Tips For Opening An Automotive Service Shop

Ryan went from Audi dealer tech to owning his own shop. He did what many mechanics dream of. He took his knowledge as a tech, and started his own shop!

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~Struggles as a dealer tech
~Opening the doors of your own shop
~The hardest parts of being a shop owner
~Is it really worth it?
~and more

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20 thoughts on “Tips For Opening An Automotive Service Shop

  1. VIP Shop Management

    For anyone, who wants to open an Auto Repair Shop. Check out Vip Shop Management @ It's rated the number 1 software for auto repair shops. It's $350, one time payment. Hopefully that will help new shop owners. We have videos on our channel of how to use it. Channel: Vip Auto Repair . Thanks

  2. Mike Miller

    Best thing to do is work full time as mechanic so u get health benefits and 401k etc. I work out of my garage on the side. I specialize in Luxury European and make a killing. I only work on cars 10 years or newer so there are very little problems what so ever. I have no overhead what so ever. Keep it legit and make sure my customers are happy. I give my customers the old parts or take pics for them. Honesty is the key. Screw opening up a shop and spend 50k just to get in the door. I have a friend who is selling his shop. He was a master tech for Nissan. He had it made but decided to open up a shop. The guy has to worry about lining up jobs and has to pay rent, utilities, alarm, you name it. Fuck that.

  3. Christhjian

    Awesome video, highly inspirational. Man I'd like to be same far at one point, even though I'd be more interested in restoration. Should finally finish the school in spring, then the jouney can really begin.

  4. 1970chevelle396

    It is a lot more hassle to work for yourself , But you make a lot more money.  I've been self employed for 8 and a half years now.  Even the first year I made a little more money than I did when I worked for someone else.

  5. Minnesnowtan

    If you can't do the accounting, don't do your own business. There is a different mentality between successful business owners and job people. Do you know how, where, and even IF to advertise? Can you afford a brick and mortar place? What do you do if your building lease changes and your rent goes up 20%? 30%? 50%? Moving costs money.

    Time is another factor. You can work on cars 8 hours per day if have to clientele. And clients don't come at your schedule, there are feast/famine periods, and it always happens.

    As a business owner, you will be targeted by the IRS. You are much more likely to be audited.

    Are you good at budgeting? You have to budget EVERY DOLLAR that comes in. Accounting is at least as important as wrenching, probably more so. Brick and mortar business expenses are incredibly high, especially insurance. Several types of insurance for yourself and employees (you may be forced to insure employees).

    It is better to own, but the responsibilities go up exponentially.

  6. Bill Hamilton

    Owning your own shop is awesome. I would recommend anyone thinking about it should do it ! There has never been a better time to be an independent. There are no limitations on the tooling and information available today. I feel more challenged and my skills have improved greatly since breaking away from the dealership. You need to stay current and challenge yourself daily.

  7. Brandon Haggard

    Hey Charles! I think this was a great video. I just started working at a Subaru specialist shop. we are cutting heads and doing all oem parts unless asked for NAPA parts per customer. we have maybe 1 come back in 3 month span. people love the shop and I also love my shop and working for us. it is only a 4 person shop with a alignment rack. thabks for this video- i hated the dealer life and really like the fact that people can see and talk to the person touching their vehicle.

  8. Birdup4life

    One of the most important thing I learned in Business is that you have to be at the shop to work. I know it's a no brainer, but a guy I know is an Awesome and smart Tech that owns his own two bay shop but is hardly there.
    He is always taking time off or is being with his girlfriend. When you work with the public, You better serve the public.

  9. Lud Pilo

    what college do you reccomend or know alot of good techs go to ? im planning in going to houston community college or lonestar college and get my AAS degree in automotive tech staying away from uti i keep hearing its a rip off . what do you think ? what are other good automotive colleges i can attend ? btw i would love to work in a japanese preferably thanks man

  10. PHXGlock

    This is by far my favorite Humble Mechanic Video
    I have worked with 15 techs in my 22 years as a tech who either
    owned a shop of currently own an Independent shop. This sounds
    about right based on the feedback I got from my friends who took the leap.

    It's the hard road. You are risking your own money and will work longer
    and harder for a long time before your business will be to a point where
    you can walk away and go to SEMA for a week.

    It's not for everybody,
    I"m a Nissan Master Tech who flags big hours, have a lot of 410k money socked away
    and have decided that is is not for me and have accepted being a small part of a big machine. Just because you are an awesome tech don't mean that starting a shop is the answer.

  11. Brian Hague

    Heh… I used to have my shop less than a block from Blair… they moved in about a month after I left 🙂

  12. burroaks7

    not to rag on dealer guys but independant shops are an entire different world, with a slightly different customer base and as for technicians at indy shops there are some of the most expierenced tecs in the business working on a multitude of brands ages and types of vehicles, problems and stuff that may rarely come into a dealership but not to say there arent some extremely hack lousy sloppy ripoff indy shops out there but that in it of itself is a different issue.

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