Do you want to start an auto mechanic repair company? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a mobile mechanic business with NO money and no experience plus a sample mobile mechanic business plan template.
The invention of automobile has birthed a whole lot of business opportunities around the automobile industry and the mobile auto mechanic repair business is one of them. All over the world, car repair is one business that never goes into extinction.
This is so because daily, fleets of cars are being added to the garages of people and corporate organizations and so whether it is a brand-new car or a fairly used one, you can be sure that sometime in the future car repair would be inevitable because of the mandatory wear and tear of machines.
Because people use their cars and trucks regularly, there will always be reasons for them to visit an auto workshop or hire the services of mobile mechanics if indeed they want these vehicles to continue to ply the roads.
People call auto mechanics for different reasons; it could be for routine servicing, major repair works, or to refurbish their cars. For whatever reasons, the mobile auto mechanic business will always translate into money for the owner of the repair garage.
In some climes, you would be required to own a license to start this type of business; if such applies to you, then be sure to get all the training and documentations needed. This would make issuing of operating license from the licensing office easier for you.
If indeed you want to operate a corporate mobile auto mechanic repair business, you must go all the way to get it registered with the corporate affairs department of your state or country.
Although you can operate an unregistered mobile auto mechanic business in some countries, operating a registered one is the best way to go because it would position you to do business with corporate entities and it will enable your clients to trust you to come to their homes.
If you are interested in starting a mobile auto mechanic repair business, then you should read through this article to get the required guidance.
Steps to Starting a Mobile Auto Mechanic Repair Business
Table of Content
- 2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- 3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
- 4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
- 9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
- 10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
- 11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
- 12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
- 13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
- 14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
- 15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
- 16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
- 17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
1. Understand the Industry
The auto mechanics industry (mobile mechanic repair services inclusive) is amongst the profitable and easy to setup auto services related business ideas an entrepreneur who is a trained mechanic can successfully start. All over the world, car repair is one business that never goes into extinction because new automobiles are being produced and released daily.
The auto mechanics industry provides mechanical and electrical repair and maintenance work for cars, trucks, vans, trailers et al. Players in this industry include self-employed mechanics, auto repair shops, garages and car care centers established by automobile manufacturing companies.
It is important to state that the auto repair industry does not include car dealerships, auto parts retailers or gas stations that provide industry services. So also, the industry services do not include auto bodywork, car washes, oil changes or air conditioning repair.
The mobile auto mechanic repair business is an open line of business hence a low level of market share concentration. Even though large automobile companies operate in the industry, revenue is also spread among thousands of small auto garages and even mobile auto repair businesses.
As a matter of fact, no single auto repair shop or auto company can account for more than 5.0 percent of the total revenue generated in the industry. This is the reason why smaller auto repair shops cum mobile auto mechanic services account for a large percent of the players in the auto repair services industry.
The auto mechanics industry of which mobile auto mechanic repair services is a part of is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, Canada et al.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 254,970 registered and licensed (accredited) auto mechanics garages (mobile inclusive) scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 562,530 people and the industry rakes in a whopping sum of $64 billion annually.
The industry is projected to grow at a 3.2 percent annual growth within 2011 and 2016. It is important to state that there are no establishments in this industry that has a lion market share.
The auto mechanics industry has grown steadily over the last five years and it is projected to continue to enjoy steady growth.
Individuals and businesses have increased their demand for auto repair services, as rising per capita disposable income and corporate profit encourages consumers to opt for auto repair and maintenance services over the do-it-yourself repair.
Going forward, disposable income levels are expected to continue to grow, encouraging some consumers to spend more on the maintenance and repair of their automobiles.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own mobile auto mechanic repair business could be that the business is easy to set up and they can easily run the business as a one man show (sole proprietorship) and still generate good income.
