Cars are your passion. You think that you could realize yourself and make good money by opening a car service. How much today and how much income you can count on.
“If you don’t understand cars, it’s better not to open a car service. To be a leader for employees and a guarantor of quality for customers, you need to know the automotive equipment thoroughly,”says Vyacheslav Nam, the owner of a workshop at SlavAvto in the South-East of Moscow. He received a specialized education at the Moscow Automobile Institute (MADI), worked for many years in the automotive industry and a year ago opened his own business, investing 1.8 million rubles in it.
“Passion and desire are needed first of all,” is less categorical Dmitry Sirotinin, deputy general director of a large Moscow car service L-Auto. "Knowledge of cars and the automotive market is also necessary, but it comes with experience." If you are firm in your intentions, move on to step two: identify the future service and customer sector.
Brand or not a brand?
With which cars will it be more convenient for you to work - "Germans", "Koreans", "Americans"? The choice of a supplier of spare parts, the selection of key specialists and even tools depends on the brand of the machine that you plan to service. Exotic wrenches, which are needed to unscrew the nut on some parts of American cars, will not work for the same parts of German cars.
Trying to please everyone and opening a multi-brand service is not worth it, Vyacheslav Nam is sure. You need to specialize in one brand, maximum - on a family of cars. “Firstly, it is impossible to know all the brands well. Secondly, you need to have on hand a certain amount of branded spare parts and consumables. If you don't have a branded filter or oil, the client will go where it is - to your competitor,”says our expert.
“We took up a multi-brand not because of a good life,” says Dmitry Sirotinin. - Our service specialized in Mercedes and Volkswagen, but over time, our regular customers moved from used German cars to new Japanese ones. I had to figure them out, too."
Friend or foe
Equip your premises for a car service or rent it? Even if you are the happy owner of a technical room within the city, a package of permits from Rostekhnadzor, SES and the fire service will cost 200,000-500,000 rubles. If the premises are located in a sanitary security zone, that is, at a distance of closer than 300 m from residential buildings, then its legal registration may be even more expensive.
If you are going to rent a room, please note the following:
- parking area. Space for cars still awaiting repair or already awaiting the owner is indispensable, - the configuration of the repair room. For example, if it is strongly elongated, then most of it will "eat up" as a corridor for fitting cars, - reinforced concrete floor. When a machine is suspended on a service lift, hundreds of kilograms of load are placed on the floor sections under it, - 380 volt wiring. Hoists and most machine tools work from a current of this voltage.
The premises should be equipped with a separate waiting room with a TV, a sofa and a stack of magazines so that customers do not wander around the repair area, distracting the mechanics with conversations and instructions on how to repair their car.
The range of rental prices in Moscow is 300-600 rubles per month per square meter and strongly depends on the location of the service. Try to find a place next to other workshops, Vyacheslav Nam recommends. This will give a stream of random clients. People don't know your specific service yet, but they remember that you can get your car fixed in this area. In the new car service on the outskirts of the "stray" customers are few.
Equipment: all at once
At the time of start, your workshop should have all the necessary equipment. “Don't expect to open up with a small set of tools and then gradually buy the rest. If you do not have the required key, you will have to deny service to the client,”warns Vyacheslav Nam. The tool is being stolen, Dmitry Sirotinin shares his experience. Only control, accountability and increased attention to new employees after hiring helps to combat this.
A reliable tool comes at a cost. A good, but not the most expensive locksmith's set - a cart of keys and screwdrivers for one service station - costs 40,000-45,000 rubles.
It is also necessary to equip the workplaces of personnel: buy lockers for clothes and things, tables, workbenches, etc. Of the heaviest and most expensive equipment, you will need lifts and a diagnostic stand. Turning and milling machines expand the possibilities of your service, because it is not always possible to do with only factory parts. This is especially true for car repairs after accidents or already tuned ones.
Staff: not stokers or carpenters
Labor market surveys regularly show that a competent car repair specialist is one of the most scarce professions today.
“It's difficult with the staff. Searching for a person by an ad means getting a pig in a poke, but by acquaintance there are few candidates,”says Vyacheslav Nam. From his point of view, the main feature of a good specialist is the ability to think systematically. “You need to tighten the nut wisely,” says Vyacheslav. - A robot can also work mechanically. Let a good master go the difficult and roundabout way for the first time, he will still figure out how to repair an unfamiliar car or unit. A completely inexperienced or not thinking person will not cope with such a job."
Typically, a car mechanic receives 30% of the cost of the volume of work performed. Today in "SlavAvto" this amount is 60,000-70,000 rubles a month.
An experienced electrician, minder or box specialist expects 100-120,000 rubles per month. In Dmitry Sirotinin's firm, these are Russians. It was on Russia in the early 1990s that the main wave of imported cars fell, so we have the most qualified specialists, the practice of "L-auto" shows. Workers from other union republics have proven themselves well in the body shop, says Sirotinin.
Before the start: advertising
In "SlavAvto" car service employees stuffed business cards and brochures under the car wipers. Then, in addition to outdoor advertising, they began to place advertisements on the websites of car owners of Korean cars. Then they switched to contextual advertising on the Internet, and now they are focused on promotion on the network, says Vyacheslav Nam. In addition, the owner of the car service decided to reward clients with a ruble: for three brought clients, a person gets a 5% discount on all work. For 5 successful recommendations - 10%.
Vyacheslav Nam is sure that a profitable car service should give 10,000 rubles of net profit from one lift per day, regardless of the number of lifts. To make life easier for yourself and your customers, it makes sense to introduce a fixed price list for different types of work and not be tied to the standard hours used on some services. The time it takes to repair a car depends on many factors: first of all, on the diligence of the master and the malfunction itself. Sometimes the breakdown is "on the surface", and sometimes it is necessary to disassemble half of the car to get to the bottom of it. At the start of a business, prices for basic procedures can be peeped at from competitors.
When planning your income, keep in mind the seasonality of demand for car repairs. June-July and December are "off season", says our expert: at this time people spend money on recreation. After vacations, demand levels off.
Finally: "Take care of honor from a young age."
Honesty in dealing with customers is a trump card that will help you after the start. “90% of services do not recognize and do not correct their mistakes. But if you are mistaken, you should not shy away from responsibility, but honestly admit and correct the "jamb", - advises Vyacheslav Nam. - And then the client will come to you next time. He will remember not your miscalculation, but your serious attitude to his problem. " So build your reputation right from the start. Good luck!
(car service for 3 posts, rub.)
Instruments: 40,000? 3 = 120,000
Diagnostic stand: 300,000
Service lifts: 3? 120,000+ installation 30,000 = 390,000
Premises preparation: 400,000
Other inventory: 210,000
Startup Advertising Costs: 80,000
Total: 1,500,000 rubles.
Monthly expenses and income (rub.)
Rent (60 sq. M at the rate of 400 rubles / sq. M. Per month) - 24,000
Consumables (oils, lubricants, etc.): 30,000
Senior workshop foreman - 100,000
Auto locksmiths - (2? 60,000) 120,000
Administrator-owner of a car service - 60,000
Total: 344,000 rubles.
3 lifts with maintenance for 7,500 rubles per day (at the rate of 22 working days per month) = 495,000
(income minus expenses)
Income taxes - 22,000
Profit after taxes: 129,000 rubles
Payback period (1,844,000 rubles initially + one-time expenses for the first month / profit after taxes per month) - 14 months