• December 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm#63740
    donlee
    Member

    I just purchased a new building that I am going to move my existing business to and turn my current building into a specialty shop. Any suggestions on what you would do differentlly if you could start over. New building gives me 1 more bay and more room for equip & storage.I plan on taking my time & setting up new shop the way I want it(maybe 2 years). I have thought about starting a detail shop or a transmission shop in my old building but am open to anything . I work on aprox 75% gm & chrys now , but want to start trying to capture more of the asian market(honda & toyota ).I have a great customer base so new shop should stay busy. What would you do ?

    December 6, 2009 at 1:35 pm#70721
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    don lee wrote:

    > I just purchased a new building that I am going to move my existing business to and turn my current building into a specialty shop. Any suggestions on what you would do differentlly if you could start over. New building gives me 1 more bay and more room for equip & storage.I plan on taking my time & setting up new shop the way I want it(maybe 2 years). I have thought about starting a detail shop or a transmission shop in my old building but am open to anything . I work on aprox 75% gm & chrys now , but want to start trying to capture more of the asian market(honda & toyota ).I have a great customer base so new shop should stay busy. What would you do ?

    Don:

    For the new shop, I’d suggest that you plan an “open house” of sorts where you invite as many other shop owners as you can to stop in, have some food and drinks, and ask for suggestions (of course, you could also do this one at a time if you prefer). Odds are you will end up with quite a few ideas that you have not thought of yet. (You might even do something similar with some of your better customers.) We are considering another building and intend to have some other shop owners take a look before we do much of anything to it. There is nothing worse than spending a lot of time getting a new shop “all fixed up” and then have people mention some great ideas on how you could have done it better.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    December 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm#70734
    holmes
    Member

    Don, how far away is your new building from your existing building? how do you plan to get all of your “old ” customers to your “new” building. I am in your situation currently and i would rather close my “old” location because of to much headaches, and my “new” location is far better of a building,lot,location,etc., but i am afraid of “old” customers not coming to my”new” location, any help from either of you would help. and if you need help with headaches just ask

    December 9, 2009 at 9:41 pm#70735
    Tom Ham
    Participant

    tim woodard wrote:

    > Don, how far away is your new building from your existing building? how do you plan to get all of your “old ” customers to your “new” building. I am in your situation currently and i would rather close my “old” location because of to much headaches, and my “new” location is far better of a building,lot,location,etc., but i am afraid of “old” customers not coming to my”new” location, any help from either of you would help. and if you need help with headaches just ask

    Tim:

    If your new building is in a truly better location, and you thoroughly inform your current customers, and the new building is not extremely far from the old one, and if you do a reasonably good job of marketing in the new area when you move….odds are that you will initially have more customers and work than you have now. At least that is how it typically works when a shop moves.

    The biggest problem is often figuring out how to retain them all after the initial honeymoon rush.

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    December 10, 2009 at 12:13 pm#70736
    holmes
    Member

    tom, how far is too far? my new shop is 15 min away, but in a different town. 90% of my customers from my old shop live in that town, how would you approach that(i am thinking a courtesy van, or free pick up and delivery)how long would you take to make the transition?

    December 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm#70737
    donlee
    Member

    New shop is only 12 blocks from old shop , its a small town with only a few shops .The location is not as good as I would like , but neither is my current shop . My dad had a gas station for 23 years before we moved to our current location and we have been here for 21 years.I have a large loyal customer base built up over those years that would follow me easily. I would like to keep old shop open for at least a year for those customers that just show up once a year or so . I will use signs , newspaper & direct mail to let everyone know .I plan on an open house when I finally move my shop. I am moving next week into the house so I will start working on the building after the first of the year .

    December 16, 2009 at 11:37 am#70752

    Keeping 2 shops open sounds like a headache. I would use this time to do a direct mailing to your customers to anounce your move and include a coupon or some special. Leave a display at old shop with a map and maybee some coupons to make it worth the drive to the new shop. Maybee keep someone there for a while just to take care of quick walk ins. and shuttle cars to new shop that are dropped off. Make sure customers pick up at new shop.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:02 pm#70753
    gnigon
    Member

    When it comes to the small details likehow to route the air lines and what type of lighting it will be helpful to get expert advise. We had a retired mechanical engineer our air lines when we relocated a shop 10 years ago.Air tools last a long time with no water in the air lines. T 8 or T 5 flourescent lights are brighter an run cheaper. Good luck.

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