One of the joys of starting a mechanic shop is that you will be based at your home. This is a choice that many people prefer to have but not all are able to do it. If you are employed more often than not you have to go to the office daily and work from there.
But by being able to run a business from your home you become your own boss. You are able to decide for yourself your working hours. The best thing is being around your place of residence and yet you’re still productive.
In this post, we’ll look at the basics of starting and managing your home-based mechanical shop…
You’ll Need Some Space
You need to evaluate your available space at home, backyard or an empty room because a mechanic shop needs to be very spacious since automobiles occupy a considerable amount of space.
The available space should have a roof, a high roof that will allow any size of an auto to enter or exit at ease.
Since it’s a home garage, a space that can comfortably hold 2 or 3 cars will be ideal. Besides, it should be well lit and ventilated to ensure harmful gases do not accumulate in your work area.
Well-lit means you have a lot of clean, diffuse light coming from several sources to prevent shadows.
The entrance should be very wide.
Seek Approvals (or Permit)
Running a home-based mechanical shop does not exempt you from seeking approvals from your local authorities.
Two major approvals that you need from your local authorities are:-
- Zone approval: This is a permit that is issued by local authorities if they approve the area in which you want to set up a mechanic shop.
- Business permit: This must be given by the local authority. This will be required by the revenue department to be used for tax identification purposes
Gather The Necessary Tools
A well-equipped garage does more than make car work possible; it makes it more effective and more enjoyable.
The kind of tools you will have in your garage will determine the kind of services you will offer to your prospective clients.
If you are planning to offer some specialized services, you will be required to have enough tools, if not all, that can perform the specialty service.
Offering general mechanic services in your shop will require you to have a wide range of tools.
The very necessary tools that your garage must have are outlined below:
1. Bench Vise
A good bench vise is more effective than working on the metallic objects while holding them or putting them down on the floor.
A bench vise comes in handy when:-
- You want to file objects
- You need to hold objects in place as you wait for the glue to dry.
- You want to bend hard metallic objects.
- You want to grind metallic parts.
- And so much more
2. Air compressor
An air compressor compresses air using electric energy and stores the compressed air in a metallic tank attached to it.
This compressed air can be used anytime.
You will frequently be using the air compressor to inflate tires. A good air compressor will give you the ability to blow-clean and -dry parts.
2. Jack Stands
Most of a car’s most important parts are underneath so you will need to lift up the car more often.
A good and faithful jack/stand will be must have equipment in your auto shop.
Also, it’s not wise to let the car rest on the brake discs after removing the tires for a repair.
3. Storage Space
Although storage is not a tool, it is used to neatly store tools.
Some small tools such as small-sized spanners, screwdrivers, spanner heads, need to be kept in a box to minimize the chances of being misplaced.
The box may be wooden or metallic and its size will depend on the number of tools
Apart from a toolbox, you will also need a well-built tools rack.
This will be used to store things such as hacksaws etc.
4. Car spare parts
A garage must have spare parts.
These spare parts must be of all sizes and car types.
Safety! Safety! Safety!
Apart from your personal safety, your tools and clients’ cars must also be kept safe.
To do this, you can incorporate few safety gadgets and precautions in your garage.
Safety gadgets are things like:-
A sizeable amount of this you will be using in the garage are flammable. Things like gasoline and car tires.
Having a fire extinguisher at hand will protect you, the customers’ cars and your equipment from the flames of fire just in case one pops up.
First Aid Kit
You may be fastening a screw and the screwdriver slips making you scratch your hand over the side the of the car bumper.
Accidents are bound to happen in the garage and having a first aid kit at an arm’s length will go a long way in preventing them spreading to unmanageable lengths.
It is advisable to always use gloves and boots when in the garage to prevent unnecessary injuries to your fingers and toes.
Additionally, you should also observe these necessary safety precautions:
- Make sure are no spillages of oil, grease, and water on the floor. To avoid accidentally falling.
- Make sure the floor is rough to avoid skidding.
How To Manage Your Home-based Mechanical Shop
For the garage to bring in the profits, it must be well managed.
If you have no knowledge of managing a business, you may consider enrolling in a management school in your area or employ someone who is good at it.
As part of managing the garage, you should have a small room inside the garage where you will be keeping the records.
Management will involve the day to day running of your garage, dealing with clients/partners, employees if any.
It will also involve advertising your mechanic services through the various platforms available.
This may include TV adverts, social media, etc.
So you have some empty space in your yard that you don’t know what to do with it?
Turning it into a home garage is the best bet and coupled with a passion for automobiles, you are bound to succeed.
Follow my simplified guide above on how to get into this profitable venture and start earning at the comfort of your home.