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How many of you guys started repairing part time out of your home shop?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by NewbieNC, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. NewbieNC

    NewbieNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Im just curious...I really enjoy fixing small engines, and didnt know if its possible to advertise a little and start repairing small engines? How was your experience? Make any money?
  2. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    You might be able to make a little money until the factory authorized dealers learn who you are and then suddenly every part you go to buy from them is "out of stock" or has to be special order freight prepaid.

    It takes more money and time than you may realize to open a small engine repair shop the correct way.. and even then there's no gurantee that you'll make enough to keep the doors open.

    If you really like working on small engines, find a local dealership in your area that may be looking for an apprentice tech and start out there. As a trained tech, you should be able to make $12/hr or more if you make a base salary plus a portion of the repair bill. That way you can be doing something you like without having to be the one putting up with all the BS of running the place.
  3. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    Two things here. There is a guy up the road from us "BC Small Engine Repair" and he has now built a shop in his back yard. He rebuilds small engines, spring tune ups on lawn equipment and fixes up and sells rebuilt lawnmowers and snow blowers (during winter). I talked to him the other day and he's sold 16 rebuilt snow blowers....which is pretty darn good. He picks up your mower from your home and delievers it when it is done. Last spring he was so busy, he was back logged 4-5 weeks. I believe there is a market there. The second thing may not be related to you, but I run heavy equipment and am always looking for someone to come and work on my machines other than dealer mechanics...there is a market there for that too. I think if a guy offered great service with pick up and delievery, he would have more work than he knew what to do with.
  4. NewbieNC

    NewbieNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I wondered about pick-up and delivery, because I think most people throw the towel in because they have a way to get it to the dealer, or dont have the time to bother with it.
  5. khouse

    khouse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,465

    What you don't want to do is start advertising without being ready to do the work. At the very least your repair manuals, basic and specialty tools. Also you will need to secure a relationship with several suppliers of parts. You do not want 20 push mowers backed up to the street.
    What you can do is tell your friends and family that you can work on their equipment. This way if you get experience and build up your tools slowly. Also I would suggest picking up dead mowers and tillers etc. for little or no money to repair and sell. If you have neighbors close by you'll need to keep you place looking good. Don't be testing a chainsaw at 9pm on your test log out in the back yard! Start slow and build from there. Good luck.
  6. NewbieNC

    NewbieNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    khouse...very good suggestions! I was planning on "flipping" some dead 21's to get more into the motions.
  7. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Flip some riders.... make your time worthwile.
    You need to get set up with some parts suppliers. Make $$ on parts & labor.
  8. NewbieNC

    NewbieNC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    Cool...sounds like a better idea
  9. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    You may want to check your local zoning laws for running a home based business and don't forget your occupational licenses and uncle SAM.

    Had I been caught before I quit they would have buried me.

    Also with a license you can open accounts with aftermarket parts suppliers.

    Be careful....
  10. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    i have been repairing my own equipment for the last 5 years, and have gottten pretty good at it. i only repair equipment for friends and family.
    i keep quite a few parts in my shop and they know they can get it fixed quick.

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