Thinking about opening an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
The Nuts & Bolts of Auto Machine Shop Equipment
Auto machine shops occupy a somewhat obscure sector of the automotive services industry, at least compared to more highly visible auto service centers. Yet without auto machinists and fabricators, auto repair and rebuilding would be impossible -- and that means auto machine shop equipment and supply companies will always be in demand.
Automotive machine shops provide a number of services including custom engine rebuilding, computerized engine balancing, cylinder boring, valve jobs and more. The equipment they use to perform these services is extremely specialized -- plan on carrying computer balancers, boring machines, milling machines, valve seating machines and other equipment from name brand manufacturers like Serdi, Winona Van Norman, Sunnen, Pragati and Kwik Way.
If you aren't sure which brands or models to carry, we recommend attending trade shows and talking directly with auto machine shop owners, some of which may eventually become customers.
Inventory Management for Automotive Machine Shop Vendors
Inferior planning can cause your machine shop equipment startup to quickly spiral out of control. Seasoned industry veterans know that it's important to achieve a balance between having enough stock to fill orders and carrying unmanageable amounts of overhead.
Inventory tracking solutions can be useful in systematizing inventory management, especially if you decide to introduce an inventory solution into your business model and workflows from the beginning. But even the best tracking solutions can't replace your hands-on involvement in inventory monitoring and ordering.
Logistics & Shipping Tips for Machine Shop Equipment Providers
There's no escaping the fact that your business will be judged on its ability to deliver machine shop equipment and supplies to your customers in a timely manner. But unfortunately, logistics and shipping is an area in which startups often struggle, handicapping their ability to create long-term relationships with first-time customers.
The time to get a handle on shipping and order fulfillment is now, before your startup takes its first orders. If you wait until you're flooded with orders to design an efficient fulfillment and shipping process, you've already lost the battle.
The good news is that there is an abundance of software solutions designed to streamline SMB shipping and order fulfillment processes. Carefully evaluate several solutions and select the one that is right for your business rather than simply settling for the cheapest alternative.
Essential Features of Business Plans for Auto Machine Shop Equipment & Supplies Businesses
Ask a dozen people how to write an effective business plan and you'll get a dozen different answers. But despite the diversity of approaches, there are some business plan features that are absolutely essential.
The mandatory components of an auto machine shop equipment and supplies company business plan include an executive summary, mission statement, strategic overview, financial plan, marketing plan and timetable. Without these elements, your plan will have limited use to lenders, investors and other stakeholders..
To discuss the external factors that will influence your startup, consider dedicating a section of your business to a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis.
Well in advance of opening an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business within your community, it's worthwhile to find out how strong the competition is. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors in your city. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of auto machine shop equipment and supplies businesses in your town.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
As part of your due diligence on opening an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business, it's a wise move to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think owners of nearby auto machine shop equipment and supplies businesses will give you advice, think again. What's in it for them?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Want the scoop on finding an entrepreneur who is running an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business on the other side of the country to talk to?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Buying Advice for Auto Machine Shop Equipment & Supplies Business Entrepreneurs
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable auto machine shop equipment and supplies business instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
But without adequate financing, your plans to own a first-rate auto machine shop equipment and supplies business are going nowhere. Business acquisitions are easier to finance than business startups, even though the financing process can still be exhausting.
Even so, before you approach lenders, we strongly recommend you dedicate a few minutes to reviewing our resource on Business Acquisition Financing Tips.
Consider Buying a Franchise
Your chances for becoming a successful entrepreneur increase when you franchise and leverage their successful brand and track record.
If you planning on starting an auto machine shop equipment and supplies business, it's worthwhile to assess whether purchasing a franchise might be worth investigating.
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 machine shop equipment and supplies business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to auto machine shop equipment and supplies businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.