Car enthusiasts exist in significant numbers these days and grow by the minute; this is one good reason to get into the car customization business. Before you get all excited about the many cars you get to play around with, you need to understand that it is like any other business, and it needs planning.
You will need to find the perfect balance between talent and a careful business mindset. Read through this guide to understand what you’ll need to finally get into the business you’ve always wanted to venture into.
Planning For The Business
Draft a business plan for your business to map out the specifics; the business plan might even reveal some unknowns for the business. A few points that you should consider tackling are;
- The startup costs; what you’ll need to buy, finances concerning the space you wish to acquire, etc
- The ongoing costs; who you’ll need to hire, how much you will pay them with time, more items you will purchase, rent, insurance, etc.
- The target market for your business
- Customer charges; the specifics of how much money a customer will pay for your services
- How much profit you expect from your business over a specific period
- Business name; the name of the business, and how you’ll own that name legally, the type of establishment you will register your business as, etc.
- The legal requirement for the business; these include licenses, permits, taxes, etc.
- The types of vehicle modifications you and your personnel can handle
- The number of vehicles the business can handle at a time
You will need enough space to hold all your customers’ cars, ensure the building includes all details, for example, electrical installation, finishing, concrete, etc. if it doesn’t have them installed. Consider stocking the space with at least 4 25’ bays and another two bays for bodywork(preparation and paint booths).
If you plan on leasing a workspace, ensure your landlord can obtain a certificate of occupancy for a custom car shop; else, if you decide to purchase a business premise, ensure you obtain the certificate.
Work Tools and Equipment
Here’s a list of tools and equipment that you’ll need for the business.
- Air compressor technology
- A refrigerated evaporating system
- Dual-action sanders, jitterbugs
- Some sanding blocks
- PPEs(masks, gloves, and paint suits)
- Storage for paints, cleaners, and solvents
- Different sized HVLP guns
- A car lift
- Air tools
- Parts Washers
- Tools for stocking boxes
- Diagnostic equipment
- Fiberglass and woodwork tools
- Custom counters for rebuilding
- Electrical tools for wiring and stereo purposes
For more effortless operation, you will need a parts supplier that you can even get personalized prices. For example, if you maintain contact with a plastic molding factory, there is a high chance that they’ll give you better deals in the future.
When hiring staff, interview each and learn their experience levels. Consider creating a balance between experienced employees and apprentices for the sake of longevity, creativity, and diversity. It is common knowledge that different-minded people produce better results.
Establish a safe operating environment for your employees, and ensure all injuries are reported and handled accordingly.
You need to come up with a cost estimate for what you’ll need to start the business. Make sure to include all details, such as buying/leasing a workspace, purchasing the equipment, permits and licensing costs, salaries, among others.
Allocate funds for each of these elements, and we will use the equipment as mentioned earlier as an example of possible expenses you could incur; remember that these prices are just estimates,
- Air compressor technology: $150-$2500 price range
- A refrigerated evaporating system: $1600-$3600
- Dual-action sanders, jitterbugs: $200-$300
- Some sanding blocks: $0.5-$1.0 each
- PPEs(masks, gloves, and paint suits): $260 or above
- Storage for paints, cleaners, and solvents: $100-$3000
- Different sized HVLP guns: $600-$1100
- A car lift: $1500-$3000 per lift
- Air tools: $60-200
- Parts Washers: $150-$250 price range
- Tools to stock boxes $40,000 for a comprehensive set
- Diagnostic equipment: $2900-$4100 price range
- Fiberglass tools: $100 (basic set)
- woodwork tools: $200 (basic set)
- Custom counters for rebuilding: $300-$500 price range
- Electrical tools for wiring and stereo purposes: $140-$310
As for other financial requirements, you should register your business for taxes, open a business bank account and get a credit card as well. Ensure you record all financial transactions and balance the books each day.
Understand which car modifications fall within your location’s legal requirements and inform your customers and employees of the unlawful modifications. You should handle Marketing and branding research carefully to ensure you get the name of your business out there; emphasis is on getting a good reputation.
The car customization business is appealing to most car enthusiasts but requires as much business planning as any other entrepreneurial venture, maybe even more. Learning to operate a business while ensuring the customers and employees are well taken care of is vital for its sustainability.
Ensure you set up a work environment that encourages cooperation, teamwork, and safety for your employees. As for clients, market yourself, yes but remember a satisfied customer is free marketing. Ensure your customer service works just right. Good luck in your new venture, and if this scares you, try working at a similar shop for a while before opening your own business.