Opening a repair shop with store front

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by kandklandscape, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. kandklandscape

    kandklandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 341

    We are opening a full service and repair shop in PA here in about 2 weeks. What are the MUST have's in the shop, normal repairs such as oil changes, maint issues, etc. We will be working on lawn tractors, commercial walk behinds, push mowers, weedeaters etc.

    Also are any of you in the store front business?

    For like the first 50 customers we were going to offer a full tune up on push mowers or snowblowers for $25!! Most of our repair shops around are charging $50-$100 so I figured to get customers $25 would bring em in! Snow blower tune up is here very soon!

    How do you get warranty work also? Such as Lowes, Depot, Snapper? I imagine you need to become a dealer first?
  2. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    I am unable to answer your questions but I would think these would be the questions you would have answered before you decided to open a store front.

    I wish you luck in your new endeavor.
  3. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Do you have any affliation or relationship with equipment mfg? Are you going to sell any equipment? Or is it strictly service?

    The wal-mart mode works for wal mart. I doubt I would try such a stunt with a repair shop with store front.
  4. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I don"t know what your market is like, but you will need to have equipment lines that you sell.

    It will be hard to get parts to do service, if you are not a dealer for the product. (Both time and $$ will be higher than a dealer for the same brand)

    You also need to be a dealer for warranty work.

    You will need a lot of space to safely store customers machines. One stolen mower and your reputation is shot.

    If you are competing with bigger dealers, you will need to specialize and keep good inventory. Customers will expect that you have every belt, blade, filter, tire, tube, spring etc for any brand that you sell.

    Most of the dealers that I have seen are a dealer for
    1-2 lines of hand held equipment
    1-3 lines of mowers ( ones that complement each other such as walker, dixie chopper and toro) Each tractor has a purpose and do not eat each others sales.

    In my opinion, this is the type of business where you have to be 110% ready to go. One bad week because you are new will ruin you before you start.

    Also, to a busy contractor that needs his machine. Saving $25 on a tune up is no where near as important as having it done quickly and well so that there is no time lost on a comeback.

    Hope that helps, I know that these are the reasons that my dealer does well.

  5. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 1,758

    You need a good mechanic to start with :) Factory train is even better.
    He should be a good organizer and beable to run the shop, That is what will make or break your new shop.
    Credit is your friend, you will need it if you expect to have parts sent to you from who ever you have as a distributor. Have more then one :rolleyes:
    The shop I took over 6 years ago was a Walker retailer, but we dropped them
    Now we are a full service shop for Kawasaki, Kohler, Tanaka, MTD, Briggs, and we sub for Lesco.
    If you want a list of shop equipment....Lift, welder, electric and gas, BIG grinder, 20 ton press, did I mention lift ;) It's the only thing I don't have in this shop:cry: And my list could go on.....
    ericg likes this.
  6. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570


    I love your signature.
  7. kandklandscape

    kandklandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 341

    We have a great mechanic, has 35 yrs exp. he has all training and was once briggs certified. He lost his cert because he ran into some problems with the law, heck what employee hasnt these days?!

    We have a store front that we are currently using as office space. However we plan to move the office to a bigger location once the repair shop gets going.

    We plan on just being a service center, and possibly buying a local dealership out. This being, we would need the store front. Shouldnt have said store front just yet, but we could have a parts dept.

    We have one big dealership in our area and one little guy, well medium, and then there would be us, the LITTLE guy. Just starting this side of the biz, not sure about a few things thats all.

    I had a Subway before, so I know how stores go. Of course the green industry is MUCH different then ordering food and such, I still have management skills and of course business skills.

    My main ? is that do you have to be a dealer for the product you wish to service? Meaning if you would call 180077lowes and you have a troybilt I would want the work to come to us. We already have a john deere service center, I would want to deal with snapper, scag, troy bilt (always job security there), craftsman(JOB SECURITY)

    What kind of specials do you think would be good to run? We are going (so far) with a $25 tune up, that is oil change, air filter (if needed) spark plug, blades sharpened, cleanup of the equip and set magneto (if needed)
    Sounds like a great deal and think we can build from that.

    Our market is slow this time of year, well in about 2 weeks snowblower frenzy will start. So this would be a great time to get into the biz.

    Any of you have luck with repair shops? This is right on a major highway and there are about 18k cars daily. Right at an intersection and red light.
  8. kandklandscape

    kandklandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 341

    Major items we do have is lifts, tool chests, hobart welder mig and stick, jacks, hoists, etc etc To much to list. What is a must need in the repair shop? I went to school for small engine repair, and I know much has changed since 8 years ago.
  9. kandklandscape

    kandklandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 341

    forgot another thing, could list 500 more but need to sit down and figure out, air hose, air compressor, gun etc etc all the tools for that to
  10. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    Duct tape, a BFH, Vice Grips and some baler wire. Thats all you need.
    I dont care what the question is, that is the answer.

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