• January 15, 2008 at 11:04 am #63282
    Playoffs
    Member

    I am very new to this forum, have read few of your posts and found it a professional type of forum.Will be happy to learn and share with you all as time goes by.I just have one inquiry:

    I am a master technician trying to put some resources toegther to setup an auto service and repair shop for european makes.

    I am uncertain what the law says about resident status. I am currently a legal permanent resident, by law,do I need to be fully naturalised u.s citizen before I could setup such small size business in Maryland state? I would be happy for any helpful inputs/tips o info sites for the above subject from you experienced guys before making any serious commitments.

    Thanks, happy new year!

    PlayOffs

    January 15, 2008 at 12:13 pm #68565
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    Qwesi Manful wrote:

    > I am very new to this forum, have read few of your posts and found it a professional type of forum.Will be happy to learn and share with you all as time goes by.I just have one inquiry:

    >

    > I am a master technician trying to put some resources toegther to setup an auto service and repair shop for european makes.

    >

    > I am uncertain what the law says about resident status. I am currently a legal permanent resident, by law,do I need to be fully naturalised u.s citizen before I could setup such small size business in Maryland state? I would be happy for any helpful inputs/tips o info sites for the above subject from you experienced guys before making any serious commitments.

    >

    I would think you could start a shop, but I am not an expert in that area. For information like that and other information about starting a shop in your area a good place to start would be:

    http://www.wmda.net/

    Good luck!

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    January 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm #68566
    Blake
    Member

    I’ve never heard of any restrictions on non-US citizens in our field. I would for the most part, you face the same hurdles as anyone else. Out of curiosity, and I’m asking seriously, why do you want to start your own business?

    January 15, 2008 at 3:00 pm #68568

    From what I’ve read I can’t see you having any problems. Quite the opposite, actually. It seems anyone with a tackle box full of left-handed-crescent-hammers is allowed to work on cars in the USA. The reason this is a problem? We, as professionals, have to explain ourselves too many times why we can’t/won’t compete on that level. You need to research your question on a local level, but overall the states have very little restrictions in auto repair.

    January 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm #68569
    Playoffs
    Member

    I have great passion for automotive,especially cars and would want to explore and implement all the great ideas and experience acquired for the past 11 years by way of service,I mean quality customer service.It’s sometimes uneasy for two captains to be in one ship especially in the longterm, such issues could hinder growth and development as frequent disagreements on critical issues could occur. It can also be monotonous doing same stuff for years for someone, when my ideas are used for company benefit without due reward to me.

    In this case,I believe my entreprenural skills could help me do mine own thing if I have the opportunity-don’t forget, it’s always good to do what you enjoy doing most.

    Thanks.

    January 15, 2008 at 4:33 pm #68571
    rhopp
    Member

    Two Captains = disaster looking for a place to happen.

    Chances are pretty good that both captains are incompetent if they’re both still standing.

    You don’t go pissin’ on my trees without my permission.

    I firmly believe that it is a rare occurrence that a mechanic makes a good business manager. So if you love solving mechanical problems, solving red tape problems may drive you insane.

    If you are good enough at placing & keeping key people around you, you could do quite well.

    If, however, you are just too self important to play well with others, it can get pretty frustrating working 80 hours a week just to find out that everyone around you is making money but not you.

    It sounds like you are in a power struggle now, if you need a lesson from the other side of the issue, starting a shop is one way to get a very fast & hard reality check.

    IF you consider yourself “captain” when, in reality, you are just first mate, you are out of bounds. If you understand this, then you may have room to work it out. If you think you should be the captain & you are not (who can fire & hire who?) you either need to fight to win the position, or move on.

    There is a book called The E-Myth. If anyone is considering starting a business, this should be required reading. It was the beginning of my growth toward sitting in my living room watching the birds & deer in the back woods at 11:30 AM writing this, while the team that runs the shop, keeps the wheels turning.

    If you can’t tell, much of this could come from “The History of Rob, in one short volume”.

