An auto glass business startup is an appealing idea to many people with entrepreneurial ambitions. You get to be your own boss and, because of the necessity of automobiles, starting up a windshield replacement business tends to be a much more secure and safe venture than some more speculative businesses. But as with any business, it takes effort, planning, and money to start an auto glass business. Which raises an important question: how much does it cost to start a windshield repair and replacement business? Well, let’s answer a few questions to figure that out.
What size business do you want to start?
The good news is that you have options. You could start your auto glass business as a mobile business with just yourself and a mobile service vehicle. The auto glass industry has the infrastructure to support a “mobile-only” business model. You could also lease or buy a building, hire several technicians and customer service representatives, offer in-shop service, and put multiple mobile service vehicles on the road to service your customers. There are many auto glass businesses with this type of structure. You could also start a business somewhere between those two extremes. Obviously, the amount of money it will take to start each of these different businesses varies dramatically. Real estate costs more than a vehicle, four vehicles cost more than one vehicle, and eight employees cost more than zero employees. A shop, four vehicles, and eight employees will always have more revenue potential than you and a vehicle, but the flexibility gives you the opportunity to start what’s right for you and grow from there.
How fast do you want to grow?
Speaking of growth, the cost of an auto glass business also depends on how much you want to spend in the first three to six months to accelerate growth. The rate at which your business takes market share can be much faster with a stronger marketing budget and spending on B2B sales. Your business can gain instant name recognition in your market with a radio or television ad, a billboard, sponsorship of an event, a physical mail piece, etc. Notice something those all have in common? They cost money. Like the capacity of your business, your initial marketing can be on the high end, the low end, or in between, and your results will typically follow.
The time and money you spend on business-to-business sales has a similar effect. While your consumer marketing will impact local businesses, there is no substitute for walking into a fleet manager’s office and showing them the value and quality you can provide. Again, this costs money. You could hire a salesperson to make these visits. Even if you do it yourself, you’ll need materials to leave behind and time away from working on vehicles. But the more time and resources you put into sales and marketing, the faster your business will typically grow.
Are you going to join a franchise network or try to make it work on your own?
There’s a reason why franchisors charge franchising fees: franchisors provide value. There’s a reason why over 10,000 people each year pay those fees: franchise fees are worth paying. Just like your initial capacity and initial marketing, you can spend less to start an auto glass business on your own, with no support, or you can use your resources to join a network of other glass shops with decades of experience doing exactly what you’re attempting to do—opening a successful auto glass business. Joining a franchise network may be the best use of your initial resources. With NOVUS for example, you have access to a National Call Center that provides some of the support of a customer service representative without you hiring one. You have a team that is making sales calls with fleet companies and insurers across the country, doing that business to business sales for you. Your initial marketing is less expensive because NOVUS has already created marketing materials for every medium, including digital, that can be customized for your business and market. In addition to this, you get the best training in the industry on windshield repair and replacement, business management and point-of-sale software, and excellent pricing on tools and materials. All of these things you’d have to figure out on your own without the help of the franchise network, and you’d likely end up spending more. In fact, most of the fees you pay to NOVUS to start an auto glass franchise are reinvested directly into your business as marketing, training, equipment, software, and branding.
So, how much does it cost to start an auto glass business? It depends on these factors and a few more. But in most cases, your resources will be maximized and your growth will be made quicker by joining a franchise network who can guide you through the flexibility to start the business that’s right for you.
If you would like to know more about the windshield replacement business startup process at NOVUS Glass, please contact us today. You can reach us at our website or by phone at 800-944-6811.