A Guide To Starting A Home Mechanic Business

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article | A Guide To Starting A Home Mechanic BusinessAnyone that knows their way around under the hood of a car and is looking for a rewarding way to earn money from home should consider starting their own mechanic business. You can be a self-employed mechanic and earn a good living working from the comfort of your own home and get to work on cars every day. People always need the services of a reliable mechanic so the work can be stable and being able to work from home gives you good work-life balance, and the ability to put yourself in control of your earnings. Read on for advice on becoming a self-employed mechanic.

Treat It Like A Business

Although you can operate out of your own garage, it is still important to treat this like a proper business and to go through all the proper channels. This will involve:

  • Carrying out market research
  • Writing a business plan
  • Securing funding
  • Registering as self-employed

Set Up Your Garage

Of course, in order to be a success, you will need to have a suitable work environment for working on cars. A few tips include:

  • Clearing out clutter
  • Investing in high-quality tools and equipment
  • Having a desk area for paperwork
  • Having a computer with internet access
  • Adequate lighting and ventilation
  • Having a first-aid kit

Insurance

You need to have the right protection in place before you commence business as otherwise, you could be putting your finances and home in jeopardy. Motor trade insurance is one of the most important types to arrange as this will provide cover for any car that you are looking after for professional purposes – you can get motor trade insurance from Tradex which will provide the cover that you need.

Running The Business

You will also need to consider the business side of the operation, such as accounting, invoicing, web presence, and marketing. These are all key areas which will need as much attention as the car repair work. You can either teach yourself how to handle these areas (which can be interesting and rewarding), or you could hire somebody to help you.

Building A Reputation

Developing a positive reputation is vital to success in this industry. This can be challenging when you first start out, but you can get early business by offering reduced rates to friends and family. You can then build a positive reputation by:

  • Encouraging word-of-mouth marketing
  • Using customer reviews on your website and social media
  • Partnering with relevant local businesses (like a car dealership)
  • Advertising online and offline

The information in this guide should give you the confidence and knowledge required to set up your own garage at home. There is the potential for great success as a self-employed mechanic once you start to develop a positive reputation, plus you have the benefit of being able to work from home which gives you a great work-life balance and allows you to handle any other large responsibilities that you have. Much like any business, it will require hard work and commitment, but it can also be highly rewarding.

 

Starting a Hotel Business: A Guide

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Hotel Business|Starting a Hotel Business: A GuideStarting and managing a hotel is a complex task which is not suited to every entrepreneur, but for some, it can be a lucrative and rewarding project with the opportunity for creativity alongside hospitality. A hotel business can be a stand-alone luxury villa, cottage or house, a large building with multiple rooms up to something more like a skyscraper with hundreds if not thousands of rooms. Regardless of the size of the venture, a hotel needs to be able to satisfy a variety of needs from catering to leisure as well as offering something unique so it can stand apart from its competitors.

Is the hotel business right for you?

On a day-to-day basis a hotel owner will be faced with a number of responsibilities ranging from hiring and managing staff, scheduling shifts, setting prices for rooms (including different rates for different days or seasons), paperwork, administration, financial management and continuing to research new ways to innovate and improve the hotel’s service. The hotel will also need to work with external service providers depending on the amenities on offer. For example, if the hotel has a pool, the owner may need to contract experienced water treatment specialists, or the hotel may need the services of a commercial laundry service for bedding and towels.

Many owners choose to hire a hotel manager to take on the everyday management of staff and looking after the guests.

The majority of people who start their own hotel business have some experience in the hospitality sector and are familiar with the potential problems they may run into. It’s also possible to study an MBA in hospitality management which equips people with essential business skills such as financial management and marketing.
Who is the target customer?

Broadly a hotel could target any traveler who needs a place to stay, but the most successful will target their offering to a specific demographic. This may be influenced by the location of the hotel. For example, if the hotel is in a rural setting, it could seek to attract couples or families looking for a relaxing and homely retreat. If the hotel is in the middle of a busy city center, it may be better suited to business professionals or groups. It could even offer conferencing facilities, which could be an additional revenue stream.

