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.
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.
: I'm considering a career in small engine repair. I would
: 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
: $10/hr. to 18/hr. We get a fair amount of snow in the winter.
: affect how much work there is in the winter? Is this field
: 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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