Top Tips for Owning and Marketing a 5 Star Mechanic Business
If you’re the owner or manager of a mechanics business, you’ll want to gain a reputation in your area for being a 5 star mechanic. Being a mechanic can be hard work, especially when you’re highly skilled, so you’ll want your efforts to pay off. Moreover, when you’re a mechanic business owner, you’ll need to attend to the administrative duties that will promote your shop’s skills and gain you the success you’re all working for. Here are some tips from experts in the field to help your business to succeed and to thrive:
1. Giving Out Branded Merchandise
When you’re beginning to promote your business, you’ll be glad to know you can start small. You can purchase several small, branded gifts to give your customers. These gifts can be as simple as pens, key chains, or mouse pads. If you have corporate customers or are holding a major promotion, you could choose branded sunshades, safety flashlights, or auto safety kits.
However, choose merchandise that serves a purpose and prompts your customers back to your shop. For example, a quick-view tire gauge with your shop’s name will automatically lead customers back to your shop if the gauge says they need tire service or replacement. Another simple prompt can be a branded tote bag or car trash bag; both will remind your customer of you whenever they use it.
You can find branded merchandise online by searching for ‘Corporate Branded Gifts.’ Using the name of your 5 star mechanic business on these gifts will remind your customers of your past excellent service. By printing stick-on reminders about a suggested date for their next oil change or service check, you’ll provide an invitation your customer will see each day.
2. Phone and Website Availability
You’ll need to create an online presence to allow your customers to reach you and schedule their appointments. Begin by creating and strategically placing online ads that should be part of your budget. In addition, you should design an interactive website and Facebook page. When these inspire potential customers to call your shop, a well-planned business phone system will serve you well.
When today’s potential customers are searching for a mechanic, they most frequently search online. Your business website is an online billboard, so be sure it has an enticing landing page that prominently includes contact information. You should have a page that details which services your shop provides, your hours, and your location. You should include a link to your appointment page and coupons for your current promotions on the front page.
You’ll need excellent phone service with a compelling recorded message. A 5 star mechanic business should use a phone message that reassures prospective clients. Many companies today are utilizing business VoIP phones. VoIP stands for ‘voice over internet protocol.’ Studies of small businesses choosing VoIP services show they provide better customer service options and in-house communication. From a financial point of view, VoIP is reportedly less costly than traditional phone systems.
3. Offer Wheel Repairs
Your 5 star mechanic service could take many forms, but they should all offer excellent vehicle repair services done by professional mechanics. A successful mechanics business should offer various basic services, such as tire services, collision repair, or alignment services. Most mechanics businesses today will offer auto wheel repairs.
Unless your shop is dedicated to more than one car brand, providing service for tires can range from applying a patch to replacing all four wheels. Performing services for tires will require you to have an inventory of tires for every car company. Some shops specializing in tire service have learned it’s wise to keep a supply of used tires on hand – for customers who need emergency tire replacement on a budget.
You should be sure your shop is outfitted with equipment that can diagnose common tire problems and then assist you to replace tires. Most mechanics who offer tire services have the ability to provide tire rotation (at least every six months.) These same shops can also adjust wheel alignment when necessary.
4. Hire Experienced Professionals
All the clever marketing in the world will only help your business succeed if you have a qualified staff of trained mechanics. As with any hiring process, you should check any potential employee’s references to verify their experience. However, it would be best if you also questioned them about their knowledge of the types of services your shop is known for. For example, if your shop specializes in auto body collision repair, anyone you hire should be experienced in working with collision repair.
Basic auto knowledge is essential for a prospective employee of your 5-star mechanic shop, but today’s customers are more likely to own electric or hybrid cars. Therefore, you must be sure anyone you hire has experience with these vehicles. It would be best to look for a mechanic who knows about ADAS (advanced driver assistance services). These features are designed to enhance driver safety but require calibrating or troubleshooting experience.
In addition to a prospective employee’s experience, getting a sense of the applicant’s personality and work ethic is important. A mechanical company usually works best as a team – where all the employees help each other and can work harmoniously. It may take time to perfectly predict whether an applicant will be a good team member based only on an interview. But, by walking through the shop with them and introducing them to the team, you can ask for feedback from your current team members.
5. Using High-Quality Auto Paint
One service only offered by some mechanic’s shops is auto painting. If your shop provides auto painting – either as part of collision repair or as part of changing the car’s color for aesthetic reasons – it’s important to be sure your staff knows how to apply auto paint expertly. A conscientious 5 star mechanic will be sure to take the necessary time to cover areas that aren’t meant to be painted. Covering these areas prevents overspray and keeps the paint only on areas intended to be painted.
