Home > Startup > 2023 Guide: Start An Auto Body Shop Business In Tennessee

2023 Guide: Start An Auto Body Shop Business In Tennessee

By: SmallBizClub


an auto body shop's entrance sign

Once you have made the decision to start an auto body shop, you may wonder what steps you should take and where to start. It does take careful planning and preparation to ensure you are successful.

There are many details you should consider before you begin taking on work. This guide walks you through all the steps you should consider when wondering how to start an auto body shop business.

Market Research

When you think about how to start an auto body shop business, you must first know your customer. If you already have a customer base, you can start there. If you don’t already have one, you should understand the need and demand in your area. If you don’t already have a target group in mind, you should create a body shop that meets a need. This will help bring customers into your shop. 

After you have identified your customers, you can begin to understand their preferences and needs. When you know your customer, you are able to tailor your marketing to their needs. In addition to understanding their preferences, you should consider their age, the car they drive, and how they take care of their vehicle. This can drive the services you offer and how you market. 

Business Plan

A business plan is a legal and formal document that outlines the goals and strategies of your auto body shop. It also includes your operational plan for achieving your goals. In addition, this plan should include information about the company’s products or services, target customers, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and management structure.

When done well, your business plan is the roadmap for your auto body shop. It gives a clear direction to your management and all potential investors. This document helps identify potential obstacles and risks, but it also provides a place to highlight the opportunities for and strengths of your shop. While a business plan can vary in length, it should include key pieces like an executive summary, market analysis, and financial projections.


When you are considering how to start an auto body shop business, you need to think about the business structure. The structure is going to depend on if you have partners and how you want to handle taxes and earnings. After determining your structure, you must register your business with the Tennessee Secretary of State. There are several ways you can complete this paperwork. 

The state of Tennessee requires all businesses to have a general business license. This may also be referred to as a business tax certificate. The business licenses are issued by the cities, and each one has its own set of requirements. Therefore, if you want to operate your body shop in multiple cities, you need a business license for each city. 

It is also critical that you get the proper amount of insurance for your body shop. You don’t want to operate without having at least liability insurance. Customers trust you to have their cars in your shop; you want to ensure you and your business are protected if something goes wrong. 


You want to develop a robust marketing strategy to ensure you appeal to the general public and turn them into customers. Digital marketing has to be a significant component of your marketing plan. You don’t want to miss out on the advertising that you can achieve through social media. Digital marketing provides many avenues for you to pursue.

First, you must create a website. If you are going to operate a business today, you have to have something customers can search for. The first thing people do when looking for a service is do an internet search. For many customers, if you don’t have a website, they may not do business with you. 

Social media is another opportunity you don’t want to miss. Once you understand your target market, you know which social media platforms they use and you can post items there. You can make short videos about your shop, your services, and your employees. You can create a blog to provide customers with helpful information. Through social media, you can create a feeling of familiarity even before customers have done business with you. You want to be mindful of the information you are posting. You don’t want to post anything that could be misconstrued as offensive. That is a fast way to lose customers. 

Final Thoughts

There are many details that go into how to start an auto body shop business; however, if you work through them all in the early stages, you should create a solid foundation for your auto body shop. Following these steps is a great way to set yourself up for success. 

This content is provided by https://automotive-marketing.com, the leader in automotive digital marketing.

Published: March 10, 2023

Trending Articles

Stay up to date with
small biz club logo


SmallBizClub.com is dedicated to providing small businesses and entrepreneurs the information and resources they need to start, run, and grow their businesses. The publication was founded by successful entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Fame QB Fran Tarkenton. We bring you the most insightful thinking from industry leaders, veteran business owners, and fellow entrepreneurs. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Related Articles