There is a lot of information in this article about starting a tire shop. Let’s begin by reviewing the steps to take.
In our next step, we’ll analyze some considerations to help you determine whether a tire shop is right for you.
Finally, we’ll review some resources to help you launch and operate your business.
Let’s get started.
Steps To Open a Tire Shop
Before taking any action, you might want to go over the whole article. Once you are ready to get started, take one step at a time.
1. Research the Industry
Conducting research is one of the most critical steps you can take before opening a tire shop. As a result, let’s take a look at the four critical points to keep in mind.
a.) An Inside Look at The Business
You need to talk to business owners to get quality inside information about starting and running a tire shop.
There are a few ways to approach this.
Look for tire shops for sale and contact the owners to meet with them to discuss the opportunity.
This method has two benefits. Benefit number one is you may find a business that is a better fit and purchase it instead of opening your own.
The other advantage is that you can ask the owner many questions and learn from their expertise.
Make a list of all the businesses for sale and contact the owners to set up appointments. Let them know you are thinking of opening your own tire shop, but you want to look into purchasing a business already in operation to determine if it’s a better route to take.
Before you meet with the owners, it’s time to do some prep work and come up with questions to ask. Then, naturally, you can refine your questions as you go through the process.
When meeting the business owners, don’t start with hard-core questions like:
How much money does the business make ask to see their profit and loss statements etc? Instead, talk about them using questions like:
- What made you want to start a tire shop?
- How long have you been in business?
- What would you do differently, if you were to start over?
- What is the most challenging part of running a tire business?
- What do you like most about the business?
- What would you change if you could?
This approach sets the mood to start a conversation as opposed to being subject to an audit.
Next, you can ask more detailed questions about the business like the following:
- What were your total sales last year?
- What was your gross profit last year?
- How much debt is owning on the business?
- How many customers do you have?
- How many staff members do you have?
Once you have gone through your list and met with all the business owners, your next step is to search for tire franchise opportunities and contact the company representatives to discuss the opportunity.
You’re going to approach speaking with the franchise rep similar to the business owners you spoke with.
One last method to get inside information is to search online for something like “tire business owner interview” to come up with a list of people that talk about starting and running a tire business. Reading the interviews allows you to gain an important perspective, and you may be able to email the person for more information.
Completing the above exercise gives you reliable, inside information that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. So whether you purchase a business, a franchise or decide to start from scratch, you have a lot of information under your belt that is priceless.
For more on this method, see An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering.
b.) Expand Your Knowledge of the Industry
Conducting research is one of the most critical steps you can take before opening a tire shop. As a result, let’s take a look at three critical points to keep in mind. First, the more you know about the tire industry, the better your chances of succeeding with your own tire shop.
There’s a lot of information online related to the tire industry. You need to know where to find it and use the material. You can subscribe to newsletters blogs, read articles and books, and watch videos, etc.
Staying up-to-date with the industry gives you a competitive advantage.
For example, if you set up a Google alert for any keyword you want to keep track of, you’ll receive an email every time something new is discovered online. This could be a certain type of tire, tools, process, or method used in the industry.
c.) What Type of Shop Will You Start?
There are a few options for opening your own tire shop. Here are a few sample questions to broaden your perspective.
Are you planning to deal with new tires?
Are you planning on dealing with used tires?
Have you considered if you’ll sell tires retail or wholesale?
Are you focussing on becoming a nationwide dealer?
Will you be offering other services, such as front-end alignments?
Are you considering other sectors such as agriculture, heavy equipment, powersports, etc.?
I would focus on one sector and specialize in that rather than dealing with every type of tire. When you’re, focused you’ll be able to cater to your customers more effectively.
For example, if you’re dealing with tires for farm equipment, you can study your target market and modify your business to serve your customers effectively.
d.) Choosing a Location
The location you choose for your tire shop is an important part of your success. For example, if you locate in an area where the demand is low, there is no use in opening up your shop in that area.
Let’s say you live in a small town with 1500 people, they would probably get their tires at the closest city, or they may deal with an automotive repair shop in town. Therefore, it would be difficult to make any progress in a tire business in the area.
On the other hand, if you locate in an area with too many tire shops, it will be difficult to get started and get a piece of the market share.
The optimal location is an area where there is demand and an acceptable amount of competition.
For more, see Choosing the Best Location for Your Business.
2. Choose a Name
The name you choose for your tire business is an important step. You want something catchy and memorable. Spend some time coming up with the name because it’s something you’ll call your business for as long as you own it.
