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Starting a mechanic business isn't an easy undertaking, but the rewards can be very attractive. There is a lot to consider before you get started. This includes completing several legal activities, planning and making important financial decisions.
If you are planning on starting a mechanic business, here are some essential tips to make the process of getting started that little bit easier for you.
First things first, you'll need to have at least one qualified mechanic to get started. Most auto mechanic business owners have started out as mechanics themselves, with a few years of work experience under their belt. So, as a bare minimum, you have to complete mechanic training and have good knowledge of automotive parts.
Mechanics who wish to launch a business should begin by designing a business plan. This will be the roadmap for how you will structure, run and make your business grow.
You should also have a marketing plan that will allow you to create your core base of customers. Be sure to seek financial advice for purchases of business equipment and expenses.
Like any business, you'll need to fill out paperwork to register your business with an Australian Business Number and Tax File Number for tax purposes. If you intend to earn more than $75,000 in a financial year, you must also register for GST.
Mechanics will need to be certified in order to be able to work unsupervised at your auto mechanic shop. You'll need a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology to prepare you for the tasks you will handle. The course will teach you how to work on various services and repair tasks. The duration of the course is three years. You also have to complete a mechanic apprenticeship, which usually takes four years.
Each State (except Victoria) have their own certification requirements for motor and/or motorcycle mechanics. For example in NSW, you will need to obtain a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology or Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.
For other related categories of work, further certification is required. Some of these activities include:
Unless your business is in Victoria, you will need to obtain a motor vehicle repairer's licence to run your own auto mechanic business. You can apply for the business licence as a sole trader, a partnership or proprietary company. Licences last for three years and must be renewed 28 days before expiry.
See below table to access the relevant licence requirements for your State or Territory.
|Australia Capital Territory||Office of Regulatory Services|
|Western Australia||Consumer Protection Licensing Branch, Department of Commerce|
|New South Wales||Office of Fair Trading|
|Tasmania||Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading|
|Queensland||Office of Fair Trading|
|South Australia||Consumer and Business Services|
|Northern Territory||Consumer Affairs|
You will need several tools to perform repairs and motor vehicle service for your customers. These include:
You will also need a professional website and optimise it to ensure that you are visible in search results. Setting up a website will make it easy for clients to request an appointment. In turn, this will boost your sales.
You can choose between three different business structures when starting your mechanic business: They include:
There are various documents that you have to secure before you open your mechanic business. Here are some of the legal documents you will need.
You can download legal documents on the internet or seek legal help from experienced lawyers.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
With noticeable mechanical skills that begin a business based on word-of-mouth, business growth means understanding the need for automotive licensing, government and local permits, business cover and creating a place in the business community through mutual mechanics' associations. Customers want to know their mechanic has a proven track record of skills as well as certifications and awards in their chosen career field.
A new mechanic business's growth depends upon the quality of customer service. Therefore, your mechanic business should rely on customer recommendations to verify the quality of auto repair or automotive machining work. Keep in mind referrals and advertising to the specific target market, as ways you can stay ahead of competitors.
Getting your small business listed in online business directories – like TrueLocal and StartLocal – will help you to increase visibility and rankings. Online business directories help you to connect with more of your customers. They can also help to make sure that your business listings are accurate across the multiple web directories so that your business will come up when users search for the services you are offering.
Most mechanics will charge their customers an hourly rate for labour costs, and an additional charge for auto parts. The cost of replacement parts and the severity of a vehicle's problem will influence how much you need to charge your customers. Prices will also vary depending on the make and type of vehicle, as well as the area.
To get a rough idea of hourly rates, many car mechanics charge between about $65 and $100 per hour.
Is a mechanic a good career option?
It can be, yes. Everyone who drives a vehicle needs the services of a mechanic. For this reason, it offers a certain level of security, as you should always be able to find a job.
Do mechanics ever use software for their business?
Yes. Mechanic software streamlines work, saves you time and increase productivity. Some of the useful auto repair software includes ALLDATA, R.O. Writer and ARI.
What affects how much money I'll need to start a mechanic business?
The exact amount you need depends on several factors including the cost of any courses you'll take, your location and how many people you plan to hire.
Are there franchise options available?
Instead of going it alone and taking on the whole legal liability and responsibility yourself, opening a franchise can be an excellent option for the right person. Not only do you get the brand name, but most franchises come with market analysis and costing all structured out for you.
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