If you have a passion for motorcycles and you know a great deal about how to repair and maintain them, you may have put some thought into turning your hobby into a business. Although having a motorcycle repair shop is an excellent way to do something you love and get paid for it at the same time, you should also know that it requires a lot of hard work, skill, organization, and sometimes long hours, too. If you want to know more about how to make money with a motorcycle repair shop, you'll find some helpful tips and suggestion featured for you here.
Before you can actually open up for your shop for business, there are a couple of things you need to take care of. First, you need to obtain a tax identification number within your state so that you're able to collect sales tax and buy parts you need for repairs at wholesale prices. Also, you'll most likely be required to get a business or establishment license within your city. That way when you open your business doors, you'll be in compliance with your state's Department of Revenue and your local city government, as well.
Next you'll need to consider the location of your repair shop. Location is vital to the success of your business, so find out where most of your customers might be coming from and find a location that will be both convenient and easy to find. If you'll be doing repair work on motorcycles as a side-job for supplemental income, you might be using your home property as the location for your shop. If this is the case, you'll want to make sure that you have a separate garage or space within your garage to designate as your work area. If your home is located in an area that's primarily residential, have adequate signage within the vicinity to direct potential customers to your home-based shop. You won't make any money if customers can't find you.
Keep Your Prices Competitive
It can be tough to keep up with your competition when you first start out doing motorcycle repairs, so price your work to attract customers. While you want to price your repair work slightly lower than other reputable shops, don't go too low. If you start out charging too little you'll get burned out in a hurry and customers might interpret the too-low prices as a sign that your work is not up to par.
Give Estimates Prior to Doing the Work
Whenever a customer brings a motorcycle to your shop for maintenance or repair, always give them an estimate first. That way there's no room to argue when the repairs are done and it's time to pay up. If you need to order parts to complete a repair, you may want to collect payment for the parts ahead of time. If you don't, you might be left with extra parts you don't need if the customer asks you to order them and never returns with his or her bike to get it repaired.
Find Affordable Parts Suppliers
If you can find suppliers that offer parts at affordable prices, you'll be able to keep costs down for both you and your customers. Finding inexpensive parts will result in lower overhead costs for you and even more competitive prices for your repairs. Do some online research before you determine who you should order parts from, and always go for the lowest wholesale price possible. Don't forget to compare shipping costs when you're looking for a supplier, and you might want to find out what kind of service to expect when you place your orders. Too many wrong orders, expensive shipping, or excessive shipping delays will only hurt your business in the long run. Take all of these things into consideration when you choose who to buy from. You need to work with a supplier who will increase your chances for profit--not hinder them.
Be Timely with Repairs
Along with doing exceptional repair work, you need to be timely about getting the work done if you want repeat business from your customers. When a customer brings their motorcycle in for repairs, do everything you can to get the work done by the time you originally estimated. Being prompt can be especially difficult if your repair shop is operated as a side business, so manage your time wisely and don't put repairs off if you're running out of time. Taking too long to get a job done will send customers running to your competition, and you won't make any money if that happens.
Keep Impeccable Records
When it comes to having your own motorcycle repair shop, it's essential that you keep neat and organized records. Maintain a filing system for expenses, accounts, estimates, customer profiles and contact information, special orders, and daily ledgers. Your shop will run much more efficiently if your bookkeeping skills are top notch, and things will go much more smoothly when tax time comes around. Impeccably kept records are also the only way you'll know if you're turning a profit or running your business underground.
If you think you've got what it takes to make money with a motorcycle repair shop, go for it! With some time, hard work, and dedication, you'll be on your way to turning a profit doing something you love.
Guest post from Kerry Clare. Kerry writes about motorcycle insurance and related topics for MotorcycleInsurance.com.
I'm Louida from Atlanta, Georgia and I'm a mother of two daughters, blogger, and full time working mom at a Business Consulting Firm.
I love helping others learn how to start working from home on the internet free to supplement their current income.
I also blog at Productreviewmom.com
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