If you’ve decided that starting a car repair franchise is the right choice for you, one of the most important things to do in the early days of your investment is to build a strong franchise business plan. Read on, and discover four tips for creating a business plan for your car repair franchise that will ensure its future success.
Running your own business comes with substantial risk, but franchising is a great way to lower this risk level while retaining a great deal of freedom. The motor vehicle maintenance and repair industry in the UK is worth £27 billion [IBISWorld], so it’s easy to see why starting a car repair franchise is such a popular choice.
But it’s also easy to imagine the level of competition you’ll be up against. In this article, you’ll find out how to build a foolproof business plan that sets your automotive franchise apart from the rest.
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How to build a business plan for a car repair franchise
Creating a business plan is vital, but for first-time franchisees it can feel a bit intimidating. It’s simpler than you might think, though, and the tips you discover below will make things even easier for you. The key thing to understand is that this business plan should be something you can look back on at a later date, adjusting and changing it and measuring your progress towards goals set within it.
It might also be something you show to funding bodies to secure financial support, or to your franchisor to have clear communication, but its core purpose is to serve you. We’re about to explore some specific business plan tips for a car repair franchise, but before we do, here are the key elements that would be included in the plan regardless of your industry:
- The executive summary
- The business description
- The product/service descriptions
- The management summary
- The market analysis
- The operational details
- The business premises details
- The sales and marketing plans
- The financial projections and requirements
Now, let’s get a little more specific. There are plenty of advantages to running a car repair business, but there are also plenty of challenges. Mitigate these by making your business plan as good as it can be, using the following four tips...
1. Detail the structure of your team
Usually, if you’re running a car repair franchise, you’ll be working with at least a few employees. As such, you should make sure you take space in your business plan to detail your team and explain: Who is filling each key role? Why is each role key? What are the responsibilities and expectations of each role? Doing this ahead of launching your business will also put you in a prepared, organised position from day one. Examples of roles that you might fill and detail include:
- Mechanic supervisor
- Administrative assistant
- Sales and marketing manager
- Mobile auto mechanic
2. Spend time and effort on your market research
You’ve already discovered just how large and in-demand the car repair sub-sector of the automotive industry is in the UK, so it stands to reason that you should absolutely not rush this section of the business plan. In a less popular sector, it might warrant less time, but here, industry knowledge is essential.
Look into facts and figures. Look into the latest trends. If you’re going to be operating in a particular niche, dive into this area too and discover any distinct information that you can. The windscreen repair market in 2021 (entered by investing with a franchise like Screen Rescue), for instance, might be wildly different from the tyre replacement market in 2021 (entered by investing with a franchise like Hometyre).
3. Detail your intended marketing plans and strategies
If you run an auto repair or mechanic shop, you know you can’t just sit around and wait for customers to come in. You need to constantly be working to bring in new customers and invite existing customers to return. You need auto repair marketing strategies that consistently drive customers to your business.
Given the level of competition in the car repair industry, you’ll need to do your research and detail your marketing strategies ahead of time in your car repair franchise’s business plan, setting measurable goals that you can return to at a later date to determine the success of any given campaign or idea. Questions to consider as you plan out your marketing actions include:
- Does this speak to the needs of my target audience?
- Will this appeal to new and existing customers?
- How will this incentivise people to use my franchise’s services?
- Is this distinct from the marketing of my competitors?
- Does this reflect my franchisor’s tone of voice/branding/place in the market?
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4. Include comprehensive costings and projections (and make them as accurate as possible)
This is especially important if you are looking to receive financial support and backing, but even if you aren’t, accurate projections and estimations are crucial for a franchise that will require so much equipment. As you’re costing everything out, be sure to consider all of the following things:
- The costs associated with running and maintaining vehicles (if your franchise is a van based operation)
- The costs associated with running and maintaining a business premises (if your franchise is a premises based operation)
- The tools and equipment of the trade (dependent on the kinds of repairs you offer)
- Marketing and advertising costs
- Insurance costs
- Software costs (for things like payroll, invoicing, etc)
It probably doesn’t matter to Jack’s loyal customers that the car shop started up with a business plan that would fit on a repair order form. They only care that the shop’s reliable service keeps their vehicles in mint condition. But a potential lender may require more thorough paperwork to assess whether Jack’s business is a good investment.
- Sonya Stinson, National Funding
Building a business plan for your auto repair franchise won’t be easy, but it will 100% be worth the effort
If you’re more prepared than ever to launch your car repair franchise and reach profitability in record time, stay on Point Franchise to find that perfect investment opportunity. Check out the top six car repair franchises in the UK, or dive into exactly how to choose a car repair franchise that’s right for you.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©