Small Engine Repair - Profile of JAC Services
Many of us will need small engine repair and service on occasion, and that's where this entrepreneurial couple will come in handy. Meet Matt and Peggy Zeimens, of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They are nice people with great ideas about pulling up on their own bootstraps to provide a source of income and a necessary service for the community.
Matt and Peggy run JAC Services. It's a business that was started in early 2010 and is focused on providing the community with maintenance and repair for common household items that operate with a small engine. Think lawn mowers, weed whips, chain saws, roto-tillers, edgers, lawn vacuums and blowers, garden tractors, snow blowers, and just about anything else that has a small engine associated with it.
If you're looking for small engine repair in Cheyenne, this is a good place for you to become acquainted with.
Our enterprising couple have a business that is focused on providing a range of services for tools, equipment and machines that operate using a small engine. Their work also involves any small appliance or household item that needs repair or adjustment.
One of the interesting aspects of this enterprise is a handy rental service. While JAC Services takes care of your small engine repair or maintenance needs, you can rent something similar so you aren't without a lawn mower or snow blower when you really need it most.
I think that's a great idea that adds value to the services they perform. Talk about convenience! I can see the equipment rental aspect of their service offering being very appealing indeed.
Imagine that you drop off your equipment for service and pick up a short term rental while yours is being fixed. Then, you drop off your rental and pick up your own equipment. It seems very convenient to me.
It all started when...
With quite a bit of small engine repair, service and parts management experience behind them, Matt and Peggy decided to get into this business in 2010 - right in the middle of a downturn in the economy. One of the motivating factors was the lack of jobs in the area. I can't think of a better reason to create your own enterprise than to provide your own base load of work by using skills and experience that otherwise goes towards making money for others.
This is consistent with the whole idea of self reliance.
Another highly influential factor in starting this enterprise was the fact that both Matt and Peggy get to spend more time with their children, Jonah, Aidan and Carlene. In fact, that's how the name JAC Services was formed. As Peggy told me, it was a HUGE factor in deciding to go into business on their own - more time spent together as a family.
And, who wouldn't want to have more time as a family? That's one of the main reasons to have a family isn't it?
How the business grows...
In small communities like Cheyenne, word of mouth is key to success. It also helps to have your business featured in the local newspaper. Just such a thing happened to JAC Services - the newspaper ran a nice story about them being a new enterprise in town.
Based on the news article, I found out about them and offered to create this business profile. The community found out about them as well. As a result of the news article, the shop was flooded with work within a week or so. To maintain a shop full of work, both Matt and Peggy realize that there needs to be regular advertising. That's one way for the community to see that JAC Services is "on the map" and here to stay.
Advertising will be essential for success because there is at least one other small engine repair shop in town offering similar services.
Matt has already seen what customer confidence can do in terms of helping the business grow. After fixing some yard equipment, one of their customers sought out their services to repair a kerosene heater. After a successful repair, that same customer brought in another kerosene heater for service. The lesson here is very simple - good work begets more work.
In addition, our entrepreneurial couple also has their own JAC Services website where people can learn more about what they do and where they're located.
Benefits of the business...
There are several benefits of this business that warrant discussion. First and foremost, it allows Matt to put his skills and experience to good use. Second, it allows both of our entrepreneurs to create a satisfying experience for their family, customers and friends that visit the shop. One aspect of the culture they're creating for themselves involves having their children learn more about the business, and having their family dog in the picture as well.
There is also the satisfaction of creating relationships with your customers that foster good will through friendly, efficient and fast service. When you're a small enterprise like this JAC small engine repair service in Cheyenne, you're able to "call the shots" and create what you believe will be appealing to those in need of your services in the marketplace.
Personally, I like the idea of a place that is both dog and kid friendly. For me, and other customers I've seen, it brings a little joy into the work environment that otherwise can be a little dull. Work is a place where fun can sometimes be overlooked.
Resources you’ll need...
If you're thinking about starting a small engine repair and maintenance service, let's look at some of the resources you'll need. The big one is the shop. Not only will you need something that is large enough to create work spaces, but you'll need some storage room as well.
And, don't forget the office. It's part of the rent as well, and it's a key part of a successful business.
A good set of tools and small shop equipment are also necessary for many small engine repair and maintenance tasks. Without tools, you have no trade to engage in.
You should think about an air compressor, bench grinder, parts cleaner, welder, drill press, hand tools, power tools, and any specialty tools that are required for maintenance and repair of various small engines.
Don't forget about test equipment as well. You'll likely need a compression gauge and multi-meter to start with. These are essential for troubleshooting and diagnostics.
Also, you'll need materials and supplies for making gaskets, cleaning up parts, and cleaning up yourself. Knowing what's involved in such a business comes from having experience in similar activities.
Don't forget that another big resource for small engine repair is energy. Whether it's heat or lights, it will be essential year round to provide service as well as maintain a comfortable environment for you, your helpers and your customers.
Let's talk about gross income potential from a small engine repair service similar to JAC Services in Cheyenne. Much of what you make will vary based on the type of services offered, the demand for your services, and the rate at which you can get work into the shop, completed, and ready for customer pickup.
Our entrepreneurs are just starting with this endeavor, so experience will be the best teacher about gross revenue, but it's reasonable to expect something in the range of $50,000 to $90,000 for a mature business that has a steady stream of customers.
One of the challenges facing a small engine repair service like this is that some of the work will be seasonal. Except for snow blowers and such, most of the repair and maintenance service will likely be focused on equipment that is used in the summer for gardens, lawns, and landscape maintenance services. This means that most of the service and repair activities will be in demand for about 8 months out of the year, with the winter being the slow months.
This type of seasonal change in demand will have to be considered before jumping into such an enterprise. So, expect to invest more heavily in a small engine repair business during the startup phase as well as during slow times during the year.
And, of course, remember that gross revenue is overall what you take in, and expenses have to be deducted from that before you find out how much can go into your pocket. For such a family run business, you might have expenses like:
- office and shop rent
- loan payments on equipment
- subcontracted services for complex repairs
- advertising costs
- business fees
The good news is that employees aren't in the picture for this family run business - at least not yet. Employees tend to be the biggest challenge faced by any enterprise. There always seems to be an employee issue to deal with. So, when it's "all on you," most of the challenges are easier to deal with simply because there aren't any people problems involved.
Challenges to overcome...
In a startup business such as this, the single largest challenge that the Zeimens family has faced is establishing a presence in the marketplace of small engine repair and maintenance services. It takes a while to get known and trusted, but it will come.
In any growing market like Cheyenne, it's a matter of getting the word out so the business can serve the needs of the expanding market as well as take away business from other service providers.
Even though JAC Services is a young outfit, they have made significant achievements. First and foremost, they have responded well to the initial flood of work that resulted from the publicity they received from the newspaper story. They clearly were prepared to handle the business.
Another significant achievement has been to keep the family together as part of this business venture. Instead of late nights at the office or lots of time away from home on travel, both Matt and Peggy get to spend time with their kids at home and at the shop. Jonah and Aidan are fond of working on little projects while their dad attends to larger ones.
Having both parents involved with the children certainly provides the family with many more opportunities for children to learn about work, family and life in general. It also provides quite a different "play" environment for the children.
Special message from our featured entrepreneur...
Matt and Peggy want you to know that getting a business like this started before the "season" begins is important to help you get inventory and other infrastructure up and running. That allows you to get established before the need for services starts picking up.
This approach allows you to be ready when your customers are, and that's important for providing good and efficient service.
If you need small engine repair or maintenance in Cheyenne, Wyoming, here is how to get in touch with JAC Services.
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