The UK automotive industry is a crucial part of our economy. It accounts for over £82 billion in turnover and £20.2 billion value added (SMMT). It employs 856,000 people across Britain, with 186,000 working directly in manufacturing. Automotive careers are varied and are constantly evolving thanks to the continual development of new technologies. Today, we explore the different types of careers you can have in the automotive industry, and how you can start your own business in the lucrative sector.
>> Read more: Automotive Franchises.
Careers in the automotive industry
There is a wide range of automotive careers available in the industry, catering to individuals’ specific skills and qualifications. They include everything from fixing engines and bodywork to selling cars in a showroom.
The automotive industry offers plenty of apprenticeships so you can learn new skills on the job. An apprenticeship offers a great alternative to university if you prefer a more practical approach to learning. You can concentrate on training for your chosen automotive career while gaining hands-on experience with the chance to apply your skills immediately.
However, if you can’t find an apprenticeship in your chosen field or want to take a more managerial role, franchising can offer an exciting alternative.
>> Read more about: Car Repair - Start with a Franchise
Why start an automotive franchise?
There are currently around 37.9 million vehicles on roads up and down the country, with 31.3 million of these being cars (RAC). This means that the demand for automotive services is higher than ever, and so it’s a great time to get into the industry.
The franchising route
But automotive careers aren’t limited to being an employee or starting your own business from scratch. There’s also another, less risky route to business ownership that allows you to enter this dynamic industry. With franchising, you get all the perks of being your own boss, whilst operating under an established brand and proven business model. You can also benefit from the advice and assistance from an experienced franchisor. They will have developed and improved their franchise system over time so that you can avoid many of the mistakes they may have made along the way.
No previous experience needed
Often, you don’t even need to have any previous experience of working with cars to start your own automotive franchise. This is because you’ll receive full training on how to run your chosen business once you’ve made your investment. Not only will you get taught the technical skills needed, but you’ll also learn how to operate and promote your new venture efficiently too.
But remember that your love of cars may not be enough to guarantee that you'll be a successful franchisee. It's vital that you do your due diligence before you invest in any franchise to make sure it's the right opportunity for you.
How to start an automotive business
- Consider what type of business you want to launch. This could be based on your previous experience, what you’re passionate about or which sector you think has the most potential. Your automotive business could offer car washing services, oil change services, repair services, rental services – the list goes on.
- Develop a business plan. Once you’re happy with the sector you will operate in, you need to create a detailed business plan. This is incredibly important in order to gain funding, and it’s also an invaluable document that you will need to refer to and update throughout your entrepreneurial journey. You’ll want to include an outline of your business idea, financial projections, how you will market your business etc.
- Find the perfect location. Where you set up shop has the power to dictate whether you make it or break it. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and not take the decision lightly. Choosing a location near to main roads and motorways is a good idea so customers from numerous areas can reach your business easily. Consider finding a location with good natural light. This way, your mechanics will be able to inspect cars easier and be less likely to make mistakes. Or, you might prefer to operate a van-based business and save some cash on set-up costs.
- Source the right equipment. One of the advantages of the franchising route is that the franchisor will help you purchase the right tools and give you bulk buying power and, therefore, competitive prices.
- Market your business. Make connections with car dealerships and try to form long-lasting relationships. Quite a lot of them don’t have their own repair shop and, therefore, refer their customers to local businesses. On top of this, creative a strong social media presence and an informative website.
Types of automotive careers
Here are some different franchises that you could consider investing in:
Hometyre is a mobile tyre service brand that continually strives to make innovative developments in the industry. Offering a convenient tyre replacement service, Hometyre attends callouts at its clients’ homes and places of work.
If you choose to become a Hometyre franchisee, you’ll attend a three-step training programme. The first week is focused on teaching you all about the technical aspects of the Hometyre franchise. The following week, you’ll get to put all of your learning into practice as you go on the road with an existing franchisee. The final week of training gives you the opportunity to ask any remaining questions or air any concerns that you may have.
Now that you know everything needed to operate your new franchise, you can concentrate on getting it off to the best possible start while Hometyre handles your sales enquiries and restocking. This allows you to be committed to providing exceptional customer service to your client base.
If you’re a people-person who can build a strong client base, and you’re willing to work incredibly hard, this could be the franchise for you. The cost of setting up your Hometyre franchise will be around £40,000, depending on the van you purchase.
>> Read more:
- Driving Your Franchise Forward With An eTyres Franchise
- How to Open a Tyre Shop Franchise
- Tyre Services Franchise Opportunities in the UK
- Create a Tyre Business with a Franchise
With over 50 years of experience, Autoglym is a reputable brand that started developing and distributing car cleaning products to professional valeters, garages and workshops in 1965. Following frequent requests from non-professionals for similar products, the range was increased in 1986 to cater to the domestic car cleaning market.
To become an Autoglym franchisee, you’ll need to be relatively knowledgeable about car parts and accessories so that you can provide a professional and expert service to your clients. From an investment perspective, you’ll need to be able to afford the £50,000 franchise fee to get your business up and running. Once accepted, you’ll be granted an exclusive territory with enough earning potential to ensure that the maximum possible income is achieved.
You’ll also be given training on all the main aspects of your business. The comprehensive training programme covers topics such as product information, sales, marketing, customer support and IT systems. If you require additional coaching or support once your business has started, the Autoglym team of professional coaches will be on hand to help.
ChipsAway offers a turn-key franchise opportunity that guarantees franchisees will get a minimum of £80,000 in customer enquiries in their first year. The innovative franchise is the originator of the SMART (small to medium area repair technology) repair process, which provides a quicker and more convenient service to customers.
It is dedicated to the success of every one of its franchisees. Therefore, it provides comprehensive initial training and a strong ongoing support network. For instance, franchisees can attend its annual conferences and regional meetings, as well as speak to fellow franchisees and receive technical advice.
To get involved with ChipsAway, you will need a total of £29,995+VAT, but you will only need £15,000+VAT to get started.
Dent Wizard is the largest dent remover and wheel repairer in the world, with more than 30 franchises and over 2,000 technicians located throughout the UK, Europe and North America. As innovators in the business of dent removal, Dent Wizard is continually investing in the very latest technology, equipment and training so that franchisees can continue to offer the best service possible.
As a Dent Wizard franchisee, you’re able to provide your customers with ease and convenience, as you’ll visit their home or business premises to repair their vehicle. This also gives you complete control of your work schedule, meaning that you get to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that this van-based franchise offers.
This is also a relatively low-cost franchise investment with the total costs amounting to around £25,000. In return, you’ll receive the franchise package, which consists of an eight-week training programme, all the tools, stock and equipment you need, along with the marketing materials required to get your business off the ground.
Unfortunately, Dent Wizard is no longer looking to expand its UK franchise network with us, but make sure to keep checking our site for updates.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©