certifications, it’s time to set up your workspace. If you already have a garage or other dedicated space in your home for auto repairs, great! But if not, consider renting out commercial space or converting a spare room in your house into a functional workspace.
Also, before you can start repairing cars, you’ll need to ensure you have all the necessary tools and supplies. This includes wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, hammers, etc.—everything you’ll need to complete common repairs. You may also want to invest in some specialized tools if there are certain types of repairs that you want to be able to do.
5. Market Your Business
Now that your business is set up, it’s time to let potential customers know about it! Start by creating a website and social media pages for your business, and consider setting up a Google My Business listing so customers can easily find you. Network with other local businesses, such as car dealerships or body shops, and see if they’d be willing to refer customers to you.
You may also want to invest in advertising, such as local newspaper or radio ads, or offer promotions and discounts for new customers. Word of mouth is also a powerful tool—ask friends, family, and previous customers for reviews and referrals.
6. Keep Learning and Growing
Finally, don’t forget to continue learning and growing as a mechanic. Consider attending conferences or workshops, reading industry publications, or even getting additional certifications to stay current on the latest developments in auto repair technology.
This keeps you up-to-date in your field and shows customers that you’re committed to providing high-quality, professional service. By continually expanding your knowledge and skill set, you’ll be able to offer a wider range of services and attract more customers for your home-based auto repair business.
Starting a home-based auto repair business is a great way to tap into the growing demand for affordable car repairs while still being able to work from the comfort of your own home—but there are a few things you need to do first. From getting certified and finding a space to work to stock up on tools and supplies and getting insured, there’s a lot that goes into getting started—but if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way toward success!