Starting a garage business in Kenya is an excellent idea if you have the skills. You will have the privilege of owning and managing your own business. Car repair is profitable, especially if you know how to run a garage business. Also, with the increase in the number of vehicles on roads, there has been high demand for car repair services.
Most people in Kenya can now afford automobiles, making it necessary for business people to set up garage businesses. The automotive repair sector in Kenya is currently making huge profits.
Also Read: How to start a car wash business in Kenya.
How to Start a Car Garage Business
This is how to start and run a garage business business in Kenya.
Prepare an Auto Repair Business Plan
Like any other business, to start a car repair business in Kenya, you will need automotive garage business plan. The following are the items that you need to include in your auto garage business plan.
Decide on your Car Repair Business Name
It is crucial to choose the right name for your business, as it mostly plays a huge role in your success. There are probably many car repair businesses around, so it is critical to choose a unique name. The name should be simple, easy to remember, catchy and similar to the services you are offering. You can visit the eCitizen portal for online business registration.
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The Model and Scope of the Garage business
It is essential to define the model of your business when starting a car repair business. This will state whether your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Also, a business plan should focus of how many customers it will serve in a day. It should also state the services the business will offering (specialized services such as tire repairs, or oil changes or all car repair services).
You can decide whether to start a business or buy an already existing business. This should be stated in the business plan. The business plan will also contain the costs of starting or buying an existing business. If it is starting a new business, then you need a list of items and tools you need. Some tools like spanners, tool box, tyre changer are important when starting.
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State Potential Business Locations and Your Target Market
You will need to include the potential business locations for your car repair business. Locations with access to main roads or highways are excellent since they have a very high potential to attract customers. If your business is in a hidden location, customers might not spot it.
If you have a strained budget, you can start your car repair business from home and your initial customers will be your neighbors. With time, you can hire a place for your business as it grows.
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Find out the Required Equipment and their Costs
Every business type requires unique business equipment. You will need to include the type of equipment necessary to run the business with the respective costs in your business plan. State whether you will rent or buy new equipment. Other costs include rental costs, how much you will pay your employees, business license costs, registration costs, and business insurance costs.
To start an average car repair business in Kenya, you need a capital investment of between Ksh 150,000 to 250,000. However, you can start small and grow with your business. Alternatively, you can start by being employed as a mechanic before starting your own business. However, starting your own garage business is best.
Identify Your Source of Finances
You will need finances to start and run your car repair business. In your business plan, state your financial sources: will you apply for a business loan from a bank? Will you borrow from a Sacco or will family and friends help you raise capital? You need to detail your sources of funding in your business plan and include how you plan to repay your loans.
Read more: Sources of funding for your business.
Obtain Necessary Car Repair Business Licenses and Permits
For the smooth running, you will need to obtain auto repair business license and permit from the concerned authorities. You can obtain them from your county government offices or city council. Costs will depend on the size of the business. Alternatively, you can visit the Kenya Business Licensing Portal for online services.
Apply for Business Insurance
Purchasing insurance for your car repair business is essential in that you will receive compensation in the case of losses. With a car repair business Insurance in Kenya, you will be protected against damage to customer vehicles stored in your shop due to theft, fire, and other hazards.
Tips on How to Run a Garage Business in Kenya
The success of your car repair business depends mainly on how best you will market your business and your relationship with customers. The following is how you can run a successful car repair business.
Gain the Necessary Training and Experience
If you are working on your own business, you must acquire the necessary car repair and servicing skills. Many schools and especially Tvets in Kenya are offering Motor Vehicle Mechanic courses at pocket friendly prices. For a full mechanic course, charges are between Ksh 100,000 and 200,000.
On the other hand, if your business will employ mechanics, ensure that they are qualified an honest. No car owner wants to take their expensive car to an inexperienced mechanic. You should know that with the growing technology, automobiles are now designed differently from earlier car types.
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Offer Excellent Customer Service
Customers are likely to go back to a car repair shop with the best customer services. This begins with how you will address customers. You should be able to explain the problem and how you will fix it, how much time it will take to fix the problem, and the costs. It is good, to be honest to your customers.
Make Your Brand Known
Marketing your business is a sure way to drive more customers to your car repair business. You can print eye-catching flyers and distribute them to the public or place them where they will be visible to customers in places such as playing grounds, car parking lots, and gyms.
Consider Offering Mobile Car Repair Services
After establishing your initial customer base, you can consider going mobile. You can go to your customers' homes to do minor car repairs like tyre change. Sometimes vehicles breakdown and they need to be repaired beside the road. In such cases, a mechanic needs to go to where the car is. If you can offer mobile repair services, your business will be convenient for your customers and they will stick with you.
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Offer Some Free Services
You do not have to charge your customers for each service you offer. For instance, if a customer comes for an engine repair, you can offer him free oil change. This shows that you care and it will keep the customers coming back.
Apart from repairing cars, you can offer other services like car washing. This will help you make an extra income and tap on more customers. Finally, the success of your car repair business will depend on how best you design your business plan, your relationship with customers, and your marketing strategies. Ultimately, running a garage business requires hard work and persistence.
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