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Auto Repair Shop Business Plan

Start your own auto repair shop business plan

F and R Auto Repair

Executive summary executive summary is a brief introduction to your business plan. it describes your business, the problem that it solves, your target market, and financial highlights.">.

F & R Auto (F & R) is the desire of John Ford and Michael Ronald who together have 30 years experience as auto mechanics. Both have a dream of starting up their own company and offering better service to their clients than competitors.

1.1 Objectives

The objectives over the next three years for F & R Auto Repair are the following:

Auto repair shop business plan, executive summary chart image

1.2 Keys to Success

In the auto repair industry  a company builds its client base one customer at a time and mostly through word of mouth marketing. With this in mind, the keys to success for F & R Auto Repair are:

1.3 Mission

The mission of F & R Auto Repair is to provide high quality, convenient and comprehensive auto repair at low cost. The most important aspect of our business is trust. It is the goal of our firm to have 100% customer satisfaction in regards to quality, friendliness, time to completion and to discover new ways to exceed the expectations of our clients.

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How to write a stellar business plan for an auto repair shop

auto repair shop business plan

Are you passionate about fixing cars and restoring them to their former glory? If so, you may have been dreaming about setting up your very own car garage for some time. Before fully taking the plunge, however, you'll need a tailor-made business plan.

To guide you through this process, we've written the guide below to offer our top tips for making your auto repair shop business plan a reality.

On the menu:

1. Why do you need an auto repair shop business plan?

Did you know that 60% of all new businesses in the UK are likely to cease trading within their first three years? Durham City Incubator believes that a "lack of business planning" is the number one reason for the failure rate being so high.

Writing out an auto repair shop business plan is, therefore, essential for your new business.

An auto repair shop business plan allows you to identify the level of initial financing that is required. It also helps you:

2. What type of auto repair shop should I open?

According to A Plus Auto Glass, there are multiple types of auto repair shops that you could open:

Auto repair service technicians

This is perhaps the most standardized service from the lot. It entails basic checks such as oil fluid levels and electricals.

You'll likely receive several repeat customers if you choose this model (especially those who drive a considerable amount) because servicing a car is recommended every 12 months or 10,000-12,000 miles (whichever comes first)!

Diagnostic technicians

This model is slightly more specialized. Such technicians carry out skilled checks that underline any issues vehicles might have.

It requires a higher level of skill because these issues cannot be seen on the vehicle's surface.

Auto system expert

If you choose to offer this model, you will specialize in surveying key systems that the vehicle has.

Engines, brakes and gear sets are all critical systems in most vehicles.

This business model has the potential to earn you high revenue.

Auto body repair clinic

This clinic or repair centre deals with vehicles that have been involved in accidents or roadside crashes.

If you choose this model, you may not have the volume of customers that the previous models may have but the revenue per sale is likely to be much higher.

You'll repair and retouch cars to ensure that they look as good as new and that any scratches or broken parts are fixed.

auto repair shop business plan car mechanic

Auto repair painters

If you choose this model, you will repaint vehicles or add touches to them.

Vehicles often need a fresh layer of paint, especially if they are being driven in areas where there is a lot of environmental pollution.

Expert auto glass repair

This model offers customers the chance to repair their windshield, windows or any other glass-related parts from their vehicle.

You'll likely require a high level of skill to do so but the rewards can be exponential, earnings wise.

You might also receive several clients who just want to repair small cracks in their vehicles.

3. What do you need to create your auto repair shop business plan?

Before writing your auto repair shop business plan and creating the financial forecast for your auto repair shop, you must first gather the data needed to create a comprehensive business plan.

You'll achieve this by...

Conducting market research for an auto repair shop

This is the longest and, admittedly, most tedious step in creating an auto repair shop business plan, but once you've got the right method - there's no excuse for mistakes.

As you move through the market research, you'll develop an understanding of the needs of your target market, as well as the current state of the industry. 

This enables you to then determine hot industry trends and identify where you should position yourself within the market to make your auto repair shop a success. 

Should your auto repair shop provide in-depth expertise on electronics, for example, or should it focus instead on motorcycle repairs or the sale of spare parts?

You must also assess the area in which you want to place your auto repair shop. This will give you a better idea of the local market, including the needs of residents and what services competitors are already offering. 

Developing the marketing plan for your auto repair shop

Once the market research is completed, the next step is setting out the marketing strategy for your auto repair shop's business plan. 

This is an opportunity to identify how you'll get your name out on the market and stand out from your competitors.

There are many ways of promoting an auto repair shop, from setting up a website and social media network to paid newspaper advertising and handing out street flyers. 

Taking the time to decide which marketing actions you want to go for will help you determine how much money you need to set aside for each one and how many customers you can expect, which you can then factor into your financial forecast later on.

auto repair shop business plan setting up a website

Evaluating operational costs and investments

To keep an auto repair shop running smoothly, you need a team you can count on. Typically, the size of a small car garage team is around 3 to 4 employees. You'll need a receptionist to welcome customers and at least two employees with experience in car mechanics - with the salary of each staff member being allocated according to their qualifications.

Additionally, you'll need a lot of technical equipment to get an auto repair shop up and running. Repairing vehicles requires having the right tools, as well as a full stock of car parts to help you meet the diverse demands of each car owner. 

To get an exact figure for the price of each item, you'll need to contact suppliers and ask them for quotes to integrate in your business plan for an auto repair shop. These quotes will then be integrated into the financial forecast.

4. What is the financial forecast for an auto repair shop?

Establishing the financial forecast is an integral step in the development of your auto repair shop's business plan. 

It is composed of 4 main tables, highlighting different financial aspects of the company:

The projected P&L of your auto repair shop

This table, which starts with the turnover, allows you to evaluate the growth, evolution of the cost structure of your auto repair shop, and its expected profitability over the coming years.

auto repair shop business plan P&L

The projected balance sheet of your auto repair shop

This table shows the value of the company's assets at a given time, and, in particular, the value of the assets (what the company owns) and liabilities (what the company owes to suppliers, lenders, etc.).

auto repair shop business plan balance sheet

The projected cash flow statement

This table is essential in helping you keep an eye on the company's cash flow, particularly to ensure that the company generates enough cash to be able to repay its loans and regularly renew equipment.

auto repair shop business plan cash flow statement

The initial financing plan

This table gives your bank or potential investor a quick overview of the resources needed to launch your auto repair shop and their costs - as well as the personal contribution you plan to make.

auto repair shop business plan funding plan

5. What does the written part of an auto repair shop business plan look like?

This part cannot be neglected. To be able to interpret your figures and judge the relevance of the assumptions used to build your forecast, it's necessary to have sufficient details about the project.

The editorial part of your business plan is made up of the following sections:

The executive summary 

The executive summary for your auto repair shop's business plan is the equivalent of a cover letter for your auto repair shop business plan.

The aim here is to introduce your business project to investors in as engaging and concise a way as possible, encouraging them to read on and learn more about your exciting venture.

In this part, you place a spotlight on the business's partners and their roles, as well as the distribution of the company's capital and the location of the auto repair shop. 

Be sure to mention who the business is managed by and the percentage of ownership that each partner possesses.

In terms of the management team, you should list any relevant experience that staff or managers hold, along with any qualifications achieved.

Products and services

This section explains the products and services offered by your auto repair shop. 

For example, if you choose a traditional auto repair shop model, this section could look something like this:

Change of oil

As part of our routine maintenance, we recommend that you carry out this service each time you visit our garage (provided it's within a reasonable time frame).

Brake repairs

This includes inspecting the brake pads or checking how smooth the brakes are on your vehicle. Again, this is part of our routine maintenance.

Full diagnosis 

This service includes both of the above and as well as other aspects such as headlights and coolant/fluid levels.

Market research

It's within this section that you'll present the results of the market research we mentioned at the beginning of this article.

The objective here is to demonstrate that there is indeed a viable business opportunity for a new garage in the area you've chosen.

Mention why you have a unique selling point over other auto repair shops and how your skill set helps you in this regard.

In this part, you'll reveal three key plans for your auto repair shop business plan:

The operational part

From your employees to your relationship with suppliers, you'll detail the operational organisation of your business within your auto repair shop business plan. 

It's important to mention what suppliers you'll be using to source your spare parts and equipment from. You might have few or many suppliers, depending on your concept.

Also, think about the payment terms that you might obtain with them. Are you a new business? If so, you may need to pay upfront.

The financial plan 

The financial plan puts your numbers into tables that you'll be able to present to potential investors so they get a better idea as to your expected profitability and how much funding you need.

6. What tool should I use to write my business plan?

We've established that to set up your auto repair shop, you need a business plan. What you may not know yet, however, is how you'd like to write it. There are three options available to you:

Write your business plan using Word or Excel

This solution has one major advantage: it's cheap.

Be wary, however, that you'll need to have an accounting background (or at least be very good with numbers) to write your plan in this way without making mistakes in the calculations.

Hiring a consultant to write your financial forecast

Hiring a chartered accountant or consultant to take care of the financial part of your business is a good way to avoid errors. 

However, the fees are generally quite expensive: budget around £1.5k ($2.0k) for a complete business plan, more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders).

Using online business plan software for your auto repair shop's business plan

If you're not used to writing business plans, another good solution would be to use our online business plan software .

auto repair shop business plan table of contents

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

If you are interested in this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up to The Business Plan Shop today .

7. Business plan template of an auto repair shop.

A business plan template will give you a better understanding of how to frame your own business plan, as well as what investors are looking for.

Our  auto repair shop business plan template will be off great help to you!

8. Three things you should know before writing an auto repair shop business plan

Firstly, make a list of the potential risks that your auto repair shop could face. This could include both external and internal factors. Think about how you might deal with them efficiently.

Secondly, consider trends that are currently high-flying in the auto repair industry. For example, auto parts are being replaced much less frequently  thanks to advanced technology resulting in greater durability.

Thirdly, the same study also believes that there is a shortage in the number of skilled automobile technicians. This is because several experienced workers have now retired or moved on from the industry.

That's it for now, we hope this article has helped you better understand how to write an auto repair shop plan. If you have any questions related to setting up your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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How to write an effective auto repair shop business plan

How to write an effective auto repair shop business plan

Key takeaways

Want to start your own auto repair shop but don’t know where to start? Before jumping ahead and launching your new business on a whim, consider investing the extra time and effort in writing an auto repair shop business plan .

A business plan not only provides a roadmap to grow your business , but it actually increases the chances that your endeavor will succeed. Business owners who write a business plan generally grow 30% faster than businesses that don’t.

Roll up your sleeves and use this guide as your very own auto repair shop business plan template .

7 core sections of an auto repair shop business plan

Auto repair shop mechanic working underneath suspended vehicle

One of the main reasons for coming up with a business plan is to show readers—especially lenders and investors—that your business model is financially sound and can be profitable. It’s also a guide that helps you organize your thoughts, set goals, and clarify your vision. Essentially, it’s your business blueprint.

Beyond that, you can use a business plan to get feedback on your idea and determine whether it’s worth pursuing. Third parties, like other auto shop owners or financial advisors, can also read through your business plan and give you any suggestions or advice.

An auto repair shop business plan should include the following sections:

Each section serves a specific purpose and will help you plan your car repair business from every angle.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary kicks off your auto repair shop business plan and provides an overview of what’s to come. It should be clear, concise, and engaging enough to encourage people to read the rest of your business plan .

While this section is a culmination of all your research, keep it brief and to the point. Your executive summary should include the following:

Even though the executive summary is the first section of your business plan , it’s best to write it after you’ve completed all the other sections. This way, you have a thorough understanding of all aspects of your plan before you summarize it.

2. Business description

The business description is an overview of what your business actually does. It should cover:

Describe the strengths of your business model and any competitive advantages your auto shop has. Do your mechanics have many years of experience and training that other local shops may not have? Were you able to secure prime real estate in a high-traffic area that can bring in more business?

You should also explain your target market and which customers will find value in your automotive services . For example, some auto shops may focus solely on everyday customers who want to service their personal vehicles. Other auto shops may aim to service commercial fleet vehicles for other businesses like electricians or landscaping companies.

3. Market analysis

It’s imperative to understand the state of the auto repair industry before you decide to launch your own small business . This section of the business plan provides proof to readers that there’s a healthy demand for your business to be successful.

First, determine if such a demand exists for a new automotive repair business in your area. You can come up with a general market analysis by tracking how many auto businesses are operating in your region and if they have an influx of customers.

The market analysis section should also include a competitive analysis. Find out what your competitors are doing right and opportunities for improvement. Scanning through Yelp reviews is an easy way to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of other car repair shops in your area. You can mimic tactics that are successful and capitalize on their areas of weakness.

Browse through our guide on how to do market research for helpful ideas on conducting market research for your business plan without having to spend a fortune.

4. Services or product line

Readers need to know how your business will make money. This section of your business plan is where you highlight the specific services and products that will help you reach profitability.

For example, maybe you want to offer general auto services, or perhaps you decide to specialize in certain areas—like transmission or engine repair , oil changes , or auto body repair. Be specific if you plan on serving a niche that sets you apart from competitors.

You can also include a list of different auto parts or products that you expect will generate revenue. For example, you can include price estimates of specific products, such as vehicle headlights, engine oil, or oil filters.

5. Operations and management

The operations and management section discusses what type of business structure you will form and who will be running your company.

Start by explaining the legal business entity you will be creating. You’ll have the option of forming a sole proprietorship , partnership, limited liability company (LLC) , or corporation. You can find more details in our guide to registering your business .

You can then lay out an organizational chart or company summary that shows the hierarchy of leadership in your car repair business. You’ll also want to highlight the years of experience each employee has and what specialties they bring to provide high-quality work and help your company succeed. If you’re the only employee, provide a professional overview of yourself and why you’re qualified to make your auto shop a success.

6. Marketing and sales

Readers will be interested in your auto repair marketing plan and how you expect to find new customers—specifically, which traditional and digital marketing channels you’ll use to draw up business.

When you start an auto mechanic shop, you need to advertise your business to not only attract new customers , but to also retain them and turn them into repeat buyers.

A professional-looking website will be a main area of focus. It will serve as the online face of your company and hub for incoming traffic from other digital marketing efforts, such as:

You can also use more traditional marketing ideas to advertise and grow your auto shop like business cards, referral incentives, or loyalty programs. In this part of your business plan , explain how you will use each of these different marketing channels to earn your first customers and get your business off the ground. For more ideas, see our guide on affordable auto repair marketing ideas .

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7. Financial factors

Those reading your auto repair shop business plan —especially lenders and investors—will need to know if your new business is financially viable. This section will include a financial plan and tangible evidence that your business is capable of succeeding.

Businesses that are already up and running can provide income statements, balance sheets , or cash flow statements. For those that haven’t launched yet, you can produce financial projections based on your startup costs and pricing —including equipment, tools, property rental, and monthly utilities. Once you have a detailed overview of your startup costs , you can set the pricing for your small business services .

This is also where you would include a funding request if you need one from an investor or lender. Explain the amount of funds you’re seeking and how you’ll allocate any investment dollars. On top of that, give an estimate of when you will reach profitability based on your financial projections.

Drive your auto repair business to success

You should aim to be as thorough as possible when writing your own business plan . If you put in the hard work upfront, your business will be better off in the long run.

Start going through each section of your plan and provide as much research and data to support your findings. Also, remember that it makes more sense to write your executive summary after completing all other sections.

Lastly, put yourself in an investor or lender’s shoes. What would you be looking for if you were thinking about investing in a small auto repair business? Make sure you can answer these six questions when starting your own business and you’ll be off to a great start.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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The 7-Step Business Plan to Grow Your Auto Repair Shop

how to make a business plan for a auto repair shop

Does your auto repair shop’s growth rely merely on hope, or do you strategize how to drive your business forward?

While many auto repair shops and most businesses operate on hope—whether it’s hoping new target customers and repeat customers show up to spend a lot of money—it’s not an effective plan, says Al Wheeler, Chief Executive Officer of ShopPros , a management and training company that offers a complete business system for independent auto repair shops.

Wheeler, who has 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, understands the challenges that every auto repair shop owner faces. In a recent webinar , Wheeler shared why shops should consider creating a detailed financial plan for growing and sustaining their auto repair business.

“As business owners, we typically spend the majority of our time working in the business and not on the business,” Wheeler says. “I think it’s especially prevalent in our industry because you’re wearing so many hats throughout the day, and our days seem to be consumed by firefighting much of the time. As a result, the business trends really tend to drive us, rather than us driving business.”

The sample auto repair shop business plan discussed in this article outlines a strategy for:

Why do you need a business plan for your auto repair shop?

Think of a business plan as a GPS for your auto repair shop. Not only will a business model provide details and direct you from point A to point B, but it also optimizes your route and helps you avoid potential pitfalls along the way.

According to research by Entrepreneurial Dynamics , using business plans helps you become:

While goal setting remains an important aspect of this equation, it’s not the same as business plans, which analyze current performance and define specific actions to reach purposeful results. “Keep in mind that setting goals, while important in business, does not constitute a business plan,” Wheeler says.

how to make a business plan for a auto repair shop

“Business planning really lays the foundation for continuous improvement,” Wheeler says. “I like to call it a success cycle for your business. What fundamental steps do you need to take to create an environment of continuous improvement within the business?”

Creating a cycle of success is essential for your auto repair shop, and where a clearly defined business plan will play a big role.

