Your points are all well received
I should clarify that the entire "theme" of this business is not wood and leather. In fact, this is simply an additional modest investment upfront to improve the image of the shop. I intend to charge only on the high end of what other independents in the area charge and still nowhere near that of the dealer.
If you are unsure as to whether or not the "upscale" look will sell just take a look at any of the dealers. They have tons of non-warranty business because many owners are not willing to go to a greasy smoke filled shop that is inconvenient and does not cater to their needs.
My idea is to bridge the dealer and independent experience and charge somewhere in the middle. I can tell you that the % of women that take their vehicles to the dealer versus the independent is much much higher. Why is this?
I 100% agree that you can easily go overboard with customer service and "glitz". I am more interested in a clean and comfortable environment than marble bathrooms and oriental rugs. Tile floors, leather couches and a quiet waiting area are a minor invenstment that can only help.
We must remember that most everyone on this board is far more technically atune than your average joe. To that extent extra perks might not be worth much. However, to the executive that values conveniece and courtesy and is still pleased with the quality of the work he will be hooked.
Worst case, If the plan didnt work out what have you lost? You lose the glitz and concentrate on hiring the best techs possible and you are no worse off than before.
I appreciate the pointers because they help me anticipate questions relating to the business plan and allow me to address them early.
as always, kep the great input coming.