How to Start a Body Shop – A Comprehensive Overview
This type of business consists of repairing cars that have been in a collision and vehicles that need repainting, are rusted or need a full restoration.
Most of the time, you’re dealing with people who have had an accident. People who have had an accident are usually upset or shaken up.
One of your traits as a business owner is to have the ability and the patience to listen to all the stories. Listening to the stories builds strong customer relationships, which is a good opportunity for you.
One thing you could keep in mind with this type of business is, you must stay on schedule. If you promise you’ll have the vehicle finished in two weeks, then it’s important that you follow through on that promise, because people are depending on that vehicle.
Skill Set and Traits:
- Attention to detail.
- Giving accurate estimates.
- Good measuring and part aligning skills.
- Metal fabrication.
- Metal straightening.
- Tearing down areas for repair.
- Installing new parts and aligning them.
- Sanding and body repair.
- Body preparation.
- Paint skills.
- Frame straightening.
- Reassembly skills
- Common business skills
- Auto body mechanic
- Metal Fabricators
- Common staff positions needed to run some businesses
Hours of Operation:
This is usually a nine to five business, although you’ll find yourself working overtime to get some jobs done on time when you are busy.
- Air compressor with sufficient storage and enough power to keep you with your needs.
- Air tools: air ratchet, air chisel, impact wrench, assorted air tools.
- Frame and body straighteners.
- Paint booth.
- Spray guns and filters.
- Dual-action sander.
- Slide hammer.
- Stud welder.
- Dolly set.
- A variety of clamps.
- Specialty hammer set for auto body repair.
- Suction cup dent pullers.
- MIG or TIG welders.
- Gas Torch.
- Metal shaping tools.
- Vehicle hoist.
- Engine hoists.
- Transmission jack, jack stands, floor jacks.
- Diagnostic scanners.
- Fender covers.
- Air conditioning tools.
- Battery chargers/jump starters.
- Car dollies.
- Headlight aimers.
- Gear pullers.
- Parts washers, pressure washers, parts handlers/stands, vacuums, floor fan.
- Shop Presses.
- Bench grinders, work tables, and benches, storage shelving, and bins.
- Feeler gauges, assorted calipers, micrometers.
- Assorted wrenches.
- Assorted sockets.
- A complete set of regular tools e.g., hacksaw, hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, vise grips, Allen wrenches, chisels, measuring tapes, rulers, files, troubleshooting lights, extension cords, etc.
- A wide variety of assorted specialty tools that you will purchase over time and as needed.
Expenses and Operating Costs:
- In addition to our list of common business expenses, your Bodyshop will require a budget for the ongoing cost of acquiring supplies, like paint, body filler, oxygen, acetylene, sandpaper grinding discs, drill bits, rivets, etc.
- Offer a loaner for your customers, whether you make a deal with the car rental or you invest in some low-cost vehicles.
- Offer free towing for customers who get their cars serviced at your shop.
- Make a deal with local businesses — give them fliers or business cards and offer them a percentage of the repair for each referral they sent to you. On the card, offer the customer a discount on services
- Approach local tow truck business owners and offer them a percentage or a referral fee for every customer they bring you.
- Make a brochure for vehicle maintenance such as auto detailing. These types of packages are good for keeping the car looking like new and protecting it from rust. You can contact local businesses and work out a deal where they refer your services, and in return, you refer customers to them.
Pros and Cons:
- Can be a profitable business.
- Can gain repeat customers by doing great work at a reasonable price.
- Stable business model.
- Deadlines are hard to keep.
- Working with a lot of problems.
- Dirty work with a lot of dust, especially when sanding.
- Painting gives off toxic fumes.
- Most repairs are time-consuming.
- Season affects business — For example, cold, snowy winter will result in more collisions, compared to summer, which will have fewer collisions due to weather.
- Start-up costs — If you started off with buying a building, top-of-the-line equipment, and have a lot of employees then you will have high monthly loan payments and expenses, which will cut into your profits.
- If you can’t give accurate estimates, you’ll lose money or lose customers.
- You have to balance and make enough money to pay expenses and grow while giving your customers a good deal. You need to have a strong customer base in order to keep up with expenses and payments.
- When times are slow, you need to work as if you are behind, because if you get bad weather conditions resulting in streams of collisions you will be overwhelmed with repairs and may have to turn business away.
Automotive Repair Service Business Plan | Reference for business.com
A Sample Auto Repair Shop Business Plan Template | ProfitableVenture.com
Progressive Marketing Plan for an Auto Body Shop | Amazon.com
A Day In The Life:
A Day in the Life of a Body Shop in 2035 | Autobody-review.com
A Day in the Life of an Auto Body Repair Technician | Auto Training Centre.com
Interview With Auto Body Shop Owner, Patrick Sampoll | Collision Blast
Paint & Body Shop | Sbdcnet.org
Car Body Shops in the US Market Research | IBISWorld
Automotive Collision Repair Market | Industry Report, 2024
2016 Automotive Body | Trends, & Outlook | Anythingresearch.com
Opening an Auto Repair Shop: 6 Things You Should Know | Advanced Technology Institute
How To Start A Body Shop Business | Startup Jungle
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Opening a New Collision Repair Shop | Body Shop Business
How to Start an Auto Body Repair & Painting Business | Gaebler.com
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Marketing Ideas for Auto Body Shops | azcentral.com
Auto Body Training Program from Newgate School is Tuition Free | Newgate School
Professional Tips for Painting A Car | Autotraining.edu
Auto Body School Guide | Collision Repair Training
Collision Repair Training | Lincoln Tech
Auto Body Schools | Matchcollege.com
Auto Body Repair Tools |Eastwood
Auto Body Tools & Shop Supplies | Auto Body Toolmart
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#1 Auto body supplies & Auto body tools – Autobodynow.com
Products for Automotive Collision Repair | 3MCollision.com
Auto Paint Supplies & Auto Body Equipment Supplies – ReStockIt.com
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Automotive Paint | Paint for Cars.com
4 Things To Consider While Insuring Your Auto Body Shop | Repairer Driven News
Body Shop Insurance | Business Insurance Usa.com
Automotive Services and Repair Insurance | Nationwide Insurance
Garage Insurance | Progressive Commercial
Business Insurance for Auto Repair Shops | Netquote.com
Glossary of Autobody Terms | Rondex Autobody Shop Supplies and Equipment
Collision Repair Glossary | Crash Repair Info.com
Trade Associations | Body Shop Business
Best Auto Body Software | Capterra.com
Collision Repair Software | CCCIS.com
Auto Body Shop Repair Estimating Software | Mitchell
Automotive Painting and Body Repair Franchise Opportunities | The Franchise Mall.com
Businesses For Sale:
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