The tire industry is always changing, but tires have stayed fairly consistent and the tire shop remains a reliable and efficient business model. Various niches exist in the tire industry, ranging from high-performance to basic repair. You could fill a single niche with your tire shop or multiple, depending upon your resources and marketing. Your choice will depend on how much profit you want to make, how big your niche is, and how fast your return on investment is.
High-performance equipment includes sports cars and fancy automobiles. For them, the tire shop must specialize in high-performance tires and brakes. Brakes that are too sensitive for a road test may not work well on ice, which requires different compounds to provide sufficient stopping power. High-performance tires must be purchased per car, so each car will require a different set of tires. When new tires are put on an old car, they don’t fit very well, so the mechanic has to make an adjustment or re-test the vehicle. That means more work for you.
Another niche for a tire shop is commercial trucks and SUVs. Since the tires on these big vehicles are designed for extreme terrain, tire pressure needs to be checked frequently to ensure maximum traction and safety. If the pressure is too low, the tire will lose its grip and won’t stop or slow down easily, which can be extremely dangerous for driving.
A tire shop that is strictly focused on one specific make of vehicle might not have the expertise to do specialized repair work for other vehicles, such as trucks or SUVs. This would require another business model change for the tire shop. The best option would be to offer services for all types of vehicles and have a separate repair and replacement shop section in the main facility. Having a small business model for a specialized service like this is beneficial because of the high demand and the small financial risk involved with it.
Tire shops also need to think about their location, the competition in the area, and how to get the name out there. It helps to have a great-looking shop, but if it isn’t serviced and repaired by a good professional every so often, it won’t help the business very much. Many tire shops buy used tires and service them themselves to start a business, but the business model has to be sound for these businesses because buying and repairing tires is not a common part of their daily routine. Getting the name of the shop out there is important, but it doesn’t help much if the repairs being made don’t keep the vehicles on the road.
In conclusion, a tire shop needs to have some basic tools and equipment to do basic tire maintenance. The ability to change and repair tires, as well as other services, should be the focus of any shop. A good way to do that is to buy used tires at a discount and install them yourself. A specialty shop will likely want to buy new tires and do the installations, but it is helpful to know what the minimum mechanical skills are for different types of tires and different installation techniques. Doing basic tire inspections regularly will help the shop stay within its budget and service customers in a professional manner.