“It’s about establishing (this) success cycle for your business. It builds on belief, establishes potential, and leverages the specific actions you choose to deliver those purposeful results,” Wheeler says.

Can your shop survive without a plan?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) , approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of starting operations, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first ten years. Only 25% of businesses make it to 15 years or more. Why’s that?

From this industry overview, it’s clear a major reason for failure is their lack of a business plan.  This is where an auto repair business plan will help. With the right high-level overview and strategy, determination of how much funding you need, and enough flexibility, your auto repair shop will have a better chance of success. The future becomes much clearer once a business plan is in place to get the ball rolling.

Creating an auto repair business plan

Now that you know why this type of plan is important, it’s time to put pen to paper. Here are some pointers to help your auto repair shop get started:

Step 1: Discover potential at your auto shop

To discover your auto repair shop’s potential, it’s key to establish a ceiling and baseline so you can measure performance.

In the industry, an auto repair shop’s primary revenue producer is billed hours. It’s critical to determine your production capacity because that helps determine the ceiling of your financial plan, Wheeler says. Production hours will drive business potential in terms of revenue and gross projected profit, which ultimately your employees generate. Incorporate this business idea into your auto repair shop’s own business plan and create a more efficient system to generate money.

One of the common elements includes examining relevant benchmarks of other shops of a similar type and size, and their quality work performance.

Step 2: Analyze your auto shop’s current status

Determining the current status of your auto repair shop helps you understand how your shop compares to its potential. This includes analyzing store averages in daily, weekly, and monthly production, revenue, and gross projected profit.

Not only do you want to scrutinize business performance, but also individual performance. This executive summary includes auto mechanics’ average production, service advisor average gross profit, and service advisor billable hours and revenue. Keep these factors in mind when forming the business plan for your auto repair shop.

“This is a good way to effectively establish the baseline in which we’re going to judge performance improvement in those key areas and within our key employees,” Wheeler says.

Step 3: Set goals for your auto shop team

Team involvement remains necessary to achieve individual and store-level goals. “This is where it’s critical to have team involvement and remember the SMART acronym—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timestamp goals,” Wheeler says.

To remain on track with your automotive repair shop business plan, set specific monthly, weekly, and daily goals, both at individual and store levels. It’s important to involve your team in establishing these repair services goals and possess effective ways to measure them.

Step 4: Train and plan for auto shop growth

Training and business planning become critical components of facilitating change. Investing in your team as part of your own plan not only shows you care but allows them to grow in knowledge and skill.

Planning becomes part of the long-term business strategy. While many shops set business plans and goals around needing more car repair services completed, which drives sales, shops should first build the underlying fundamentals for a great customer experience

“We don’t need more cars for the sake of cars,” Wheeler says. “We need more cars to develop long-term loyal customers, and if we don’t have a conversion strategy for those guests, more cars are not going to sustain our growth.”

Step 5: Implement change to grow your auto repair business

A business plan won’t become effective unless it’s put into practice. To do this, good communication and accountability remain key.

“I’ve seen companies develop these great missions and vision statements, only for them to become artwork on the wall,” Wheeler says. “They really don’t have any substance behind them, and they aren’t lived out each day.”

Step 6: Monitor and measure your auto shop’s performance

To measure success, your auto repair shop needs to set relative benchmarks so they can obtain broader insights into the business and performance. This information will help you determine next steps on how to attract customers and generate new business. An excellent way to do this within your automotive repair shop business plan is by investing in auto repair shop software .

While it’s important to monitor and measure repair services goals in your new plan, it’s also important to communicate with your team in daily or weekly meetings.

“What we’re doing in this business plan is essentially establishing the playbook in which you’re going to operate your auto repair business,” Wheeler says. “It’s going to drive the customer engagement system within your shop, so your business plan really should strive to eliminate randomness in your auto repair business. Nothing should happen by accident, everything should be intentional around achieving your objectives.”

Step 7: Adapting to the changing auto repair industry

Your auto repair shop must keep up with the changing dynamics of the automotive repair industry, technology, and customers’ behavior. Within the plan you put together, your auto repair shop  must prepare for the electrification of vehicles and equip itself to deal with the latest technology, such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) . How will your business plan account for these emerging vehicle technologies and the potential customers they draw?

“I understand changing an operating system is painful, but in many cases, it’s going to be necessary,” Wheeler says.

An auto repair shop should consider:

Your auto repair shop business plan, much like other goals, is only effective and only as good as it’s acted upon, Wheeler points out.

“It’s kind of like Newton’s first law that we all learned in school—objects in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an external force,” Wheeler says. “In other words, your business will continue on the path that it’s on unless you engage the energy necessary to change that trajectory…If you think you can do better, then I think one of the energy components that you can use, or should consider, is a comprehensive business plan.”

Now that you’ve learned the steps to prepare an auto repair shop business plan and explored several benefits, it’s time to execute on this clear vision and  grow your business .

Customers with older vehicles are more likely to need auto repair services. Why is this? For one, older vehicles tend to break down more. Warning signs like check engine lights will appear more frequently, requiring a visit to your shop.

To write a business plan for your auto shop, you will need to: 

Auto repair shops’ profitability depends on many factors. But the revenue potential is significant. Nearly one third of surveyed shops in AutoLeap’s 2022 State of the Auto Repair Industry Report generated $1 million or more in 2021 revenue. 

Successful promotion helps maintenance shops earn new business. Targeted email marketing and aggressive word-of-mouth outreach are two widely used strategies. Referral programs, organic SEO and active social media presences also help attract new customers. 

You can promote your car repair business by: 


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What’s Your Path? Designing an Auto Repair Shop Business Plan That Clarifies Your Vision

Mapping out a business plan and investing in a shop management system like Tekmetric will help you help more people in the long run. Find out how in our step-by-step guide.

cars on lifts

Mapping out a business plan and investing in a shop management system like Tekmetric will help you help more people in the long run.

Starting a business can be a big risk. But if you map out a plan and execute it right, the outcome is well worth it. Having a solid automotive repair shop business plan in place is especially important if you ever plan on owning multiple shops. 

When you realized that you wanted to be a shop owner, it’s likely you considered the good you can do for both yourself and other people. Helping customers get their vehicles back on the road, and helping service advisors and technicians grow in their careers is an exceptionally rewarding aspect of owning and operating a repair shop. 

But in order to provide excellent service and help as many people as possible, you'll have to get your plan in place.

In order to make the ride to becoming a successful shop owner a smooth one, your present self will need to have your future self’s back. You’ll need to ensure all of your ducks are in a row. And by ducks, we mean your people, processes, and systems. And most importantly, you’ll need to make sure that you are ready to take on this venture. 

You may even get excited thinking about the far future of your business—when it’s feasible to expand your business to include multiple shops. It’s good to dream big, and especially in auto repair, more shops means that you can help more people. But it’s important to understand how you’re going to get there, and what pitfalls to avoid. 

Before we jump into how your business can expand, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why new business ventures don’t make it . Don’t let this waiver your goals as a shop owner though. In fact, we’re writing these out so you can beat the odds.

Six Common Reasons Why New Businesses Fail 

When you’re opening up a new business, it’s crucial to consider the demand for auto repair and the unmet auto repair needs within the area you plan on opening shop. It’s easier to satisfy a known need rather than creating a need and having to convince your customers. 

Your business plan is like your company’s Bible. You’ll spend months, or even years, making sure it is the perfect guidebook for your shop. Once your business plan is created, it’s important to follow it. Taking chances that aren’t outlined in your plan could lead to further setbacks. Although setbacks are less common if you’ve carefully and diligently mapped out your plan, there’s always the possibility that your plan isn’t 100% sound. If that’s the case, determine the issue, find a solution, and adjust your plan accordingly. 

Financial planning is crucial for any new business venture. If you don’t start off with enough money and end up having to stretch the financial line too thin, it’s possible your business may never get off the ground. 

The location of your business, the online presence of your business, and the marketing efforts conducted throughout your business’ lifecycle are pivotal to your shop’s success. If you start an auto repair shop that focuses on truck repairs in the middle of a city where there aren’t a lot of truck drivers, it’s likely your shop won’t succeed. The same goes for online presence and marketing efforts. You need to reach the people who may not regularly drive by your shop by considering where they spend their time online. What social media channels are they on? How do they use search engines to find local businesses? Tailored advertising efforts and five-star raving reviews will help bring more business to your shop. Without the best location, an established online presence, and the right marketing strategies , your business has less potential to last. 

Just because you’ve finished up your business plan and started your business doesn’t mean the research should stop there. It’s always important to remain in-the-know on key market trends. By keeping an eye on the auto repair market, you’ll know exactly when and how you need to make adjustments to your business in order to keep growing. 

