If you want to start your own business in the automobile industry, without a huge initial outlay, here are some of the best options to assist you gathering ideas about profitable automotive business these days.
1. Car Wash
You may have seen these spring up in vacant lots all over the country already. This is because it is easy to do and all you need is the space to do it. If a lot is standing empty the owner will probably lease it to you for a reduced rate – even if it is not long term. This will give you time to establish a client base and, when/if you must move location they will follow.
Alternatively, you could offer this service at client site thus establishing a mobile car wash and valeting service. Doing this will really save on the initial outlay as you won’t have to commit to a monthly rental payment.
2. Pick-up Service
All you need is a van with the ability to drive a car onto the back of it. A pick-up service could be affiliated to a third-party roadside recovery company, who will assign you jobs based on your location and the location of the pick-up required.
Alternatively, you could establish yourself and just charge the actual driver (rather than a third party) for coming out and picking them and their car up.
3. Driving Instructor
You will need to study and pass tests to become an instructor, and get dual controls on your car but, after that, it’s all about marketing yourself. Obviously, the more people you help to pass their driving test, the better your word-of-mouth business will be. Apart from that, many people will just look on the internet for a driving instructor in the local area, so make sure you set yourself up with a professional looking website and research the prices other instructors are offering.
4. Repairing Windscreens
This job would not require a premise as it would be completely mobile. If you decided to use this idea to create a business, you would do well to get in contact with the windscreen manufacturers and negotiate a deal for using them as your supplier.
Again, repairing windscreens works well in conjunction with third parties, like roadside rescue companies and insurance companies. Negotiate a standard price for your services and when they get a call out in your area, make sure you are their ‘go-to’.
5. Mobile Mechanic
No need for premises. Of course, you will need to be a qualified and experienced mechanic to be able to do this job. If you are then the opportunities are endless as most people would prefer to have their car fixed on site at home, where they can see what is going on. The only downside to this job is that you can’t foresee how long a job is going to take and if you have another job booked before you have finished, you are going to have a problem on your hands.
This may be something that works better with a group of you so another mechanic can step in when required.
6. Vehicle Registration Reseller
You can buy vehicle registration numbers. Some go for thousands of pounds; these are usually the ones which make a whole word (which means nothing to you – but could to someone else).
People like personalised registrations, this could be their initials, or the numbers could have a special meaning.
The downside to this is that you must take a leap of faith on the numbers. A person’s initials are hard to guess before they tell you what they are! But there are all sorts of connotations and some of them are going to be sought after…take the chance and you could be a big winner. If you see any plates that form a kind of whole word – and isn’t that expensive – buy it, it will mean something to someone.
7. Used Car Dealer
Once someone has made up their mind that they want a new car, you can usually purchase their old one for a steal. Even better, if you can persuade them to buy their new car from you, you can offer them a trade in price.
Look at what competitors are doing (price wise) before committing to a discount on the new one!
If you are dealing with multiple cars at a time you are going to need a plot to keep them. It is also a good idea to employ the services of an all-round mechanic to check the cars and be able to offer a warranty on them – this appeals to purchasers of used cars.
8. Taxi Cab Service
Currently, the taxi cab service is a swamped industry. This is a good thing because everyone can do it – provided they know the area they are offering the service in.
However, try and think of a Unique Selling Point (USP) for the service you offer. Maybe your service could be for ladies only (and driven by ladies only), or for children school runs (specifying that the necessary checks have been carried out on the driver), whatever it is, make it stand out from the hundreds of other taxi cab offerings.
9. MOT Centre
When you carry out an MOT you have a list of functions that you must test on the vehicle to ensure that it is roadworthy…this means you can pretty much guess how long each one will take and book in work accordingly.
To open an MOT centre you will need to be certified by the governing body as you will be issuing ‘PASS’ and ‘FAIL’ certificates. Obviously, you will have to be a qualified mechanic to know whether something is functioning correctly or not.
MOTs cost a specific amount of money. However, any jobs that need doing for the vehicle to pass is where the real money lies. The customer brings you the car and then picks it up at the end of the day, giving you the time to not only do the test, but also fix what needs fixing.
10. Car Rentals
You will need a few reliable cars to be able to offer this service in the first place, but the good thing is you can increase your fleet as and when you start making money.
If you choose this route to make some money, the best advice is to buy your rental cars well and from a trustworthy source. Then, affiliate your brand with some travel companies or airlines – who can carry your advertisements onboard. Also, affiliate with other smaller car-hire companies as you can gain business from them and they can take anything you cannot fulfil.
Lastly, this idea will only work if you create a website. People like to see what they are getting, so create an interactive website which allows people to book.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure you research it first. Is your idea one that is needed locally? Is it going to make you money? Are YOU invested in it? If they are all YES, go for it and good luck!