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Mobile Mechanic

Make car repairs easy on your customers by going to them.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Mobile Mechanic

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Everyone’s experienced that grim sensation of rushing out to the car inthe morning only to discover that it won’t start, or being stuck in thesupermarket parking lot or on the side of the highway. Not only haveyou lost your means of transportation, but you’ve got to deal with allthe logistics of having the vehicle towed to a repair shop, thenfinding your way back home or to work.

But if you’re one of the luckyfew who can deal with these problems and you like solving automotivemysteries, then you can save the day as a mobile mechanic. You’ll takeyour expertise and your tools directly to people’s homes, workplaces orwherever the car has decided to stall. In today’s hectic, hurriedworld, you can help your customers not only by fixing automotive ills,but also by allowing them to remain at home or the office while youwork. The advantages to the mobile mechanic business are that–unlikemost auto repair businesses–you don’t need employees, and if you likebeing an automotive physician, this can be a satisfying, stimulatingcareer. It’s also gratifying–people are appreciative when you gettheir baby back on the road, and doing it on their turf makes you evenmore of a miracle-worker. You’ll need expertise and experience in theautomotive repair industry–your customers will need as quick a fix aspossible, so you won’t be able to spend hours tinkering under the hood,hoping to hit on the solution. A strong analytical sense is alsoimportant; you’ll need to be able to decide who needs you first, secondand then on down the line.

The Market

Your customers can be anybody with wheels. Target the average driver onthe street as well as corporations and institutions that will bedelighted to have you arrive on-site so their employees don’t need tobe away from their desks. RV parks and private campgrounds are alsofertile grounds for customers–people with boats or recreationalvehicles always need some sort of assistance, and people who are livingin them have a hard time leaving them at the auto repair shopovernight.

Hotels and motels can also be good customer sources becauseout-of-town guests with car woes have no idea where to turn for experthelp and are usually pressed for time. Deliver your business cards toowners or managers of all these businesses and explain the advantagesof your services. A promotional item like a refrigerator magnet or penemblazoned with your company name can also help keep you in mind whenvehicle troubles arise. Place an ad in your local Yellow Pages. Getyour business written up in local publications. If you live in atourist-oriented area, introduce yourself to local visitor assistancecenters and leave cards. Put your logo with a large, legible phonenumber and a description like ‘mobile mechanic’ on your vehicle sopotential customers can spot you on your rounds.

Needed Equipment

In most states, you’ll have to be a certified mechanic–be sure tocheck with the proper business licensing authorities before you roll onthe road. You’ll need a set of mechanic’s tools, a multimeter(ohm/voltmeter), a diagnostic scanner and of course a vehicle to carrythem and you to jobs. You’ll also need a cellular phone so customerscan call wherever you are and a flat-rate manual and on-boardcalculator for determining job charges.

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Maintenance

Pool-Cleaning Service

Help keep pools sparkling clean with a pool-cleaning service.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Pool-Cleaning Service

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Swimming pools can be a haven on a hot day, a source of pride forhomeowners, and a necessity for apartment and condominium complexes andhotels and motels. But keeping them pristine is not a job for theuninitiated or those with no time, and besides being unsightly, a dirtypool can be costly.

Business owners whose pools don’t meet local healthdepartment standards can be fined or have their watering holes closeddown, which can cost not only money, but also customers. But if youlike working outdoors with the sun on your back and the sound of waterat your feet, then you can banish the pool pH blues with apool-cleaning service.

You’ll make weekly rounds, checking andadjusting chemical levels, maintaining pumps, skimmers, filters andother equipment, and doing routine cleaning. In addition to pools, youcan service spas and hot tubs, too. The advantages to this business arethat you can start part-time if you like with a minimal investment; youget to work outdoors; and pool cleaners have a sort of mystique in oursocial consciousness. You’ll need a good working knowledge ofpool-cleaning techniques and supplies, from pH levels to chlorinetablets and beyond. You’ll also need the physical strength tomanipulate poles and skimmers through the drag created by water all dayand the motivation to work quickly and efficiently.

The Market

Your clients will most likely be homeowners and owners of apartment andcondominium complexes and hotels and motels, but you can also targetschools and health clubs. Establish relationships with pool supplystores and pool builders in your area, leave a batch of your businesscards and ask them to refer you to their customers.

The best way tosell to businesses is to introduce yourself to the manager (ormaintenance manager if it’s a large facility) and leave your businesscard and flier. If you don’t get an immediate offer–which you probablywon’t–check back or call to remind them that you’re available. Forhomeowners, purchase a mailing list of pool owners in your area orcheck with your county tax assessor’s office–it may have a list ofpool owners on file. Then send a brochure or flier–you can offer anintroductory discount or a free pool checkup.

Needed Equipment

In some states, you need to be certified to clean pools used by thepublic–be sure to check with your local health department. You’ll needpoles, hoses, skimmers, chemicals and test kits, and a pickup truck ortrailer to carry them around in. And don’t forget your sunscreen and ahat!

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Maintenance

Power Tool Rentals

Start fixing up your business by buying quality power tools and setting up rental rates.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

Power Tool Rentals

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Simply start by purchasing good-qualitycommercial-grade power tools, design an information brochure listingtool descriptions, and indicate day and weekly rental rates. The rentalprice list can be distributed to local construction and renovationcompanies. Your advantage over the competition is that you canadvertise that you guarantee free delivery of the rental tool (if instock) to the job site in one hour. The entire business can beconducted right from a delivery truck with the assistance of a cellularphone for incoming rental inquiries.

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Maintenance

Window And Door Repair Service

Help clients keep their windows and doors is good working order.

Entrepreneur

Published

on

Business At A Glance

Window And Door Repair Service

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

The target market for a window and doorrepair service is owners of older homes that have wooden sash doors andwindows. The reason to target these homes for this type of business isdue to the fact that old wooden windows and doors require yearlymaintenance, such as new putty, paint, and removal and installation ofstorm windows. The demand for this type of repair service will alwaysbe strong, as many of these homeowners would not consider replacing thewindows and doors because the heritage value the wooden doors andwindows add to the home’s appearance. Potential income range is $20 to$35 per hour.

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