7 Things You Need To Know Before You Start A Roadside Assistance Business
It's not hard to start a roadside assistance business.
All you really need to start a roadside assistance business is tools, a business entity type and insurance to cover you in case of any accidents. Tools may cost you around $1,000-$3,000 depending on the type of services you want to offer and how decked out you wanna be when you show up to help customers. I've made a few videos detailing my tools and how much they cost you can check out the videos on my YouTube channel. Once you have the tools needed you need to setup a business entity. I'm not an expert in this field but I call my accountants at Kemper CPA Group to set me up anytime I need to add an entity. Lastly, commercial business insurance is needed to safeguard you and your assets against accidents. If you are careful, you will never have to use your policy but you want to be insured in case you do. I have a whole video explained on what you need, where to get it, and what the requirements you'll be judged for are, check it out here.
2. You'll need a plan and consistency.
Like any business, starting a roadside assistance business requires more determination and focus than money or know how. When I say this I mean, if you are a determined person who really wants to start a roadside assistance business then, there is nothing to stop you. I've helped hundreds of businesses start and the one thing that is the business killer is unmotivated and unfocused goals. You can hone in on your motivation and crush the goals you make by creating a focused routine.
Creating a business routine with milestones is the key. Once you set goals for yourself and create a routine to act upon them, any milestone you set is attainable (within reason). I say within reason because you may think you'll crank out 200K in the first year and while this is not an unreasonable goal, its not easily attained. You'll want to set milestones that you can crush with good effort and consistency. I.E. First month, you can have administrative goals like: get an accountant, setup a business entity, open a bank account, buy half of tools, etc. Second month: get all tools, get listed on google, build a website, build a Facebook page, etc. Third month, get contracts with insurance companies, start advertising with Roadside Genius. Etc. its small goals with consistency that will win this race.
There's a quote I like, “One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.” — Karen Casey. This quote is the embodiment of how you should look at your business goals, small, attainable, & applied through consistency & determination.
3. Failure is a learning experience.
I can't count the times that I went out to a service request and could not get the customer going. From spare tires being stuck, to pesky lug nuts I could not remove to even scratching a door, these things happen. The first few times they happened I was embarrassed, ashamed and just downright discouraged from even continuing. Overall, I look back on every experience that I had and remember how much I learned in the process. Every mistake was a learning process that led me to buy another tool or change how I did certain things. I was honing my technique without knowing it.
To be blunt and honest with you, you will mess up. You may drop a car on a badly placed jack, may scratch a customers door, you may strip some lug nuts, or even overpromise and underdeliver and to that I say, swing away buddy. Nothing hits home better than thinking you can do something easily and it turning into a 1-2 hour job. If you ever fail just remember, you got an opportunity to learn something and as long as the customer is happy and the mistake corrected, it's a time to learn and reflect. As the icon Professor Valerie Frizzle always said, "Take chances, make mistakes" and don't worry about the things you cant control. Lastly, DONT EVER GIVE UP.
4. Roadside Assistance Business revenue can be fluctuated drastically at times.
I'm sure you've held a job where you had a "slow day", I mean we've all had one. Well I'm here to tell you the roadside assistance business is no different. There will be days and times when you may only get the opportunity to do a handful of jobs and I have to say that this is completely normal. Pandemics, holidays, even pay periods all have an effect on the amount of calls you can generate and complete on a daily basis. From experience, all I can say about this is that you should diversify your work to do your best at avoiding these days. However: even with a well diversified work flow you will STILL have slow days.
Slow days are like the SAT's for roadside assistance businesses, it weeds out the weak and give those who are resilient more power. I've had quite a few clients call me after a slow week wondering if they have their prices too high, if they should change the rates on their contracts, or if they should do some other type of work while it gets back to normal. The only reasonable response to a slowdown that I would approve of is doing other types of work while its slow. Door dash, Uber, and jobs that you can do while you wait for a roadside request are all viable options, you may even realize that its just not wroth your while to pursue your business venture and instead side hustle your way to another business venture (hopefully not).
On the flip side of things, there are days where the workload is way to heavy for a one man team. Days like this help you offset those bad days and will make you think differently about your business venture. You may think that after a few good days you can hire someone to help and this is another big mistake I see new guys make. In my opinion, before you can hire someone to work for you, you must be in business for at least one year. One year is enough for you to see what it really takes and how much work can fluctuate from day to day. After 1 year hire all you want and be ready to take losses on some days. That's just how it is sometimes, business will fluctuate.
5.Marketing is the key to a successful roadside assistance business.
Ever since Google came out, paper advertising and door to door sales have declined drastically. Right now you can do a search on Google and find articles, businesses, blogs and pretty much everything you need, for all aspects of life. This includes finding a roadside assistance business to help you in a time of need. Whenever someone who gets stranded needs to find something, they fly over to Google to solve their problems. Just think, who would you call and where would you look if you had no one to call if your tire went flat and you didn't have a jack or tire change equipment.? We all know the answer, online.
When I started my business I had a good background on online advertising, website building and search engine optimization. Today, 75 % of my current business comes from online advertising. This includes but is not limited to my websites, Google Ads, map listings, citations, BBB listings, social media, and a whole ton of other things. I also advertise with the local schools and always pay up when there's a chance to support a local organization. Simply put, if I didn't have online marketing on my side, I would not be in business. Once you've started your business, marketing should be your next biggest investment, mark my words.
6. Your family time and work time will need to be balanced.
I cant even begin to tell you how much time working is going to take away from your personal and family life. When I first started my business, I was working for allot of motor clubs and their work was gold for me. Middle of dinners, stepping out of the shower, middle of a date night, middle of a movie night, while in the bathroom and the list goes on. The roadside assistance gig is an emergency service. This means your going to get called at all hours of the day, all days of the week and every call that you go to is essentially an emergency. As you and I both know, emergencies don't have time to wait on you to finish what you are doing. Your customer may be on a dangerous highway, in a dark alley, or possibly freezing to death. The point is, this industry is very demanding and will weigh heavily on any relationships you may have if you don't balance it correctly.
When I first started I was everyone's B****, meaning I prioritized a call no matter where I was or what I was doing. Don't be like me. Set a work schedule and only undertake jobs outside of that schedule if it does not affect anyone else. This will save you from many arguments, drama and those nasty thoughts about quitting your business venture altogether. The best thing I found for relationships is to dedicate 1 or two days solely to them and let the rest of the week be on the fly. Talk to your partners, friends, and loved ones to let them know you are serious about your venture and let them know they are not second by any means but your business is first as its going to change your life if you make it work.
7. All the information you need to start a roadside assistance business is out there for the taking.
When I first started my roadside assistance business there was no place to tell you what tools to get, how much insurance you should have or even where to begin looking for roadside assistance contracts. This is why when I learned the game, I thought it would be nice to have such a place. This is how came to create Roadside Genius. I created it so starting a roadside assistance business could be more of a roadmap instead of a guessing game. From how to find the best insurance rates, to the tools you need, to the correct marketing strategies. Its all there and to access it all you just have to pay $25 bucks.
WAIT THERES A FEE???? Well yeah, I mean when I first started it all, the information was free to anyone and everyone but after criticisms, fine tuning as well as investing into a nicer website, I figured I could charge a little so I did.
So there you have it, if you are interested in starting or growing a roadside assistance business just visit ROADSIDE GENIUS for all the information you'll ever need. It's that easy. We've got a YouTube channel for videos a Facebook group for interactions and a Tik-Tok for constant information. Check us out!
I hope you enjoyed this read and hope you can take a leap to start your own roadside assistance business.
Julio Canseco - The Roadside Genius
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