Sometimes a business owner that is experiencing newfound success may keep reaching and reaching, and reaching, until their finances are drained. While it’s important to have an entrepreneurial spirit, it’s just as important to make smart investments. If you want to open up more shops in the future, it’s important to give your new shop just as much tender love and care as you gave your first location. Make sure you have a solid understanding of where you want your next location to be, who your intended customers are, whether you want to try selling new products or services, and how exactly you plan on testing the success of any new ideas.

According to , the bottom line is this: “Though the rate of business failure in the first two years is around 20%, it doesn't mean that you have to fail. Through research, planning, and flexibility, you can avoid many of the pitfalls of a new business and be a part of the 25% that make it to 15 years and beyond.”

What Is An Auto Repair Shop Business Plan? 

The best way to execute your business is with a plan. An automotive repair shop business plan will outline your auto repair shop business so that you can present it to investors or any other stakeholders that you want to bring along on your business venture. A business plan is the overall vision of your business, the goals you want to achieve, and the roadmap that will keep your company afloat. 

Your Auto Repair Shop Business Plan Serves as a Roadmap For Taking Your Business Off The Ground 

A clear auto repair shop business plan will provide you with:

Clarity On What Needs To Be Done

An auto repair shop business plan will make it easy for you to explain your business model and where your shop is headed. You’re going to encounter obstacles, and in order to tackle them head on, you need to stick to your strategic plan and adjust accordingly. 

Your automotive repair shop business plan will provide you with clarity on: 

The Ability To Spot Issues Early While Making Good Investments

To prevent setbacks, you need to invest in the right things. The way you invest prior to opening up your shop, during your business’ lifecycle, and once expansion is on the horizon, will make or break your business.

Your auto repair shop business plan will help you determine the right routes to take when it comes to investing in: 

A Sustainable and Viable Business Model

By carefully mapping out your business’ roadmap, you’ll have the ability to achieve a sustainable and viable business model. 

Your auto repair shop business plan will help you: 

Each three of these categories can be more attainable with a clear mind. According to Walter Isaacson’s The Book of Jobs , Steve Jobs would often stress that the driving factor behind his creative inspiration was a clear mind through meditation. So, before you get started crafting your quintessential automotive repair shop business plan, try to gift yourself the ability to tune out the noise during important decision-making matters. Here are three ways you can go into your business ownership journey with a clear state of mind: 

These are just three tips. What works for one person may not work for you. Our primary recommendation for new business owners is to commit to not only working on your auto repair shop business plan but also commit to working on yourself so that when you hit the road, you’re able to face any and all obstacles with a clear, open mind. 

“If you want to be a better leader, you have to become a better learner.”  - Judi Haglin ‍ Read more about how Judi Haglin leads a successful auto repair business. 

So, What’s Included in an Auto Repair Shop Business Plan? 

There are nine steps to crafting the quintessential automotive repair shop business plan that will help you achieve your business goals—from owning one auto repair shop to becoming a multi-shop owner.   

1. Write an executive summary

2. Describe your shop

3. State your business goals

4. Describe your products and services

5. Do your market research

6. Outline your marketing and sales plan

7. Perform a business financial analysis

8. Make financial projections

9. Create a plan for growth and expansion 

Sure, those nine steps may sound tedious, but it pays to plan. According to entrepreneur masterminds Francis J. Greene and Christian Hopp , high-growth oriented entrepreneurs are 7% more likely to plan out their business. Furthermore, entrepreneurs who write business plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than entrepreneurs who don’t develop a plan.

What Do You Need to Create Your Auto Repair Shop Business Plan?

You can build a successful launching pad for your auto repair business by conducting market research, developing a marketing plan for your auto repair shop, and evaluating the operational costs and investments you will need to make. 

  Conduct market research

Here are four steps you can follow to successfully conduct local market research: 

Remember that drivers are typically willing to drive a few miles to get their vehicle serviced, but driving over 10 miles might not be realistic for someone if their vehicle has an issue. So you may want to start looking at the demographics within a 10 mile radius of your auto repair shop. 

When looking at your target area, you can ask the following questions to get a good sense of your business’ market: 

Even after you open shop, keep conducting market research. You want to be able to keep up with the latest auto repair industry trends so that your shop’s profits keep growing. Getting a feel for the type of customers your shop serves will set a strong foundation for your auto repair shop business plan. 

‍ Develop a marketing plan for your auto repair shop

Once you know your audience, develop a marketing plan that aligns your vision with the people you plan on serving. Here’s an overview of marketing strategies you can use to attract customers to your new shop: 

‍ Evaluate operational costs and investments

When it comes to successfully launching your business, you’ll need to weigh any potential costs and investments that you intend on making. Always leave a bit of wiggle room for unexpected expenses, like hiring one more person that you anticipated, or paying a little extra for a more reliable shop management system. Sometimes spending a little extra means getting a higher return on investment, making it well worth the cost. But you have to ensure that you have the wiggle room first. 

The investments you put into your shop at the beginning will play a huge role in determining how profitable your auto repair shop will be in the future . You’ll want to evaluate: 

The right shop management system will give you and your team:  - The ability to gain experience  - A methodical system for analysis - Digital tools and integrations - Guardrails that prevent errors - The ability to track declined jobs - Better compliance standards - A workflow to quickly build accurate estimates - A direct tie to all shop systems - The capacity to set and reach profit goals - A clear framework for enhancing customer experience

But before we get too excited about finding the right shop management system, here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: the nine steps you can take to craft an automotive repair shop business plan that will help you reach new heights and open up more shops in the future.  

1. Write An Executive Summary

Your business plan’s executive summary is designed to capture any investors’ or stakeholders’ attention. It gives them an overview of your shop’s business opportunities and an overview of the rest of your auto repair shop business plan. 

In your executive summary, you will briefly explain the problem you are solving, your business ideas, the target audience, and any key financial information. Your business plan’s executive summary should capture each of the aforementioned topics in no more than two pages . 

‍ The problem statement: this introduces the reader to the gap and/or problem in the auto repair industry that your business aims to solve. 

‍ The business statement (aka your business model): this will show the reader exactly how you plan to tackle the problem—both how you plan to approach the problem and how you plan to solve it. During this section, you want to briefly explain how your auto repair business will help solve whatever problem you found in the market. 

‍ The target audience statement: during this section, you’ll map out any customer demographic details and how you plan on targeting these audiences. 

‍ The financial plan summary: any financial institution or investor you approach will want to know how you plan on spending their funds. During this section of the executive summary, you want to cover where you plan on allocating funds and any applicable financial projections. 

Find a Shop Management System That Will Make Tracking Your Shop’s Financial History a Breeze   ‍ ‍ For those of you who are current shop owners and want to craft a new automotive repair shop business plan, the financial plan in your executive summary will have to include a history of your shop’s past financial performance.  With Tekmetric, you can use accurate, real-time data to easily track how money flows through your shop. Tekmetric’s Real-Time Financial Reports include three reports that are particularly useful during this step of your auto repair shop business plan:  1. End of Day Report  ‍ The End of Day Report is an overview of how effectively your shop has been selling repair work during a given time range. You can select what time range you want to view a financial report for. The End of Day Report breaks down your shop’s overall shop metrics, including Total RO’s, Hours Presented, Hours Sold, Close Ratio, Effective Labor Rate, Average Repair Order (ARO) Sales, ARO Profit, ARO Profit Margin, Gross Sales, and Gross Profit.  2. Profit Details Report ‍ The Profit Details Report will show you the exact profit you’ve made across all of your shop’s ROs. A perk to the Profit Details Report is that you can also break it down even further to show the profit your shop has made within individual ROs.  3. Sales Details Report  ‍ The Sales Details Report will show you how much your shop has sold in parts and labor over a given time range, how much money has been collected from sublets, fees, and taxes, as well as the dollar amount of the discount your shop has provided to customers. 

2. describe your shop.

What makes your business stand out? What’s your company’s mission? What are the most important aspects of your business? These are the questions this section of your auto repair shop business plan will answer. 

When determining your shop’s mission statement, try to keep the following tips in mind: 

Let’s take a look at ten popular mission statements. If you can think of the company’s name, then their mission statement did its job. 

*If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

In order from top to bottom, the mission statements belong to Nike, Warby Parker, JetBlue, Tesla, TED, Twitter, Google, Walmart, Sony, and Tekmetric. 

What do each of the above mission statements have in common? They uncover the primary existence for each company, and they deliver their purpose and overall intention. 

As you’re developing your automotive repair shop business plan, think of ways your auto shop can stand out in your community. If you want a good example, check out our Shop Spotlight of Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive . Turbo Tim’s shop owner Tim Suggs crafted his shop around a unique and relatable culture that gives back to the community. Their focus is on “average cars, average people.” 