    January 16, 2008 at 2:30 am #68574
    PitCrew
    Member

    You write some interesting words!

    This looks like a good place to post my

    “ARE THERE ANY LADIES IN THE HOUSE”

    January 19, 2008 at 7:30 am #68587
    Playoffs
    Member

    Thanks, Rob! Your message has rather made me aware of the much awaited skills required to do such a venture.E-Myth worldwide is such a great source for business starters,I have been reading a lot of preperatory stuff on this site.

    You sound well experienced in running a business,will be knocking on your doors whenever help is needed.I will appreciate other helpful sources for help,if you have any.

    I will take my time and prepare well before going into full implementation.

    Thanks.

    1 user liked this post.
    February 3, 2008 at 1:41 am #68616
    the1tom
    Member

    The set of skills needed to be a master tech are totally different than those skills needed to manage a business. Some people possess both sets. It is by far more important to have the managerial skills than the tech skills in order to have a successful shop. These skills can be learned, but the biggest mistake anybody ever makes in starting their own shop is thinking that since they are a good tech owning a shop is a natural. In the management world there are “toolboxes” with many “drawers.” Each drawer has tools for different jobs. There may be an employee relation drawer(maybe even a side cabinet for this one!), a marketing drawer, customer relation drawer, business licensing/ government regulations drawer, etc. For example, it is paramount not to treat all customers the same. Each has their own wants, needs, and desires. You will be less successful selling preventive maintenance packages to the “A to B” driver, but the soccer mom who wants safety and reliability will be upset with you if you don’t look after those things that may leave her stranded. The list goes on.

    February 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm #68640

    QWESI; I pride myself in being able to read between the lines, but this thread has me confused about who the 2 captains are. I could assume you are talking about you and your boss. But if that were the case, why are the respondents talking as if you were going into business with another “captain”. Maybe I was just reading them wrong. One thing I can say for certain, is that if you are going into business, a person does have to be a leader. If you have leadership skills, other people will listen to you and head your advise. If you don’t have leadership skills, people (technicains)will generally think your points are invalid and not take you seriously. I myself, Owner of a repair shop am/ was a great technician, and thought the I could run a successful business. I have been able to keep my doors open now for about 15 years. Am struggling now and back to being a “one man show”. My biggest problem, right now, is being able to keep and attract quality mechanics. I never thought leadership was an issue but as i am finding out, it is very important.

    I am getting a little off track, but what I think I am trying to say is, just because you are a good tech does not remotely make you a good business owner. Or for that matter, a good leader.

    good luck

    doug

    1 user liked this post.
    February 10, 2008 at 3:30 pm #68651
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    Douglas Goldschmidt wrote:

    > QWESI; I pride myself in being able to read between the lines, but this thread has me confused about who the 2 captains are. I could assume you are talking about you and your boss. But if that were the case, why are the respondents talking as if you were going into business with another “captain”. Maybe I was just reading them wrong. One thing I can say for certain, is that if you are going into business, a person does have to be a leader. If you have leadership skills, other people will listen to you and head your advise. If you don’t have leadership skills, people (technicains)will generally think your points are invalid and not take you seriously. I myself, Owner of a repair shop am/ was a great technician, and thought the I could run a successful business. I have been able to keep my doors open now for about 15 years. Am struggling now and back to being a “one man show”. My biggest problem, right now, is being able to keep and attract quality mechanics. I never thought leadership was an issue but as i am finding out, it is very important.

    > I am getting a little off track, but what I think I am trying to say is, just because you are a good tech does not remotely make you a good business owner. Or for that matter, a good leader.

    >

    The toughest part of being in business for most of us, certainly for me, is letting the people we hire take over in their areas and letting them do their jobs without getting involved unnecessarily in everything that they do.

    Many businesses really take off when the owner makes the decision to get out of the way and let the staff do what they do best.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    1 user liked this post.
    February 25, 2008 at 5:51 pm #68677
    Playoffs
    Member

    Thanks, Tom. Very informative indeed!

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