Have you stood at a major highway to count the number of automobiles? From varieties of cars to trucks to motorcycles to tricycles, there is just so much movement. Then come to think of it, who services these automobiles. Am I beginning to give you a business idea? There is so much potential in the automobile space. Not everything hovers around repairs. You can go into logistics, spare parts, consultancy, cosmetics, panel repairs, and so on. Before you throw out the net, let me give you 5 things you should do so that you do not waste your hard-earned resources.
Look out for an experienced and well-educated Automobile Engineer. The business of automobile service involves a lot of diagnosis and repairs. This is not the time to hire someone who is learning on the job. You need an experienced head who has seen it all. You need someone who will not be intimidated by the weight of responsibilities of managing a large fleet of trucks or cars that cost millions. This same person will bring in others with whom he can work. Competence breeds competence. So for every competent and reliable person who joins the team, you are sure others like him will follow.
Plan to be as mobile as possible. For a city like Lagos, it can be very expensive to get a space for your workshop bay and offices. The maintenance cost will eat into your profit and you may find it difficult to break even. You should have mobility as part of your “modus operandi”. Most of your clients already have a space for their trucks/cars which can serve as a workshop bay. Most preventive repairs such as lube changes, filter changes, brake adjustments, engine tune-up, cooling system bleeding, can be done on-site with hand tools. In fact, the more expensive the repairs carried out, the more expensive the tools.
INVEST IN TOOLS AND SKILLS. This is the most significant for me. I should have made it “numero uno” but my writing style won’t permit me (lol). At the start of your business, please invest in quality tools. Get the most efficient wrenches, spanners, hydraulic jacks, diagnostic tools, etc. If there is a tool that can safely remove the springs from the shock absorbers, please buy it. You don’t have to do what the roadside mechanic does. Let your technicians, supervisors, and other skilled workers get updated on the developments in the automobile industry and motivate them to do so. Even your Service Advisors must learn something every day.
Let integrity be your watchword. There has been a lot of heartaches and disappointments in this business. You don’ want to add to the calamity of Nigerians. Never bite more than what you can chew. Never accept jobs your team is not competent or comfortable with. The best you can do is to refer them to those who can handle them. have a realistic target date for jobs and try to deliver before that day. If you think the job can be done in 3 days, you can add 2 days in case of unforeseen circumstances. This helps to promote your business by word of mouth.
Do not neglect sound bookkeeping. A recent statistic I read which I hope isn’t true is that 10% of Nigerian business owners know how much profit they make while the rest wish they knew. In this business of servicing automobiles, you must know how much is your sales and revenue weekly. It helps you see trends and plan ahead. There would be lean periods when your services won’t be required so often. You need to be acquainted with this period so as to make plans for the growth of your business.At Nigerian Sinotrucks Limited, we have been using these principles to build our brand and would love to take care of your Heavy Duty Sinotrucks. We take care of over 600 trucks belonging to Nigerian Bottling Company, Lafarge, UAC, Red Star Logistics, Alles Charis Gas, and are domiciled at Abuja, Ibadan, Benin, Ikeja, Port Harcourt, and Sagamu. We will be waiting for your call. Kindly reach us at email@example.com, +234 805 075 2277.
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