‍ “Early on, it was apparent that if I put people first, the money would come. I focused on building an atmosphere that was both fun and professional for employees and customers alike. One of the most instrumental, yet unintentional, parts of our culture came from a cat I found at a machine shop. I’ve always been a cat person, and I asked the technicians there if that was their cat. They said it was a stray that they regularly fed. After checking that he wasn’t microchipped and didn’t belong to anyone, I brought him home with me.

‍ And that’s the origin story of Bobby, our original shop cat. We now have multiple cats who greet folks in our waiting room. Bobby also positively affected our marketing. Halfway through our growth, we began branding ourselves with a cat logo inspired by Bobby. Today, customers who put Bobby bumper stickers on their cars get 10% off for life. Less productive are our chickens, who ‘work’ in the chicken coop on our outdoor patio.”  ‍

When you describe your company in your auto repair shop business plan, you want to unveil what you see your shop being. Yes, you’ll want to mention the mission, but you also want to capture your shop’s values and culture, and what sets your shop apart from the rest.  

Invest In a Shop Management System That Allows Room For Integrations  ‍ Tekmetric partners with other industry-leading solutions to let shop owners fine-tune the repair experience for their team and their customers.  - We partner with Mechanic Advisor to bring your customers’ real-time scheduling - We partner with Shop Owner Coach to bring your shop personalized coaching and training - We partner with Advance Auto Parts so that your team can easily find a good deal on a wide selection of parts - We partner with BG Products, Inc. so that you easily provide high-quality maintenance to customers - We partner with MyShopManager to ensure your shop’s marketing communication leads to higher customer engagement - And that’s just five out of 30+ integration partners your shop can choose from.  ‍ See how the right mix of automotive computer programs fuels business innovation.  

3. state your business goals.

The next section of your auto repair shop business plan is where you should state your business goals. Here you’ll want to list out the short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals that you want to achieve with your business. 

As you’re coming up with your shop’s goals, you need to make sure that they are realistic, attainable, and strategic. Ask yourself these six questions as you come up with your business goals: 

Now that you have those six guiding questions, you can start to come up with your shop’s unique business goals. Ask yourself the following questions to help you come up with your company goals: 

Whether your goal is to have a 20% profit margin year one or open up a second location in the next five years, the business goals section in your automotive repair shop business plan will help you remember why you set that goal in the first place. 

Choose a Shop Management System That Makes it Easy to Reach Your Goals ‍ If your goal is to increase your sales and ARO, then you’ll like Tekmetric’s Digital Vehicle Inspection (DVI) feature. Tekmetric’s DVIs are designed to inform and show your customers exactly what’s going on under the hood. And the better you can explain vehicle issues, the more likely your customers will be on board with getting the recommended repair work done.  Tekmetric’s DVIs include six core features that will benefit both your team and your customers:  1. A searchable DVI history   2. The ability for technicians to attach photos and videos to inspections 3. A color-coded system that indicates the severity of inspection findings 4. A direct tie-in to parts and labor data when building estimates 5. The ability to add canned jobs when building estimates 6. Digital authorization for jobs 7. A declined jobs report that automatically saves and tracks declined jobs ‍ See what else Tekmetric’s DVIs can do for your shop. 

4. describe your products and services.

In the products and services section of your auto repair shop business plan, it’s important to focus on your customers’ perspective and needs. The overall goal of the products and services section is to prove that your shop will fill a market need and remain viable. 

Here are some questions you’ll want to answer in this section:

‍ What kind of vehicles will your shop fix?

Do you want to run a general auto repair shop or a specialty auto repair shop? You can determine whether your shop will focus on exotic vehicle repairs, diesel engine repairs, fleet work, or stick with the standard independent garage clientele. 

‍ ‍What type of services will your shop provide?

Along with determining the kinds of vehicles you’ll service, you’ll also want to consider each service your shop will provide. Will your main focus be on oil changes, tune-ups, and regular maintenance? Will you want to sublet some of your repair work? It could be that you focus on standard repairs, but when a customer comes in with a specific job that you don’t want to turn down, you can have that repair work done through a subcontractor, but you’d have to establish that partnership . 

‍ How will your shop’s name and brand clarify your audience and services?

Your shop’s main focus may be something you’ve already thought of, but what about your shop’s name? It’s a good idea to choose a name that speaks to your shop’s target customers and the types of services you provide. For example, Bavarian Motor Repairs specializes in servicing BMWs, MINIs, and Rolls Royces. Performance Transmission & A/C Automotive Repair specializes in servicing transmission or A/C related malfunctions. Or maybe you want your shop to cater to everything auto repair related like Ultimate Auto Repair or Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive. 

‍ What types of products will your shop provide?

Knowing the types of vehicles and services your shop will provide to customers is great, but what about the types of products you plan to sell to your customers? Many shops choose to sell specific types of fluids that their customers can rely on. Similarly, shop owners may sell products and equipment that can make their customers’ vehicles last longer and perform better. You can also offer products that make for an easy upsell such as air fresheners, floor mats, or even merchandise with your shop’s logo on it.  

Find a Shop Management System That Expedites The Parts Purchasing Process  ‍ Tekmetric’s Canned Jobs Board pulls from inventory to see what parts you already have on hand and what parts you need to purchase. You can also set a parts markup on inventory items that are added to canned jobs so that you can lock in your parts margin. This addition to your parts management strategy will cut out all the guesswork and streamline jobs. Your team can save time sorting through parts and spend it actually repairing vehicles and providing excellent customer service. In Tekmetric, you can view and sort canned jobs by: - Job titles - Job totals - Job category - Labor Rate To make your parts purchasing experience even easier, Tekmetric has partnered with some of the most trusted parts vendors in the industry:  - AdvancePro - MyPlace4Parts - Nexpart - OEC Repair Link - PartsTech - WORLDPAC

5. do your market research.

You probably did some market research when you first began forming your business plan. But as you write this section, you’ll really want to sharpen your market research and organize your findings.

There are two main types of market research that you can do when planning your business. 

‍ Primary Market Research: any type of research that you collect yourself. Examples include surveys, interviews, and observations. 

Secondary Market Research: any type of research that involves compiling existing data. Examples include searching websites, going to libraries, looking at government statistics, or even using internal resources like your shop’s average revenue per sale, customer retention rates, and any other historical data you see fit (this is especially useful for current shop owners looking to expand). 

To successfully conduct market research, you should follow these fives steps: 

Before starting your market research, determine your goal for doing it in the first place (aside from creating the business plan, of course). Common reasons why business owners conduct market research include wanting to understand a new market or to gauge the success and strategies of competitors. 

Look at where the auto repair industry currently is and where it seems to be heading. The goal here is to determine any potential trends and projected growth that can give your business a competitive edge in the auto repair industry. Check out Ratchet+Wrench for the latest auto care insights, or the Tekmetric Index (TM-500) for economical trends from 500 auto repair shops across North America and Canada.   

Creating buyer personas will help you understand who your customers are. Your buyer personas should include age, gender, location, job titles, family sizes, incomes, needs, interests, etc. Keep in mind that as you build out your buyer personas, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one persona. There are many different types of drivers and people that need auto repair services. 

There are many useful tools you can use to develop your personas. Here is HubSpot’s free tool that might come in handy while you’re building your personas. 

To understand your competition, we recommend listing out each of your shop’s competitors. From there, determine what those shops do differently from what you plan to do. Consider their strengths and weaknesses, and any advantages they have in the auto repair market in your area. You can also do a SWOT analysis where you determine their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s also good to do a SWOT analysis of your own business, too. 

Any information you find during your market research will be your friend. You can never have too much data—as long as it’s from a credible source. Here are some resources you can use for credible research: 

When it comes to analyzing your market data, it’s best to organize it all into sections that make the most sense to you, your stakeholders, and your investors. The main topics you want to focus on are your shop’s purpose, the target market, and your competition. Examples of elements within your market research analysis can include your customers’ buying trends, forecasted growth, how much customers are willing to pay for your services, and an industry overlook, including the industry’s size and growth rate. 

Invest in a Shop Management System That Tracks Your Customers’ Historical Data  ‍ Tekmetric’s customer reports help keep your market research fresh. You can see which service you sell is the most popular and who your most frequent customers are. You can also get more accurate data about different customers’ buying behavior when you start generating with Tekmetric’s customer reports.  ‍ Customer List Report: Tekmetric’s Customer List Report gives you an overview of each customer’s Lifetime Visits, Lifetime Spend, Lifetime Profit, Lifetime ARO, Lifetime Close Ratio and other key stats. ‍ Declined Jobs Report: With the Declined Jobs Report, service advisors can see all jobs that have been declined on past ROs so that they can get them back in the shop. Identify which jobs are declined most often so that you can create effective promotional campaigns that upsell, cross-sell and improve your Close Ratio.

