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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Who on here owns their on performance shop or any automotive related business? Besides the big guys like TiTan, SP, WOTM. Just wanted to know if it's worth doing these days with ebay taking over all the parts and DIY mechanics all over the place. LMK what your business is and if you think there is still hope for a performance shop.
 

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Wangan Nasty
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Well, even with people doing DIY mechanics. Only a few quality people can dyno tune, tune Standalones, Do good wiring and swaps. I still think there is hope out there.

I personally do car detailing, nothing related to that....but it is a business if that counts.
 

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There is always room for another GOOD business simply because there are so many poor ones. Good customer service is one of the keys. I have found so many good buisnesses could be great businesses if they worked on their customer service. MVP is an example of a business that has good quality, good prices and great c/s. I am sure there are others, they are just the one I have dealt with the most.
 

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I co-own/operate a small pefromance shop right on the DE/PA line. I think there is plenty to go around, and to answer your question, Yes there is hope. We do primarily high end honda/acura, and have a good knowledge of toyota/lexus. We sell things not many others do, and for this reason, have a good amount of referral business. We have a sterling reputation for our labor, and make sure everything is perfect, or try to. We are in an industrial park, and dont have to waste our days dealing with your average ricer. We go after the "big fish", and even in our little old 1800sqft shop, I have quite a few people spend in excess of 20K with me.

We dont advertise, but are well known on most honda sites, and we have never had a "quiet" day at our shop in the 2.5 years we have been around. But alas, doing what we do takes an enormous amount of effort. Sometimes I feel we dont focus enough on one certain thing, and do too much to the cars. The main thing is labor, the parts will only create more of a hassle in your day to day operations. The markup is shit, and you will be lucky to make 15-20% on most parts over the counter. Labor on the otherhand, can make or break you. We charge 88/hr for general labor, and 100+ for welding/fabrication/diagnostic.

When you do sell parts, sell your customers YOU. You need to hold their hands, talk to them, get personal, etc...People will pay more money to deal with someone who has their back. If you dropship someone an item, and it gets messed up or isnt to their liking, HELP THEM! Call your vendor and bitch, force them to rectify the situation. I get ahead because i am relentless on the phone, and follow up with people constantly to make sure my sales are in order. Peo ple know they can get it cheaper elsewhere, but for the extra 10%, they will buy from you, should you be good. And if they dont, screw em, they are more than likely too cheap and going to be a hassle. If they dont buy from you, and go to ebay, refuse to install the part, its fun ;)

I think the bottom line is having solid local customers, good word of mouth, and pay attention to detail both in sales and labor. And above all that, you either can or cant do it, some people just cant hack it in our very fast paced market. LOL, sorry about the rant, but I do this for a living, and this kind of stuf runs through my mind 24/7.

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ps: One more thing, It really boils down to "WHO" you know. You wont get far without good contacts. I am on first name basis with most of our vendors, and whenever they arfe in town at sema or what not, we take em out, get em wasted, and basically build relationships. If people like you, they will throw you a bone, or several of them ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't worry you were not ranting at all, that is an excellent response to my question. Breaking it down into the different areas of the business gives me something to think about. I do have one question though, do you think it's better to concentrate on one area or particular make like toyota?
Thanks again.
 

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SP, WOTM, TITAN, MVP, Bullish, etc. all became the way did because of their reputation in the community, innovations, and core essential values in running business. I personally think its gonna be a David and Goliath battle if you happen to open up another 2JZ/DSM/Honda shop. Look how many years these guys have been in the industry to be where they are today! Doin the same thing they and many other shops do is gonna be that, just another shop. Find a niche, a specialty, a new platform and go on from there! Innovation is key and I personally think that's one of the most integral reasons why these guys are so successful! There are so many new tuners, shops, online marketplaces popping up everywhere, but 90% of these guys fail! It's a tough industry to get into, but hard work, persistence, and most of all belief/faith is gonna get you through it and who knows, you might one day be in the ranks of these guys!
 

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ELITECUSTOMBODY
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I own a small body shop ,it's not a performance shop, but more custom paint and body,have alot of Supra experience and in our family we had over 40 Supras in last 16 plus years,last few years I've been trying to weed out the low budget ricers, because my quality standard are high and anything I do,I guarantee you will be glad that you let me work on your car,because every car I work on gets the best ,I don't cut corners and treat customer's cars as if it's my own,it's just something that most ricers don't understand, why my paint jobs cost $5 k and up

Stefan
 
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