How to set up a workshop

04 Dec 2020

Starting any business is hard. If you are thinking of starting a mechanic workshop there a few things you need to do to trade.

Workshop Mate has the complete guide on how to start a mechanic workshop.

1. Business plan

The first step required for a successful workshop is having a strategic business plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The business plan is the foundation and reference guide for what you want your workshop to achieve.

Business plan outline:

Executive Summary: This is an outline of your motivation and vision for your dealership. Why are you setting off on this journey? What market are you are trying to capture? and Where do you want to be? This is used as the motivator for your day-to-day operations.

Opportunity: Describe what you aim to achieve such as automotive repairs or sales of parts. Detail what you will provide the customer and how to intend to do it.

Market Analysis Summary: This is incredibly important. This is a summary of your intended target market, what the most common cars needing repair and how you will go about getting them into your workshop. This section will need to be re-evaluated every half year and or any significant change in market conditions.

Execution: A statement of how you are going to get your customers, is this through advertising? What will you require to achieve your vision?

Company and management summary: An overview of your workshop. This should describe key members of your workshop and what you want them to achieve on a day-to-day basis.

Financial Plan: The financial plan is crucial for the success of your workshop. This section includes sales forecast, profit, loss, cash flow statement and balance sheets. This would also include a brief description on why you have made the financial goals you have.

2. ABN number

To trade legally in Australia, you are required to have an ABN (Australian Business Number). An ABN is a unique number that identifies your business. An ABN is required for both TAX and accounting activities. Without an ABN you will not be able to trade.

To apply for an ABN click here

3. Motor Vehicle Repair License

To commence works on automobiles you must have a valid motor vehicle repair license. Licenses range from 1, 3 or 5 years and will need to be renewed once expired. To gain a license you will need to complete eligibility tests and consent forms. Click here for more information.

Set up your Workshop Accounting

Xero and MYOB are two simple and easily accessible accounting packages that reduce hefty bookkeeper time and fees. Both Xero and MYOB can help your Workshop record expenses and income so you can track your workshop performance.

5. Premises

You will require a safe and suitable location to trade in. We strongly recommend getting an WHS inspector into your site prior to renting the space to see if it is safe to trade without being a cause of harm for your staff, the public or yourself.

6. Tools and Equipment

There are many tools and equipment you will need to perform repairs on motor vehicles. As noted by carparts.com common tools required for automotive Workshops include –

    • Pliers
    • Wrench set
    • Ratchet and Socket Set
    • Screwdrivers
    • Hammer
    • Car Jacks
    • Jack Stands
    • Ramps
    • Creeper
    • Air Compressor
    • Headlamp
    • Multimeter
    • Wrecking Bar
    • Pry Bar
    • Rolling Tool Chest
    • Jump Starter
    • Brake Cleaner Spray
    • Pressure Washer
    • Brake Bleeder
    • Battery Carrier

7. Get a Workshop Mate Mechanic software to streamline your day-to-day tasks

Your focus should be repairing cars. Workshop Mate is a complete Mechanic software catered to your workshop needs. Workshop Mate streamlines your Job, invoices, accounting, inventory, calendar, service history and so much more all in one central location.

Workshop Mate is web-based meaning you can be on top of your workshop anywhere and at any time.

Get your free trial of Workshop Mate here

8. Online Presence

Customers now research online for their local mechanic rather than driving around - proving that online presence is now more important than ever. Having a great online presence is key to having a competitive advantage over other workshops.

Must have online webpages

Facebook page: Facebook is the most popular platform in Australia with over 17 million users. Having a Facebook location where leads can search, enquire and book in for a service is essential for your workshop. Make your online presence felt by getting customers to review your workshop on Facebook, reviews today are the new word of mouth.

Google my business page: Google is the largest online search engine and advertising tool. Having a Google my business account will allow you to engage with the largest audience on earth meaning greater leads and potential customers.

Online reviews: Having online reviews for your workshop on google will inform potential leads about your workshop, what you have provided customers before and what your reputation is. Putting a vehicle into a mechanic is often a tough decision and having positive reviews can lead to customer trust.

A website: Your website should be the first destination for all your entire dealership in the digital age. Your customers Google, Facebook and online engagement should be directed to your website to either purchase or engage. This is a complete way to manage your brand and increase sales.

DISCLAIMER – The content within this blog does not constitute professional advice and is intended to be general in nature.