10 Small Business Ideas For Mechanical Engineers: Engineers have many options when it comes to starting their own business from scratch, or joining an existing one after they’ve earned their degree in engineering. In fact, there are so many great businesses to start that we were hard-pressed to narrow down our list of small business ideas for mechanical engineers to only 10! Here are some of the most promising options.
10 Small Business Ideas For Mechanical Engineers
1) Starting an Auto Repair Shop
If you’re a car aficionado and think that offering your mechanical expertise in repair services could be a great business idea, think again. Car maintenance requires enough know-how to spot serious problems while they’re still easy to fix or notice when a simple fix might stop an impending breakdown.
Besides being able to find someone who can work on diesel engines or transmissions with limited space, another big challenge is getting customers from among those who trust their local mechanics. It’s also helpful if you have experience as an auto mechanic. No one will care about your degree if your repairs fail often. You don’t need extensive capital—only $15,000 should do it, which is less than what you’ll pay for many cars these days anyway!
Learning to code will help you take your mechanical engineering career to another level. With a coding background, you’ll be able to create more apps and programs, perform work in industries like automotive or aerospace that require writing software and apps, become involved in robotics and wearables, or teach others how to code.
You might also consider learning how to code if you want to develop side projects or build new apps and programs on your own—it’s a valuable skill that many employers want in potential hires. Regardless of what area you’re interested in pursuing, these are 10 small business ideas that can give you a good foundation on which to build a software company
As a mechanical engineer, you may or may not be building physical products. Even if your job is in R&D, you’ll likely be working on designs that eventually get manufactured by someone else. That means you’ll often have an opportunity to manufacture small runs of something before mass production kicks in—and that can lead to some interesting business ideas.
If you find yourself with a run of 50 mugs one week and nobody to sell them to, you could parlay your good fortune into a part-time business selling customized mugs online. Depending on your area, it might even make sense to offer mug printing as a service—as long as you don’t spend all day every day doing it.
An established consulting business can be hugely profitable, with its value growing exponentially as you add new clients. A consultant offers advice and expertise based on their industry experience to businesses in need of guidance in a specific area. It’s a great option if you want to work from home and be your own boss, but it does take some extra legwork to get started since you’ll need to find clients, take care of administrative tasks and manage projects.
Whether your background is mechanical engineering or not, consultants often specialize in niche fields like information technology or biomedical engineering that make them more attractive hires than generalists. You can also join organizations like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that let you network with fellow engineers as well as connect with individuals looking for industry experts.
5) Selling on Amazon
Amazon has become a one-stop-shop for many consumers. From buying books to household supplies, it’s easy to find almost anything you need at Amazon. But selling your own products on Amazon can be even more profitable than just shopping there as a consumer. Just look at sellers like Supply Pod, which makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a month by selling items on Amazon.
If you have some merchandise or other products lying around that aren’t getting used, why not try selling them on Amazon? It’s an excellent opportunity to turn them into cash without much effort required! Of course, if you don’t want to deal with payment processing and shipping yourself (or potentially hiring someone else to do so), check out Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) instead.
6) Becoming a Virtual Assistant
Another option is to become a virtual assistant. Many people are interested in working from home but have no idea how to go about doing it and what companies might be willing to hire them. Luckily, there are literally hundreds of websites out there specializing in connecting people who have skills with employers who need those skills.
Here are just a few examples: Indeed, Fiverr, and b(global), as well as Elance, Guru, and Upwork (the US only). Virtual assistants can work full-time or part-time hours behind their own computer anywhere in most countries around the world. Their responsibilities include research, data entry, and many other customer service tasks.
7) Building Furniture
One great way to start a small business is by making and selling furniture. This is a great option if you’re good with your hands and have a knack for carpentry and design. To get started, think about what sort of things you could make that would be both useful and attractive to other people. Could you build wooden tables? End tables? Coffee tables? Shelves? Dressers? Armoires?
