It’s easy to start.
Working at an office is so 2009. Over the past half-decade, a whole lotta people have embraced the challenge of starting a business at home.
One great opportunity is opening up a lawnmower repair business. It can be very inexpensive to start; it won’t take additional employees (unless you’re really successful); it allows you to work in casual clothes in a fun, informal setting; it has a built-in demand.
To repair lawnmowers, you just need a full complement of tools and work stations. Obviously, you need space, such as a large garage or pole barn or similar structure. If it’s something you’re considering, you very well may have some of the equipment already. If not, we’re not talking about forty-thousand dollar items. Some little pieces of equipment such as a drill press, power tools, something with which to make gaskets, etc., will suffice. Less than 3K total will get you started.
Before you get started, just about the only thing you’ll need to do is get a hold of nearby parts suppliers and figure out how much various parts costs, how long they take, which they have in stock, can you get a good rate, etc.
Once you have that, you’re ready to get started. As you begin marketing and trying to drum up business, you’ll have a bit of time to sharpen your skills at small motor repair. In addition to understanding everything about every type of lawnmower, you should probably learn about motor boat, golf cart, and other motors, since you’ll probably go beyond lawnmowers per se.
The sort of advertising done for a specialized service like this can be no-frills and low-cost. You may start with venues such as craigslist and posting inexpensive flyers in places such as stores that sell lawnmowers, hardware stores, and possibly places such as libraries, grocery stores, or bars, that get a lot of traffic from a cross-section of people.
One thing you may find is that starting off at a trickle—including getting business from friends of relatives, friends of friends, church community members, etc.—will generate word of mouth advertising that will get you going.
From there you’ll have to go into some of the standard business chores, such as attending to organizing the receipt and delivery of the things needing repair; invoices, bookkeeping, things like that. You might end up putting together a web site to schedule and book repairs, but that very well may be down the road a year or two. Because people readily understand lawnmower repair—as opposed to online reputation management, tax law services, etc.—you don’t need a lot of marketing or branding. Things like mousepads or coffee cups with your business’s name might be overkill at this point.
What you need to do is establish a reputation for doing good repairs that hold up over time. Your price and the speed of your repairs are other big factors. While customer service, courtesy, etc. are important, people really just want their machine fixed in a short period of time. Place all your attention on those small and specific items.