How to Start a Panel Beater Business


The title panel beater is common to West Africa. It refers to a person that provides body work services. They repair damaged cars and use different materials like fiberglass, steel and alloys.
They are proficient at removing dents, scrapes and rust. The practitioner can specialize in different vehicles such as SUVs, saloon, trucks and buses. Some focus on heavy duty vehicles or motorcycles.
Job Description
The job entails vehicle restoration, body customization and general repairs. They replace damaged parts fix faulty doors and different vehicle mechanisms.
To achieve long term success you need to offer quality job. Learn current trends, use modern equipment and study your competitors. Offer your customers reasonable prices and form good relationship with customers.
  • vehicle restoration
  • body customization
  • general repairs
  • replace damaged parts
  • fix faulty doors
  • adjust mechanisms
Panel Beater
Learn the Trade
The individual interested in learning the trade needs to master different disciplines. The job requires welding knowledge, metalwork and panel beating. They also work with different materials like alloy, plastic bumpers, fiberglass bodies and steel. 
Learn through an apprentice program or on job experience. You can complete a trade partnership, study at a vocational institution. Some panel beaters are self taught while other use online courses and books.
How to Become a Panel Beater
  • apprentice program
  • job experience
  • trade partnership
  • study at a vocational institution
  • self taught
  • use online courses
  • read books
Funding
To secure loans you need a business plan and letter confirming contracts. Other requirements are collateral, some of the required fund and account opened in the bank.
You can offer shares in the business or a partnership arrangement. You could find a core investor or try crowd funding. Another way is to save judiciously towards the venture.
  • offer shares
  • partnership arrangement
  • find a core investor
  • try crowd funding
  • save judiciously
Licensing
Register the business as a LLC or enterprise and get insurance cover. Different types of insurance to consider are commercial property insurance, employer liability and general or public liability. Insure the equipment, vehicle insurance if you have an operational vehicle.
You have property permits, labor laws and workers compensation. You need EIN and register with a relevant association in your locality. There are also state laws on occupational health and safety issues.
  • Make it a LLC
  • get insurance cover
  • property permits
  • follow labor laws
  • offer workers compensation
  • you need EIN
  • register with an association
  • follow occupational health and safety laws
Location
Conduct a survey and market research to find the best locations. Things to consider are cost of premises, accessibility of vehicles and competition. The location should be visible with adequate space for workshop and vehicles. You need a secure tool shed for machinery and spare parts.
Panel Beater Equipment
The panel beater uses a variety of hand tools and equipment to carry out the job. Common tools are vehicle lift hoists, hydraulic devices, welding and lead loading equipment. They use body fillers, different sized hammers, flippers and measuring implements.
You have power hammers, benders, swagging machines, safety equipment. Common safety equipment is respirators, gloves, welding helmets, safety glasses, noise protectors, and boots. More hand tools include chisels, vise grips, screwdrivers, spanners, pliers and tin snips.
Equipment
  • lift hoists
  • hydraulic devices
  • welding equipment
  • lead loading equipment
  • body fillers
  • different sized hammers
  • flippers
  • measuring implements
  • power hammers
  • benders
  • swaging machines
  • respirators
  • gloves
  • welding helmets
  • safety glasses
  • noise protectors
  • boots
  • chisels
  • vise grips
  • screwdrivers
  • spanners
  • pliers
  • tin snips
Marketing Strategy
The marketing strategy should include social media and website advertisement. Carry out promotional in newspapers and radio. Focus on vehicle retailers, importers, auto dealers and mechanic stores.
Use online directories, yellow pages, company listing and Adwords. Use flyers, business cards and posters to attract customers. It is important to get involved in community activities and programs. Other ways include referrals, word of mouth and discounts.
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