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View Full Version : Starting a second venture ???


Ducke
07-18-2011, 06:55 PM
Has anyone ever considered starting a Small Equipment Sales and Repair Shop ???
Let me back track a bit here.
Back on June 10th I broke my Sthil Weed Wacker I pulled the cord and there it lay dangling in the wind :o
I pulled and I punched but it would not budge I swore at it and jumped up and down on the lawn looking like a cross between a war dance and a break dance but the cord would not go back in.:mad:
So on June 14th I took it to the one and only local repair shop.
Fast forward to last Friday July 15 I am so pi$$ed off at not getting a straight answer on the phone I go over to get my broken Weed Whacker back, (even I could have figured something out in 4 weeks) I get there and low and behold they are working on it. It has a broken and jammed "Dog" in the pull cord assembly. (sound like something from Monty Python)
It will cost $25.00 for the parts and $40.00 for the labour. It now July 18th and I am still a week away from getting my Weed Whacker back.
So my little pea brain starts to workin and I do me some thinking, It hurts a bit because I don't do it a whole lot. but if this repair shop is so backed up that it is putting them a month or more behind maybe I should look at getting me a couple of small engine techs and opening a repair shop as well .
It could possibly be a profitable venture or a great big hole to throw good money after bad.
Either way it just might be some fun :)

justin_time
07-18-2011, 08:50 PM
I think your better off selling ice cream on the side you'd make more money lol

Steve
07-18-2011, 09:41 PM
There are a few members on here that have repair shops. I tend to think, you can make more money with a lawn care business than a repair shop.

Lawn care is consistent work, while the repair shop probably wouldn't be.

But hey, you never know. You might experiment with this business idea and find it really takes off in your area due to many circumstances. So if you feel it is something you want to try. Why not!

Fisher
07-18-2011, 11:09 PM
Diversification is usually good. Pepsi used to own Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. (until they broke them off into the YUM brands but you know who the bigger stock holder is) Soda makes more money than most fast food alone but they still bought into the fast food.

I would think that a small repair shop would benefit you in a few ways.

1) if you're working on your competitors equipment you have a chance to keep them down for a while even if their mower is the only one in your shop just claim your behind. They may get behind and then their customers can call you.

2) Homeowners use these shops as well and often when their equipment is in the shop they will hire out their yard work, you just may be the first to know and offer the one time service when (if you have to, I know the local shop here charges $40 for picking up and again for delivery when done) you pick up the equipment. We have customers than use us only once per month to really clean up around the edges and or just for landscaping that have opted to pay us just to run their equipment by the shop for them.

3) Any extra income that doesn't disrupt or take away from what you're already doing is a good thing. You'll learn more about maintenance and save money on your own repairs.

I've walked into shops before and solved problems that the repair guy had spent hours trying to figure out just because I had to fix my own similar problem before and he hadn't seen that one yet. So a learning curve may be there but once you know it you'll be glad you did.

wandfsmall
07-19-2011, 07:38 AM
you might want to check up on the laws before you open up a shop, if your effected by carb laws you will have a lot more expense or risk involved. You are also looking at a size able investment and although customers come back to shops they always complain about us as the only way to make any money at all is to be backed up. While I agree a month is a little extreme I also understand it is not profitable to work on a trimmer, so most shops put the entry guy on them.

The other thing to look at is where are you going to get the tech and how are you going to pay them threw the off season. Good techs are hard to find I mainly make money on parts the mechanic side barely breaks even at good times.

wandfsmall
07-19-2011, 07:48 AM
Diversification is usually good. Pepsi used to own Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. (until they broke them off into the YUM brands but you know who the bigger stock holder is) Soda makes more money than most fast food alone but they still bought into the fast food.

I would think that a small repair shop would benefit you in a few ways.

1) if you're working on your competitors equipment you have a chance to keep them down for a while even if their mower is the only one in your shop just claim your behind. They may get behind and then their customers can call you.

2) Homeowners use these shops as well and often when their equipment is in the shop they will hire out their yard work, you just may be the first to know and offer the one time service when (if you have to, I know the local shop here charges $40 for picking up and again for delivery when done) you pick up the equipment. We have customers than use us only once per month to really clean up around the edges and or just for landscaping that have opted to pay us just to run their equipment by the shop for them.

3) Any extra income that doesn't disrupt or take away from what you're already doing is a good thing. You'll learn more about maintenance and save money on your own repairs.

I've walked into shops before and solved problems that the repair guy had spent hours trying to figure out just because I had to fix my own similar problem before and he hadn't seen that one yet. So a learning curve may be there but once you know it you'll be glad you did.


My guess is your competition would not come to you for a while, and learning on customers equipment is a BAD IDEA mistakes get costly.

Ducke
07-19-2011, 05:17 PM
Well if I did do something like this I would remove myself from the lawn care operation. It would be run a an arms length that is even if I did keep it.
I would only get involved with this type of venture with lots of research and a very wealthy partner.:D
This is all because I saw a possible demand, I'm not going to let it go but I am not going to jump in right now either. I think starting up one company at a time is enough.:)

Fisher
07-19-2011, 06:41 PM
My guess is your competition would not come to you for a while, and learning on customers equipment is a BAD IDEA mistakes get costly.

I actually am more suited to work on my own equipment than the "good techs" are around here or so it seems. Learning on customers equipment isn't the best idea if you don't already have significant knowledge of what you're doing.

It seems all shop owners and their techs will always and inevitably be learning something new on their customers equipment. How often do you guys trouble shoot problems before deciding the problem and solution, that is a constant learning process even for the skilled and trained professional.

If the shop is backed up a month then either business is booming and they could use the competition, or their guys are just slow at finding/fixing problems. Parts on order I understand, but don't stand around waiting on it move on to the next item.

Even if it is a smaller job that doesn't pay much. I actually think that the $40 labor on Ducke's 20 minute repair job sounded like good money.

wandfsmall
07-20-2011, 07:51 AM
I actually am more suited to work on my own equipment than the "good techs" are around here or so it seems. Learning on customers equipment isn't the best idea if you don't already have significant knowledge of what you're doing.

It seems all shop owners and their techs will always and inevitably be learning something new on their customers equipment. How often do you guys trouble shoot problems before deciding the problem and solution, that is a constant learning process even for the skilled and trained professional.

If the shop is backed up a month then either business is booming and they could use the competition, or their guys are just slow at finding/fixing problems. Parts on order I understand, but don't stand around waiting on it move on to the next item.

Even if it is a smaller job that doesn't pay much. I actually think that the $40 labor on Ducke's 20 minute repair job sounded like good money.

as to the $40 labor it depends on what he had, if it is one of the trimmers you have to totally take apart to get to the rope start that is cheap if it is a quality unit that takes maybe 10 min that was high. I am just trying to lay out the facts before he starts something that is not as easy as some people think. I am 2nd generation and if we had not started this business 20 years ago I could not have gotten my 2nd location off the ground. To get Briggs and Stratton for example take over $2000 in training and another $1000 in useless parts. Then you would have to invest around $10,000 in parts that you act sell. A mower line will start in the $40,000 range and a 2cycle line in the $10,000 range. Total investment to open the doors and not piss everyone off should be in the range of $150,000 and $200,000 plus the building. You also have to pick up every 2cycle line you will repair the equipment for as to you can only buy parts for the lines you carry.

As to the tech learning on customers equipment. Yes you constantly learn on the job as a tech but you do need some experience and training to start out with or you will be overwhelmed and close quickly. As ducky is in Canada I doubt he can go the stens route and open with no storefront no investment and no insurance. He might as well know the truth. If the cost was in line YES it would be a good investment as it sounds like the shops are overwhelmed as I agree they are way to far behind if this is normal.

bruces
07-20-2011, 10:49 AM
other than the parts issue ,opening a repair only shop might not be too hard ,heck he could get a cube van and have a mobile service if he wanted .The insurance is cheap as well , about the same as he is paying for his lawn care service .

wandfsmall
07-20-2011, 01:01 PM
other than the parts issue ,opening a repair only shop might not be too hard ,heck he could get a cube van and have a mobile service if he wanted .The insurance is cheap as well , about the same as he is paying for his lawn care service .

I agree but he can do better with his mowing service as that can get to have a full weekly schedule. Your best bet is to learn to work on your own stuff. A shop can be more profitable then a mowing service but it takes years to get to that point and a lot of investment.