One of the most in-demand fields of work today consists of automotive mechanics and technicians. It doesn’t matter where you live or work – there is always someone who needs to have their car or truck fixed.
Instead of confining themselves to one particular repair shop location, many experienced mechanics have taken their business on the road and been successful at doing so. If you are interested in becoming a mobile mechanic, here are five reasons why (in addition to your other tools) you should definitely bring your smartphone.
Stay in Contact with Your Customers
Bringing your smartphone along will also help you to stay in contact with your customers – especially if you are travelling to an unfamiliar area and need additional guidance to assist you. With a mobile business, having a smartphone for communication purposes is just as important as having a landline phone readily available inside of a physical office.
Not only will you need to be able to communicate with current customers and service calls but also prospective customers that may need price quotes or check your availability in order to schedule an appointment. You will also be able to stay connected to your customers through email correspondence, social networking websites, text messages and even video conferences.
It may seem a little too obvious to use your smartphone for making and receiving phones calls. However, when it comes to exploring the benefits of using a smartphone as an effective tool for your mobile mechanic business, that “obvious” benefit barely scratches the surface.
Use GPS Technology for Guided Travel
Many of the service calls that you receive throughout the average workday will be in familiar areas that you may know like the back of your hand. Over time, you may even start to generate a base of repeat customers that you visit frequently. However, there will also be times when you are asked to travel to a location that you have either never been to in the past or simply forgot how to get there.
Using the GPS technology in your smartphone will help get you there and cut down on your travel time, which will impress your customers. Between 2009 and 2012, according to Statista, the number of people using their smartphones as GPS devices skyrocketed from 9.6 million to 66.3 million. Chances are, therefore, that you are already using this feature for personal trips and errands. Why not use it to grow your mobile mechanic business as well?
Not Many Customers Will Have Cash
Another reason why you should bring your smartphone is simply because not many of your customers will have cash readily available to pay for your services. In most roadside emergencies, for example, the customer might only have their credit or debit cards on hand. Having your smartphone along with one of many different mobile payment solutions integrated into the device, will allow you to process their credit card transactions right there on the spot without any hassle or complications.
You should also keep in mind that, according to Business News Daily, only 23 percent of point-of-sale purchases are expected to be paid in cash by 2017. Setting up your mobile device as a credit card processing machine will keep you prepared for all customers – especially those who prefer to pay with plastic instead of paper.
Keep Your Overhead Expenses and Costs Low
One of the biggest selling points of becoming a mobile mechanic is that the initial investment is relatively low in comparison to other fields. If you wanted to open your own automobile repair shop, you would need to pay tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars in overhead expenses upfront and over time. However, the average mobile mechanic can get their business off the ground with less than $2,000 in startup costs, according to Entrepreneur. The key, then, is to keep those overhead costs low.
Investing in a traditional cash register or even a standard POS system can place a major dent in your company’s finances as well. Using your smartphone to process your payments and even manage your company’s finances will save you a considerable amount of time and money in this regard.
Think about all of the applications that you can have download and access directly through your device that can also help you to manage other aspects of your business – such as payroll, administrative tasks, bill payments, online banking, etc. You could even step things up a few notches in efficiency and overall performance by using your mobile device as the core element of a mobile POS system, such as one of the kits offered by Shopify.
The Bottom Line
You can be very successful as a mobile mechanic as long as you have the right drive, expertise and tools. However, in order to be successful as the owner of a mobile mechanic business, you should definitely keep your smartphone at the top of your list of essential items to have.
4 Rules for Self-Employment Success
Entrepreneurs are at the heart of economic development, generating jobs and tax revenue for cities, states and national authorities. But the prospect of starting and maintaining a business is full of risk, calling-for a special type of commitment from those intent on being self-employed. Financial matters, in particular, present challenges for entrepreneurs, ranging from generating start-up capital to effectively funding ongoing business operations.
Although each business is unique, success is typically measured in profits and job satisfaction, so diverse workers ultimately share the same goals. Fortunately, the path to prosperity is paved with entrepreneurial successes, furnishing a blueprint for effective business management.
If you are self-employed or considering an entrepreneurial venture, commit yourself to these important rules for success:
Protect Your Financial Reputation
To onlookers, your reputation forms the core of your brand image – including how customers and business associates view your professional financial integrity. And since your business probably relies ilow of customers, so a well-conceived line of products and services is essential for long-term viability. For the greatest chance of carrying-on, make sure your business concept speaks to a genuine need. Not only do in-demand goods and services inspire repeat purchases, but you’ll spend less time and money convincing new customers to try your brand. Thorough market research sheds light on consumer habits and guides successful entrepreneurs toward money-making opportunities. A “hopeful” sales approach, on the other hand, leads to stagnant inventory, insufficient demand, and financial failure.
