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Starting Your Own Auto Repair Shop? Things You Should Know

If you’re passionate about automotive jobs and want the satisfaction of building your own business, starting an auto repair shop might be the right career path for you. As a business owner, you’ll wear many hats, and you’ll need to stay on top of managing employees and complying with laws and regulations, in addition to providing excellent automotive care. Here, NYADI The College of Transportation Technology, based in Jamaica, New York, outlines some key tips for starting your own repair shop.

Review Local Licensing and Zoning Regulations

If you’re planning to open your own auto repair shop, you’ll need to comply with all state and local regulations for owning and operating a business. In New York State, all body shops must be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and a special license is required to perform state inspections. You’ll also need to check on any local zoning requirements, which vary from place to place. Your municipality may limit commercial activity to specific areas, so you’ll need to do your research when choosing a site for your business.

Be Prepared to Supervise Employees

When you open your own business, you may be the only employee at first. But as you gain customers, you’ll probably need additional help. As a repair shop owner, you’ll be responsible for hiring, training, and supervising other automotive technicians. Make sure you’re well-versed in your state’s labor laws so that you’re providing a fair workplace environment. And if you know you’d rather not handle the administrative and supervisory aspects of running a business, consider if you’d be better suited to working as a senior technician in someone else’s shop.

Know Your Safety Regulations Inside and Out

As a business owner, you’ll need to make sure you comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Especially in a repair shop where chemicals and exhaust fumes are present, it’s important to maintain a safe working environment. You’ll need to know about the proper storage and disposal of oil and chemical solvents, as well as provide all employees with personal protective equipment (PPE). And as the owner, you’re responsible for keeping a clean and organized work area, so make sure all tools and equipment are properly stored.

Learn Bookkeeping and Recordkeeping

As a business owner, you’ll need to keep detailed service logs and customer records. Even if you’re not the primary bookkeeper, you’ll want to be able to understand your financial position and carefully budget for expenses like payroll, rent, and equipment. In addition, you may need to brush up on your math and writing skills.

Get Automotive Job Training at NYADI

If you’re planning to open your own shop, make sure you have a strong educational foundation in automotive technology. At NYADI The College of Transportation Technology, you’ll get hands-on training for automotive jobs in a supportive environment. NYADI offers associate degrees and certificate programs to prepare students for careers in automotive services, diesel technology, and collision repair. To learn more about our academic programs in Jamaica, NY, contact NYADI today.