6. outline your marketing and sales plan.

After conducting market research and deciding on the products and services your shop will provide, you can work on your marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy should specify how you plan on marketing different services and products to different demographics. 

For example, if you decide you want to focus on diagnostics for BMWs, then your marketing plan will show how you plan to target BMW owners for that particular service. Maybe you could go find BMW groups or figure out where BMW owners like to shop or frequent, and advertise there. 

A strong marketing and sales strategy will help your shop maximize and leverage profits. Marketing expenses are something you need to invest in, but you also need to ensure that you’re getting a strong return on your marketing investments. 

‍ Here are a few examples of impactful marketing strategies: 

Whatever marketing efforts you choose to invest in, make sure you track the data so you know what works and what doesn’t. 

Choose a Shop Management System That Helps You Refine Your Marketing Strategies ‍ A shop management system like Tekmetric can show you whether or not your strategies are working.  ‍ Marketing Source Report: You can track the payoff that each marketing strategy brings your shop by using Tekmetric’s Marketing Source Report. With the RO Marketing Source Report, you can explore how much of your business comes from new sales or repeat sales, and identify which marketing sources are bringing in the most business.   Integrations: Tekmetric integrates with several marketing solutions that will help your shop further grow its customer base. Our marketing integrations include Mechanic Advisor, KUKUI, MyShopManager, MechanicNet, RepairPal, and more.

7. perform a business financial analysis.

In the financial analysis portion of your auto repair shop business plan, you want to unpack how much money your shop will need to get off the ground and exactly how you plan on spending it. 

Some common capital and startup expenses include: 

Another key component to your financial analysis is your break-even analysis. A break-even analysis is when you factor in both your costs and your shop’s sales to determine the moment you will break even. 

This article from Nuvest does a great job explaining how you can calculate the break-even point for your auto repair shop. 

So, what is a break-even point? A break-even point is when your business will begin making a revenue that should cover your total amount of overhead costs—both the fixed and variable costs accumulated over time. 

‍ Break-Even Point Formula: 

(Overhead Costs + Balance Sheet Payments) / Gross Margin = Break-Even Point

For example: ($30,000 + $10,000) / 95% = $42,105.26

In the example above, it concludes that you need to sell a total of $42,105 to make sure that you cover your overhead costs and balance sheet payments.

Choose a Shop Management System That Can Assist in Managing Your Shop’s Common Expenses    ‍ ‍While Tekmetric can help you track the cost of goods through reports, your accounting tools such as QuickBooks, is where you’ll track a lot of your daily expenses. Tekmetric doesn’t include a built-in accounting system, but we do have an accounting link through one of our integration partners, The Back Office, which gives you the ability to manage your books, track income and expenses, and easily perform audits for all your accounting needs with just a few clicks. ‍ Tek-Tip: improve your profits and fine-tune your shop’s goals with Tekmetric’s built-in Parts Matrix and Labor Matrix. Tekmetric makes it easy for shop owners and service advisors to include the right markups on each and every job.  ‍ “At the end of the day, the world runs on math. If you don't know what the math is, you don't know what you're doing; you have no clue whether you made money or whether you lost money. You're just throwing quotes out there and hoping you make a profit. With Tekmetric, I can see in real time what my markup is, what it's going to be, and what it should be to reach our goals. I can give my service writers a bottom dollar: what they need to sell it for. And they can quickly see all that right in Tekmetric.” - Karl Roekle, Owner of Ultimate Auto Repair ‍

According to , here are some ways you can make financial forecasts more realistic: 

Invest in a Shop Management System That Lets You Categorize Reports into Different Time Periods  ‍ Tekmetric’s real-time reports empower shop owners to forecast and strategize by choosing between annual and weekly forecasting.  ‍ Annual Forecasting: With annual forecasting, you can get a sense of where your shop is at and how the rest of the year is likely to play out. If you notice that business is slowing down month to month, it might be time to adjust your marketing strategies. Or maybe you notice that the year has been busier than usual, in which case you may want to consider bringing on more talent to help service your new influx of customers.  ‍ Weekly Forecasting: With weekly forecasting, you can combine sales in progress with closed sales data to get an idea of how much profit your shop is lined up to make by the end of the week.  ‍ Read more about how you can forecast with real-time reports .

9. create a plan for growth and expansion .

Although this section isn’t necessarily a part of a standard business plan, you’ll want to incorporate it into your automotive repair shop business plan if you eventually want to open additional repair shops. 

To prepare yourself for future growth, you’ll want to ensure that 1) the auto repair shop business plan you’re creating now can be replicated if all goes according to plan and 2) the shop management system you select can grow with you. 

If you play your cards right—or in this case, you craft the optimal automotive repair shop business plan and invest in foundational tools—you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful owner of multiple auto repair businesses. 

Tekmetric: Your Shop’s Go-To System For Present-Day Planning and Future Expansion 

Just as your automotive repair shop business plan will help you navigate any potential setbacks, the Tekmetric shop management system will help you hammer away as you grow your business.  

The right planning and shop management system will help you determine—in advance—things that can help you achieve your goals, as well as avoid things that can potentially prevent you from achieving those goals. 

Tekmetric will: 

Let’s Recap… ‍ To successfully create your auto repair shop business plan, you need to:  1. Conduct market research 2. Develop a marketing plan for your auto repair shop 3. Evaluate operational costs and investments ‍ The 9 steps to crafting an auto repair shop business plan are:   - Write an executive summary - Describe your company - State your business goals - Describe your products and services - Do your market research - Outline your marketing and sales plan - Perform a business financial analysis - Make financial projections - Create a plan for growth and expansion

Not only will investing time into planning help your vision come to fruition, but it will also help you achieve the dream you stood by since day one: helping your customers get their vehicles back on the road safely. 

Mapping out an auto repair shop business plan and investing in a shop management system like Tekmetric will help you help more people in the long run. 

Make Your Vision a Reality With a Clear Business Plan and a Supportive Shop Management System 

At Tekmetric, we don’t mess around. We know how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are now—no matter where you’re at on your repair shop owner journey. So, when we say we’ll help you unleash your potential, we mean it. 

‍ Get To Know Us ‍

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Auto Repair Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Auto Repair Business Plan

Over the past 20+ years, we have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans to start and grow their auto repair businesses. On this page, we will first give you some background information with regards to the importance of business planning. We will then go through an auto repair business plan template step-by-step so you can create your plan today.

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here >

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan provides a snapshot of your auto repair business as it stands today, and lays out your growth plan for the next five years. It explains your business goals and your strategy for reaching them. It also includes market research to support your plans.

Why You Need a Business Plan

If you’re looking to start an auto repair business, or grow your existing auto repair business, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your auto repair business in order to improve your chances of success. Your auto repair business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Sources of Funding for Auto Repair Businesses

With regards to funding, the main sources of funding for an auto repair business are personal savings, credit cards, bank loans and angel investors. With regards to bank loans, banks will want to review your business plan and gain confidence that you will be able to repay your loan and interest. To acquire this confidence, the loan officer will not only want to confirm that your financials are reasonable, but they will also want to see a professional plan. Such a plan will give them the confidence that you can successfully and professionally operate a business.

Personal savings is the other most common form of funding for an auto repair business. Venture capitalists will usually not fund an auto repair business. They might consider funding an auto repair business with a national presence, but never an individual location. This is because most venture capitalists are looking for millions of dollars in return when they make an investment, and an individual location could never achieve such results.  With that said, personal savings and bank loans are the most common funding paths for auto repair businesses.

If you want to start an auto repair business or expand your current one, you need a business plan. Below are links to each section of your auto repair business plan template:

Executive Summary

Your executive summary provides an introduction to your business plan, but it is normally the last section you write because it provides a summary of each key section of your plan.

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of auto repair business you are operating and the status. For example, are you a startup, do you have an auto repair business that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of auto repair businesses?

Next, provide an overview of each of the subsequent sections of your plan. For example, give a brief overview of the auto repair industry. Discuss the type of auto repair business you are operating. Detail your direct competitors. Give an overview of your target customers. Provide a snapshot of your marketing plan. Identify the key members of your team. And offer an overview of your financial plan.

Company Analysis

In your company analysis, you will detail the type of auto repair business you are operating.

For example, you might operate one of the following types of auto repair businesses:

In addition to explaining the type of auto repair business you will operate, the Company Analysis section of your business plan needs to provide background on the business.

Include answers to question such as:

Industry Analysis

In your industry analysis, you need to provide an overview of the auto repair industry.

While this may seem unnecessary, it serves multiple purposes.

First, researching the auto repair industry educates you. It helps you understand the market in which you are operating.

Secondly, market research can improve your strategy, particularly if your research identifies market trends.

The third reason for market research is to prove to readers that you are an expert in your industry. By conducting the research and presenting it in your plan, you achieve just that.