Learn Effective Marketing
Although the particulars are unique to each business venture, making money typically relies on effective promotion. Without a well-oiled marketing machine, your business faces an uphill climb reaching customers. And in today’s hyper-competitive consumer marketplace, your message must be spread across various forums, including:
Social Media – If you expect to compete with savvy marketers, social media figures prominently in your promotions strategy. Use networking sites to make connections and facilitate partnerships, and stay in the public eye by posting engaging content.
Industry Publications – Establishing yourself or organization as an expert source within your field can lead to new business. Trade magazines and websites are a great place to put your intellect and expertise on display for those in your niche.
Direct Marketing – Direct mail and in-person events establish one-on-one contact with potential customers, so the strategies can be used to generate interest in your business. Direct marketing is expensive, compared to other forms of promotion, so conducting cost analysis is an essential first-step, before committing advertising resources.
Believe in Yourself and in Your Brand
Believing in the products and services you sell makes the task easier, but it also translates to job satisfaction and personal fulfillment. Your track record as an independent business operator reflects your dedication and commitment, so putting-in the effort on a lukewarm prospect will not pay the same dividends as a project you are passionate about.
Inexperience prevents some would-be entrepreneurs from taking the plunge to self-employment. If you believe in your business plan, don’t let your own lack of experience stand in your way. Expert advice is available to help get you off the ground, and in time, believing in yourself develops acumen and expertise beyond your expectations.
Striking-out on your own carries risk, but rewards are widespread for entrepreneurs committed to business success. These four rules and other proven practices help set the stage for growth and profitability – use them to reinforce your business or inspire a start-up.
4 Tips For The Self-Employed Tradesman
Branching out and becoming self-employed can be both exciting and frightening but worth it for the extra control you can have over your work. You will, however, need to take note of a few things before you get started as there are a few things you need to keep on top of. If you’re currently a self-employed tradesman, or looking to become self-employed, read on for some tips you may want to take on board.
Even though insurance may seem costly, you never know when you might need it. There are many different types of insurance you can take out, so it is important that you choose what is best suited for you. Remember to also insure your tools, equipment, and anything you may use on a regular basis as well. If you are a little bit confused about what type of insurance to take out, contact a specialist such as Tradewise Insurance who will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Word of mouth is considered to be one of the most effective and free methods of advertising. However, if you are finding that work is a little scarcer than you would like, you may want to consider advertising on places like Gumtree, your local newspaper, or even distributing flyers around your local neighbourhood. If you’re just starting out, it may be difficult to get clients if they don’t even know that you exist – advertising can help you get your name and services out there.
Provision of high quality customer service is paramount when it comes to being self-employed. There are plenty of other tradesmen out there who can take your place in an instant, so it is important to be punctual, and to complete your work to the best of your ability. Build a rapport with your customers, so they will keep you in mind for other jobs they might have and maybe even recommend you to their friends. You never know where putting that extra bit of effort will take you.
Taking care of your accounts may seem boring and time consuming, but it will help you out immensely when it comes to doing your taxes. Make sure you keep strict records of everything you do and keep the receipts and invoices from all your jobs. Put in all of your income as it comes in, and don’t be slack! Arrange for one specific day or time a week to get all of this done and out of the way so you don’t have a backlog of work to do at the end of the month or year.
Being self-employed can be tough, but it can also be a lot of fun. Just make sure you have all the necessary strategies and processes in place and you will be good to go!
Are you currently a self-employed tradesman? Do you have any tips for those who are planning on embarking on a similar path? What have you found most useful and what types of things do you avoid? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Business Profit and Positive Change – Are they Both Possible?
Is it possible for a business to be both profitable and enable positive change? That’s exactly what Scottish whiskey producer Chivas have set out to achieve with their million dollar fund for start-ups.
Their recent campaign entitled ‘Venture’ is giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to win a share of the $1 million fund with an innovative start-up idea that aims to use business as a force for good.
The most promising start-ups will have the chance to win a share of the $1 million fund and receive mentoring from some of the world’s most famous business experts. The most promising start-ups will be presented to the public who will also have the opportunity to vote for the business they believe should earn a share in the $1 million fund.
So what is the main aim of this campaign?
According to Chivas, and many successful entrepreneurs from around the world, it is possible for businesses to make profit while creating positive change. The Venture campaign aims to fund and support the most promising entrepreneurs that strive to achieve these two goals.
A recent report commissioned by Chivas explored the growing relevance of social entrepreneurship and found that social entrepreneurship is on the verge of hitting a tipping point into the mainstream. The movement underscores the opportunities and challenges facing a new generation of young professionals as they strive to use their energy and talent to build a better world.
Almost 95% of participants who took part in the report thought it was possible for a company to combine profit with having a positive social impact. The main obstacle to starting a social business was cited as a lack of access to funding by 68% of respondents.
The general findings from this report suggest that there is a growing recognition among a new generation of leaders that capitalism can be a force for good.