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Wheel Horse
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461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi MTF guys. I am trying my best to open up my own small lawnmower shop. I already sharpen blades,change oil etc. I've even stripped engines and rebuilt 4 or 5 of them. I am only 14 fixin to be 15. I also hatch and sell about 25 chickens a week and sell them for about $2.50 a piece but thats not alot of money. Everbody on my roadusually comes to me for repairs but my age kinda drives people away. I try and help my mom and dad out the best I can with these things because we by far ain't rich. We try and live off the land but this little "shop" would help income a little bit. But I really don't know where to start or even should I start. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks alot:thanku:
 

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Its great to see you are starting at a young age , It takes time to get a business going, but once the word gets around that you do good work business will pick up.:goodl:
 

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Branded for LIFE !!!
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and remember 33cents of every dollar goes to uncle sam.....b,:trink40:
 

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I'd say just spread the word man, prove that you know what your doing, it just takes on really satisfied customer to spread the word. I'm 15 almost 16, and i'm also thinking about opening up a shop fairly soon.
 

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Some of the best money to be made is doing sharpening mower blades and chainsaw chains. If you can get good at doing tune ups on walk behind mowers, you can also make some good money.
 

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DustyCarter, Start here. This will give you an idea of the business side of a business (http://www.entrepreneur.com/bizstartups/index.html) and this one gives you an idea of the working side of a business (http://www.entrepreneur.com/businessideas/446.html).

Good luck!

Hi MTF guys. I am trying my best to open up my own small lawnmower shop. I already sharpen blades,change oil etc. I've even stripped engines and rebuilt 4 or 5 of them. I am only 14 fixin to be 15. I also hatch and sell about 25 chickens a week and sell them for about $2.50 a piece but thats not alot of money. Everbody on my roadusually comes to me for repairs but my age kinda drives people away. I try and help my mom and dad out the best I can with these things because we by far ain't rich. We try and live off the land but this little "shop" would help income a little bit. But I really don't know where to start or even should I start. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks alot:thanku:
 

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Dusty Carter, start small, but put 100 percent of your self in each and every repairs you do, wash the deck underside and sharpen and ballance the blade, even go as far as dumping old fuel and putting new fuel in the little gas tank, tune it just right, remove the wheel studs and put a dab of grease on them...
I promise you, if you go the extra mile for a customer, they notice and will tell someone else, who will tell someone else and soon before you know it, You're in business...
Good luck friend...
I've been a small engine repair mechanic since 1982, and now i have graduated to the big league of outdoor power equipment diesels and the works...
Not too many kids these days seem eager to do anything.
you need advise, call on some of us here on the forum...:thThumbsU
 

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Oldbie
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1,605 Posts
Dusty......print some business cards up on your computer or have
someone do it for you.
Think about it and design it to say what you do.
You could also mention a specialty.
You could also put it in your signature here (about your business)
Post the card or full page on bulletin boards...especially farm stores.
Then let nature take it's course.
 

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Wheel Horse
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461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well thanks guys for the input. that's alot of encouraging words. I will go the extra mile and do things. I have never really thought about that. The buisness cards I will try today. But thank you all for your input. Greatly appreciated!!!:thanku:
 

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Wheel Horse
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461 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh yea I posted a ad in craigs list and told em how old I was and I already have a rider and a weedeater. man you all are smart!!! I guess that's a really good way to spread the word!:thThumbsU
 

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I'll never get to 10,000
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5,585 Posts
Word of mouth is probably the best, with your situation/age.
Also, Post a sign at the end of your drive and some around the neighborhood with your phone #.

As others said, do good work, clean the machines before you send them back to the owners & treat your customers with respect.
Post a sign for what it cost to sharpen chains, blades, tune-up, etc. If it's work that's involved, give them a quote so they won't be surprised.
You're gonna get some jerks that won't pay or say it's not fixed right, but that happens with any business. You can write that off as learning experience.
 

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Premium Member
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Nice to hear you want to help your folks out in this way. You'll learn more and more as you go. Heck, use this forum as a tool for help and advice too.
Good Luck.

MU
 

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Retired MTF Admin
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11,156 Posts
Word of mouth is probably the best, with your situation/age.

