Auto Repair Shop Business Plan
F & R Auto (F & R) is the desire of John Ford and Michael Ronald who together have 30 years experience as auto mechanics. Both have a dream of starting up their own company and offering better service to their clients than competitors.
The objectives over the next three years for F & R Auto Repair are the following:
- Sales revenues increase steadily through year three.
- Institute a program of superior customer service through rigorous evaluation of service experience.
- Hire three more mechanics.
1.2 Keys to Success
In the auto repair industry a company builds its client base one customer at a time and mostly through word of mouth marketing. With this in mind, the keys to success for F & R Auto Repair are:
- High-quality work.
- Constant contact with clients so as to keep them informed about the state of their automobile and the repair job progress.
- Knowledgeable mechanics that are friendly, customer oriented, and will take the time to explain to customer the intricate nature of our business and our work.
The mission of F & R Auto Repair is to provide high quality, convenient and comprehensive auto repair at low cost. The most important aspect of our business is trust. It is the goal of our firm to have 100% customer satisfaction in regards to quality, friendliness, time to completion and to discover new ways to exceed the expectations of our clients.
The company will be a partnership with John Ford and Michael Ronald each owning 50% of the company. The company will be a limited liability company registered in the state of Washington. The firm will have facilities on 1312 1st Ave NW in Ballard, a neighborhood of Seattle. The facilities will contain a two-bay garage, office space and storage space for tools, parts, etc. The company is seeking a loan in order to finance the start of operations for the company. Each of the owners will be putting up some of their own capital as equity.
2.1 Start-up Summary
The data obtained for the start-up comes from research done in the Seattle area with other small mechanic shops who have started their own business. Inflation has been taken into account between the estimates of these fellow business owners (and when they started) and the current prices for expensed items. Much of the equipment to go into the facilities such as tools, air compressors, etc., are currently owned by the two partners.
F & R Auto offers a wide range of services as outlined in the detailed sections below. It is ultimately the goal of the company to offer a one-stop facility for all auto servicing needs, including brakes, transmission, wheel alignment, etc. In this way the company can offer greater perceived value for the customer than many other shops which specialize in certain areas.
The industry is highly competitive with suppliers having a great deal of power in setting and negotiating the prices of their products and services to repair shops. In addition, because the customers see the service as undifferentiated and a “commodity” with little value separation between competitors, buyer power is also very high. Finally, the barriers to entry are moderately low, and the large number of competitors in this field, including substitutes (such as do-it-yourself work) mean that the pricing for such services are very competitive. The only way to have an advantage in this industry is a low cost leadership principal applied aggressively or to create higher switching costs through the building of strong business to customer ties.
F & R Auto will hire trained and certified mechanics who are able to prove they have superior customer awareness and interaction. It is the company’s professional people who will fulfill the firm’s contracts and goals. The largest part of the company’s expenses will be in labor costs.
3.1 Service Description
F & R Auto provides a wide range of auto repair services. These include:
- Scheduled maintenance.
- Wheel alignments, tires and rims.
- Brake repair.
- Comprehensive engine repair.
Each job or project will be on a reservation basis, although we will accept a small percentage of drive in repair work.
3.2 Competitive Comparison
The auto repair industry is highly competitive. Each company within this field has high capital costs, low margins, and a high intensity of competition.
Suppliers have a great deal of power in setting and negotiating the prices of their products and services to repair shops. This is due to the fact that the suppliers who absorb the greatest amounts of cash from repair shops are large auto part companies. These companies are more consolidated that the repair industry, have deeper pockets, an almost limitless number of substitute customers, and finally they are the single most important supplier to F & R’s industry. Therefore, these companies can set whatever price they wish to. Furthermore, labor is a supplier in this industry as well, and salaries for such individuals are well known and not very flexible.
In addition, because the customers see the service as undifferentiated and a “commodity” with little value separation between competitors (if they offer a suitable level of quality) buyer power is also very high. Additionally, the costs of our services are not cheap, and buyers are willing to search for the most favorable combination of price and acceptable service. The barriers to entry and exit are moderately low in this industry. Switching costs are virtually non-existent and the costs to entry and exist the market are low. The large number of competitors in this field including substitutes mean that the pricing for such services are very competitive. The only way to have an advantage in this industry is a low cost leadership principal applied aggressively to all aspects of the business or to build up customer relations to a point where the switching costs are raised.
The technological revolution in computers has enhanced our abilities to diagnose and repair our clients vehicles. F &R will remain on the cutting edge by instituting the use of computer diagnostic equipment in its shop. The company will continue to seek new ways to provide a better service through technology.
3.4 Future Services
The company does not have any plans to create further services at this time.
Market Analysis Summary
Since F & R will be able to service any vehicle on the road, including motorcycles and campers, it does not make any sense to segment our market. Our potential customer includes every household in Seattle that owns one or more vehicles. The industry does not have any seasonality that affects it.