To get your creativity flowing, you can search for business names online to get ideas, and you can use business name generators. This will open up ideas and allow you to come up with a memorable and appropriate business name for your tire shop.
Once you have chosen a few names. Make sure they are available for registration. For the ones that are, say the name out loud, use them in a sentence, print the name out to see what it looks like on paper, then sleep on it for a few days. When you come back to the list, you will see the names using a fresh perspective.
3. Identify the Legal Structure
You can use different structures for your business registration, including a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, etc.
Many businesses will start as a sole proprietorship because it’s the easiest and quickest to set up. This is because you and the business are considered as one entity. It gives you a chance to see if you’ll be successful with your business. Once a business is successful, you can easily convert your sole proprietorship to an LLC, corporation, etc.
With a sole proprietorship, your personal assets and the business assets are considered one; therefore, if there is a problem, for example, the business goes bankrupt, your personal assets may be affected. Another issue with a sole proprietorship is you can’t have any partners.
An LCC or a corporation protects the shareholder’s assets. For example, if there is a lawsuit or the company goes bankrupt, your personal assets are protected because an LLC or a corporation is separate.
Although setting up a business is similar in many states and provinces, there will be variations. You can contact your local municipality or city hall, and they will give you the information you need for your area and direct you to what you need in terms of provincial or state registrations.
When registering a business, I prefer to use a professional service or a lawyer to complete everything correctly and legally. While getting advice for the best structure to use for my situation.
4. Get a Tax ID
Depending on the structure of your company and whether or not you have employees, you may need to register for a tax ID. As previously stated, if you hire a professional to set up your business, they will register a tax ID for you. On the other hand, if you’re starting out as a sole proprietorship and don’t have any employees yet, you may not need a tax ID.
For more see Here’s How To Get A Business Tax Id
5. Apply for Permits, Licenses, and Registration
Along with your state or provincial registration, you’ll need to look into local registration from city hall or your municipality. They will let you know if there are any special permits along with information about zoning restrictions.
For example, in many cities and towns, you can’t open a tire repair shop in a residential area, because of zoning. However, they will let you know if your location is zoned for your type of operation.
6. Create Your Corporate ID
Your corporate ID is a part of marketing and branding your business. A Corporate ID includes a logo, website letterheads, envelopes, etc.
You must use a professional design. You want to make a good impression on your customers. A poorly designed logo can leave a bad impression on your customers.
When starting out, you don’t have to have a complete corporate ID, but you should have at least a logo and business cards, and once your business is more stable, you can complete the other components such as a website, letterhead, business checks, etc.
For More See:
7. Writing a Business Plan
Your business plan is an essential component of the start-up phase. If you’re looking for investors or funding, you’ll need it. A bank will not even consider your loan if you do not have a professional business plan.
A business plan has many components, and it takes time to consider each section and gather the necessary information. Even though it may be a difficult process, one of the main benefits is that once completed, you will have a clear picture of what you need to do and the end result. It’s your road map to success. Remember that your business plan can be changed at any time.
When it comes to creating a business plan, you have a few options:
You can fill in the blanks with a template or use software to walk you through the process step by step.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional to write your business plan for you. Whatever method you choose, you are still responsible for providing the information.
8. Estimating Start-up Cost
You might be wondering how much it costs to start a tire shop. I can assure you that no one can answer that question. The reason for this is that it is dependent on the type of operation you intend to launch.
The amount of stock you carry, the size of your establishment, and the amount of staff all contribute to the start-up costs of a tire shop. So the first step is to decide on the type of business, the size, the location, etc. Once you have those in place, you can begin to get estimates and pricing to determine your start-up costs.
Because there is so much to consider, estimating start-up costs can be difficult. The first step, in my opinion, is to decide on your overall strategy and then begin listing everything you’ll need. As you begin to receive estimates, issues that you hadn’t considered will begin to surface, and you can add them to your list and adjust your estimate accordingly.
For more see Estimating Start-up Costs: Are You Missing Anything?
9. Get the Funding
You have completed many steps at this point in the process, including registering your business, obtaining your corporate ID, selecting a location, and conducting research. Next, it’s time to copy your business plan and look for funding.
The majority of people begin with their current bank. It is important to note that banks are aware that new businesses are high-risk. They are aware that the majority of businesses fail within the first few years of operation. As a result, they would rather lend money to established businesses with a track record than a new business.
