Whether the idea of retirement makes you excited or nervous, the ending of your career will probably need as much attention as the beginning.
A recent study concluded that within the next decade, more than half of independent automotive repair shop owners plan to retire.
With so many owners nearing retirement age at the same time, an industry culture shift is bound to happen rapidly. The automotive repair industry is still trying to figure out how to combat the troubling widespread technician shortage and its accompanying issues.
According to the study, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this mass retirement of more than half of the independent shop owners will become yet another hurdle for the industry. The auto repair shop market likely isn’t what it was when you initially became an owner. Times have changed, and as an owner looking to retire, you’ll unfortunately have to face those facts.
Numbers don’t lie – 78% of the survey respondents indicated that they are looking to sell or pass their shop on. If you’re one of those looking to pass along your shop to a child or employee, are you setting the business up for success in its next incarnation?
If you’re looking to sell, are you able to compete with your competitors who will also likely be on the market the same time as you? Right now is the time to make sure you get the most desirable outcome for your years of hard work, whatever your ultimate retirement goal may be.
If you have yet to put a plan in place, the future of your shop may feel hazy. However, if one thing is clear, it’s that if you are an owner planning to retire within the next five to ten years (and even if you’re not), you need to start preparing now.
You may not have considered it but it’s never too soon to start preparing. Most shop owners just don’t realize that the process of retirement can be a lot longer and harder than expected, especially now. As you begin down the path to relinquishing or downsizing your ownership, remember that there are many aspects to consider to prepare for the next stage of your life as well as your business’s next incarnation.
Before any planning begins, you should take a step back and look at the current structure of your operations and identify areas where removing yourself from the business will prove most problematic. From there a true roadmap for planning can begin to take shape.
A good place for most owners to start is to begin separating personal interests from the business’s interests. At times it can seem like you and your shop are one – but when it comes to planning there needs to be a clear line between where your personal interests end and your business interests begin. This can feel a bit like watching a child grow up and move out of your house, but it’s essential. To sell or transfer your business, it will need to stand on its own legs and be able to run independently of you. If you already struggle to take a day off or go on vacation because the business can’t survive without you, that’s a sign that you’re too intertwined with the daily workings of your shop.
Since there are many different retirement options that you can pursue, it’s worth exploring the variety of paths before you decide. No matter which path you choose, when you leave your business, there are some basic things that need to be done. Getting started is often the hardest part, but just getting started as soon as possible is imperative. You don’t need to walk the path alone, but no matter if you are going to retire in a decade or within the year, you must start putting these steps in motion now.
This video is presented by BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY.