Maybe you’ve always wanted to start your own body shop because of your fascination for cars as a child, or you simply want to make use of a skill you learned from your previous work. Whatever your reasons are, opening a car modification shop won’t be easy work. It’s a business that needs constant attention and a lot of funds to operate properly. Here’s what you need to do to start one.
Familiarize Yourself with the Laws
You’re in the business of modifying vehicles to customer’s specifications or your recommendations. There are laws regarding the extent of these customizations, which vary by state. The state of Utah, for example, prohibits wheel spacers. Exhaust cutouts are also banned here. The state also imposes a height limit wherein the lowest part of the vehicle’s floor should not be more than 3 inches above the frame. Use this to gauge the limits of what you can offer. You don’t want customers coming back to your shop complaining that their customized vehicles aren’t up to code.
Choose a Specialization
Just like the engineering and medicine fields, it makes sense to specialize in car modification as well. You may think that you’re limiting yourself when you narrow down the services that you provide, but according to the Advanced Technology Institute’s article, “Learning Auto Repair: To Specialize or Not to Specialize,” specialization could open more doors for your business. It stated that people who take their car to a repair or modification shop expect the best care. So when they look for places to get their vehicle service, they’ll be looking for highly skilled mechanics and technicians with specialization in the type of car they have, the institute stated.
Before you set up shop, think of the type of car you enjoy servicing or customizing. Are they high-end or everyday vehicles? Are they foreign brands from Europe or Japan? Would you prefer to work on American brands like Ford or Chevrolet? Do you love Mustangs so much that they’re the only model you want to service?
Or maybe you’re interested in classic car restoration. There are plenty of possibilities when it comes to specialization, but once you narrow it down; everything will fall into place. It allows you to narrow down your inventory so that you can capitalize on spare parts and sheet metal sale prices better. You only need supplies for a specific brand, make, or model. It all boils down to preference and passion. If you plan on specializing in what most people buy, the Wall Street Journal has an updated fact sheet of car sales according to the type of car, brand, and model.
Find the Right Location
The best location for your car modification shop is in between commercial and residential areas in Salt Lake City. You want people to find your shop on the way to commercial buildings like malls or even car dealerships. This way, they’ll know where to go if they want any customizations. However, you want to be near your customers’ home as well. It makes driving or towing their car to your shop convenient.
Opening a car modification shop requires more than expertise in the field, you also need business skills and knowledge to run it well. Remember to stay within the limits of state laws; focus on one brand or model; and set up shop in a high-traffic location. You’ll be making art out of cars in no time.