How to Create an Auto Repair Shop Business Plan

Whether you’re looking to start an auto repair shop or raise funding from investors or a bank, you need to write a business plan. A well-written plan will give them confidence that your business will succeed.

Defining your unique selling point is an important part of the plan. This section will explain why customers should choose your shop over the competition and how to start an auto repair shop.

1. Executive Summary

A high-level overview of your business plan is enough for internal purposes, but if you're seeking financing to grow your company, you need to write a more thorough business plan. This type of analysis provides lenders with the detailed information they need to make lending decisions.

Creating a plan is essential for your auto repair shop's success. It's important to have clear, measurable goals and to develop a strategy to achieve those goals. Tekmetric's Digital Vehicle Inspections help shops set these goals and track their progress. To learn more, read our article about why you should consider investing in your auto repair shop's business system. Tekmetric's DVIs also provide valuable information for your customers so they can understand what is going on with their vehicle.

2. Business Description

Jack’s loyal customers probably don’t care that his shop has a business plan the size of a Yelp review, but a potential lender will want to see more comprehensive paperwork. The business description portion of the plan outlines whom you will serve, which products and services you offer, and any other information that helps investors determine whether your auto repair shop is a good investment.

Include demographic information about your potential customers like their ages, genders, and locations as well as psychographic profiles to explain the wants and needs of your target audience. Also, include a detailed financial analysis of how much your startup will need to get off the ground.

3. Market Analysis

Whether you're starting a new shop or buying an existing one, it's important to understand the state of the market. Research local competitors to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Also consider what services they offer.

Depending on your location, there may be more or less demand for auto repair services than there are shops currently providing them. This is why it's often advantageous to buy an existing business with a loyal customer base and a history of profit.

Consider demographic information, including ages, genders and income levels, for the area in which you plan to open your shop. You should also look for psychographic profiles that explain the wants and needs of your target customers.

4. Financial Analysis

A financial analysis gives lenders and investors a glimpse at the profitability of your business. It will include a projection of your company’s assets and liabilities, as well as its net worth.

A cash flow forecast demonstrates your auto repair shop’s financial sustainability. It will help you identify and avoid cash gaps by segregating operating expenses from investing activities, like buying equipment, and financing activities, such as loans.

It also shows when you’ll reach your break-even point, the point at which your revenue will be equal to your operating expenses. It’s important to have a cash reserve to cover supplier payments, payroll and other operating expenses until customers pay you.

5. Operations

The operations section of your business plan will cover how you will run your auto repair shop. It is the part of the plan that will catch any potential investors or stakeholders' attention and make them want to invest in your company.

The section will include any demographics and psychographic profiles of your target audience. It is also a good idea to explain any competition you have in the area, such as dealerships or independent mechanic shops.

Finally, you will set goals for the repair services you provide. These goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-stamped) so that you can track your progress. A good way to keep up with your goals is by using tools like Tekmetric's Digital Vehicle Inspections.

6. Management Team

You should also include a chart of your organizational structure, including managers, technicians, helpers and other staff. This helps readers understand how owning a auto repair shop is structured and who will be responsible for which tasks.

The financial analysis section is perhaps, along with the executive summary, the most important part of your business plan. It provides a clear breakdown of how much money your shop needs to get off the ground, as well as your expected loss and profit projections.

This is especially important if you are seeking funding from private investors or a bank loan. It will demonstrate that your business is viable and can cover its expenses.

7. Marketing Plan

A successful auto repair shop depends on a solid marketing plan that gets new customers through the door. This is where word-of-mouth marketing from happy customers comes in handy.

A marketing plan should also include a strategy for generating leads. This may include a website or social media campaign to promote your services.

The executive summary is normally the last section you write because it provides a high-level overview of each of the other sections in your business plan. This is important because it will help readers understand your plan quickly and easily. A well-crafted executive summary can grab the attention of investors and lenders. It can also help convince them that you’re a trustworthy entrepreneur and that your plan is sound.

8. Financial Forecast

Once you've outlined your business goals, it's important to have a clear idea of the financials associated with your shop. This section of your business plan is what you'll use to secure financing if necessary or explain how you see the company going down the road.

For example, you may want to include how many billed hours your shop can generate per week and use this number as the ceiling for your production capacity. You'll also want to include a breakdown of your startup costs and how long you anticipate it will take to reach break even. This is a must for any financial institution you'll be approaching for funding.

Whether you’re looking to start an auto repair shop or raise funding from investors or a bank, you need to write a business plan. A well-written plan will give them confidence that your business will succeed. Defining your unique selling point is an important part of the plan. This section will explain why customers should…