The following questions should be answered in the industry analysis section of your auto repair business plan:

Customer Analysis

The customer analysis section of your auto repair business plan must detail the customers you serve and/or expect to serve.

The following are examples of customer segments: car owners, truck owners, luxury vehicle owners, classic vehicle owners, and businesses that own vehicles such as car rentals, car dealers, delivery businesses, and repairmen.

As you can imagine, the customer segment(s) you choose will have a great impact on the type of auto repair business you operate. Clearly, luxury vehicle owners would respond to different marketing promotions than truck owners, for example.

Try to break out your target customers in terms of their demographic and psychographic profiles. With regards to demographics, include a discussion of the ages, genders, locations and income levels of the customers you seek to serve. Because most auto repair businesses primarily serve customers living in their same city or town, such demographic information is easy to find on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain the wants and needs of your target customers. The more you can understand and define these needs, the better you will do in attracting and retaining your customers.

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Competitive Analysis

Your competitive analysis should identify the indirect and direct competitors your business faces and then focus on the latter.

Direct competitors are other auto repair businesses.

Indirect competitors are other options that customers have to choose from that aren’t direct competitors. This includes auto parts stores (for DIY repair). You need to mention such competition as well.

With regards to direct competition, you want to describe the other auto repair businesses with which you compete. Most likely, your direct competitors will be auto repairs located very close to your location.

For each such competitor, provide an overview of their businesses and document their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you once worked at your competitors’ businesses, it will be impossible to know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key things about them such as:

With regards to the last two questions, think about your answers from the customers’ perspective. And don’t be afraid to ask your competitors’ customers what they like most and least about them.

The final part of your competitive analysis section is to document your areas of competitive advantage. For example:

Think about ways you will outperform your competition and document them in this section of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Traditionally, a marketing plan includes the four P’s: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. For an auto repair business plan, your marketing plan should include the following:

Product : In the product section, you should reiterate the type of auto repair company that you documented in your Company Analysis. Then, detail the specific products you will be offering. For example, in addition to auto repair, will you provide car rental services, repair financing or any other services?

Price : Document the prices you will offer and how they compare to your competitors. Essentially in the product and price sub-sections of your marketing plan, you are presenting the services you offer and their prices.

Place : Place refers to the location of your auto repair company. Document your location and mention how the location will impact your success. For example, is your auto repair business located in a busy retail district, industrial area, etc. Discuss how your location might be the ideal location for your customers.

Promotions : The final part of your auto repair marketing plan is the promotions section. Here you will document how you will drive customers to your location(s). The following are some promotional methods you might consider:

Operations Plan

While the earlier sections of your business plan explained your goals, your operations plan describes how you will meet them. Your operations plan should have two distinct sections as follows.

Everyday short-term processes include all of the tasks involved in running your auto repair business, including speaking with vehicle owners in person or on the phone, maintenancing and repairing vehicles.

Long-term goals are the milestones you hope to achieve. These could include the dates when you expect to repair your 50th car, or when you hope to reach $X in revenue. It could also be when you expect to expand your auto repair business to a new city.

Management Team

To demonstrate your auto repair business’ ability to succeed, a strong management team is essential. Highlight your key players’ backgrounds, emphasizing those skills and experiences that prove their ability to grow a company.

Ideally you and/or your team members have direct experience in managing auto repair businesses. If so, highlight this experience and expertise. But also highlight any experience that you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is lacking, consider assembling an advisory board. An advisory board would include 2 to 8 individuals who would act like mentors to your business. They would help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. If needed, look for advisory board members with experience in managing auto repair shops or successfully running small businesses.

Financial Plan

Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.

Income Statement : an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.

In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, how many cars will you repair per week? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.

Balance Sheets : Balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. While balance sheets can include much information, try to simplify them to the key items you need to know about. For instance, if you spend $50,000 on building out your auto repair business, this will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $50,000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.

Cash Flow Statement : Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt.

In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing an auto repair business:

Attach your full financial projections in the appendix of your plan along with any supporting documents that make your plan more compelling. For example, you might include your shop location lease or descriptions of repairs you are working on.

Putting together a business plan for your auto repair business is a worthwhile endeavor. If you follow the template above, by the time you are done, you will truly be an expert. You will really understand the auto repair industry, your competition, and your customers. You will have developed a marketing plan and will really understand what it takes to launch and grow a successful auto repair business.

Auto Repair FAQ’s

What is the easiest way to complete my auto repair shop business plan.

Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template allows you to quickly and easily complete your Auto Repair Shop Business Plan.

What is the Goal of a Business Plan's Executive Summary?

The goal of your Executive Summary is to quickly engage the reader. Explain to them the type of auto repair shop you are operating and the status; for example, are you a startup, do you have an auto repair shop that you would like to grow, or are you operating a chain of auto repair shops?

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your Auto Repair business plan?

OR, Let Us Develop Your Plan For You

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Click here to see how Growthink’s professional business plan consulting services can create your business plan for you.

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National Funding

How to Create an Auto Repair Shop Business Plan

how to make a business plan for a auto repair shop

Jack’s Car Clinic opened three years ago on a shoestring budget, with some borrowed tools, personal savings and financial assistance from family members. Now word-of-mouth about the auto repair shop’s stellar service keeps a steady stream of customers driving into Jack’s garage. Jack sketched out a loose auto repair shop business plan in a notebook before launching the company, but never got around to formalizing it. Now the business is ready to grow, and a loan would help provide the resources Jack needs to expand. To prep for the loan application process, Jack needs to update his business plan to show lenders.

If you, like Jack, are an auto repair shop owner who is facing the task of writing a formal business plan for the first time — or updating an old plan — you may need help getting started.

Here’s a guide to help you develop an auto repair shop business plan that will get your new venture on track for greater success.

Why You Need a Business Plan

It probably doesn’t matter to Jack’s loyal customers that the car shop started up with a business plan that would fit on a repair order form. They only care that the shop’s reliable service keeps their vehicles in mint condition. But a potential lender may require more thorough paperwork to assess whether Jack’s business is a good investment.

If you’re thinking of applying for an auto repair business loan , you can’t afford to put off creating a business plan any longer. A solid business plan may help potential lenders feel confident that you know how to manage an auto repair shop and have a clear vision for how you want to use the loan funds to grow your business.

How to Structure Your Business Plan

There’s no single business plan template, but it’s probably wise to adhere to some of the more common practices and traditional lender expectations.

Business plan styles generally fall into one of two categories, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration : traditional or lean startup. The more common, traditional plans are longer and more detailed, while lean startup plans stick to brief summaries that typically fill a single page, according to the SBA.

Your choice may depend in part on the preferences of the lenders you plan to approach, keeping in mind that some lenders may not require you to have a formal business plan at all. The SBA notes that business owners seeking financing from traditional sources may want to go with a traditional business plan. Other considerations include the complexity of your business and how often you expect to update your plan.

Ultimately, your goal should be to write the auto repair shop business plan that best fits your company’s current needs and guides it to the next stage.

Lean and Traditional Business Plans

The SBA lists nine common elements each for lean startup and traditional business plans, with the former list taken from the well-known Business Model Canvas template, created by Swiss business theorist Alexander Osterwalder.

Sections of a Lean Startup Business Plan

Sections of a Traditional Business Plan

Car mechanics review auto repair shop business plan

Tweaking the Template for Your Business

Your business plan may be similar to other auto repair companies, or any service business, for that matter. But there are still ways to tweak your plan to make it stand out from the crowd.

Let’s say you don’t have the time to develop a highly detailed, comprehensive plan and you think your business model can be explained in a simpler, shorter plan. For those reasons, you might start with a basic lean startup template and put a special emphasis on highlighting those elements that show your company’s best strengths. For example, you’ll want to highlight competitive edges — like hiring graduates of a top-rated automotive mechanics’ school or using a revolutionary enterprise software system for diagnosing mechanical problems — in the key activities section. Maybe you’ve developed a robust email communications and social media strategy you’d like to tout in the section describing your channels for customer engagement.

If you enjoy delving into the details — or you simply must buckle down and do it to qualify for the financing you seek — the longer traditional business plan format is probably the way to go. You might decide to put extra effort into your market analysis of the automotive repairs industry and sizing up your local competition. If recent trends in your own business have you rethinking your product and service line or your long-term financial projections, it makes sense to focus on those areas when you create a new or updated business plan.

Like Jack, you’ve learned a lot about how to manage an auto repair shop since you put up your sign and saw your first customer drive up. Incorporating those lessons into a vision and plan for growing your business is an essential step in acquiring the financing you need to fuel its success.

