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Grimm
12-29-2004, 02:43 PM
A friend of mine at work and I were talking earlier about how much we wish we could get out of here, and we were coming up with ideas for different things we could do. We came up with something I've never really thought of before.

He thought about opening up a garage with bays for rent. He'd offer just normal bays, bays with a pit, and bays with a lift and charge differnent amounts for each one. He'd supply tools and sell some auto related things like filters and spark plugs and wires. I know there used to be places like that, but I haven't heard of anything like that for awhile around here. With the number of people in this area that work on their own cars and trucks, I think you could probably make a good bit of money at it. The only problem I could see would be a very high initial cost to get everything set up.
What do you guys think?

Ah, the things you think about when you're bored at work on a holiday.....

epic
12-29-2004, 02:59 PM
Sounds like a pretty good idea.

It would be very costly to setup, though. That's for damn sure. Prices for lifts are pretty ridiculous if you want the ones that can take the wear and tear.

Also, it'd be in your best bet to find out the liability risks and what you'd be able to do to protect yourself if someone's car or someone's body was injured while working at this so-called place.

I'd dig it - but my car would be there for ages since I have no time to read up on a cam swap. :dammit:

hawgs
12-29-2004, 03:06 PM
I have often thought about this and wished there was such a place... it seems pretty logical but then you start thinking about the wear and tear on your equipment and liabilities associated with it.

In order to do it.. you would have to invest a TON of money to get it rolling and be able to afford not turning any kind of profit the first couple years. You also have to think about how you would go about charging the customer. If you want to charge them by the day or by the hour, and it would have to be less then what a mechanic would charge. Icon Motorsports here in Houston charges 65 bucks an hour... so for a do-it-yourself place it would have to be under 30-35 at least.

I know if there was a place around here that offered those services... I would be there quite often.

Grimm
12-29-2004, 03:24 PM
Now see that's what I thought, but neither of us have the money to start something like that.

We also started talking a little more and thought about adding a dyno as well :drive:

Grimm
12-29-2004, 03:58 PM
gah...why did i have to say anything. Now I got myself all excited about the idea and I'm trying to see what it would take to get something like this going.

Ovidiu
12-29-2004, 04:02 PM
There are quite a few cool things you can do if you have money lying around (spending it all on booze and women doesn't count).

Grimm
12-29-2004, 05:32 PM
Ovidiu wrote:

There are quite a few cool things you can do if you have money lying around (spending it all on booze and women doesn't count).
:withstupid: This is true :D

93camaro_zzz
12-29-2004, 06:39 PM
Also, with every purchase, I would charge a tool deposit, that is refundable, just in case some fools want to walk off with your tools. And I would keep them in the office, and check them out as needed. Sounds like a good idea, especially if it looked real nice, and you maybe had like an oil tank in the garage. You know the ones that you just pull the handle and pump oil into your car? Then you could charge that way. Also you could have like one or two experienced tech there, so they could be working on their car, and then get stuck, and ask your techs free of charge for some helpful advice. Pretty good idea you got there. ;)

Grimm
12-29-2004, 07:14 PM
93camaro_zzz wrote:

Also, with every purchase, I would charge a tool deposit, that is refundable, just in case some fools want to walk off with your tools. And I would keep them in the office, and check them out as needed. Sounds like a good idea, especially if it looked real nice, and you maybe had like an oil tank in the garage. You know the ones that you just pull the handle and pump oil into your car? Then you could charge that way. Also you could have like one or two experienced tech there, so they could be working on their car, and then get stuck, and ask your techs free of charge for some helpful advice. Pretty good idea you got there. ;)

Thanks, we planned on making it real nice. Also we're really close to Redline raceway outside of Greenville so we thought about trying to get into the same area as them.

We've actually been looking into it a little deeper.

We found out that there's a woman at work who's mom is dating a guy(I know this doesn't sound good) that sells car lifts in the dallas area. We talked to him and he said we can get a 12,000 lb lift for around $2500-$2900(said it depends on the price of steel) this is kinda getting cool now :D

We've started to make up a mock business plan just to see how far we can get. I think I'm gonna think about this some more this holiday and see what I come up with.
The only worry my friend has is he's not sure if there would be enough people interested in something like this.

1970judge
12-29-2004, 07:31 PM
some guy aorudn here does that he rents bays..and he makes an assload of money off it.

Grimm
12-29-2004, 07:44 PM
1970judge wrote:

some guy aorudn here does that he rents bays..and he makes an assload of money off it.

