advice on career in small engine repair

I'm considering a career in small engine repair. I would appreciate any advice. I'm most concerned if there is steady work in this field and if it offers some fairly challenging work. I know it only pays from $10/hr. to 18/hr. We get a fair amount of snow in the winter. Will this affect how much work there is in the winter? Is this field affected a lot by downturns in the economy? Thanks in advance for advice.
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snipped-for-privacy@anonmail.de wrote:

Does anyone repair small engines when they fail? I've never spent a dime on a repair in more than 25 years of owning various lawn mowers, blowers and such. It's usually cheaper just to dump the product and buy a new one. You may be opening a shop to provide a service no one needs or uses.
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: I'm considering a career in small engine repair. I would appreciate any : advice. I'm most concerned if there is steady work in this field and if : it offers some fairly challenging work. I know it only pays from : $10/hr. to 18/hr. We get a fair amount of snow in the winter. Will this : affect how much work there is in the winter? Is this field affected a : lot by downturns in the economy? Thanks in advance for advice. :
Like most careers, that depends on your goals, expectations and ambitions plus a lot of luck, I think. It can be fairly lucrative once you build a customer base, and especially if you can buy out a functional business from someone who is retiring or some such, and pick up a franchise or warranty work contract or two. I assume you DO know what "small engine" means, right? It's not just the 3.5 HP lawn mower engines; it's much more than that and for the right people can be pretty interesting work. There are several different types of "small engines".
Some things to think about: Work for yourself? A major company? A sales/rental place? A factory repair center? Etc. When we lived in Chicago, it was a pretty good business to be in. Here in far northern NY it's not so much since the farms are falling like flies and most people aren't into tractors and things like that anymore. With the recent changes in engine design I suspect it can take some doing to keep a good license and continuing education credits and all that. The few such businesses that are around here do very well, but that's because the chaff has been separated out and only the quality folks are left, which is a good thing for the customer, not so good for the business if they like to cut corners or have no people powers.
IMO it is subject to downturns in the economy and such, but what isn't? Heck, even NASA people fear for their jobs today! The trick would be to get into a niche market of some sort where the requirement for the experience and abilities was needed whether the economy was good or bad. With the exception of military contracts, that is; IMO, nothing worse than taking a military contract. I say that because I did <g>. Got rich and got poor, all pretty quickly. Gvt work is more feast/famine than most, although they all are to a degree these days. The trick is to be savvy, grab opportunities, keep up your ambition and love what you do. Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life but you'll play every day and get paid for it.
HTH, Pop
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Been there, done that! do yourself a favor and get a real job, with a pay check, insurance, and a 401K plan. I did and I can afford to eat everyday now!
You mention snow, do you get decent snow, EVERY year?? The year with little snow mean pretty much zero money. When I had my shop I would hire 2-3 guys in the spring, and lay them all off in the fall. I would be lucky in the winter time to have any work at all, to being absolutely swamped in the spring. Any profits made in the summer paid off the loss in the winter, so at best I broke even. All shops my area are all in the same boat. Greg
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if you dont know anything about it,youll need to go work for someone else to learn... as far as working for yourself,the key is keeping your overhead low .when retired from the marines,i drove a schoolbus in the winter and ran my shop in the warm weather. my shop was by my home on my paid for land and building.my truck and trailer were paid for and i ad most of my tools . i could clear a couple thousand week in spring and summer , and take it easy in the winter, less in a drought.. i didnt see how or why i would do it if i had to rent a building in town and had to pay out a couple thousand a month in overhead.true folks might throw away the 100.00 push mower , but people will get the rider and expensive 2 cycle stuff repaired.but youd be surprised how many folks will pay 45 dollars to fix a 100.00 mower or trimmer,so i kept the price down on fixing them and i got plenty of them,usually it took less than an hour and a few dollars in parts. lucas
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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i forgot to say, downturns in the economy are good for the repair end,, i worked one summer for a shop where i got half of the labor and i prefed to work that way instead of by the hour. that place stayed 2 months behind in the cutting months , i usually made about 1500.00 a week.
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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