Running a collision shop is not as simple as it may seem. It takes hard work and dedication to achieve success. There are many aspects to running a successful business such as marketing, customer service, and profitability. A successful auto body shop owner needs to be willing to learn all aspects of the industry in order to succeed. Some of the most important factors that can affect a business' success include location, personnel, and equipment.
Location is an extremely important factor in the decision making process of the auto body repair business. Being located near a busy street can help increase your business, however it may also bring with it increased competition and more chances for theft of equipment or materials. If you decide to open an auto body repair facility at night due to low traffic volume during that time, you may also increase the chance of theft. It is important to weigh all options and choose a location that best suits your needs as well as those of customers who will be coming in for repairs or services such as tinting windows, painting cars, or repairing dents on vehicles damaged during accidents.
Four tips on starting an auto body shop
Here are some tips brought to you by MVP Business Solutions on running a successful body shop:
Avoid traditional procedures
In the traditional method of running a body shop, it's all about "meets and greets." Mechanics who own their shops will go to different places in order to get referrals from people they know. They also use newspaper ads for more customers. With this approach you're not going out there with your business card and saying, "Hey! I'm open for business. Here's my number."
Don't stick with the traditional method of doing things; try something different that will be more effective in bringing you customers and clients. Try social media marketing first to get your name out there and let people know about your collision shop.
Don't be afraid to expand services and products offered in your shop: This way you can become more than just a mechanic but an "automotive therapy" specialist that offers different types of automotive care from traditional maintenance, repair work, oil change service to minor tune ups on engines or brakes.
The more things you offer, the more clients will come to your shop. You can then expand services and products that are related or not directly associated with automotive care like detailing, tinting work on windows of cars (and other forms of transportation), interior redesigns for interiors as well as exteriors; fully customizing cars, trucks and other vehicles.
Use software such as Collision Services Inventory to control your stock and ordering
Trying to run a successful paint shop without modern POS and inventory management software is an uphill battle. That’s where Collision Services Inventory comes in; it solves all the pain points in your inventory management and saves you time and money.
Its benefits are:
Fast and secure ordering via a barcode scanner.
Automatic order scheduling (manual also available).
One-click stock control.
Easy stock regulation via the app.
CSI not only saves time when ordering new inventory via automation, but also takes paper out of the equation, reduces overstock risks, and allows for real time purchase and budget tracking.
Like any other business, successful bodyshops waste the least amounts of time and money. MVP Business Solutions has produced training modules to help body shop owners be successful now and in the future. These modules teach you how to repair vehicles faster, better, and for less money. In order to do this, you must concentrate on a continuous workflow, reduce variants and tasks that don't offer value to the client, and tackle change with the help of a partner.
Not exclusive to collision repair but still highly relevant and valuable, Six Sigma is the application of statistics and data analysis to production streamlining purposes. MVP Business Solutions offers Lean Six Sigma training to those operating a paint shop who want to optimize the efficiency of their business. Being lean means being constantly aware of where you stand with your business. As a result, Six Sigma allows for the measurement and improvement of every aspect that relates to production efficiency.
Lean is a style of working that emphasizes the importance of efficient resource management and represents the optimal method of carrying business processes. The Lean ethos consists of five S’s:
Seiri: To separate required tools, components, and instructions from non-essential things and discard the latter.
Seiton: To make it easier to use, components and tools should be properly organized and identified.
Seiso: To carry out a cleanup operation.
Seiketsu: To maintain a flawless workplace, conduct seiri, seiton, and seiso on a daily basis.
Shitsuke: To make it a habit to constantly remember the first four S's.
What makes MVP Business Solutions special is the fact that our Lean course is purposefully designed for body shops from the ground up, and designed by highly experienced professionals in the industry. Nowadays, there are no existing competitors that offer a similarly industry-specific service.
When it comes down to it, everyone knows how crucial customer service is in any industry these days including auto repair shops. The MVP Business Solutions customer service training is designed to give customers a good experience and improve their opinions on your collision shop.
Similarly important for success are financial management skills such as cash flow forecasting and budgeting, both of which MVP Business Solutions offers training on. Successful businesses know that they must be able to forecast their expenses and income in advance, as well as provide a budget for all work done at the shop.
Start your journey with us today by requesting an auto repair business plan from our team.
Never Stop Learning
The best way to learn about auto body repair is through trial and error. Don't be afraid of trying new things; there are no wrong answers, only learning experiences. The most important thing about running an automotive repair business is that you never stop improving your skills as well as the quality of your work.
For example, when we started we weren’t immediately aware of the varying qualities of paint between different products. Now we’re much more knowledgeable and consider ourselves experts when it comes to paint, which is why we favour PPG paint over other brands for its outstanding quality and versatility.
At MVP Business Solutions, we believe that everyone deserves to own their businesses and be successful. That’s why for over 20 years now our mission has been helping entrepreneurs with paint shops just like yours by providing them with the necessary tools needed in running a body shop successfully.
Those 20 years were hardly a smooth ride either; we’ve evolved dramatically from how we started and learned so many lessons on the journey that we could never have known at the beginning without trial and error.
MVP Business Solutions is a leading provider of software and services specifically designed for modern day technicians, offering you the ability to manage your business online with ease. With MVP’s tools at hand; we make collision shop management easier than ever.
Are you interested in starting a body shop? MVP Business Solutions can help! We offer all the necessary elements for running your own business including software, training and support to get you started on the right track today.