Zackary Steffen- ENTR668 – Change and Go

My business Idea is a do it yourself garage for oil changes and machanical work on your vehicle.

This will provide an eco-friendly place for any individual to change the oil, or any other fluid, in their own personal vehicles, for themselves.  This would also allow the patrons a place to dispose these used liquids and lubricants in a safe enviroment.  This would be similar to a Jiffy Lube type of operation but with no actual mechanic on duty.  Additionally, there would also be a location in the building to wash your car if desired. The customer would pay a minimal fee to use the facility. The target market would be for inidividuals that would change their own fluids if they had the equipment, or tools, and facility to do so.

September 7th, 2011 2:58 pm

I don’t really have any thing critical or extremely helpful to add but i really like this idea. It would be a perfect model for a national chain or franchise business model and after i read this my first though is why this hasn’t been done. It is a great idea and i think that a lot of people would utilize this. And the marketing is pretty much done for you since the thing everyone ALWAYS complains about it how service centers sell you things you don’t need or spend 15 minutes trying to up-sell you. Great idea in my opinion.

Alex Byrd
September 7th, 2011 4:41 pm

I think that this is a great idea, however I would be concerned whether or not you would be able to offer this service cheap enough to be able to compete with the convienence of something such as a $19.99 oil change at somewhere like jiffy lube as cheap as the service is offered already offered to have someone else do it for you.

September 7th, 2011 10:53 pm

This is a great idea! I’m also wondering why this has never been done before… it seems like such a common sense thing and it could really take off.

A couple of ideas:
I don’t have a lot of money, so I definitely can’t afford to buy all the tools I need to work on my car. But, I’m decently handy under the hood and would love to save the trouble of taking my car to a mechanic when I could do it myself. It would be cool if this could be a full-service garage where people could rent out all kinds of tools and pull into a service bay to work on their own cars. You could also have a connected auto parts store for convenience.

To reply to Alex’s comment, I think you could compete within that price range, because you wouldn’t have the overhead of paying full-time mechanics to be on duty. You also wouldn’t be tied down to franchise fees like an owner of a Jiffy Lube would be. Coming up with a pricing structure for this service would be interesting. Would you charge a flat fee to use the garage, a time-based fee, or something else?

September 8th, 2011 1:32 am

I think this is a great idea. It would be awesome to have a place you could rent out to work on your vehicle. The other day I try to change the oil in my car, but it took me almost 2 hour to get it done because I don’t have the proper equipment to work with. The idea is great, however i don’t see how you can make profit with it. If the offer service is cheap then it would take a long time just to break even on your investment. Unless you put a time limit for the use of the garage, you would generate very little revenue in a day. That is because people could take up hours just to change the fluids in their vehicle. The other problem I see is that the marketing target is too small. That is because majority of the people don’t have passion for cars or know how to work with it. They would rather take it to a store and get charge with a premium prices than just to get their hands dirty.

September 8th, 2011 5:12 pm

This really is good idea if talking about the price consideration. A big attraction to people if the prices will be low. Because honestly, most people own such cars that it wouldn’t even matter to them what kind of oil is being put in and what the quality of the change is. And the only factor which matters is money to them. So this really would be great idea to work on to reduce expenditures, time and even labor. Because at the end of the day, its all about reducing costs and profiting the companies and owners towards the root.

September 8th, 2011 6:45 pm

This is how Click and Clack got started. Their first shop was exactly what you are describing. Running the shop, they casually started to help people out with their cars. That gradually led them to be mechanics themselves.

September 8th, 2011 8:15 pm

As other people mentioned, I don’t know if Change and Go could compete with the already cheap oil change places. Plus most people like going to places where there are mechanics for the fact that the mechanics would inform them if there are any issues with their cars, and get sort of a free check up on their vehicles.

Suman Gautam
September 8th, 2011 9:52 pm

Its a great idea. It will save time. Nobody has to worry about going to walmart or jiffy lube to change the oil.

September 12th, 2011 7:23 pm

i think this is a great idea and a great way to help the environment. the only problem is and maybe you know the answer but to many people really know how to change their own oil? Not very many people learn how to in school and with as complicated as cars can get i just wasn’t sure how big your target market would be.

September 13th, 2011 1:59 pm

To expand on my thought ( more of a compliment i guess) earlier. Have you considered partnering with car washes to save on building costs in your start up pro-forma. Also what do you plan do to on tracking tools, tracking if people might be dumping chemicals down the bay that are not anticipated “ditch dumping” and also how do you plan to actually make money? I know the idea is to have a self and serve bay where people change their oil, but you are dealing with hazardous materials. have you checked with the vicinity’s to see if this is even a legal thing to do with out specific monitoring. And I also think that the employee pay might be higher than anticipated due to issues such as monitoring the cleanliness of the bay, tools remaining, emptying chemicals and collecting the money out of the bay as far as credit and cash. Also, are you planning on utilizing existing bays such as car washes and just trying to rent one bay out, or are you going to start with new builds which is whats you seem like to be leaning towards. I think utilizing existing builds and either renting or buying those to save on extensive building costs, especially if you are planning on starting out with a plan for a national plan, or even regional. Hope some of this helps and good luck with the idea!

September 13th, 2011 5:14 pm

I do like this idea and think it would be a possibility. There are a lot of logistics to consider, as far as whether or not they have the option to buy their oil and filter on site, or if it is just like a drive through car wash. If it were not necessary to have an employee there (ie insert coins and gain access to bay with tools that are chain locked to the floor), then it would be more financially feasible. The only remaining question would be if there would be a great enough demand for people to give up convenience to save some money.

December 1st, 2011 3:24 pm

Looks like somebody is trying this in KC:

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