Over and above, the mobile auto mechanic repair business is very open to any aspiring entrepreneur who has acquired the required technical training, skills and perhaps professional certifications to start his or her own business.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographics composition of those who hire the services of a mobile auto mechanic repair business is not restricted to individual car owners.
There is a wide range of both corporate and individual clients who find it comfortable to invite mobile auto mechanics to their homes, offices or any location of their choice especially if their vehicles breakdown as against driving their vehicles to an auto garage.
As a matter of fact, the target market for a mobile auto mechanic repair business should involve households, haulage companies, transport companies, auto sales garage/car dealership shops, corporate organizations, and schools amongst others.
So, if you are looking towards defining the demographics for your mobile auto repair business, then you should make it all encompassing.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
Most mobile auto mechanic repair businesses tend to operate general automobile maintenance and repair services that a standard automobile garage is expected to offer. That is why it seems that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some automobile repair businesses may decide to major in some key areas such as;
- Repairing and replacing automotive engines
- Performing general automotive repairs
- Powertrain repair services
- Brake repair services
- Scheduled and preventative repair and maintenance services
- Repairing and replacing automotive exhaust systems
- Repairing and replacing mufflers
- Repairing automotive transmissions
- Repairing automotive brakes
- Performing automotive electric repairs
- Performing automotive wheel alignments
- Repairing automotive radiators
- Wheel alignment and repair services
- Pre Purchase Car Inspection
- RV Repair Service
- Heavy-Duty Truck Repair Service
- Fleet Maintenance service
- Construction Equipment Repair Service
- Agricultural Farm Equipment Repair Service
- Heavy Duty Buses Repair Service
- Onsite RV Repair Service
The Level of Competition in the Industry
No matter the line of business you decide to pitch your tent, you are still going to compete with others who are into the same area of business, and mobile auto mechanic repair business is not an exemption.
The level of competition in the auto mechanic repair industry to some extent depends largely on the location of the business, your niche area of operation and of course the capacity of your mobile auto mechanic repair company. If you can successfully create a unique niche for your auto repair company, you are likely going to experience little or no competition.
For instance, if you are the only auto repair company in your location that is into repairing automotive transmissions, you can successfully monopolize the market for a long time before you start having competitions. It is important to also state that the competitions in the mobile auto mechanic repair business is not restricted to the line of business but also you will be competing against all players in the auto mechanic repairs industry.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
In every industry, there are always brands who perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long while and so are known for that, while others are best known for how they treat their customers. These are some of the leading mobile auto mechanic repair companies in the United States of America and in the globe;
- Mechanic To You
- Mobile Mechanic Memphis Auto Car Repair Service
- Atlanta’s Mobile Mechanic
- Oahu Mobile Mechanic
- Mobile Mechanic Denve
- Mobile Mechanic Aurora
- Mobile Mechanic CT, LLC
- ACE Mobile Mechanics
- SMA/Sharp Mobile Auto Repair
- The Car Connection
- LUBE Mobile – Car Repairs
- Mobile Mechanic Charlotte
- Auckland Mobile Mechanics Car Service
- Quality Mobile Auto Repair Raleigh NC
- Roberts Mobile Mechanics
- Mobile Mechanic Miami
- Fox Mobile Mechanics Fort Worth
When starting a mobile auto mechanic repair business, you just have to get your costing cum economic analysis right if your intention of building the business is to generate profit, grow the business and perhaps expand the business and start competing at the national level.
When conducting costing and economic analysis for your mobile auto mechanic repair business, you just have to critically examine these key factors; place, pricing and promotion.
As a matter of fact, you would have to continue to review these key factors at regular intervals while running your mobile auto mechanic repair business. As a mobile auto mechanic repair business owner, you just have to have a proper grasp of your competitive landscape if indeed you want to stay in business.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
When it comes to starting a business of this nature, it will pay you to start from the scratch as against buying a franchise.
Besides, it is easier to start and run a mobile auto mechanic repair company from scratch to profitability without leveraging on a known brand name. People will patronize your services based on your ability to fix their automobiles, accessibility and pricing as against relying on a brand name.
