Wondering how to start an auto paint business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Auto Paint Industry Overview
An auto paint business is a great way to carve out a niche in the auto repair market. Auto companies provide a vital service for consumers, auto mechanics, and vehicle restoration businesses.
Although the auto paint industry is a subset of the larger auto repair industry, painters don't compete directly with mechanics or repair companies. Most auto repair businesses don't handle paint themselves and are always looking for a good painter to return their customers' vehicles to pristine condition.
One of the reasons typical auto repair companies steer away from paint is because painting a car takes a great deal of skill and expertise. The simple act of blending the paint job to match the existing paint or factory coloring is tricky; custom paint jobs are even harder. It's recommended that auto paint business owners have at least five years experience under their belt before launching their own painting venture.
The auto painting industry has above average requirements in the area of chemicals and environmental hazards. The painting process produces no small amount of fumage as well as toxic material storage, so many municipalities have zoning requirements that restrict the location of car and truck painting companies to industrial neighborhoods.
To circumvent zoning issues, many auto painters partner with auto repair shops to perform their services onsite. Since most auto repair shops have already met zoning requirements, auto painters bypass the requirement and tap into a recurring stream of revenue by providing a complementary service.
Reputation management is extremely important for auto paint businesses. A single botched job can have a ripple effect throughout the local market, jeopardizing relationships between painters and auto repair shops. Auto paint business owners are advised to monitor their reputation on the street and online through social media networks.
Learn more about managing your business's reputation in our Online Reputation Management section!
Best Practices for Writing an Auto Paint Company Business Plan
You know that a business plan is important. The only problem is that you don't have any idea how to write one.
But even though you have primary responsibility for drafting a business plan for your auto paint business, you aren't entirely alone. There are plenty of useful solution designed to assist auto paint business entrepreneurs in business plan writing.
Our Business Plan Help section discusses some of the business plan resources other entrepreneurs have found useful.
Take a Look at the Competition
Prior to opening an auto paint business within your community, it's worthwhile to see what the competition looks like. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors in your city. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of auto paint businesses near you.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
After you've evaluated your local competitors, you really ought to talk to somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby auto paint businesses will give you advice, think again. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Thankfully, an owner of a an auto paint business in another town may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you locate an auto paint business owner who is willing to advise you because you live in different cities?
It's easy. Here's a link you can use to find a mentor outside of your area.
Benefits & Drawbacks of an Auto Paint Business Acquisition
An acquisition can be a great way to enter auto paint business ownership. But it's important to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of buying a business before you decide on either an acquisition or startup approach.
PROs: Existing companies have proven business models and a history of profitability. They should also have some degree of brand recognition and an established customer base.
DRAWBACKS: On the downside, auto paint business acquisitions can be difficult to adapt to your unique business philosophy so it's important to make sure the business is capable of achieving your ownership goals before you initiate the buying process.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
As an entrepreneur, your chances becoming a successful entrepreneur increase if you become a franchisee rather than going it alone.
If you planning on starting an auto paint business, you would be wise to assess whether franchising might simplify your entering the business.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing auto paint business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to auto paint businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.