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Getting Into the Auto Repair Business

So, you want to “wrench” in the Florida market…

Maybe you have been working as a mechanic in a commission based dealership and want to spread your wings. Perhaps you are ending a career and want to be a hands-on owner of your own business. Maybe your kid has moved back in after completing an expensive master’s degree and can’t find a job.

For whatever the reason, getting into the auto repair business in Florida can be fun and profitable.

Starting out on your own is daunting. There are tons of government (federal, state and local) rules, regulations, taxes, and requirements that all require various sums of your operations budget. Some equipment, depending on what facet of auto repair you embark in, needs to be updated constantly as cars and laws change.

An option is a national franchise. You still pay all the above, but with the leadership and experience of a large chain, you know going in what these fees will be. Established companies can guide you around the pitfalls that may sink you if you go it alone.

Of course, there is the franchise fee to contend with. Nothing is free. All the benefits such as training, marketing and brand recognition, all has a price.

Auto and light truck transmissions have gotten extremely complicated over the years. What once was a gear box with 3 forward speeds (first went backwards for reverse), a simple clutch plate assembly, and a throw out bearing, has morphed into a computer controlled often 6 speed monster that often runs at high temperatures and is extremely expensive to repair. Many shops will not even try. They sell you a remanufactured unit, send their supplier back your core, and charge you to remove and replace.

A nationally known franchise for such repair available in Miami-Dade is available.

It is established, with all the equipment on hand with employees in place.

There are financing options, including a 401K rollover for someone who has spent years working, and now wants a change or to make an investment.  Or you have a sharp kid at home that is under-employed with a large student loan to repay.

This company is ranked number 1 in entrepreneur magazine in the category of automotive repair.

They offer training, on-going technical and operational support, and both national and local advertising campaigns.

Buying a major national transmission shop in Miami could be very profitable. Florida is often a destination for older folks that can afford to pull up their roots and move to a sunny climate after years of bad winters. These customers are often in a better financial place than younger folks and can afford major automotive repair.

A reason to go with a nationally known franchise is that it makes it easier to do your due diligence.

As you evaluate such a business, actual cash flow is critical information. Operating a mechanical shop is very expensive in comparison to other businesses.

Evaluating a small family owned operation is difficult as often cash deals are segregated for check and credit card purchases to shield them from income and tax repercussions. Often, this is income directly to the owner.

National franchises are generally cleaner, profit and loss statement-wise. You know more clearly what you are considering getting into.

Florida Business Brokers can help you decide if buying an existing auto repair shop or a franchise is right for you. Don’t forget to get your accountant and attorney on board before you make a serious decision about buying any business.