Business OverviewEveryone's experienced that grim sensation of rushing out to the car in the morning only to discover that it won't start, or being stuck in the supermarket parking lot or on the side of the highway. Not only have you lost your means of transportation, but you've got to deal with all the logistics of having the vehicle towed to a repair shop, then finding your way back home or to work. But if you're one of the lucky few who can deal with these problems and you like solving automotive mysteries, then you can save the day as a mobile mechanic. You'll take your expertise and your tools directly to people's homes, workplaces or wherever the car has decided to stall. In today's hectic, hurried world, you can help your customers not only by fixing automotive ills, but also by allowing them to remain at home or the office while you work. The advantages to the mobile mechanic business are that--unlike most auto repair businesses--you don't need employees, and if you like being an automotive physician, this can be a satisfying, stimulating career. It's also gratifying--people are appreciative when you get their baby back on the road, and doing it on their turf makes you even more of a miracle-worker. You'll need expertise and experience in the automotive repair industry--your customers will need as quick a fix as possible, so you won't be able to spend hours tinkering under the hood, hoping to hit on the solution. A strong analytical sense is also important; you'll need to be able to decide who needs you first, second and then on down the line.
The MarketYour customers can be anybody with wheels. Target the average driver on the street as well as corporations and institutions that will be delighted to have you arrive on-site so their employees don't need to be away from their desks. RV parks and private campgrounds are also fertile grounds for customers--people with boats or recreational vehicles always need some sort of assistance, and people who are living in them have a hard time leaving them at the auto repair shop overnight. Hotels and motels can also be good customer sources because out-of-town guests with car woes have no idea where to turn for expert help and are usually pressed for time. Deliver your business cards to owners or managers of all these businesses and explain the advantages of your services. A promotional item like a refrigerator magnet or pen emblazoned with your company name can also help keep you in mind when vehicle troubles arise. Place an ad in your local Yellow Pages. Get your business written up in local publications. If you live in a tourist-oriented area, introduce yourself to local visitor assistance centers and leave cards. Put your logo with a large, legible phone number and a description like 'mobile mechanic' on your vehicle so potential customers can spot you on your rounds.
Needed EquipmentIn most states, you'll have to be a certified mechanic--be sure to check with the proper business licensing authorities before you roll on the road. You'll need a set of mechanic's tools, a multimeter (ohm/voltmeter), a diagnostic scanner and of course a vehicle to carry them and you to jobs. You'll also need a cellular phone so customers can call wherever you are and a flat-rate manual and on-board calculator for determining job charges.
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