Opening your very own full service body shop is a great way to make use of any mechanical skills you have developed throughout your life. When you are thinking of opening a full service body shop of your own, there are a few tasks that you must tend to first. Knowing how to properly prepare for the launch and opening of a full service body shop will ensure you make the right decisions each and every step of the way.
Understand the Market
Understanding the market that you intend to reach is one of the cornerstones of building a successful full service body shop business and brand. Without an understanding of the market you intend to reach, you may find yourself falling short of any planned expectations you have in mind. Understanding your target market can begin by researching national and local auto body repair companies that you know to be successful. Spending time researching successful auto body repair shops and brands is a way to learn more about the practices and methods of communication that work best to appeal to prospective customers in the same market.
Find a Renovation or Construction Company
Opening a successful full service body shop will require you to ensure that your commercial space is suitable for the cars and trucks of your clients. When you intend to purchase or lease a new commercial building, consider seeking out a trusted renovation or construction company for the commercial renovation you may need. Commercial renovation companies can help to assess potential repairs and updates you may require in order to ensure that your commercial building is up to code based on your current location.
Why Work With Commercial Construction and Renovation Companies
Hiring a commercial renovation or construction company is a way for you to ensure that your body shop is in the right hands. Reputable commercial renovation and construction companies will not only have testimonials, referrals, and a portfolio handy to show prospective clients, but they will also have the ability to provide proof of insurance as well as the licenses and certifications they currently hold. Whenever you are in the market to work with renovation and construction companies or contractors, always verify that your chosen service provider is fully licensed and insured. This will protect you as the owner of a full-service body shop from being held legally or financially liable for potential accidents, damages, or property losses that may occur while the company or contractor is working on the job.
Reviewing the portfolio of a construction or renovation company is always advisable. Portfolios will not only showcase the level of quality that is demonstrated by each contractor or company you’re interested in hiring, but they will also showcase the style that individual contractors or companies are familiar with when it comes to working on commercial buildings or properties. Spending a bit of time reviewing portfolios will result in valuable insight that can help you to determine which construction or renovation company is right for your needs. Once you believe you have located a renovation contractor or company that is suitable for your remodeling needs or the updates you require in your body shop, you can request a quote or a consultation in person or in some cases, even over the phone. It is always recommended to inquire about a complete consultation before choosing a renovation contractor or company to go with to represent your place of business. Verifying that you are compatible will also help you maintain your peace of mind during the process.
Install a Roof
Maintaining the roof of your commercial building is essential, especially when you are operating a full service body shop. The roof is an integral part of any building, residential or commercial. When you are investing in a commercial building that will also house the vehicles of clients, protecting your roof at all times is even more important.
The Risks of a Poorly Maintained Commercial Roof
Allowing your roof to sit without a proper inspection, repairs, or updates as necessary can lead to serious issues. Sitting water, damaged flashing, floods, and missing shingles can all occur with a commercial or residential roof, depending on the type of roof you currently have in place. Ensuring your roof remains in top condition is essential as a business owner to minimize the risk of flooding, damage to the cars of consumers, or even legal liability.
How to Maintain Your Body Shop’s Roof
When you want to maintain your body shop’s roof at all times, you can do so by searching for local roofing contractors to hire. When hiring a local roofing contractor, be sure to verify their qualifications, certifications, licensing, and insurance before permitting them to work in or on your body shop’s building. You can find local roofing companies and contractors by asking other local business owners for recommendations as well as by conducting a search online. Use popular engines such as Google to find local contractors and commercial roofing companies that are currently available near you. Read reviews and testimonials of clients that have worked with local roofing contractors in your area to determine who is the best fit for the work you require on your body shop.
Contact HVAC Specialists
Building a successful body shop means taking the atmosphere you create for your customers as welcoming as possible. In order to do so, investing in a professional and commercial-grade HVAC system is highly recommended. When it comes to heating and cooling, working with the right professionals can make all the difference in your place of business. A properly maintained HVAC system will not only allow you to manage your body shop’s temperature without effort, but it will also maximize energy efficiency throughout the body shop. Ensuring that your body shop is cool and comfortable will be especially important to those who want you to work on customized or exotic vehicles.
