Business idea thoughts - Miata Turbo Forum - Boost cars, acquire cats.

Welcome to Miataturbo.net   Members
 


Insert BS here A place to discuss anything you want

Reply
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-01-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Palm Beach Fl
Posts: 242
Total Cats: -2
Default Business idea thoughts

After doing my clutch I started thinking about when I was in the Air Force. One of the bases I was stationed at had an Auto Hobby Shop. Basically you could rent bay space and tools to work on your car. I cant remember but I dont think it included a lift. If you couldnt finish the job you had you paid so much a day to store the car. Of course it was very cheap especially considering it was 25 years ago.

I wonder if a venture like that could be done privately? I would think apartment wrenchers would like it, and even some with homes. I would have paid to get away from the wife bitching about the grease during the clutch job.

What do you think? Would you use facilities like that if it was reasonable enough? Say 15 bucks an hour and any tools you needed rented reasonably?
gman3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #2
Elite Member
iTrader: (15)
 
patsmx5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,796
Total Cats: 247
Default

Been discusses before. Biggest problems is theft, damage to tools, and insurance/ people suing you over something.
patsmx5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
Junior Member
iTrader: (6)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: dfw
Posts: 85
Total Cats: 0
Default

There was a place in sf bay that was like that I can't remember the name though.
jmnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: MD/DE/PA
Posts: 337
Total Cats: 0
Default

Rent and insurance are the two main costs in any business, especially auto shops. Remember, if they bill $80 per hour, the vast majority of it is going toward commercial rent (you think YOUR rent is expensive), liability and other insurance (you could try to operate without it, if your landlord would let you, but in today's sue-happy world, it'd be silly to do so), etc. Self-service bays are becoming a thing of the past, rapidly, although they used to be more common. Then you have the up-front costs of buying the tools, and replacing the ones that get broken and/or walk away (nobody takes care of stuff that isn't theirs)... then you have to find a sufficient number of people who want to pay for the "service"- which is easier when you have a concentrated number of guys living in military housing in a small area, but harder in the "real world"- you could try a college town, but most of the kids likely don't have the expertise to do their own work. And you'd have to get your name out to the few people who would be interested- not an easy task.

It could be done. It has been done. But it seems that the "little stuff" would end up sucking down a LOT of time and money and make it way harder than it seems initially.

Good luck.


Edit- DAMN people type fast on this board.
the_man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
Elite Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 2,900
Total Cats: 0
Default

I think you'd have to charge so much to your customers that they'd rather just pay the extra $10 an hours for someone else to do the work.
Arkmage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 01:21 PM   #6
Boost Pope
iTrader: (8)
 
Joe Perez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago (Over two miles from Wrigley Field. Fuck the Cubs. Fuck them in their smarmy goat-hole.)
Posts: 26,317
Total Cats: 1,914
Default

Perhaps the most famous example of this concept having been tried and failed was a garage opened by Tom and Ray Magliozzi, aka "Click & Clack, the Tappet Brothers" late of Car Talk fame.

In 1973, the two opened a DIY outfit in Cambridge, MA called "Hacker's Haven." (The term hacker, at the point in history, referred to DIY tinkerers in general, and had no specific connotation to computer hackers who were merely a subset of this larger group.) Obviously, at the time they did not worry much about litigation, but there were other problems. In his autobiography, Ray recalls:
So there we were, Monique and I, in Bennington, Vermont, freezing all of our appendages off. At about the same time, Tom became self-unemployed. He was basically a bum, and he spent his days hanging out in Harvard Square drinking coffee. I knew the best way to keep him out of trouble was to get him working, and Mom called me every day, begging me to rescue him. We decided to open Hacker's Haven to save Tommy from a life of vagrancy. This was the time when everyone was working on his own car, so we thought, and our idea was to open a garage where people could do their own work and we'd rent space and tools to them.

We knew our idea was brilliant and thought we'd have wheelbarrows full of money to show for it. Of course, the do-it-yourselfers who came in were such klutzes that we felt sorry for them, and we'd end up working on their cars for $2.50 an hour, which is what they were paying to supposedly do their own work. So we ended up fixing all the cars that came in. I mean, if some poor chump is spending all day trying to change his spark plugs, you can't help but give him a hand. Consequently, we ended up helping everyone all the time, and we made no money at all.
Ultimately, the garage failed to ever become profitable, and in the late 70s it changed to a regular full-service operation with the name "Ray's Good News Garage", which still operates today.


Nowadays, you have to figure that there are even greater obstacles than what the brothers faced back then. The greatest one that I can see is liability. Not just the obvious issue of a person harming themselves in your garage with your tools, but also liability for property damage and injuries to others arising from improper repairs performed in the garage. Say a fellow does a brake job on his old Chevy Suburban in your shop, then out on the highway, a wheel falls off because he didn't torque the lug nuts properly. His SUV crashes sideways into a busload of nuns, which crashes into a fuel tanker before disintegrating in a cloud of habits and rosaries. The tanker careens off the highway and down a cliff, where it lands on the new cancer ward of a children's hospital, in which is being performed a play in honor of the Veterans of Popular Wars.

That would suck.
Joe Perez is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Palm Beach Fl
Posts: 242
Total Cats: -2
Default

thanks Joe your right bad idea. Too bad people are so quick to sue and win.
gman3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 03:04 PM   #8
Junior Member
iTrader: (4)
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA
Posts: 398
Total Cats: 0
Default

Get a release of liability? Must sign to rent? ;p

Problem solved!
gompers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
N3v
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nashville/Knoxville, TN
Posts: 318
Total Cats: 1
Default

also paint your tools fluorescent orange and put anti theft alarms on them
N3v is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 04:26 PM   #10
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: West Palm Beach Fl
Posts: 242
Total Cats: -2
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by N3v View Post
also paint your tools fluorescent orange and put anti theft alarms on them
Maybe hold drivers license credit card or have a hefty deposit
gman3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2009, 10:38 PM   #11
Junior Member
iTrader: (2)
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Louisville, Ky
Posts: 144
Total Cats: 2
Default

I had this thought a few years ago. Open a DYI shop for a hourly rate, but my business partner talked me out of it. You will need a lot of money to get it started, and the Hells Angles to watch over the tools.

KMag
KMag is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Project Gemini - Turbo Civic on the Cheap Full_Tilt_Boogie Build Threads 57 07-19-2017 05:11 PM
Moroso Air Oil Separator Catch Can Aroundcorner Miata parts for sale/trade 2 10-01-2015 04:20 PM
Time to start learning and play with tuning The Gleas MEGAsquirt 3 10-01-2015 10:30 AM
Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump $50 lsc224 Miata parts for sale/trade 2 10-01-2015 10:17 AM
Nuke Mars! Joe Perez Current Events, News, Politics 8 09-30-2015 05:41 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:25 AM.