Business Overview

This business is needed because of the large demand for vehicle customization. Since all jobs are customized or fabricated on-site, the complexity of each job varies with the customer and request. The market for this business consists mostly of automotive enthusiasts.

Who is this business right for?

Custom car shops appeal to entrepreneurs who are automotive enthusiasts and love engineering and designing. As a custom car shop owner, you need to be willing to work long hours, manage a team of technicians, and love working with your hands. You also need to have a passion for the automotive enthusiast community, which tends to have its own unique culture apart from the general population.

What happens during a typical day at a custom car shop?

Custom car shops appeal to entrepreneurs who are automotive enthusiasts and love engineering and designing. As a custom car shop owner, you need to be willing to work long hours, manage a team of technicians, and love working with your hands. You also need to have a passion for the automotive enthusiast community, which tends to have its own unique culture apart from the general population.

If you have a team of mechanics, you also need to manage your crew. If your mechanics are on a flat rate flag system, you must set up jobs for them throughout the day.

What is the target market?

Custom vehicles appeal to the automotive enthusiast crowd, which is a subset of the general population. Most jobs are sold retail to customers. Some shops, however, do work with corporation or governments, offering fleet work for these organizations.

How does a custom car shop make money?

This business depends on consumers coming into the shop, requesting custom work on their vehicle. The shop is paid a fee for this service. Generally, the fees are variable and depend on the job being performed. Some fees are flat or fixed-rate, while others are variable and billed by the hour.

Customers pay the shop and the shop pays the mechanic for the work performed.

What is the growth potential for a custom car shop?

It is difficult to run a custom car shop out of a small location. Usually, a large warehouse (40’ x 80’-100’) with at least 8 service bays is required. This is because at least one bay will be needed for a paint booth, while two more are needed at prepping and staging areas for the mechanics to prepare a vehicle for paint (if you offer these services).

The remaining bays are for non-body work and maintenance work.

However, some custom shops do specialize in certain kinds of customizations (e.g. custom stereo installation). These shops can be run out of a large garage.

Custom car shops can expand to service more customers, even opening multiple locations should demand exceed the capabilities of the first shop.