You're gonna get some jerks that won't pay or say it's not fixed right, but that happens with any business. You can write that off as learning experience.
I agree completely!

Generally, the majority of new customers are good people. One of the most important business policies I adopted when I was very young, is complete honesty! I.E.: If you repair something you and the customer agreed upon, then discover something else is wrong, will fail or create new problems for the owner....let him know. Explain that "Even if you don't want ME to make the additional repairs, somone who's experienced should do it as soon as possible." Customers love this!

I really DO agree with those that said do the extra....Customers WILL notice, even if they don't when they pick up their equipment, they will eventually, and remind them that you really are capable, thoughtful and the genuine article:fing32: .

Mark
 

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20,000 +posts!
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A few words of warning from a guy who's "been there"...this may not apply to TN,where I'm sure there isn't as many anal laws against making a living for yourself---but here in MA,I cannot "run a bussiness" in a residentially zoned area..You had better look into local laws first,just to avoid future hassles..

I tried doing mower repairs "quietly" and got away with it for quite some time,until someone,probably a nosy neighbor ,jealous to see I was making money and didn't have to work for a demanding boss to get it,or pay most of it back to uncle sam,"snitched" on me,and I got a visit from the town selectman,who read me the "bylaws" about the penalties and restrictions against running a home based bussiness..

To do it legally,I'd have to apply for a variance,have a public hearing where abbutters could voice their approval or objections to my running a bussiness,etc..and the town selectman have the final say,as to whether to allow it or not..and of course have to report all my earnings and pay taxes,etc,pay for permits for fuel storage and disposal,keep records of how much waste oil I had on the premisis and disposed of,etc..
..so I decided to not do it anymore,it discoraged me from wanting too..that,and several "deadbeat" customers who always wanted me to drop whatever I was doing to fix their stuff immediately,then either never pay me,or whine about every little thing and withold payment until I'd just about rebuilt their mower for free,was enough to get me to say screw it...
..now I just fix my own stuff--if anyone wants something fixed,I either do it at their home,or tell them where else to bring it..

If things are different where you are in TN,(and I bet they are!),I say go for it,dont let me discorage you--I'd just hate to see you get in trouble for running a bussiness "illegally"..up here,they make life difficult,if the town cand make money off you,they "forbid" you from working for yourself at home,unless your in a "bussiness zoned or commercial/retail zone",you just aren't supposed to do it...I know a lot of guys who did repairs in their own home shops for years, and got away with it--but more than a few had visits from the IRS after the town got wind of it too,and were heavily fined..and shut down from ever doing it again..
 

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Just keep doing good work, go the extra mile by doing small things as mentioned, and maybe even take some soapy water, and a sponge and clean then before they pick them up. Just keep at it, it takes time to get it running strong!
 

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Deceased October 2017
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21,767 Posts
I have had my own business for close to ten years.. and had one a for a few years before that ..

One thing I do know .. CASH is king !!

However it is not really an option in the type of work I do now. :banghead3
 

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Citizen of Earth
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16,328 Posts
One way to maybe get some extra business is to also get the word out that you will take "dead" lawn mowers, trimmers etc. Once in your possession, they can be fixed and resold, or scavenged for useable parts and the rest sold for scrap. the Steel ain't worth much, but a truck load of aluminum still fetches decent money.
 

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Wanna-B Tractor Nut
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290 Posts
and remember 33cents of every dollar goes to uncle sam.....b,:trink40:
Yes and no. You gotta have the right accountant, and you won't pay a dime in taxes. I've been "self employed" for 10 years and I never paid into taxes, and all the write offs I had, I ended up showing a loss and got money back. Was I dishonest, no, was it slightly shady, yes...but that's the only way to make money working for yourself, especially in Michigan where they have a business tax. I'd start off doing it under the table. Then if a problem arises, then go to the county office and get an incorporated business...I think mine cost ten bucks...then go from there, save EVERY receipt, keep VERY good records, etc. I saved every single piece of paper of every dime I spend, and while I end up not being able to write ALL of it off, I have the records just incase. Also makes good argument, look, I spent this friggin much to stay afloat, you're atleast giving me credit for this much
 
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