Auto Hobby Shop Tries to Raise Funds to Stay in Business

There are 18 comments on the NBC29 Charlottesville story from Jun 22, 2013, titled Auto Hobby Shop Tries to Raise Funds to Stay in Business. In it, NBC29 Charlottesville reports that:

A Charlottesville auto shop that gained a lot of community support when it opened in April is now at a financial crossroads.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at NBC29 Charlottesville.

Steve

Lyndhurst, VA

#1 Jun 24, 2013
I sympathize with the owners, but business is tough across the board. You have to be savy, market hard, stand out from the crowd, and sacrifice.
How did they find out about their "bleak financial situation" only two weeks ago? That isn't savy business.
Eville

Altavista, VA

#2 Jun 24, 2013
I appreciate the effort you guys put into this. You can't start something halfway and expect it to flourish. You should have had the lifts before you started. The other issue is that I can get someone to work on my car for less than that per hour from Craigslist. So why would I fork over 28/hr and get my hands dirty? If I am working on a car as a hobby, it will take me months to get it done. Would I pay 28 bucks/hr for my hobby? No. I will creep under my car in my own driveway.
jogger

Hillsville, VA

#3 Jun 24, 2013
its time to bite the bullett guys....this was a good idea that just didn't happen to work....cut your losses and move on..........
John Teller

Charlottesville, VA

#4 Jun 24, 2013
Eville wrote:
I appreciate the effort you guys put into this. You can't start something halfway and expect it to flourish. You should have had the lifts before you started. The other issue is that I can get someone to work on my car for less than that per hour from Craigslist. So why would I fork over 28/hr and get my hands dirty? If I am working on a car as a hobby, it will take me months to get it done. Would I pay 28 bucks/hr for my hobby? No. I will creep under my car in my own driveway.
What? no lifts? That is the whole purpose of a hobby shop. I liked the idea, just thought 28 bucks an hour was steep. The only ones I have seen are on military bases, and they work because Uncle Sam pays the costs.
Lucy

Charlottesville, VA

#5 Jun 24, 2013
was a good idea that had a poor start with not enough capital; lots of businesses are in financial straits and they're not in the news asking for donations; closing after 2 months? sounds like poor management
SkipD

Charlottesville, VA

#6 Jun 24, 2013
Raise your rates
deprived

United States

#7 Jun 24, 2013
I agree with the others. Business model too weak. Cut your losses and move on.
nuts

United States

#8 Jun 24, 2013
John Teller wrote:
<quoted text>
What? no lifts? That is the whole purpose of a hobby shop. I liked the idea, just thought 28 bucks an hour was steep. The only ones I have seen are on military bases, and they work because Uncle Sam pays the costs.
Having been in the service I was familiar with the hobby shops on bases. used them many times. Bays, tool, lifts, welders, paint booths, tire balancer, tire installer, alignment station... all for about a dozen dollars a day [1985]. I thought the price these guys were asking was ridiculously high; now you tell me they do not have lifts. they need to get a law passed making git illegal for people not to use their facility then they may have a chance. Maybe they should re evaluate their prices or turn the wrenches for you at that rate
RandomThoughts

Waynesboro, VA

#9 Jun 25, 2013
Allowing the reporter to slide under that car sitting on jack stands was all I needed to see.

Buisness model needs a hard re-evaluation....

A lift alone will not pull this buisness out of the ditch.
Roadrunner

Charlottesville, VA

#10 Jun 25, 2013
Most people that can and will work on their own cars and trucks simply will not pay that money just for a space and tools because most have the tools and make due with whatever space they have. It was a good idea and some people could use the service but just not that many. I feel for these guys and wish them luck in the future.
Spud

Scottsville, VA

#11 Jun 25, 2013
Perhaps if customers also got advice for their buck, that would be a plus or even a library of auto books. The lift is something I would have thought would be a basic feature.

Maybe digging a pit would be cheaper.
Eaglescout1984

Charlottesville, VA

#12 Jun 25, 2013
This sounds like a case of poor business decisions. I'm willing to bet setting up shop in the city limits was their first mistake. The cost of doing business, especially one with a potential environmental impact, is higher in the city limits than it would be on the outskirts of town.
They also forced you to pay $28/hr for everything. Well, what if you only needed to change fuel filter that only requires a phillips head screwdriver? Doesn't matter, your paying for the entire tool box. What if you were willing to carry your own oil to Autozone to dispose of for free? Doesn't matter, you're paying for oil disposal whether you use it or not.
They may be too deep in the hole to do anything, but if they can raise the dollars, the FIRST thing they should do after paying off any debts is restructure their business model, because their current one isn't working.
JMK

Miamisburg, OH

#13 Jun 25, 2013
Maybe they could raise cash by offering classes, like a gym does. A gym has the equipment for you to use, but they make a lot of their revenue on classes, trainers, etc.
Eville

Charlottesville, VA

#14 Jun 25, 2013
Here is the model I would go after.
You should troubleshoot the issue, help with and guide the repair. Like a teacher in shop class, just walk around and monitor.
This will allow a semi or no skilled person to make use of your facility. This will open the market further and you will make up in volume where you lose out in effort.
Old Wahoo

Charlottesville, VA

#15 Jun 25, 2013
The owners should have consulted SCORE for free advice to budding entrepreneurs. There is a C-ville location for this nationwide service organization.

Google them, fellas. Maybe it's not too late.
TIM

Charlottesville, VA

#16 Jun 25, 2013
SkipD wrote:
Raise your rates
SO THE CAR INDUSTRY THE GOVERMENT BAILED OUT DOES NOT COUNT?????
Bypass

Waynesboro, VA

#17 Jun 25, 2013
Old Wahoo wrote:
The owners should have consulted SCORE for free advice to budding entrepreneurs. There is a C-ville location for this nationwide service organization.
Google them, fellas. Maybe it's not too late.
Old Wahoo is right, SCORE is an excellent, if not underutilized resource for entrepreneurs.

No lifts?! Really?
Kirk

Albuquerque, NM

#18 Jun 25, 2013
I just moved from C'Ville back to a military base where we have an auto hobby shop.$5.00 plus fees for dump oil. It takes me an hour to change my oil and rotate my tires. For $28, I can pay Jiffy Lube.

I love the concept, and I'd love to see this work for when I come back to C'Ville. But even tools aren't that expensive and many car parts places will loan tools. A gear puller is only $20.00. A compression gauge:$40.00. You get the idea. A shade-tree mechanice might take 8 hours to do a job that a regular mechanic can do in 4, but at $28 and hour, that still $224.

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