There are a lot of vehicles that are just sitting in driveways right now because they don’t run as they should. From a mechanical standpoint, the repairs or maintenance that needs to be done is pretty easy. Change the oil, fix the brakes, or swap out some spark plugs and the vehicle runs fine once again. The average vehicle owner, however, doesn’t want to pay an arm, a leg, and their first born child to a mechanic to get it fixed.
That’s where a mobile mechanic business comes into play. Not only does it automatically bring about more trust for the profession because you’re working at a person’s residence most of the time, but it saves people money and simple repairs get done in return. If you can fix a flat, then you can run this kind of business.
Here’s what you’re going to need to do to get this kind of business up and running.
1. Register your business.
It only takes about 30 minutes to get a business registered today. Go through your local clerk and get your business license. This can even be done online in most cases. If you’re just going to work on your own and under your own name, then you can move onto the next step. If you plan on hiring people, then you’ll need an EIN. Choosing a unique business name will require you to file for the name through your Secretary of State or similar local office.
2. Choose the structure of your business.
You can be a partnership, a corporation, or an LLC as a mobile mechanic. You could feasibly be a sole proprietor, but that isn’t recommended for liability reasons. If you do choose to be a sole proprietor, you won’t need to register your business structure, however, which makes it easier to start making money. You may need to file paperwork with the state and pay fees to incorporate.
3. Get licensed.
Some jurisdictions have a separate licensing procedure for mechanics. You may need to provide certification of your skills, pass a skills test, or present a degree from an accredited institution of learning to be able to go into business. If you don’t have any mechanic skills, but plan on hiring people who do, then you’ll need to provide evidence of your employees’ skills instead to become licensed.
4. Figure out your office.
If you’re out in the field working on vehicles, then you’re going to need an office somewhere. You can generally have a home office for this type of business, but zoning requirements may limit what you can do. You’ll need a place to store parts and equipment and not every residential area is zoned for inventory. Having a system of invoicing, tracking orders, and a schedule that can be regularly accessed will also be beneficial.
5. Find your wheels.
Most mobile mechanics need to have a van or a truck in order to transport materials and parts to the job site. If you’ve already got this vehicle, then incorporate it for use for your business and put your name and number on it. If not, look for leasing options first since that’s generally cheaper than buying a vehicle outright when your budget is tight.
6. Figure out how to dispose of materials.
If you’re changing the oil in vehicles 5x per day, that’s a lot of used oil that you’ll be carrying around with you. Instead of storing it in your home garage, figure out where, when, and how your community allows for it to be disposed. There may be a disposal fee. If there is, be sure to incorporate this fee into your rates that you charge for an oil change. Tires are in the same category.
7. Make sure you’ve got a transparent supply chain.
What frustrates people more than anything else is the upcharge on parts. If a customer can secure an oil filter for $8.99, then why should they pay you $17.99 for the same part? Have a transparent supply chain and make your money from labor and convenience more than the parts themselves. You’ll create a reputation of honesty by doing so and that will build up your customer base quickly.
8. Start marketing yourself.
You can market your business the old fashioned way. Use fliers, create business cards, and have a website where people can book appointments directly. Once a few customers have tried you out, ask to see if a few might be willing to share their experience with others.
Knowing how to start a mobile mechanic business means putting your skills to work where people need your help the most. Be as punctual as possible, do a great job, and clean up afterward. Do that and you’ll create a great reputation in your community that will provide you with a regular paycheck.
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