The Importance of Hiring Commercial HVAC Specialists
Hiring the right HVAC specialists matters, especially when it comes to maintaining your auto body shop over time. Commercial HVAC specialists are experienced with working in commercial spaces and are also well-versed in a variety of HVAC equipment, including air conditioning systems and furnaces, regardless of the region you are located in. When you work with a reputable commercial HVAC expert, you can do so knowing you will also be provided with an ongoing warranty or guarantee. This will protect any of the work that is completed on-site and the investment you have made. Anytime you are searching for a commercial HVAC company, be sure to verify that any contractor who is working for the company is licensed and insured to do so on commercial properties such as at your own auto body shop.
Construct a Restroom
One way to help build up your business as a body shop owner is to construct a restroom inside your place of business. Building a bathroom that is accessible to you is highly recommended, but it will likely be required by law if you choose to hire any additional employees to work in your shop at any time. You should also consider constructing a restroom that is accessible to the public. This will help your customers to feel welcomed as they are waiting for the upgrades, repairs, or customization jobs for their vehicles. If you are thinking of building a restroom inside your body shop, you can do so by contacting the right plumbers that understand the inner workings of commercial septic tank services you will need.
Acquire Durable Counters
If you want to put effort into the interior of your body shop, investing in durable, modern, and attractive countertops is highly recommended. Countertops that are not only professional looking, but also that align with your brand will help your body shop to stand out from the rest. The more time and effort you put into planning the interior and exterior design of your full service body shop, the easier it will be to impress and attract new clients immediately after you open and down the line in the future.
Offer to Send Employees to Welding Courses
When you open a body shop, you will need to ensure that your employees are not only qualified and experienced but also trained as necessary. If you want your employees to be able to provide welding to your customers, you may need to seek out a welding company or local welder training classes that are designed for commercial employee training solutions. Enrolling your employees in mechanical and welding courses is also a way for them to work towards different certifications. The more specialized your body shop is, the easier it will be to attract higher-paying clients with more expensive vehicles.
Work With Consultants
Before opening your business to the public and promoting your body shop services to those in your area, consider working with local consultants to determine the best way to go about monitoring and operating your body shop. Working with business consultants or a process monitoring consultant will assist you in the process of developing your business plan thoroughly will make sure you understand the ins and outs of the marketing you are planning to enter. Working alongside consultants will also ensure you are making the right decisions when it comes time to upgrade your body shop, hire new employees, or even provide new services and packages to your clients.
How to Find a Consultant
Finding the right consultant can make all the difference as the owner of a body shop. When you want to find a consultant who is professional, trusted, and reliable, you can begin by asking other business associates, coworkers, and connections you have for their own local recommendations. If possible, research relevant business consultants that are available near you online. When browsing online, you can search for consultants who are not only experienced in the auto industry but those who are also well-versed in body shops and running them locally while also developing an online presence. Be sure to research reviews and testimonials from clients who have been verified before choosing to meet with a prospective consultant. Testimonials will help you to determine if the consultant is the right fit for the type of body shop you intend to build and the brand you envision for the shop.
Offer Leather Services
Once you open your full service body shop, you will need to consider what type of services you will provide aside from traditional body inspections, repairs, and upgrades. Offering luxury services such as auto leather solutions is one way to help your local body shop stand out, especially if it is located in an area that is rife with competition. Providing additional body services such as leather installations, cleanings, waxing, and more can help to attract new clients while building customer loyalty at the same time.
Create a Loyalty or Rewards Program
Establishing a loyalty or rewards program for your body shop is a great way to appeal to new customers while simultaneously solidifying your place as a reputable service provider in your city or town. Offering rewards, discounts, or freebies to loyal customers will not only keep them coming back for service in the future, but it will also incentivize them to spread the word about your business and its location. Incorporating a referral program is another way to help others learn more about your business and the type of body shop services you currently offer. Including a referral program in your marketing strategy is one of the best ways to put any full-service body shop on the map, regardless of the type of services and packages you provide and your current location.
When you’re determined to build a full service body shop of your own, you can do so once you understand the ins and outs of owning a successful body shop in any capacity. If you want your full service body shop to succeed, taking the time to familiarize yourself with your preferred location and target audience is a must. The more you know about the body shop industry as well as the market demand in your intended location, the easier it will be to set and accomplish the goals that are most important for you and the future of your business.