Please note that most of the big and successful auto mechanic repair companies and mobile auto mechanic repair companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand.
It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own mobile auto mechanic repair company to become a successful company in your area of specialization and even go ahead to start competing at the national level.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own mobile auto mechanic repair company today, one of the major challenges you are likely to face is the presence of well established auto mechanic repair garages and of course mobile auto mechanic repair companies in your target market location.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market; concentrate on households, individuals and also start-up transportation companies, haulage companies and start-up businesses who need the services of a mobile auto mechanic repair company from time to time.
Other threats and challenges include; mature markets, bad economy (economy downturn), stiff competition, volatile costs, and rising fuel prices.
So also, unfavorable government policies, seasonal fluctuations, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely to affect consumer spending and of course emergence of new competitors within the same location where yours is located.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a mobile auto mechanic repair company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow; some mobile auto mechanic repair companies design their business and services for regional market, while others for national market.
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability company which is commonly called an LLC, or a sole proprietorship for a business such as mobile auto mechanic repair company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small scale mobile auto mechanic repair company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start-up capital.
But people prefer limited liability company for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and operate all across the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
For example, Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. This is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships.
Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
Upgrading to a ‘C’ corporation or ‘S’ corporation will give you the opportunity to grow your mobile auto mechanic repair company so as to compete with major players in the industry; you will also be able to generate capital from venture capital firms, you will enjoy separate tax structure, and you can easily transfer ownership of the company; you will enjoy flexibility in ownership and in your management structures.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
Normally, when it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Typically, it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own mobile auto mechanic repair business, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Thomas Gusto Mobile Mechanic Services®, LLC
- Kibbe & Sons Mobile Auto Mechanics Services, Inc.
- Cross Country Mobile Mechanic Company
- Deal With IT Mobile Mechanic Services Ltd.
- Tandem & Wrench Mobile Mechanic Company
- Billy & Whyte Mobile Auto Repair Company
- Seventy-Seven Mobile Auto Repair Company
- Inner City Mobile Mechanic Services, Inc.
- Tilt & Balance Mobile Mechanic Services Company
- Festus Mason Mobile Mechanic Services, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. Thus, it is imperative to create a budget for insurance policy cover and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your mobile auto mechanic repair business.
Here is some of the basic insurance policy covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own mobile auto repair business in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Equipment and Auto Insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own mobile auto mechanic repair company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark.
This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successful run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties. On the other hand, if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even operation concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection.
If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO. The final approval of your trademark is subject to the review of attorneys as required by USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
If you intend starting a mobile mechanic auto repair company in the United States of America, you are encouraged to pursue professional certifications; it will go a long way to show your commitment towards the business. These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own mobile mechanic repair company;
- Original ASE Certified
- SOS – Mechanic Certification
- Certified Automotive Technician
Please note that you can successfully run your mobile auto mechanic repair company without any professional certification as long as you have the technical ability to repair, service and maintain automobiles.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own mobile auto mechanic repair company in the United States of America;
- Business and liability insurance
- Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for trucks (especially as it relates to conveying your tool box and equipment to site)
- Appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers (Commercial driver’s license (CDL))
- Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license
- Federal Tax Payer’s ID
- Fire certificate
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- If the Auto Mechanic hires employees, a state Employer Number is required
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Employee’s Handbook
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a standard and well equipped mobile auto mechanic repair business is not capital intensive especially if you choose to launch the business on a small scale and you are the only full-time employee on your payroll.
Purchasing a truck/van (for easy movement of your tool box and equipment) and of course the purchase of tool box and equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start-up capital. In essence, if you choose to start the business on a small scale, you may not have the need to go source for fund to finance the business.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things and perhaps the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan.
