With the increasing popularity of motorcycles, due largely to the high price of gas, careers in motorcycle repair seem to have a bright future. If you are mechanically inclined and good with your hands, this could be for you. There is a large initial investment in tools. Also, unless you are in the Southern U.S., work can be very seasonal since not as many people use their motorcycles during the winter. Some motorcycle repair shops on snow mobiles during the winter, but the business is not nearly as brisk. But if motorcycles are your passion, then such a career is worth looking in to.
Because small engines are becoming more complex, you will need formal motorcycle repair training, preferably from an accredited motorcycle repair school. Besides, evidence of training will help you to build your business by giving potential clients a sense that you are educated, authoritative, and competent. Find a motorcycle shop near you and offer your services as an apprentice. If you are having trouble, your motorcycle repair school should be able to place you. Work as often as you can. Show you are serious by doing the little tasks that need to be done washing windows, sweeping floors, running errands that you don't necessarily cover at motorcycle repair school. Eventually, the mechanics will start asking you for help, and start showing you what they do. Knowing that you are taking motorcycle repair training, the mechanics will likely be interested to see what you are learning. Formal motorcycle repair training is a plus, but nothing beats hands on experience. Soon, you will be working as a mechanic alongside everyone else.
If your goal is to start your own shop, then start small at first. Work for yourself part time, repairing bikes for your friends. Invite them to refer you to motorcycle repair shops in town. Live off the money you earn at your regular job, and save the money you make on the side to open your own shop. Remember, you are going to need A LOT of your own tools, so invest wisely in the newest and best tools you can find. As you work for your friends, and for their friends, you will gradually build a clientele. You are going to need that clientele to guarantee work when you open.
When choosing a location for your motorcycle shop, try to find a place that is in an area with a good number of avid bikers. Learn where your initial clientele lives, and place yourself in a place that is easy for them to get to. The Small Business Administration is good place to start looking for financing to buy the property and build a shop. You might be lucky and find a location that another motorcycle shop is looking to sell. Be careful, however, because there might be a reason why they are selling. Perhaps the location is ideal, or maybe they just want to retire from a successful business. Time your opening for peak riding season, preferable in the late winter to early spring. Get ahead on bills in case business in the colder moths is leaner than you expected.
Motorcycle repair can be a lucrative business. Just remember that you are running a business. You will have people who are looking or discounts all the time. Be wary of this. Many motorcycle repair shops fail because they discount too much of their business for friends. Focus your time at the shop on customers who pay your full price. It is OK to continue doing less expensive work on the side, but make sure your clients know that your new business will limit the time you can spend. Eventually, they will either become customers at your shop, or find cheap work elsewhere. Your time as a new business owner is valuable. Do not discount it too often, or your business will suffer the consequences.