Market research

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GMDiesel, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. GMDiesel

    GMDiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I really hope the administrators keep this post active. My post is intended to help some of you guys as much as I hope it helps me.

    I'm thinking about starting a repair shop for light duty trucks, with an emphasis on diesel powered vehicles. I thought what better place to do some market research than with guys who depend on their trucks to make a living. The basic question for me to answer is whether or not there's enough business out for the kind of shop I want. I live in a densely populated, near some very affluent areas. There's a significant amount of contractor work available and landscapers are kept going nearly 365 days out of the year.

    The shop would also specialize in doing diesel performance work. I specifically need to know if you guys have the time to do your own truck repairs, or would you pay to have mechanical and performance modifications done by a reputable shop. The guys I know depend on the dealer where they purchased the truck and that's not where they will always get the best work at the most reasonable price. The bottom line is that I don't see any good diesel shops around me. That tells me I either have a good idea or it's time to go back to the drawing board.

    What do you think? Have I missed anything? Do you have any advice for a wrencher that wants to strike out on his own?

  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    You'd have to find out how many Diesel engine trucks are registered in your area. The shop I worked for did this every so many years to found out how many of the types of cars we were working on were registered in the county. I'm not sure how he did it. Public records I think. He also had a dealers liscence so maybe that was how he did it, for recall notices and so forth. Hope that helps a bit. I assume you'll be installing Banks turbos or some kits of your own and so forth, probably rebuilding injection pumps?
  3. Gatewayuser

    Gatewayuser LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,765

    I don't have time to work on my truck so I drop it off at a shop on the weekends. And also have it detailed twice a month at the same place. I will only trust my truck with one shop and one shop only. So if you do good work and are trustworthy than I would say you would have no problem. Power upgrades would be a good idea also, I know a lot of people that do that themselves and would rather have some else do it for them.
  4. K c m

    K c m LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,336

    Honesty and superior work will have customers coming back. If you are choosing to place emphasis on light duty diesel powered equipment. Maybe take a look around your area and find a shop that might have the same qualities that your company/business works with and send all other customers to them and they send you all their diesel customers or something along those lines.

    good luck. :)

  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    An idea of how many trucks over 100K would be what you need to know. Nobody is going to take their truck to somewhere that can't do the warranty work. As far as performance options. You'll be limited on that as well. Maybe the one man shows would have something done, but I highly doubt multiple truck fleets are going to piss money away on chips or exhaust. The trucks make reliable power as they are.
  6. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    gm, a year or two ago, my local paper (dayton daily news) ran a small business feature on a guy who did the same as you are thinking. turns out he's been quite successful with it, and i seem to recall he actually underestimated the need for heavy equip repairs on things such as bobcats, etc. i think he even expanded his garage by a couple of additional bays much sooner than he thought.

    not sure if i can dig it up on their site given the time period, but maybe i can pull it up in lexis/nexis.

    any dayton-area guys recall that article or shop?

  7. GMDiesel

    GMDiesel LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2


    Thanks for anything you might be able to find...that would be fantastic! I'm not familiar with lexis/nexis. Is that some kind of super duty search function? How do you use it?
  8. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,908

    sorry gm, i should have expained. lexis/nexis (as featured on CSI tonight actually) is a pay service geared towards the legal industry, universities, and other research-oriented companies.

    most law shows, such as csi, law & order, etc reference this service at one time or another to add authenticity. westlaw is the other one often refenced. anyway, i'll see if i can dig something up.

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