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Old 31-08-2011   #1
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Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

Hi all,

Currently i am employed in a radio engineering company in east London, the pay is good, 9-5 7 days a week full time job.

But i am still enrolled at uni doing a 4 year course (with one year in industry). The job with the radio engineering company is in place of my 3rd year as a "year in industry". my course title is "Telecommunications and computer networks engineering (Beng)" with IET accreditation....all letters to me lol

At the end of this month (start of uni. term) i will have to leave this job behind, as after a lengthy discussion with my boss (nice guy) we have agreed that this kind of job is not something that can be done "part time". we initially intended me to do 2010/11 full time and when i returned to complete the degree in 2011/12 continue as part time, but its not possible.

I always thought this was a possibility, so for a year i've been working a second job, my first job, at Homebase (HB) (mind numbing stuff, but easy money). and my thoughts were that if i could continue part time in 2011/12 i would drop HB. And if not i would ramp up the hour at HB (currently only doing 4 hours on a sat). Buttt HB like many companies in this climate is up s*** creak. so they are going through "realignment" although i have been reassured im not at risk, it does mean the the thick and fast stream of overtime i had in 2009/10 and years previous wont be as available due to them being poor. and the prospect of available permanent hours to take up at HB doesn't look hopeful

Sooooo in 2011/12 im going to be a skint bugger...this got me thinking, im not one to sit on my arse and moan and scrounge off rents (although i have been told not to worry as they can financially support me ATM). So id like to earn my keep! (and of course i cant really run my car as "affluently" on a shoe string )

My first interest was PC's been poking them since i was 10, and there's nothing (hardware related) that i don't know, and if i there is i don't know it . Have been repairing PC's on and off for money (nothing serious) for friends and friends of friends since the dawn of time lol...

My second interest was cars (as soon as i could drive lol) and very quickly turned my hand to maintenance (always been a very practical person, never been "afraid" to tackle any practical job, and not just cars)...im good with my hands lol. ive been doing car maintenance (again for friends, family and friends of friends) on and off for about 3 years now.

So ive been toying with running two things, small time in tandem to generate a little income, and if one takes off then put more time into that etc..

the two things being mobile mechanic (small jobs, service, breaks, filters, belts etc) and mobile PC repair.

Im generally looking for some advice from the people on here as you seem like a generally knowledgeable lot. in the way of; good idea/Bad idea, things ill need to consider or anything that comes to mind...

bit of info:
I'm 21, and my availability will be roughly 3-4days a week while at uni (my course only occupies 2-3 days a week)...and i speak English! unlike so many ive encountered and this seems to be a maaaaajor hold back

appologies for this epic post btw

and thanks in advance for any replies!
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Old 31-08-2011   #2
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

All i'll say for now (I'm on my mobile) is don't forget third party liability insurance especially for working on cars.

And there isn't any real money doing that sort of computer stuff. Every man and his dog are offering those services so there isn't any real profit to be made anymore. Id say there'd be a lot more money being a mobile mechanic.
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Last edited by ChrisUK; 31-08-2011 at 13:42.
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Old 31-08-2011   #3
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

yep, been googling allot on it..seems my age might be a kick in the nuts ...and insurance to drive the customers car to "test" the work carried out...

yeah thats what i found out when i dabbled in making money form it before...v saturated market.
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Old 31-08-2011   #4
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

i've looked into both myself years ago.

as Chris says, everyone is doing mobile computer repairs but i dare say it could still generate a little income for you.

as for a mobile car mechanic, i looked into doing a mobile bike mechanic setup as i often sort peoples bike's for extra money as a sort of hobby/money maker.

a friend of my dad's tried doing a proper car & bike mechanics one man band setup, he found a lot of his call outs where from DIY mechanics who got stuck and wanted some free advice/help and because you wouldn't normally charge for call outs he was wasting a lot of time and eventually returned to working with my dad.

if you're doing it for people you know or people your friends know, you'll usually get asked indirectly how much you'd want for doing a certain job, you give them a price and hopefully do the work

hope that was of some help
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Old 01-09-2011   #5
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

yep, did help, thanks!

i've looked into trade insurance for my car and driving clients cars to test any work carried out (only covers driving other cars in conjunction with work carried out, NOT joyriding) and it seems to be about 100 more than my renewal (about 900 - 1000)

haven't received any quotes back about liability insurance, but if its not too damaging, ill get cracking on some sort of business plan.

now im thinking of specifics, with FIAT there is FES...is there something similar (obviously in less detail, because FES is mind blowing) that will allow me to "probe" a car and reset service indicators etc for all or most marques. I don't mind paying for it, but obviously not something that costs 10k....Ideally id be running it off of a laptop. just sort of exploring possibilities here.
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Old 01-09-2011   #6
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

There are ODB-II cable's on ebay which come with disks full of software. I'd buy a VAGCOM which will cover VW,Audi, Skoda. IIRC BMW also have something very similar to VAGCOM

I'd make sure you're sitting down when you get a quote for liability insurance. Our's is 950 a month!. Bearing in mind it covers 6 staff for all works around IT as well as digital presentation installs and cable infrastructure installation which obviously covers a lot more risk and 3,000,000 cover.
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Old 08-08-2014   #7
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Re: Advice needed on self employment - Mobile mechanic and/or mobile PC repair

Just to add my bit, and for anyone else that is considering going down this route. There is a company called HUKhosting.com that sell website packages at very reasonable prices.

I mention them because they have a business package specifically for Mobile Mechanics. Google them, they have some demo websites to view too, a mobile mechanics one included.
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