If you love road trips, chances are you love cars. After all, you’re spending hours and hours in a vehicle every time you travel. You might also spend a lot of time preparing your vehicle or even modifying it for the journey. Perhaps you have a campervan or RV that you’ve fitted out yourself? Do others with a passion for travel ask your advice about cars? Perhaps now is the time to turn that knowledge and experience into a career. It might even help you cover the cost of your next adventure away!
Finding a premises
You might be happy to service your vehicle in your home garage or even on the driveway. But if you’re going to set up a formal business, you need a premises with the right permissions. Mechanics handle dangerous chemicals so you might need to check with your local authority that the property you want to rent or buy can be serviced for that kind of waste disposal.
Consider a place that is close enough to the highway to get passing traffic as well as embedded into your local community. Try not to pick something too big either. That just leaves you with bigger bills to manage rents, insurances, and security.
In some places, you need to have certain certificates to conduct business in this industry. In others, you simply need a licence that you can apply for as a business owner. Check your local requirements before you get started. Most of the qualifications required can be done remotely, but it might also be worth getting some more hands-on experience as part of your training.
You’re going to need supplies and stock to run a business. Take a look at websites like ctisupply.com to see what type of items you might need to run a garage. It might be worth choosing a supplier that can handle your tool requirements as well. Setting up is going to need some capital. See if your local authority can offer any grants to get you started. Your bank might be willing to offer you a loan too.
You need to clearly define the services you’re willing to offer as well as the terms under which you wish to work. Opening hours, fees, and your booking system are just some of the things you need to figure out. You might want to calculate your operating costs or overheads first, to make sure you can break even with just a small number of customers. Do you specialise in in-car child safety or fitting kitchenettes? Now you know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do and what you’ll charge, it’s time to start marketing.
Your first customers might be friends and family. If you have leaflets or postcards with promotions and information, they can spread the word for you. It’s also important to have a social media presence so that customers can check in for special offers and up-to-date information. Get your website running and try to post new articles on there every week. Don’t forget to post to traveller social media groups too! Keep up the momentum and love your new career.