If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business. Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start-up capital for your mobile auto mechanic repair business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank/banks
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from government, donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
A mobile auto mechanic repair business is a business that can be situated in any location as long as there are people and organizations that own automobiles there. As a matter of fact, you can start your mobile auto mechanic repair business in your house and still grow the business to profitability.
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
When it comes to starting a standard mobile auto mechanic repair company, you will need a truck/van, complete auto repair toolbox and other related equipment that will aid you in carrying out your job. It is important to state that this equipment can be purchased as fairly used if you are operating on a low budget.
When it comes to choosing between renting and leasing a facility for your mobile auto mechanic repair company, the size of the mobile auto mechanic company you want to own, and your entire budget for the business should influence your choice.
Besides, you don’t need a big office/garage to operate from since you will be going out to attend to your clients as against your clients bringing their automobile to your garage.
As regards the number of employees that you are expected to kick start the business with, you would need to consider your finance before making that decision. Averagely, when it comes to starting a standard mobile auto mechanic business on a large scale, you would need the services of the following professionals;
Chief Operating Officer (you can occupy this position), Admin and HR Manager, Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer), Accountant, Mobile Auto Mechanics and Customer Services Executive/Front Desk Officer.
Please note that if you are operating the business as a one man show, then you must be ready to occupy all of the above positions and also outsource some key functions like bookkeeping and accounting et al to professionals when the need arises.
Over and above, you would need a minimum of 3 to 7 key staff members to effectively run a medium scale but standard mobile auto mechanic repair company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
The operation process as it relates to mobile auto mechanic repair companies depend on the nature of the repair work to be carried out. Basically, mobile mechanics go to their clients to fix their vehicles or do pre-purchase used car buying inspection (PPI) at their homes or any location near them.
When a client calls a mobile auto mechanic, it is the responsibility of the mobile auto mechanic to quickly ask useful questions that will help him know the tools and perhaps spare parts to carry along when going to the location where the client wants him to come to.
When the mobile auto mechanic gets to the location, he will access the repair job to be carried out on the vehicle and the spare parts to be purchased or required engine oil/lubricants to be used. The total cost of executing the job will be given to the client and once an agreement is reached, the job will be carried out and the mobile auto mechanic will be paid as agreed.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
The fact that the entry barrier for starting a small scale mobile auto mechanic repair business is low means that there is bound to be more players in the industry no matter the location you choose to start yours. In essence, you must come up with creativity and innovations if you must carve out a market for yourself within the available market in your community, city, state or country.
So, when you are drafting your marketing plans and strategies for your mobile auto mechanic repair company, make sure that you create a compelling personal and company profile.
Aside from your qualifications and experience, it is important to clearly state in practical terms what you have been able to achieve in time past as it relates to the auto mechanic repairs industry. This will help boost your chances in the market place when marketing your services.
Here are some of the platforms you can utilize to market your mobile mechanic repair company;
- Introduce your business by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to households, haulage companies, transport companies, auto sales garage/car dealership shops, corporate organizations, and schools amongst others with your locations of operation.
- Open your mobile auto mechanic repair company with a party so as to capture the attention of residents who are your first targets.
- Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to market your services.
- Advertise your services in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations.
- List your business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories).
- Leverage on the internet to promote your mobile mechanic repair company.
- Engage in direct marketing and sales.
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals).
- Leverage on the internet to promote your business (when you blog regularly on key issues as it relates to your business, people would consider you an expert in the field).
- Join local chambers of commerce and industries around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your services; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks.
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing for you.
17. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Your corporate identity has a lot to do when it comes to building a business that is profitable and lasts long.
Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your mobile auto mechanic repair company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events/programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your business
- Install your billboards on strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact households, haulage companies, transport companies, auto sales garage/car dealership shops, corporate organizations, and schools amongst others in your target areas by calling them up and informing them of your mobile auto mechanic repair company and the services you offer
- List your mobile auto mechanic repair company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your mobile auto mechanic repair company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks are well branded with your company logo et al.