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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few questions for all of you guys?? I am considering opening up a shop that basically just installs aftermarket parts for customers who bring the parts to me. We would sell parts and accessories through a partnership with a leading aftermarket company where we order the parts and they handle the rest. Basically, store would be equipped with a kiosk, with a computer linked to a web page to purchase the products. However, there would be no products on display to inspect, just pictures and descriptions of vehicles we have worked on. All the shop would do is labor. Also, shop would do tinting, detailing, graphics, and other installations for shops that don't offer the service. This shop would also be able to have parts painted and also do spray-ons bedliners and such. All the installers would be MECP, SEMA and ASE certified. Would you guys use a service like this? This way you could go online and find the best price and still have totally qualified individual to install the parts. Just looking to get some feedback as to if this is a good idea or not. Let me know your thoughts??

Questions

1. Where are you located?

2. Do you do most of your shopping for Focus specific accessories mainly online?

3. If so, if you do not install it, who does the installation?

4. Would you be willing to pay to have a qualified professional perform the installation instead of unqualified friends?

5. Would you use a service like this where the shop provides quality service at a fair price with timely turnaround?

6. Please post any comments on this.

Thanks,
Jason
 

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Running your own business is a pain in the butt and you will NEVER get rich. Having said that, I own my own business ( a small 5 employee motorcycle shop), and I am not rich.
Just a few random blatherings. Finding good help is hard, I have two really good full time guys , and one good mechanic ( besides myself), I am lucky in this. Also, this is the big one. We ONLY install parts we have sold. You WILL get really sick of installing other peoples problems and half installed messes.
Also, you CANNOT make a living on labor alone. TRUST ME. We install what we sell, that way we get to make a little money on both ends. Also, competition with internet stores is very tough, someone working with little or no overhead is hard to compete against. Especially when you have employees and insurance and building rent and building insurance and workmans comp and FICA and state tax and fed tax and accountant fees and......you get the idea. Everyyear a guy will pop up down the street selling at 10% over cost, he will last about 1 year maybe 2 and be gone, but someone else will always replace him.
Having said all this, I LOVE owning my own business and being my own boss, sometimes money is VERY tight and sometimes times are good.
Good luck, think it through first. Hope this all helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Would not paint in the traditional sense. Would just offer for paintable parts to be painted, not directly by us but outsourced. Thanks for all input,
Jason
 

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you would have to have one crazy contract and even crazier insurane to just install everyone elses products. I could see using your service, only if I was right there. I have experience with just about any aftermarket product, and most of them I would have rather given the labor charge to someone else, you might do okay. Just make sure you don't leave it open to be responsible for anything (just like a standard auto reapir shop)
 

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I think it's a pretty good idea, much props and good luck. I get my stuff off the net, mainly form Steeda and Matrix Racing. My husband and I do the installation. I can't trust anyone around here with my baby. If we do need help we will look for someone, but we are here in Chi-Town area. Where is this shop going?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Would be in Ohio. Not sure of exact location yet. Thanks for all the responses guys, it has helped me develop this idea. I would appreciate any other thoughts on this. Thanks again,
Jason
 

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1. im in va.

2. i do all of my shopping for my car online.

3. i try to do the install myself but if its too big of a job, ill try and get someone else who is an expert to do it, like my exhaust. i thought i would be able to do it myself but it was a pain in the ass for me so i took it to a place that specializes in that.

4. id be willing to pay someone to do an install on my car as long as i knew he would be doin a good job.

5. as in my last sentence, i would go and have someone else do it for me.

6. if u open up a shop man, good luck with everything. hopefully ull get some business and become rich. haha.
 

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Opening a Business

Some advice. I am a small business owner and have done some consulting and advising on the planning and financing of many projects.

First step, read and research. There are a number of good books on this. One good one is small business for dummys. It is simple and even helps you decide if a small busines is right for you.

Next, sit down and put your ideas on paper. Not many people do this, but you need to. Write a business plan. You need to realize the costs and have reasonable expectations for the business. That is why the 10% over cost shops do not last. Many of the topics those here have mentioned and many more will be covered.

There are sample business plans and templates online. They will cover goal setting, marketing, financing and other issues you need to look at. Putting your ideas into a plan may not be what your looking foward to, but it will help you. You may not get rich, but it may stop you from going broke!

Another resource is your better business bureau or other nonprofit, local, state and federla agencies and organizations. Colelges and Universities will also often help. Look around. There may be grant money and great loan programs available. There are also mentor programs and many more valuable assets around for you to tap into.

I know these are not actually answers to your questiosn, but I really think they will be valuable to you whether or not you decide to pursue this.

If you do, good luck. While in the Army, we had large work areas. We could rent bay time and even borrow tools. It was great. I miss it so much. Would be nice to have a similar service but with a trained professional there. Hope I helped.
 
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