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    0 Replies Latest reply on Sep 7, 2008 3:39 PM by Fireside

    Wanted: Auto Body Shop in Indiana! Investor Questions

    Fireside Newbie

      Little about myself, my name is Mike I am 30 years old, I live in a town in central Indiana of about 120k population. I went to high school in this town majoring in Marketing and Accounting. After highschool I attended a small community college where I started working toward an associates in Visual Communications. Unfortunately things came up where I wasn't able to finish this degree and had to support a full time family, there taking me to a few different jobs finally leading me to work at a local state prison for 5 years. I have since left that job because of things not in my control.

      Over the past few years me and my father have talked about opening our own body shop in the town that I described in the previous paragraph. He has worked in this industry for 12 years now, and has taught me general practices of the trade over the past few years. Him and I haven't really put anything to stone other than working out of his garage part time. The individuals that he does work for always ask when he is starting his own shop so he can work fulltime repairing vehicles. I am always pushing him to line cars up so we can start this dream of owning our own business someday. But we just talk nothing happens, and the only reason is because the one word that comes up everytime "MONEY." His garage isn't large enough to make a large profit for the both of us and the only work he seems to get in right now is used car dealerships. These small time dealerships don't want to pay the going rate for auto body work which is $41/hour, nor do they want to pay the going rate for parts meaning you have to put on used parts from a junk yard usually.

      So my question is how do I get the funds to open our own shop and stop making the other individuals we work for wealthy just because they have better credit than ours. This comes to my other problem, mine and my fathers credit is horrible, I have a bankruptcy on mine along with medical bills from my son. My father has credit problems because of my mother running credit cards up and only paying the monthly premium. I rent my home and he has a second mortgage on his. We have thought about getting my grandfather involved which has A1 credit and runs the Commercial Department for an Autozone that ranks 1st in the state, but was hoping we wouldn't need to.

      My father has a friend that runs his own shop about 35 miles away and tells us all the time that we need to open our own shop, the rewards are amazing and the amount of profit that comes from one of these shops is nothing like he ever thought it would be. He told us some figures of 30% profit on everything that comes out of the business because of the high mark up of parts and labor. Insurance companies need these shops for car
      repairs and most want brand new parts on vehicles they insure for their customers. Like I said in the second paragraph right now auto body repair is at $41/hour in this area might be higher in others and car storage alone is $25 per day, and sometimes vehicles sit for weeks. Thats a 100% profit for a vehicle just sitting on your property waiting to be repaired.

      I think we could make a business like this work in this area that strives to do excellent work and willing to serve the customers needs. There are a few shops that do work around the area but nothing ground breaking and the customer service is horrible. A smiling face when someone comes through the door would do wonders and showing that the company thats doing the repairs on these vehicles cares by following up 2-4 months down the road making sure the customers are still happy and satisfied would be the difference.

      If someone can give me some insight on how I could get an investor or some line of credit that could financially back this type of business would be great. I have went to the score sight and thought about contacting them here in my hometown to see what they have to say, and have also downloaded the business plan. I am looking at a figure of around $100k for everything. Thats a building, equipment, land, utilities, shop set up, payroll, insurance, accountant, marketing, and misc.. Not real sure how long this would take to pay back, but if the profit margin is as large as I would project than shouldn't be a large number of years estimation of 10-15 years.

      I am open for support on this if anyone knows anyone or has done it themselves I would love to hear from you.

      Thanks Again