How to Start an Auto Repair Shop

In order to start an auto repair shop, there are certain steps you must follow. Auto repair shops have a myriad of overhead costs. Before opening your business it is important that you have enough money saved up. Have a source of income to cover these expenses. Auto repair shops also need some type of license from the state in order to open and operate legally. You will also need to make sure you have a sufficient amount of working capital. And that your location is suitable for an auto repair shop.

The first step in starting an auto repair shop is to obtain the proper licenses and permits. You can request these permits by contacting whatever city or county office responsible for your location. Auto shops typically need to obtain some type of occupancy permit, which is usually the responsibility of the municipality. Auto repair shops also need to obtain zoning clearance from your city or county’s planning department; this will make sure that you are able to operate in the proper location.

Read on to learn more tips to open your auto repair shop.

Writing a Business Plan For Your Auto Repair Shop

You will also need a business plan for your auto repair shop. This can be as simple as a couple of pages describing the business short-term and long-term goals. It can be more in-depth with projections on income and expenses over the next five years. Auto shops have a lot of overhead costs associated with them. It’s important that you have a good understanding of your budget before opening your business.

In addition, business plans usually require research as well as specific details. Such as market analysis, competitive analysis and marketing strategy. Auto shops typically deal with either general consumers or large companies. So you will need to know your target customer and how you plan on reaching them.

Choosing a Location and Building for Your Auto Repair Shop

After completing all the necessary legal requirements and obtaining the correct licenses, it is time to find a suitable location. Auto repair shops need adequate space for the number of mechanics that will be working there.

Automotive shop owners also have to consider the proximity of their location to other auto shops. Parts suppliers as well as the type of work they do. Any limitations they may have in terms of zoning requirements. Auto repair shops typically need a large amount of space for car lifts and workshops. So it is important to carefully consider your location.

Once you have found a suitable location, it is time to lease the building. Auto repair shops typically focus on the overall appearance of their facilities. Since they will be representing themselves and setting an image for their business. Repair shops need to be well-maintained in terms of cleanliness and organization. Auto repair shops can opt to lease or purchase equipment for their facilities depending on their preferences.

You’ll want to choose the best location for your business. Pick an area with plenty of traffic. Also, make sure that you’re leasing out space that meets all city ordinances and zoning laws. You don’t want your business closed down because you didn’t do your research. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, be sure to inspect it for safety before moving in any equipment or employees.

Benefits of Digital Marketing for Your Auto Repair Shop

Did you know that Auto repair shops can benefit from Digital Marketing? Auto repair shops catch the attention of their customers through digital marketing techniques. Auto shops are getting on board with websites, social media campaigns, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and email newsletters.

Digital marketing is making auto repair shops more efficient in reaching their customer base. Also making customers easier to finding auto repair shops. Auto repair shops can make this happen by engaging with Marketing Experts who know the automotive industry.

With that said, digital marketing is highly beneficial. Because you don’t need to have a prime location for your business for customers to find you.

Name Your Business and Form a Business Entity

Once you’ve decided on a business name and formed a legal entity. Such as an LLC or corporation, you’ll need to register the name with your state’s department of corporations. This can be done through the internet or by mail, depending on your state.

Register Your Business Name with Your State

Your business will need to file for a “fictitious name” using your state’s department of corporations. This is the name under which clients or customers know your business. You should already have a general idea of what you want your business name to be.

You’ll need to look through the results of your search and find what you’d like to call your business. As many businesses share similar names. You also want to make sure that the name isn’t already registered by someone else. Or, isn’t obscene or objectionable in any way. If it is all clear, head to your state’s department of corporations to file for a fictitious name.

Secure Location with Fencing and Perimeter Alarm Systems

There are countless ways to secure a business location, depending on what you’re selling and who your customers are. Using fencing and perimeter alarm systems is probably the most common choice. But, you’re free to choose whatever method is best for your business.

Hire Employees and Train Them

Once you’ve got the equipment required for your industry, it’s time to hire employees. ASE certification is good for your business, so you should only hire ASE-certified technicians. ASE’s website has a list of schools in each state where ASE certification can be obtained.

Hire A Mechanic or ASE Master Technician

A mechanic is an ASE C-2, which is ASE’s entry-level certification for technicians. A master technician is ASE certified by itself, but also has more than 5 years of hands-on ASE A and A+ experience. If you can, hire ASE master technicians over ASE certified mechanics because they will be able to answer more complicated questions. And, fix problems that ASE certified mechanics might not know how to.

