Trucks and trailers haul 70% of the raw materials and products used in the United States. That means they must be well-maintained and in good working condition for adequate functionality. They also need professional mechanics for longevity and repair services. These present a profitable opportunity for those in the auto repair industry.
Are you a mechanic passionate about working on big rigs? Opening your truck repair shop can be a strategic career move. You get to move from being an employee to a business owner while providing an unmet market need. However, there is no quick, easy way to start this business. You need experience in mechanics, capital, and a solid business plan to get the wheels rolling.
Premium truck and trailer repair inc have put together this simple guide to starting your truck repair business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned and legally compliant.
DO THOROUGH RESEARCH
Truck and trailer mechanics are in high demand throughout the United States, and starting the business shows prospects. But it requires adequate research, time, and energy. You need mechanics to provide repairs and maintenance to consumers and can opt to hire knowledgeable, experienced mechanics and other staff. But you need to understand how the business works. It is easier to have a successful business when you know the ins and outs of what it needs.
MAKE A BUSINESS PLAN
A business plan helps you have a vision and set objectives for your business. It comprises the types of truck you plan to serve, the budget for your startup costs, and other expenses you might incur during the operation of the business. It also contains the tools and equipment necessary to run the truck repair shop.
TYPE OF SERVICE
The first thing to consider when planning your business is to choose the business type. Do you want to operate a full-service repair center with a storefront or a service truck? A service truck business is less expensive and can go directly to customers but cannot make all the repairs that a full-service truck repair center can perform. A full-service repair center requires renting or buying a building or space. The property must have enough space to service numerous trucks.
CHOOSE A BUSINESS NAME
Choosing the right name for your business can sometimes be challenging if you do not already have a name in mind. Plus, other truck repair centers might have used the name you desire to use. You can check the guide online on how to name a business. Also, you might want to operate under a business name other than your name if you plan to form a sole proprietorship. Additionally, check the federal and state trademark records when choosing a business name.
CHOOSE A LOCATION
Your business success is dependent on its location. Your business probably will not do well if it is in a suburban, residential area. Instead, you should pick a place near truck routes or industrial areas with fleets of heavy-duty trucks. Before choosing the location, it is also vital to consider if your customers can get there. Certain roads are closed to trucks, trailers, and tractor-trailers. Therefore, opening a truck repair center on these roads would be death for the business.
FORM A LEGAL ENTITY
Forming a legal business entity is paramount if you want to expand your business in the future. Many truck repair centers opt for a limited liability company. Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC protects them from being personally liable if their repair center is sued. But there are other kinds of business entities from which to choose. Also, you need to obtain a business license from your local government and register your business with the IRS.
GET YOUR FUNDING
You need to apply for funding, even if you have saved a significant amount to start your business. These protect you from depleting your savings. Renting or buying a building is costly, not to mention equipment, staff, and insurance. You can apply for a traditional loan with a bank or the Small Business Association with a detailed business plan. These institutions offer lower interest rates compared to other loan sources.
OPEN A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account separates your assets from your company. Your personal property is often at risk when sued when you mix your personal and business accounts. It also makes accounting and tax filing easier. Additionally, it can help you get financing in your business name, better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
GET BUSINESS INSURANCE
All businesses need some insurance to operate safely and legally in the United States. Business insurance protects your company’s financial well-being and covers losses. There are several types of insurance policies created for different risks. General Liability Insurance is the most common coverage that small businesses need. So, you can start with it if you are unsure of the types of risks that your business may face.
ACQUIRE BASIC EQUIPMENT
Truck repair centers make most of their money from severe services. These include oil change, tire change, wheel alignments, diagnostics, brake services, trailer repair, battery change, and breakdown services. So, equip your repair center with the right machinery. to do these specific tasks. These can cost you about $15,000 or more.
EMPLOY PROFESSIONAL MECHANICS
An inexperienced mechanic will put your company’s integrity at risk. Therefore, employ professional and experienced mechanics. They provide your customers with the service they deserve. They also promote your business and increase your revenue. Preferably, these mechanics should have an associate degree in automotive and truck mechanics. Also, choose the ones with certification from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. These ensure they understand truck drive trains, suspensions, electrical systems, motors, and brakes. Also, let them attend additional training offered by manufacturers to stay current with changes in technology and repair methods. Plus, you can employ other staff once you have started to accumulate customers.