Posts Tagged: business tips

If you’re a big fan of cars and mechanics and you’re looking to be your own boss and have your own business, then starting up a car repair shop could be just right for you. However, be aware that it’s a lot more than just having fun fixing cars. Here are several things to consider before starting.

Startup costs

Starting up any business always entails a lot of initial costs. You’ll need funds to cover the rent (or mortgage if you decide to purchase the place), business rates, licences and insurance for the premises, all vehicles and public liability, utility bills, refuse disposal and special waste carrier licence to dispose of materials such as used oil, tires and batteries. It’s clear that you will most certainly need a bank loan, and for that, you must first have a well-devised business plan. This document sets the basis of your business as it outlines its goals, startup costs, equipment, development strategies and advertising costs.

 Choosing the right place

Location, location, locationOne of the key aspects of a good garage business is its location and the choice of premises. For starters, you want your garage in a good location with high traffic such as near busy highways or the city center.

The space itself needs to be a suitable workspace with enough room for all the tools, diagnostics equipment and ramps. You also need to secure a parking space for customers, a reception and payment area, a waiting room area, back office, toilet and a small kitchen. You might also be in a position to take over a previously owned garage business so you will inherit most of the equipment in the package as well as contacts with suppliers and customers and a certain traffic, but to keep it going, you’ll need to establish your own credentials and reputation.

Can you handle it?

This is a legitimate question to ask. An average day at the repair shop can be quite hectic, especially if you’re the owner. It usually starts around 8am and goes well after closing time. There is always unfinished work to do after closing the gates, such as dealing with parts delivery, paperwork, stocks, technician’s schedules and possible daily problems. A garage is a business with heavy traffic so floor damage is a frequent issue due to oil spillage or cracks, so you’ll be best advised to find one of those premium concrete floor sealers so that the work can continue running smoothly.

Another daily chore for a garage owner is taking care of the accounting. You need to be on top of your paperwork, update your accounting software and preferably have one that is cloud-based, and file papers and documents at least weekly. Keeping track of suppliers and account customers, how much you owe and how much is owed to you is essential to secure cash flow. If you’re not sure you can do it on your own, hire professional accountants to give you direction and advice, help with final accounts and VAT returns.

Good serviceGood service

Offering good quality service is your best recommendation. Make sure that you deliver in time and that you offer feedback to customers on what was done – they are very appreciative of personal approach and kind words.

Good marketing

Good service is already half of your marketing strategy. Satisfied customers will tell their friends about your quality work and word-of-mouth is still a very effective way of advertising. In addition to this, put up a clear signage and get your business listed in every directory, advertise on social media and ask your friends to like and share your posts. Create your website and offer good deals and guarantees – this builds trust and helps retain customers.

Conclusion

Owning a car repair business might be your way of making dreams come true, but be prepared to work hard, invest a lot of your time and effort and develop your skills and knowledge as you work.

About the Author

As an experienced senior business consultant, Lillian Connors believes that the question of business goes far beyond the maximization of profit through different money-grabbing ploys. Instead, she likes to think that ethical principles should be at the core of every commercial venture, paving the way for much more balanced distribution of wealth on a global scale. You can check her out on LinkedIn.

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Meetings are one of the necessary evils for any company that wants to keep everyone aware of what’s going with projects and other issues. They are often a bit boring unfortunately. Many managers have tried all sorts of games and other tactics to keep staff focused at meetings. The task usually gets even harder the closer it gets to holidays and vacation seasons. Employees and managers alike are daydreaming of relaxing. However, there are tricks to staying focused, and it may not be what you would usually expect.

If you have been paying any attention to popular children’s toys or social media, you will have seen the fidget spinner. The fidget spinner was originally designed to help kids focus, but adults have also found that it is effective for their attention spans. While at first glance, this gadget may seem like a serious distraction, researchers have learned that they often keep our hands busy, which helps our minds stay focused on the task at hand.

With this in mind, there are many other things that we as managers may interpret as a sign of being distracted that are actually beneficial to the attention span. Doodling, for instance, is something many are prone to doing halfway through meetings.

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If you think about it, the temptation to do it is great considering there are writing materials and paper everywhere. Long before the fidget spinner hit the market, this simple activity has been helping employees everywhere engage their creativity for small moments while they are in meetings. Most often, doodling does not take a substantial amount of attention from the drawers. Rather, it allows the person to momentarily rest their minds on something else, which can be beneficial during a long work day.

You can encourage this practice by setting out plenty of notebooks and pens for everyone to use at meetings. Of course, the goal is to encourage them to take notes on what is being presented during the meeting. But try not to take offense if somewhere along the way you witness someone doodling.

Experts have asserted that those small pictures help people to remember the information being presented to them. If you are throwing a conference, this is also the perfect time to hand out branded notebooks and pens, so that they will remember your company.

The other benefit to drawing it that it influences creativity. No matter what product or service your company sells, creative employees are a godsend. These people are the problem solvers of your company, the ones who will think outside the box and find more effective ways to accomplish common goals.

Do not stifle this exercise, but rather embrace it and encourage it. Unlike the fidget spinner, which may actually detain them from making necessary notes at some point, drawing is a discreet way to allow your employees to detach themselves for a moment and invest in their own creative skill sets. If you are still wary of how effective this tactic may be, try doing it yourself at a meeting you are not the head of.

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