Going from a hobby to a business...need help
This is by far the most knowledgeable group of enthusiasts and technician's that I have come across to date on any forum.
Because so many of you are professional technicains or former technicians I thought that this would be a great place to get your opinion on a new business I would like to start.
The concept is nothing new...atleast not on the surface.
I would like to open a high end European auto repair facility. Currently, we have no such facilities in the affluent area of town and really only three or so in the central texas area.
I believe that with a very clean shop and upscale customer greeting/waiting area there is a good chance that the shop would do very well. I would also like to offer $10 rental vehicles becuase I see the lack of cheap alternate transportation to be a major deterent to independent shops. The image I have in mind for this shop is very upscale, Mahogany and leather. I want the shop to be comfortable and inviting for men as well as women. Most of all, I want to remove the intimdation factor and make the environment like this board, problem solving in with the customers interest always at the forefront.
However, before I go off and invest in this idea I would like to pull together a business plan that I could pitch to other interested investors.
My questions for you guys are:
What would a Master technician expect to make per book hour and actual hour at an independent shop?
Are you guys paid strictly by book hour or by book and actual time worked?
Is it customary for the employer to offer life/health/401K (I plan to do so)
What other things would you like to see your employer do that would make your time at work happier and more productive?
What type of tools would the tesh be expected to have vs. the employer.
Roughly, how much should I set aside for "tooling up" the shop? (aside form lifts and such)
I truly believe that the technicians will make you or break you and my biggest worry is not attracting business but attracting and retaining talented employees.
Any input you guys could give would be worth its weight in gold!!
Thanks so much for all your help guys.