Any business related to cars can plummet due to the recession but cannot be stopped. Even if the sales of the cars worldwide have dropped they are still in demand and require maintenance. There are numerous trades which are linked with the maintenance of cars, wheel alignment and balancing and are profitable ventures. In Pakistan, a number of auto mechanics are now shifting towards the wheel alignment business. It is preferred that the setup of the business should be at a good location where people have big cars of more than 1500 cc.
Starting the Business
The very first step is to find a good location which is situated near posh areas of big cities like Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi or Faisalabad. As your prime targets are big cars like Toyota, Honda, BMW and Mercedes; the location of the business matters greatly. The area required in starting the business is approximately 3 shops or the area equivalent to 3 cars. The first space should be allocated for wheel alignment where the lift can be installed; the second space is for wheel balancing and third for office or extra car park. It is advised to get the space on rent instead of buying. Remember to have 6 to 8 months rent in your pocket.
Once you have the space, you need to buy machines for wheel balancing and alignment. There is a wide range of options in machines. You can buy a local alignment machine in Rs. 2 lac or one made in Italy or China which costs Rs. 6 lac. It is feasible to buy a computerized alignment machine of good quality to show a good output and maintain your clientele. A computerized wheel alignment machine can be bought for Rs. 12 lac. The business also requires a lifter which costs around Rs. 6 lac.
The major expense of the business is the rent of the location, utility bills and employees pay. Rent of the location varies from place to place but at least Rs. 1 lac of monthly rent should be kept in mind. A normal setup requires 3 employees who should be trained to operate the computerized machines. The salaries of the all 3 employees may range from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 80,000 depending upon their expertise. The utility expenses depend on the usage which is very less. Every month the cost which the investor has to bear is around Rs. 2 lac including the rent of the location.
Profit margins depend on the rate you charge from your customers. A local wheel alignment shop charges only Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 for wheel alignment. However, for computerized alignment system the rate can start from Rs. 2500 for one car. Similarly, wheel balancing rate can also be charged a little higher than the market rate as there are modern machines. Estimating an average daily, if you get 3 customers for wheel alignment and charge Rs. 2500 each, you can easily make revenue of Re. 2.25 lac a month (Rs. 25000 profit). This profit does not include the wheel balancing of the tires. With this included, you can easily earn more than Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1 lac a month in the start. Well established setups are earning much more than this figure.
Getting the Customers
Large revenue can be generated by getting more and more customers by maintaining a good relationship with them. Your personal contacts make all the difference. You can also have a contract with companies having fleets of cars. Moreover, main car manufacturers like Honda,Toyota, Mercedes and other companies can also be approached to get business contacts. Once you have maintained relationships with your customers, you not only hold on to them but also increase their number.