The first is retaining customers, if they see that your ASE technicians are ASE certified, they’ll trust you more and come to you for repairs in the future.

Automotive Repair Shop Growth Background

Get A Customer Service Advisor

There are many reasons to get a customer service representative at your shop. A customer service representative will better the customer experience and help you retain customers.

Another reason is to improve customer satisfaction. Having a rep at the front desk will allow for faster communication between the mechanic/ASE technician and your client. They can also take down any customer concerns, customer wishes, customer complaints, customer feedback before the customer leaves.

Know-How Much to Charge for Auto Repairs

Knowing how much you should charge customers for your auto repair services can be tricky, but there are some guidelines that can help. You’ll need to review the market in your area and find out what similar shops are charging- this will give you a good idea of how much you can expect to charge if you want to stay competitive. Take a look at your overhead and fixed costs- if they’re high, then you might not be able to afford to charge as little as other shops in the area.

Research Competitor Repair Shop Labor Rate

You can learn a lot about how much you should be charging by simply taking a look at what other shops in your area are charging for similar services. It is recommended to keep prices similar to those repair shops in your area. You don’t want to be the least expensive, remember you need to be profitable to keep your business going in the right direction.

If you haven’t already, consider joining your local chapter of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB offers customer service ratings which can show you how satisfied customers were with the customer service they received at a shop.

Having a Good Reputation in Google is Extremely Important 

Having a good reputation in Google reviews is extremely important- it has so many benefits. First of all, happy customers can spread positive messages about your shop to their friends and family through word-of-mouth recommendations.

A single negative review can hurt a business more than you might think- people see that one review and assume that the rest of the reviews are fake as well. A good reputation on Google has long-term benefits as well- customers who find your shop through Google will likely stay with you for future repairs.

Working with a Reputable SEO Company to Improve Your Google Ranking

Google fights hard against fake reviews because Google knows that if you have 50 five-star reviews, but 1 one-star review from a dissatisfied customer, your company may not be what they seem.

If it sounds like hiring an in-house SEO expert might not be in the cards for you right now, don’t worry! You haven’t been left out many SEO companies will offer some free services for small or new businesses. You might also find that an SEO company is able to help you better than an in-house marketing expert can.


How Does A Digital Marketing Agency Help Your Auto Repair Shop 

If you have been in the automobile business for a while, then marketing has probably been on your list of things to work on.  It might be something that you have tried before and it worked out well or maybe not as well as you had hoped.  Either way marketing can be scary if you do not fully understand what is going on and what marketing can do for your business.  

Marketing is one of those things that you want to make sure that you spend time on and really understand how it works. Digital marketing in particular is something that people in all small businesses should be looking into because marketing strategies change and move so quickly and it is hard to keep up with marketing when you are also trying to pay attention to other parts of your business.

A digital marketing agency will be able to help you figure out what marketing efforts are working well for your business and then implement those marketing strategies into your business by helping you with marketing campaigns that will generate the results that you need in order for your auto repair shop to be successful.

Marketing Strategies for your Auto Repair Shop Business

There are so many different strategies out there when it comes to marketing and they will continue to change over time.  A digital marketing agency will be able to help you figure out what works right now so that your small business can stay ahead of the game.  You do not want to get left behind on the internet and not know what you are missing out on because that will have a negative impact on your business.

Running an auto repair shop is hard enough as it is and being able to take some of the stress off yourself by hiring a digital marketing agency to help you figure out how to market your company is going to be a great benefit for your auto repair shop.

Be Prepared for Your Opening Day

Finally, it’s time to open the doors of your business! Make sure that you’re prepared by setting up systems that will help streamline your business. There are many tools and resources available to you on the internet. It’s crucial to stay up to date with the digital era to help you succeed.


If you are struggling to find the right marketing strategies, it may be time for an expert opinion. Hiring a digital marketer is one way to help your business stay ahead of the game in this ever-changing world where new technologies and potential customers come out every day. Our experts will work with you to create a personalized strategy that suits your needs at both small and large scales.

Repair Shop Growth will help you figure out what kind of marketing is working well for your business and implement those strategies into their own campaigns so that you can focus on running the day-to-day operations while they do all the heavy lifting when it comes to driving traffic through their SEO or PPC campaigns.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, contact us today! We are eager to learn more about how we can partner with you by implementing these neuroscience principles into our strategy moving forward.

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