In the final article in this series, I would be remiss If I didn’t address the ‘now what’ once the sale is final.
The moment you decided to sell your auto repair business, it stirred a mixture of emotions. Excitement about the prospect of newfound freedom and financial security often mingles with apprehension about what comes next. After all, owning and managing your shop was not just a job but an identity. But rest assured, this transition also opens up exciting opportunities for personal growth and to make a lasting impact on the auto repair industry.
Finding a New Purpose
The first step is to find your new purpose. Reflect on what truly brings you joy and satisfaction. What are you passionate about outside of your business? What have you always wanted to do but never had the time or opportunity? This might include traveling, spending more time with family, taking up a new hobby, or even starting a completely different business.
That said, many former auto repair shop owners find that their passion for the industry doesn't fade when they sell their business. You can channel that passion in several ways if this sounds like you.
Paying it Forward in the Auto Repair Industry
- Mentorship: Your years of experience running an auto repair shop have given you a wealth of knowledge. Consider mentoring new shop owners or those considering entering the industry. This could be through formal mentorship programs or simply reaching out to local businesses.
- Teaching: Trade schools always need seasoned professionals to teach the next generation of auto repair technicians. This can be a fulfilling way to pass on your knowledge and skills. I have a coach on my team who has taken on a select number of students and is teaching them how he grew his business to 25 locations. Our new generation of shop owners are learning wisdom that only came from years of experience in the trenches, which is invaluable for those just starting on their journey of owning multiple locations.
- Industry Advocacy: Join industry associations or community initiatives to promote the auto repair industry, lobby for favorable regulations or improve industry standards. I have not sold by business, but I am a part of the Auto Care Association, one of the organizations fighting for the independent auto repair industry.
- Philanthropy: You could use some of your profits to create scholarships for students entering auto repair programs, donate to organizations promoting automotive education or fund projects benefiting your local community. I have a friend who sold his shop and has dedicated his life to serving the homeless of Pheonix and the orphans of Mexico. He couldn’t have done that had he not had a solid business that yielded him a good sum of money to live off and invest.
Remember, selling your auto repair shop isn't the end—it's a new beginning. It's a chance to reinvent yourself and contribute to the industry in a new, impactful way.
Take the time you need to reflect on your next steps. It's perfectly okay not to have all the answers right away. But as you embark on this next chapter, remember that your experiences, your skills, and your passions hold huge value. Sharing that value with others might be the most rewarding venture yet.
I would love to hear your thoughts; email me at [email protected]