How much does it cost to start a hotel business?

Whether you are opening a large hotel with many hundreds of rooms or a smaller hotel with just a few rooms, you need to have a substantial amount of capital behind you to get things off the ground. The cost of the land and buildings will be substantial as will the furniture and equipment needed, but these will vary widely depending on the size of the venture, so it is almost impossible to estimate.

Is a hotel business a good investment for the future?

With newer platforms like Airbnb hitting the market, there is a concern that traditional hotels will drop in popularity. While there is an appeal for some travelers looking for a more ‘authentic’ or intimate travel experience, hotels still hold a lot of appeal for people who prefer don’t want to stay in the homes of strangers or with hosts which aren’t regulated by corporate structure.

How To Set Up A Successful Business From Home

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Running a Business from Home|How To Set Up A Successful Business From HomeRunning a successful business from home and enjoying the freedom to be your own boss is a dream for many people. Setting up a business is a challenge that takes plenty of hard work, time, and dedication, but for many people, it’s worth it. With this in mind, here are some key tips on how to set up a successful business from home.

Create a detailed business plan

Before you start any home business venture, it is crucial that you create a comprehensive plan outlining your business goals, along with a timeframe from reaching each specific goal. Doing so will help you stay organized, motivated, and keep you on track to achieve your business goals. Obviously, you want to push yourself, but at the same time, it is important to be realistic and set achievable goals, especially when it comes to financial forecasts. Take a look online for a useful step-by-step guide on how to write an effective business plan.

Take advantage of technology

Modern technology and the internet have opened up increasing opportunities for small business owners and freelancers. All businesses can now advertise their products and services to a worldwide audience on major selling platforms like Amazon and eBay. Freelancers can also now find numerous job opportunities online. For instance, you can find everything from graphic design projects to film and TV jobs online by searching on popular freelance sites and job boards. All businesses should also take advantage of the power of social media and focus on this when devising their marketing strategies. Social media offers every businesses the opportunity to connect with their target audience on a daily basis, grow brand awareness, and increase sales and revenue. Better yet, many social media platforms allow you to set up an account and post for free!

Get dressed every day

When working from home, it can be tempting to lie around in your pajamas all day and never leave the comfort of your bed. However, many studies have found that this is a far less productive way of working. There is no need to dress up in fancy designer outfits when you’re working from home, but showering and getting dressed as part of your morning routine is the best way to get your brain into work mode and increase your productivity levels. What’s more, dressing in professional clothing during your working hours will also help keep your work and personal life separate and notify people that you are working.

Have a separate office space

Similar to the above, it is vital to have a dedicated office space that you can go to every day to complete your work tasks. Again, this will ensure that you get into work mode each morning and should also help you remain productive and motivated throughout the day. Try to make sure that your office space appears professional and remove any distractions like televisions or mobile phones. This will help you remain focused on your work tasks.

How to Start a Diesel Truck Repair Shop

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Diesel Truck Repair|How to Start a Diesel Truck Repair ShopThe field of diesel repair is hopping. The United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates the field will grow 9 percent from 2016 to 2026.

This growth only makes sense as businesses continue to grow and need diesel trucks to transport their goods from place to place in our country. Trucks matter so much that writer Stan Mack predicts if the trucking industry stopped for some reason or another, so would the United States economy.

Behind the industry of big rigs and eighteen-wheelers reside the skilled grease monkeys that make them move. Diesel mechanics keep trucks on the road and keep goods moving from place to place.

Keep reading to learn how to start your own diesel truck repair shop.

Truck Repair Shop Or Service Truck?

As you consider the move from diesel technician to diesel truck repair owner, you begin with one decision: truck or shop.

Diesel repair trucks have the mobility that a shop may not, and yet they are still a legitimate truck repair shop business, without the foundation. They’re just a shop on wheels.