Tags: Auto Repair Shops , Managing your Cash Flow , Marketing for Small Business , Small Business Resources


how to make a business plan for a auto repair shop

How to Start a Small Business: 5 Tips for Success

The 6 most important characteristics of small business owners, how profitable are auto repair shops it depends on these six factors, 7 must-have features of your inventory management systems.

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how to make a business plan for a auto repair shop

Auto Repair Business Plan

You’ve come to the right place to create your Auto Repair business plan.

We have helped over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Auto Repair shops.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Auto Repair business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair is a startup auto repair shop located in St. Louis, Missouri. The Company is founded by Tim Martinez, an experienced auto mechanic who has gained valuable knowledge on how to manage an auto repair shop during the past 15 years while working at Fast Cars Auto Repair. Now that Tim has experienced managing an auto repair shop, he is ready to start his own company, Tim’s Timely Auto Repair. Tim is confident that his auto repair skills, combined with his understanding of business management, will enable him to run a profitable auto repair shop of his own. Tim is recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day-to-day complexities of auto repair shop operations – sales and marketing, customer service, and financial reporting.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will provide reliable auto repair services for customers in the St. Louis area. Tim’s Timely will be the go-to auto repair shop in St. Louis for convenient scheduling, quality work, and timely repairs. The Company will be the ultimate choice for busy individuals, providing the best customer service in the area.

Product Offering

Auto Repair will provide the following repair services for most vehicle makes and models:

Customer Focus

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will target personal vehicle owners in St. Louis. The Company will also target small businesses who use a vehicle for their company’s operations such as delivery drivers, plumbers, and other mobile businesses. No matter the customer, Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will deliver the best communication, service, and results.

Management Team

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be owned and operated by Tim Martinez. Tim is a graduate of Missouri University with a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology. He has 15 years of experience working as an auto repair technician and manager of another local shop. Tim will be the Company’s CEO and the Head Auto Repair Technician. He will oversee the day-to-day operations, auto repair equipment management, and auto technician staff’s activities.

Tim has recruited his former administrative assistant, Jen Jackson, to be the Company’s Chief Operations Officer and help oversee the auto repair shop’s daily operations and customer relations. Jen has a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has worked in the auto repair industry for many years and understands what it takes to effectively run this type of business.

Success Factors

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

Financial Highlights

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair is seeking $250,000 in debt financing to launch its auto repair business. The funding will be dedicated towards securing the auto repair shop and purchasing auto repair equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated towards three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff and marketing expenses. The breakout of the funding is below:

The following graph below outlines the pro forma financial projections for Tim’s Timely Auto Repair.

Company Overview

Who is tim’s timely auto repair.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair is a newly established auto repair business in St. Louis, Missouri. Tim’s Timely will be the first choice for vehicle owners in St. Louis and the surrounding communities for its reliable and timely repair services. The Company is able to service almost any vehicle make and model and has the ability to accommodate customers’ busy schedules.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be able to guarantee the quality of its repairs thanks to the latest and most reliable auto repair equipment and technology combined with stringent quality control standards. The Company’s team of highly qualified professionals experienced in a wide range of automotive issues will be able to provide timely diagnosis and repair. Customers can easily schedule appointments, check on their vehicle, and make payments using the Company’s customer app.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair History

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair is owned and operated by Tim Martinez, an experienced auto mechanic who has gained valuable knowledge during his 15 year tenure working as an auto repair technician and manager at another local auto repair shop. Now that Tim has gained the experience and knowledge of how to manage an auto repair shop, he is ready to start one of his own. Tim has begun recruiting a team of highly qualified professionals to help manage the day to day complexities of running an auto repair shop – sales and marketing, customer service, and financial reporting.

Since incorporation, Tim’s Timely Auto Repair has achieved the following milestones:

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair Services

Industry analysis.

The United States auto repair market is valued at $78B with approximately 280,000 businesses in operation and over 614,000 employees working in the industry across the country. The auto repair industry has grown steadily over the past five years. Much of this growth can be attributed to more vehicles on the road combined with an increasing age of the vehicles in service. Additionally, rising disposable incomes have led to more people foregoing DIY repairs, and instead, taking their vehicles to industry operators when they need to be repaired.

One of the biggest challenges facing the auto repair industry is the growing shortage of technicians as many are retiring and there are not enough new technicians joining the field to fill the vacancies. Additional challenges include increased digitization and evolving technologies. Industry operators will need to keep up with the latest innovations to remain competitive.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will target vehicle owners in St. Louis. The Company will also target small businesses who use a vehicle for their company’s operations such as delivery drivers, plumbers, and other mobile businesses. No matter the customer, Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will deliver the best communication, service, and results..

The precise demographics for St. Louis, Missouri are:

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Customer Segmentation

Tim’s Timely will primarily target the following customer profiles:

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Fast Cars Auto Repair

Established in 1975, Fast Cars Auto Repair is one of the largest auto repair companies in Missouri. The company provides a wide range of repair and maintenance services for many vehicle makes and models, with a focus on sports cars, luxury cars, and race cars. Fast Cars Auto Repair’s leadership team continuously introduces new technology and repair training for its staff to ensure all technicians are equipped to repair the latest model vehicles. The company has four locations in St. Louis, with more being built in the near future.

JP’s Affordable Auto Repair

JP’s Affordable Auto Repair is a small auto repair shop catering to local vehicle owners in St. Louis, Missouri and surrounding areas. JP’s Affordable Auto Repair provides efficient service at affordable prices. The company provides same day and 48-hour repairs for an extra fee. The owners of JP’s Affordable Auto Repair have been in the automotive business for over 40 years, so they keenly understand the ins-and-outs of running an auto repair shop.

Dependable Dan’s Auto Repair

Dependable Dan’s Auto Repair is a trusted St. Louis, Missouri-based auto repair shop that provides superior service to vehicle owners in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. The company is able to provide a wide variety of repair services for both personal and commercial vehicles. Dependable Dan’s Auto Repair has been family owned and operated since 1999. The company prides itself on being the number one choice for quality auto repair services at competitive prices.

Competitive Advantage

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be able to offer the following advantages over the competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Tim’s Timely Auto Repair is as follows:

Social Media Marketing

The Company will enlist the help of a marketing director to create accounts on social media platforms such as Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube.  The marketing director will ensure Tim’s Timely maintains an active social media presence with regular updates and informative content.

Professional Associations and Networking

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will become a member of professional associations such as the Automotive Service Association, Auto Care Association, National Automobile Dealers Association, and the International Automotive Technicians Network. The leadership team will focus their networking efforts on expanding the Company’s customer network.

Print Advertising

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will invest in professionally designed print ads to display in programs or flyers at industry networking events. The Company will also send direct mailers to local businesses who may be interested in auto repair services.


The Company will invest in advertisements in major industry publications such as Auto Body Repair News Magazine, Auto Inc., and Auto Service Professional publications. Additionally, the Company will invest in local advertising through newspapers, magazines, and community newsletters.

Website/SEO Marketing

Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will create a company website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Tim’s Timely is able to provide. The Company’s marketing director will also manage the Company’s website presence with SEO marketing tactics so that when someone types in a search engine “St. Louis auto repair shop” or “auto repair shop near me”, Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing the Company’s superior repair services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Tim’s Timely Auto Repair.

Operation Functions:


Tim’s Timely Auto Repair will have the following milestones complete in the next six months.

11/1/2022 – Finalize contract to purchase property.

11/15/2022 – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Tim’s Timely Auto Repair management team.

12/1/2022 – Begin build-out of the shop and purchase equipment and supplies.

12/15/2022 – Begin networking at industry events and implement the marketing plan.

1/15/2023 – Finalize contracts for auto repair technicians.

2/15/2023 – Tim’s Timely Auto Repair officially opens for business.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Tim’s Timely Auto Repair are the fees charged to customers in exchange for the Company’s auto repair services.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff an auto repair shop. The expenses will be the payroll cost, utilities, auto repair equipment and supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, auto repair business plan faqs, what is an auto repair business plan.

An auto repair  business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your auto repair company business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your auto repair  business plan using our Auto Repair  Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Auto Repair Companies?

There are a number of different kinds of auto repair companies , some examples include: Auto Service Shop, Transmission Repair Shop, and Body Repair Shop.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Auto Repair Business Plan?

Auto repair companies are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

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The World's Leading Business Plan Template Directory


Auto Repair Shop Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]

Auto repair shop business plan template.

If you want to start an Auto Repair Shop or expand your current Auto Repair Shop, you need a business plan.

The following Auto Repair Shop business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning Auto Repair Shop business plan.

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Below are links to each of the key sections of your Auto Repair Shop business plan: Auto Repair Shop Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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Auto Repair Shop Business Plan Home I. Executive Summary II. Company Overview III. Industry Analysis IV. Customer Analysis V. Competitive Analysis VI. Marketing Plan VII. Operations Plan VIII. Management Team IX. Financial Plan

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