Mechanic: A person who carry on activities of repairing vehicles, servicing vehicles, recycling and dismantling vehicles or installing parts or equipment in vehicles.
Automotive repair is one of the most exciting and lucrative businesses ever. Starting your own automotive repair shop is easy but time consuming. It is a dream any good automobile mechanic looks forward to fulfilling while making money.
The growing demand for more standardized mechanic workshops is justified in view of its immense benefits. Most mechanic workshops in Nigeria mostly carry out trial and error repairs. A good number of mechanics have created more problems by trying to fix one. As a result of which a lot of people end up paying for additional problems caused by their mechanics. A standardized mechanic workshop uses high tech equipment to find and pinpoint the exact problem to the technician thereby saving time and money.
Good mechanical and people skills are essential in this business. A caring helpful personality, as well as a great love for the job are prerequisites when starting an auto repair shop. If you are a good mechanic and love your work, customers will want to patronize and use your workshop to do all their mechanical repairs and servicing, therefore you will need the right tools and equipment to do a broad range of work. You get satisfaction from offering excellent car repair services while the customer goes home happy.
The right tools and equipment are essential to opening any auto shop. It takes a good knowledge of workshop equipment to make all the right decisions and you also need to learn using and maintaining different equipment correctly.
To start an automotive workshop, the following would have to be decided upon:
- Whether you want to start your own auto repair business from scratch or whether you will purchase an established business;
- Your working hours for your day to day operations;
- Workshop location and rental;
- What type or brand of cars would likely be repaired at your workshop;
- Possibility of provision of home services;
- Number of apprentices that will be needed for smooth operation;
- Setting up at an ideal location, and follow all regulatory requirements for running this type of business.
Here are a few guidelines to walk you through the processes you need to go through in order to start your automotive workshop business in Nigeria.
Training (newbies) and License
If you are new to this line of work, then you will have to undergo training in a reputable automotive or mechanic workshop for a given period of time before venturing to set up a Workshop or Service Centre. Duration of the training depends on your ability to grasp what you are being taught. Having completed the training, obtain the necessary license to operate.
Workshop and Location
The next step is to acquire a strategic place close to any major road for your workshop or garage with enough space to operate. Register your business with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC). The workshop should have enough space to accommodate lifts, reception and toilet; it should be neat and comfortable for both customers and workers.
Recruit Capable Workers
The running of automotive workshop or garage is not a one-man activity or work, you will need at least two hands. Hire good and intelligent workers; along with serious apprentices to handle your equipment, some mechanical works and also capable of working in your absence.
Equipment and Tools
Starting a standard mechanic workshop requires significant investments in equipment. You need the right tools for best results. These tools create a win-all situation for both parties (that is service provider and client). Some of these tools include:
- Hydraulic floor jack,
- Transmission stand,
- Set of mechanical toolbox,
- Axle stands,
- Break pressure test kit, and
- Oil extractor or drain.
- Diagnostic machine,
- OBD II scanner,
- Laptop computer,
- Digital wheel balancer and
- TPMS scanner
- Ring and open end spanners,
- Hand held mechanics lamps,
- Air guns and lines,
- Dial gauge,
- Rolling oil pans,
- Circle pliers
- Cooling fluid pans,
- Bearing pullers.
- Air Pressure Regulator,
- Tire lever & Tire pressure gauge,
- Wheel balancer accessories,
- Brake lathe accessories,
- Ear protection,
- First aid kit,
- Fire extinguisher,
- Spill kit,
- Oscillating fan,
- Exhaust extraction reel,
- Air Pressure Regulator, etc.
Most of these tools and equipment are imported and runs into millions of naira, hence it will set your wallet back a little but in the end it is worth it.
If you intend to start small and grow in the business; then all you need to start are tools that will cost between =N=75,000 and =N=150,000 aside from the cost of space rental.
Marketing Strategies for your Auto Workshop
Running a successful auto repair business is not only about being clear about one‘s chosen area; it is a matter of a clever management and marketing of it. Here are some tips to market your auto-workshop
Create Connections and make Alliances
Approach and make alliances or coalitions with car dealers and spare part dealers to attract more customers and grow your business.
Advertise your mechanic workshop print flyers and your business card to intimate people of your automotive works, repairs and services and how to get to the workshop. Visit institutions and offices and if possible setup a website or place adverts on popular websites.
Display of Competence and Integrity
People will prefer your auto repair workshops to others if you carry out your repair work with high level of professionalism, competence and integrity. This will inspires confidence among your clients. Your clients will have an unwavering belief that he/she will not go back with the same problem again.
There is always a need to guarantee your customer after a successful repair work. Offering or providing a guarantee based on a certain period of time or mileage will show that you stand behind all work performed at your auto repair business.
The customer is king. Remember a smile and cheerful disposition cost you nothing financially. Warm greetings, listening to customers’ auto problems; offering alternatives, options or referrals to customers when what their need is not available.