So don’t get too disappointed if your loan application is denied several times. Instead, find out why your loan was declined and try to address the issues before approaching the next lender.
If you have exhausted all of your lending options, you can look for lenders who approve SBA loans, in which the government will guarantee the loan for the lender if the business fails.
Also, take a look at our post on, Getting a Small Business Loan.
10. Choose a Bank
If you deal with a lot of cash, you need a nearby bank to make daily deposits.
You want a bank that works with you and charges reasonable fees. Remember, it’s not the bank but the relationship with your banker.
For example, there is a sale on tires. You must act quickly to take advantage of this offer. Applying for a short-term loan with a competent banker is much easier than working with a bank with which you have no relationship. Building a relationship with the right bank and the right banker is in your best interests.
For more, see our page on How To Choose A Business Bank.
11. Acquiring a Merchant Account
The majority of your customers will pay you with credit or debit cards. A merchant account is required to process these payments. Your banker can help you with the merchant account application process.
12. Get Your Business Insured
It’s critical to make sure your business has enough insurance to cover you in case of any incident. In addition, you want to make sure your property is covered and, more importantly, your customers and employees in case of any incident.
You may also want to consider interruption insurance to ensure your average stream of income will keep flowing if your business is shut down due to an incident.
A competent insurance agent will make sure you have enough insurance, and you’re fully covered for any incident that may occur.
13. Office Setup
Your office should be functional, organized, and comfortable. You may need an office only for yourself or for others.
The more successful you are, the more time you’ll need to spend in your office. You’ll need high-speed computers and internet access, along with printers and copiers, etc. Your efficiency improves with better equipment.
For more see, Here Are Considerations for the Setup of Your Office.
14. Choosing Suppliers
Select a supplier for your tire business with care. While your supplier affects your business, they also exercise some control over your business because, without their products, you cannot properly service your customers. As a result, it is critical to select a supplier who is dependable and trustworthy.
It is critical to establish a rapport with your supplier. Treat them with respect and pay them on time while also ensuring they make money by dealing with you. If you’re constantly undercutting them, it makes no sense for them to do business with you.
When you have a strong relationship with your supplier, they will treat you better than if you don’t have one at all. For instance, there is a popular brand of tires that is constantly in short supply. Therefore, if your relationship with your supplier is strong, they may be able to send you additional tires instead of sending them to other customers.
For more see, How To Choose a Supplier You Can Depend On
15. Create a Team of Advisors for Your Start-up
Having a team of advisers is an excellent way two make your business stronger.
It’s important to note that your team of advisers are not people on your payroll. Instead, they are people that you pay by the hour and use from time to time.
Some examples of members may include a lawyer, an accountant, a graphic designer, a business strategist, a marketing expert, an IT professional, a web designer, etc.
Build a relationship with the members of your team of advisers before you need their services. For example, every once in a while, you can just send them an email to see how they’re doing and keep in touch.
A professional relationship will work out with some of your members, while others will need to be replaced. Some members may even become friends and long-term colleagues. Whichever way you think about it, it’s a good idea to build a team of advisers that you know you can count on when you need them.
16. Hiring Employees
In the beginning, you may be able to do all the tire installations and manage the business as a one-person operation. Still, as you get busy, you may need to hire employees to either manage the business or install tires, and you’ll probably end up needing employees for both installation and management.
Make sure you’re hiring The right employee for each position. Don’t think of it as an hourly job; instead, figure out how much it will cost you for an employee per year and when you see the amount you’re investing, you’ll be careful to make sure you only higher the number of people you need and you hire the right people.
Consider a staff of 15 people or more. You’re hovering around half a million dollars a year in wages, and that’s a lot for a small business that’s just starting, so take your time and make sure you hire the right people.
For more on hiring, see How and When to Hire a New Employee.
What To Consider Before Opening
The steps to open a tire shop are now in front of you. However, before you proceed, let’s look at a few very important points to consider first.
Is Running a Business for You?
Many people dream of owning and running their own business for various reasons. Some people are getting away from a job and would rather be their own boss, while others want a lifestyle from owning a successful business. Others have a passion for what they’re doing, and they start a business offering products and services in that field.
To get a better idea of whether you’re getting into the right business or not, let’s look at it in the following way.
Imagine you won the lottery! You have traveled the world. You helped friends, family, and relatives and gave to charity. You own your dream home, and you have everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ve taken two years off, and you still have $5 million in the bank. What are you gonna do with the rest of your life?