That's kinda what we figure :D

Jon
12-29-2004, 09:17 PM
Don't forget you're going to have to pay the city for waste disposal of so-called "toxic" items like oil, etc. You know, if you can talk to an Air Force MWR section, they can probably tell you how they have an Auto Hobby center set up and you can find out the costs from there. That's what your idea sounded like to me when I first read it. A chain of places like that could bring back the good 'ol days of hot rodding and shit...

Oh, the AF only charges like $3/hour for lift time at a lube rack, and I think less at a general use rack. They also have engine rebuild bays for rent and crap. Look into it.

Grimm
12-30-2004, 01:28 PM
Thanks man, I didn't even think about the whole waste disposal thing. I guess we'll have to look into that too.

I didn't know about the Air Force thing either. I'll have to look into that.

majeskyb
12-30-2004, 04:29 PM
I could tell you all about the hobby shop. I use that place on a weekly basis. The one on Barksdale is $2.50 an hour for a regular stall, $5/hour for a lift. each stall comes with a full toolbox, and they also have specialty tools behind the counter, that get checked out on an exchange basis. When you get a stall, they give you a key ring with like 5-10 washers on it. When you get a tool, you give them a washer, and they put it in the place of the tool. They also offer techs that are willing to do basic (oil, tires, brakes, etc) maintenance on the cars



Another thing- they also usually have a do it yourself carwash next to the hobby shop. Just something to ponder

GatoLoco
01-02-2005, 11:29 AM
Personally I like the idea!! It would be ideal for oil changes....I hate putting my car on ramps, those things get in the way sometimes. I would be there every other month with my wife's car, mine, and my in-laws suburbans.

HappyFunTimeHour
01-02-2005, 01:04 PM
They do it in Hawaii. They have bays with lifts. You bring your tools, or you can borrow shop tools (they only have specialty tools - Harmonic dampners, spring compressors, etc). You can change your oil/transmission fluid, but that's it (at least at the ones I went to).
You can make a GOOD amount of money. What will take some research is the environmental stuff. If you're a business, what rules do you have to follow for handling of chemicals, etc...

Grimm
01-02-2005, 05:07 PM
Thanks, I'm glad to get so much positive feedback on the idea. I'll take everything that's been said into consideration, and I'll post updates if and when this goes any further.

bene
01-03-2005, 01:49 PM
I was thinking of this idea too when I'm done with the AF and start a business like this in TEXAS. Have a hotrod shop that have a dyno, lifts, mechanics for hire, play room for the kids and a lounge area for the wives/gfs to hang-out while the GUYS fix their stuff and last but not least a carwash.

The thing about the liability issue is you have to get the customer sign a disclaimer contract about the shop not being responsible for any accidents and such and the tools you can include the price when the bay is in use. Maybe my Montgomery G.I. Bill can help me out with the money to establish this business.:bang:

user1101
01-03-2005, 07:48 PM
I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I strongly suspect that in order to get a loan, you'd have to get adequate insurance coverage. And you'd have a hell of a time finding a company that would underwrite a policy for you. Pneumatic lifts + general public + enough time = disaster + lawsuit.

It's not the fees for discharge of harmful chemicals that would kill you... it's the liability premiums that would bore out your cornhole. And you'd damn well better incorporate so the first assclown that drops a 2.5 ton car on his kid's neck doesn't take you for every penny that you're worth.

I'm not sure an indemnity clause in a contract would suffice.

/realist

Grimm
01-03-2005, 08:19 PM
user1101 wrote:

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but I strongly suspect that in order to get a loan, you'd have to get adequate insurance coverage. And you'd have a hell of a time finding a company that would underwrite a policy for you. Pneumatic lifts + general public + enough time = disaster + lawsuit.

It's not the fees for discharge of harmful chemicals that would kill you... it's the liability premiums that would bore out your cornhole. And you'd damn well better incorporate so the first assclown that drops a 2.5 ton car on his kid's neck doesn't take you for every penny that you're worth.

I'm not sure an indemnity clause in a contract would suffice.

/realist

We've thought of that....that's the one thing that's really keeping us from looking into it further. I have no idea how we would protect ourselves from that, and my friend doesn't either. I'm not really sure how to go about find out information about it either.

user1101
01-03-2005, 08:30 PM
Protecting yourself from personal liability is trivial. You incorporate. There's a nominal fee and you have to file a 10-K every year. That's it.

The problem is that the first lawsuit may cost enough to force you to liquidate the corporation's assets to pay the lawyer bills.

Hiring your own lawyer to answer questions like these is certainly the first step. I'm sure anyone who has set up their own sky-diving business or scuba-diving business goes through these same issues. Someone has the answers for you.

Grimm
01-03-2005, 08:39 PM
Thanks man, that helps. I'll look into it.