An experienced auto painter also takes the time to match the shade of paint used on the car properly. If your shop offers painting services, be sure you’re taking the time to do this. A poorly matched paint color will become apparent – especially once the painted car sits in a sunlit area. Be sure every mechanic in your shop understands the importance of this step.
Shops that provide auto paint services need to be aware of the practice of auto paint protection. This protective film is often applied to new cars to offer a protective shield to a new car’s color. If you’re working on a vehicle with this protection, you need specialty car wash soap and a microfiber wash mitt. If the vehicle is matted with bugs or debris, experts recommend soaking that area in Dawn dishwashing liquid before washing it to clean it properly.
6. Work with Local Tow Companies
Will your 5 star mechanics business offer towing services? If so, you’ll need to acquire at least one tow truck. While offering towing services can increase your shop’s business, you may not yet be equipped to provide towing. If so, you’ll want to develop a good working relationship with a local towing company.
By developing this business relationship, you will be able to receive business you might not otherwise get. The tow company may need help to handle the repairs to the vehicles they tow. They can then redirect those cars to your shop, providing business that may become repeat customers. You can also utilize the tow service when an established customer needs their car towed.
In addition to providing each other with business, having a relationship with a tow company or another garage will allow you to act as a resource for each other. If either of your shops has a question about a customer’s vehicle or needs an extra mechanic for a special job, you can help each other. Many mechanics shops increase each other’s reputation- and revenue- by using an arrangement like this.
7. Keep Necessary Truck Parts in Stock
If your 5 star mechanic shop is located near a major highway, it’s reasonable to think a truck owner could pull into your shop for service. If any of your mechanics have experience repairing trucks, you should prepare your shop for truck business by ensuring you have essential truck parts in stock. If not, hiring at least one mechanic with truck repair experience is a wise idea if your shop is near a highway.
Your mechanic shop should offer truck oil changes since this basic service is often needed and quickly provided. Stocking truck oil filters is a wise move and should be done even if your shop only provides a few other truck services. It would be understandable if your mechanic’s shop decided to assist only with cars, but doing this will limit your business.
If your mechanic’s shop does offer truck repair, you’ll need a selection of batteries for major types of trucks. In addition, you should ensure you have stocked essential safety components. These include truck tires – including snow tires if you’re in a climate that gets snow. You’ll also want a supply of headlights and signal lights for trucks.
8. Offer a Range of Van Repairs
Just as preparing to provide service to trucks can increase your customer base, ensure your shop is prepared to do van repairs. When hiring mechanics for your 5 star mechanic shop, ask if they have experience working with vans. Although there are minor differences between autos and vans, it will be good to know that your customers with vans will get the specialized services they need.
Be sure you keep a full range of tire sizes in stock. It would be best if you also had an available supply of batteries, headlights, and wipers for vans. If you have only auto-sized parts and a van requests services, you must order the piece – or tell the customer you aren’t able to help them. It would help if you prepared yourself with a basic supply of van parts before a customer with a van arrives.
9. High-Quality and Safe Roof
While your staff works hard to complete the repairs your customers bring, you must ensure your business has a safe roof over their heads. Whether you need to build a new shop for your 5 star mechanic business or if you’re maintaining a roof of an established building, you need to find a local professional roofing service.
You’ll first decide if your roofing job needs an independent contractor or a roofing service. You might use an independent contractor if you only need a quick repair. If you can verify the contractor’s reputation, this may be the most efficient choice. You’ll want your roof restored as soon as possible if you’re already in business.
For new construction or major roof repair, it’s probably better to choose a reputable roofing company. These companies often offer promotions, and you may be able to collaborate with them during the roofing service. With a dedicated construction staff, your roof will usually be completed in a quick and efficient manner.
10. Allow Customers to Keep Their Vehicles Comfortable
When your prospective customers see you driving their vehicles, they’ll want to remain as comfortable as possible. Be sure your mechanics can offer HVAC services ranging from a quick AC check to a system overhaul. If you don’t plan to offer these services in your 5-star mechanic shop, you should establish a relationship with nearby HVAC companies to whom you can refer such jobs.
Your shop might opt to offer your customers a quick AC check. A quick check can determine whether their car needs only a quick AC recharge. The technology for these quick checks uses a simple gauge, and adding these tools to your shop can be a good investment for your shop since it’s a simple service to offer.
You’ll face many challenges if you decide to open a mechanic business. Be patient and keep your priorities on professional service and excellent customer service. By following these guidelines to establish and manage your 5 star mechanic shop, you’ll be able to achieve and maintain success.