If you said you would start a tire shop, you’re passionate about the business you’re about to start and on the right track. But, if you said something else, then should you be pursuing that instead?
For more, see Reasons To Start a Business
Do You Have the Skills?
Do you have the skills necessary to run a business? If not, you can learn as you go. For example, you can use an advisor to help make important decisions. You can take a small business course. Or you can hire a manager to run a business.
The second question is, do you have the skills and expertise needed to install tires? Again here, you can learn as you go, or you can hire a tire technician.
To have full control over your business and understand each part of it, you must learn each of these tasks if you don’t have the skills for them and end up hiring. If you fail to do so, you may end up in a bind, especially if one of your key people leaves.
Is It Better To Start a Business From Scratch or Buy One?
There are pros and cons to buying a business versus starting your own. For example, when you purchase a business already in operation, you start to make money the day you take over.
In addition, when you purchase a business, you own the customer base, which takes a lot of time to build. You also have everything set up for you and ready to go.
Some cons include that it is usually more expensive to purchase a business already in operation than to start your own because it is set up and has customers.
Another disadvantage is you may be purchasing underlying problems the business has. If you don’t like how the business is set up, it will be difficult to change its direction.
Should You Consider a Franchise?
You may want to consider purchasing a franchise. Like everything else, it has its pros and cons.
When you purchase a franchise, the setup is easy because everything is already planned. The look of your shop, the products and services you provide, and how you train your staff are all in place for you. Everything is standardized. You don’t have to put much thought into starting or operating the business. You just have to follow the procedures.
Franchises have several disadvantages, including ongoing franchise fees and no control over the business since it is standard and all locations are very similar. In addition, there’s nothing you can do to change how your business is run or the products and services you provide.
Along with the steps for starting a tire shop and the issues to consider before starting, I have also included some resources you can use before and after you open.
Trends and Statistics
Trends and statistics are great ways to introduce yourself to the industry. This information can help you become more knowledgeable. As an example, you can determine if the industry is on the rise or on the decline.
Additionally, you can learn about new products and services, what’s hot, and what’s not.
The equipment you purchase to service your customer’s tires is an important step that affects your business. Therefore, it makes sense to do your research before purchasing any equipment to avoid purchasing equipment that isn’t appropriate for the job and wasting a great deal of money.
Reviewing the equipment that other tire services are using is one way to determine how well it works. Talking to tire dealers is another, and reading online reviews is another way to find out how well it works. It is also possible to inquire about the equipment used by other tire shops, not in competition with yours.
Try to find out if your dealer will let you try out a used piece of equipment similar to the one you’re considering before you make a final decision.
Joining an association in your industry is a good business move because you can network with other members. In addition, you can benefit from the resources and information the association provides. For example, a tire association will provide you with standards for the industry. They may provide safety tips and ongoing industry news.
You may also want to consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce so that you can network with local business owners. You will get to know local businesses, and other members will have a chance to learn about your business.
Click Here To View Associations Related to the Tire Industry. You May Also Want To Check Out Our Page for Tips and Insights About Joining a Trade Association.
Take a look at the software options available for tire shops. You might find an all-in-one solution that works for you. There are also systems that are specialized for tires, and others that help manage your business. Consider checking online reviews and obtaining a demo before deciding on any software package
Top Tire Shop Businesses
You’ll gain a lot of tips by reviewing the top tire businesses. Furthermore, you can also see what prices are like as well as what services are available.
If you take the time to review all of the top businesses, you may notice that something is missing. If you can fill that void, you’ll have a competitive advantage.
Marketing is one of the most important parts of running a business. Without customers, you don’t have a business, and without marketing gaining customers will be slow and difficult.
A simple Google search for “tire business marketing tips” will give you a list of many articles you can use to gain ideas that you can use to market your tire shop.
Books are a great resource for learning more about running any business and the tire industry.
Whenever I’m interested in a book, I always look at the table of contents to give me an overview of what the book offers. Another tip is you don’t have to read the book cover to cover. Instead, you can dive into the chapters that appeal to you.
Using Google news is a great way to stay up-to-date with the tire industry. I like Google’s news site because it offers the most recent stories as well as archives.
YouTube has numerous videos with great information for learning more about business and other topics such as tires.
Some videos are priceless, and others aren’t worth the time to watch them. In under a minute, you can usually tell if a video is worth watching or if it’s better to move on to the next.