A repair truck will serve customers remotely, giving them the luxury of you going to them. Because you do not have a shop, per se, you do not have to invest yet in certain tools, like a hoist.

You also have a limited scope of skills with a mobile shop, but you can offer your services to a fleet versus the average joe looking for an oil change. A service truck works well to service a fleet of trucks, especially if a customer doesn’t care that you’re in their yard.

The mobile shop works well if you want to get your name out there but don’t have the finances for a building yet.
A good mobile shop will have a place for tools, fluids, and parts along with a compressor, generator, welder, floor lights, and potentially a crane. Invest in a good truck because, after all, you’d hate to break down on your way to serve someone else’s vehicle.

If you’re looking at an actual building for your service shop, then consider location first. Look at the potential for a walk-in client with this particular location, which means you want a place with high traffic near a freeway.

What Equipment will the Building Need?

If you opt for a foundation and walls, a building, for your diesel repair shop, you’re going to need specific equipment before you hang your shingle out front. Invest in some diagnostic equipment, a brake lathe, jacks and jack stands, mechanic tools, and vehicle lifts.

Your essential tools will run you around $15,000. Expect to spend approximately $4,000 for each lift and its installation, and know that diagnostics machines and equipment can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
This equipment does not come cheap, but you can find high-quality, used equipment if you know where to look. Keep an eye out for brand names, knowing that if you have your own equipment, you will not have to outsource specific tasks.

Keep an eye out for auctions and retiring mechanics. They will have used but quality equipment for much less money.
As you look at the building itself, look for a well-ventilated and well-lit structure. Consider having a shower installed so you and your technicians do not have to go home with the day’s work still on you.

Who Are Your Clients?

As you put together a business plan, ask yourself if you’ll be helping consumers or businesses. Businesses will require more heavy-duty service. Consumers, on the other hand, have a light-duty service.

Businesses often have a less emotional response to the service you give them as the person you’re working for is just an employee of the business and not the truck owner himself. He will be someone working with a budget and paying the bills.

Business work or heavy-duty service tends to generate more revenue, but they also require a specific skill set, so make sure you have the skills necessary to work on heavy-duty equipment.

Business vehicles tend to be more valuable because they do heavy-duty work as opposed to your basic farm diesel truck. These pieces of equipment make money for the business, so the owner values them more. Business diesel equipment also sustains more wear and tear compared to customer’s light-duty equipment.

If you’re going to opt for customers or light-duty service, think farm pickups or off-road diesel vehicles. These typically require light maintenance and do not earn as much revenue.

Will You Have Employees?

When you open your own diesel truck repair shop, you will most likely be the technician and business owner. You need to be forward-thinking, though, and consider if you will want employees in the future or if you want to be a one-man operation.

The majority of businesses are husband-wife teams, and if you’re in this boat, you must ask yourself: can your marriage sustain the stress of a business?

If you plan on having employees, vet the local tech school graduates. Consider offering an internship that may turn into something else.

What Will You Charge?

Labor Rate

Do some research regarding local shops to see what they charge. Then offer a commiserate labor rate or one slightly lower. If you have a slightly lower rate, then a client may preauthorize you to do preventative maintenance like what you can find mentioned in this article.

Parts markup

The common mark up on parts in stock at most diesel truck repair shops is 25% of total revenue. After all, carrying parts costs money, so make sure you have an appropriate mark up for the luxury of having the part in stock. Consider a graduated scale where the markup percentage goes down with more expensive parts.

Insurance

Check your federal, state, and local regulations to see what insurance you will need. The liability for a diesel truck mechanic is large. If the brakes you worked on fail, you are liable.

Do not underinsure yourself. If you have no idea how much insurance you’ll need, consult with seasoned vets that have done the work before you.

Consider the Cost, Then Take the Plunge

Once you’ve evaluated the decisions you need to open your very own truck repair shop, you can take the plunge with some knowledge. You can go to your local banker and then realtor with the full understanding of what you’re getting yourself into.