Once you come up with some ideas, do a quick search online to see if there are any similar pieces being sold on sites like Etsy or Amazon Handmade (and don’t forget about Craigslist). You may be able to undercut your competition by sticking to woodworking. If you choose to go down this route, consider starting a website where you can feature all of your work—that way interested buyers can find it quickly and easily.
What’s more, building custom furniture can give you an edge when it comes time to talk price with potential customers: everyone loves getting something handmade! If you decide to build furniture for clients as part of your business model, just make sure that whatever project they commission from you will actually fit in their home before agreeing on final pricing.
That’s because designing something too large or too heavy is going to dramatically cut into your margins once materials costs are figured in—not to mention how much worse it will look when someone has no place for their new coffee table!
This approach is a good fit if you want to build a service-based business, like accounting or consulting. It’s also easy to get started freelancing and it’s quite common, with many freelance consultants earning upwards of six figures. If you have professional skills (like marketing, design, web development), there are plenty of clients out there looking to hire those who work independently.
You can either go online and offer your services or find a local client. The great thing about freelancing is that you can take on as much or as little work as you need and choose only projects that interest you. Another key advantage is tax independence – because you don’t run a brick-and-mortar business, there’s no payroll deduction.
Freelancers pay income taxes based on their personal tax rate. Because self-employment taxes vary so much from person to person, having information in advance can make financial planning easier when starting up your own small business. That’s where Gusto comes in – by integrating with QuickBooks Online (QBO) (which most self-employed professionals already use), we help facilitate all of these tasks—and more—for our users!
9) Start a Restaurant
Every day, you are presented with dozens of different entrepreneurial opportunities. Consider starting a restaurant or catering business, or going into mobile food vending. Most of these businesses can be set up with little to no startup costs and offer a variety of revenue streams such as direct sales, promotional fees, and advertising on location.
And if cooking isn’t your thing, consider an idea that combines your love of mechanical engineering with delicious meals. Think about starting a burger or hot dog food truck! For ideas, contact local restaurants about taking over their drive-thru lines and see if they have any tips or advice. If nothing else, use them as sources for new recipes! Invent a Burger Robot: If all else fails, invent something cool and get rich off of it.
An advanced robotic arm capable of making perfect hamburgers sounds like just enough innovation to make me want one in my garage—and maybe yours too. To get started on your journey towards building a robot capable of flipping patties between multiple buns, download Autodesk 123D Design by Autodesk Inc., which provides free tools for designing 3D models from scratch or from other files imported from other CAD (computer-assisted design) programs.
10) Something Else?
It’s always a good idea to start thinking about what your business elsewhere is. Even if you are certain you want to stick with your current path, it’s important to start brainstorming ideas and researching other disciplines. With today’s rapidly changing economic environment, anything can happen—and it often does! If you have a friend or family member who has been laid off recently, ask them what their next step will be; sometimes these out-of-the-blue opportunities can be a great change of direction for an up-and-coming entrepreneur.
Of course, don’t neglect what you know best: keep advancing your skills as well. By consistently upgrading both your technical knowledge and overall market intelligence, you’ll set yourself up for bigger (and better) things down the road!
Before leaving anything relating to marketing aside, marketers must address these last questions – How am I going to grow my product/brand? How am I going to talk about my brand? Who am I talking to? Is there a niche audience that might value my product or brand that I haven’t considered yet? Am I talking about myself too much on social media platforms like Facebook & Twitter?
If we think through some of those questions prior to jumping into our social media channels head first we’ll probably save ourselves from becoming irrelevant in no time flat.
Also Read: Top 8 Business Ideas For Metaverse 2022
If you’re a mechanical engineer who wants to start your own business, there are a number of different routes you can take. You can consider using your engineering skills as a contractor and finding work on freelance sites like Upwork or through message boards online. If you have previous experience running businesses, that is also an excellent route to pursue.
Be sure to run all ideas by a lawyer or certified public accountant, who will make sure your idea fits into federal and state laws, including whether or not it needs certain permits and licenses before you start operating. Above all else, remember that starting any business is hard work—but seeing it through to success is even harder. Good luck!