To read more interesting articles about business strategies, check out our blog.

Fund Your Dream Company! How to Get a Business Loan Without Fail

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |how to get a business loan|Fund Your Dream Company! How to Get a Business Loan Without FailNo matter what your reason is for starting your own business, you’ve got to figure out how to fund your business. Unless you’ve got a nice nest egg and are ready to part with it, you probably need to learn how to get a business loan.

Many small businesses take out business loans to get the capital they need to start up their business and even pay for day-to-day expenses. Don’t get overwhelmed with the thought of taking a loan out.

Continue reading this article to learn about getting a loan to help you get your business off the ground and flying.

The Simple Truth About How to Get a Business Loan

Getting small business loans or other types of loan for your business doesn’t have to be daunting. After you read these tips, you can go through the process without worrying.

You don’t want to apply for a loan before the lender will approve your request. The more requests you have on your credit, the more of a risk it makes you look like.

Determine Why Your Business Needs a Loan

Lenders aren’t going to take “because I want it” as a good reason for why they should lend you money.

Before you speak to a lender, you need to have a solid reason why you need this loan. The more specific you can get about the reason why you need the loan for your business, the more likely the loan officer will see your vision for your business.

How Much of a Loan Can You Afford?

You shouldn’t decide to take out a loan for as much as possible. Before applying for the loan, you should know how much of a loan you can afford.

If your business cash flow isn’t enough to cover the loan repayment, your business and you could come into some serious problems. You should check to see when loan repayments are expected.

Some companies require that you repay them every month and others even require that you repay them every two weeks. Make sure to check the terms so you know when your payments are going to be due as well.

Create a Solid Business Plan

When you were going through the reason that you needed the money for your business, you likely had to work on your business plan. The more solid your business plan is, the more comfortable a lender will be with loaning you the money.

Depending on what you need the loan for, the loan may have different terms. Write out what you foresee happening with your business. You shouldn’t leave out any important details or numbers that will back up your plans.

What Is the Current Financial Status of Your Business?

If your business is already in operation, it will be easier to get the loan. When your business is already in operation, you have some proof that you know how to do business.

Before applying for your loan make sure that your credit history is as spotless as possible. Lenders are likely to review your personal credit history and that of your business as well.

If you look at your credit report and see there are errors or old debts that haven’t been deleted, you need to request to have them taken care of right away. If you have derogatory items on your credit report it will either cause the lender to deny you or charge you a much higher interest rate.

Besides for your credit report and score, lenders are also going to look at your business cash flow. If you have a strong cash flow then lenders feel confident that you’ll have the means to pay the business loan back according to the agreed-upon terms.

If your credit history and cash flow aren’t enough to get the loan, you should look into what collateral you have to offer. If you have something that will secure the loan, the lender is more likely to trust you with their money. If you don’t pay the money back then they get whatever it is that you put up for collateral.

Look at Your Lender Options

Don’t let loyalty keep you broke. It is important that you look at multiple lenders and see what kind of rates they will offer you.

Even if you’ve done business with a certain bank for years, you might check with online banks and see if they have better rates. Since online bank’s overheads are lower, it is easier for them to offer lower interest rates to their customers.

Prepare All Necessary Paperwork

Putting all of your necessary paperwork together can take quite a while. Make sure you don’t miss any important forms or your loan may be delayed or denied.

If you’re getting a USDA or an SBA loan then you might need to fill out paperwork for the government as well as for the lender in question.

There may be some differences in the loan application process but generally, you’re going to need to include your business plan, financial statements and also your cash flow information.

You may need to provide further documentation if what you provide is deemed to be less than satisfactory.

Learn More About Business & Leadership

Now that you know how to get a business loan, you’re good to go and ready to launch and/or grow your business. Why stop learning now?

Bookmark your favorite parts of our blog so you can come back for more great reads later.