How To Start An Aircraft Maintenance Business

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  • Author Michael Sawyer
  • Published December 19, 2022
  • Word count 1,396

How To Start An Aircraft Maintenance Business

First and foremost you’ll need an A&P license or someone who has one. This article isn’t going to discuss how to get an A&P license. This article is written for mechanics who already have their A&P certification.

To have one of the highest paying aircraft mechanic jobs you’ll have to put in some extra effort and running your own side gig will require some additional input. Like most things in life you get out what you put in. Here we’ll summarize the minimum steps needed to get your aircraft maintenance Hussle off the ground.

Before we start we want to share just how many different ways business can be successful. Some will plan every step so meticulously that they never end up opening because they waste to much time on planning. This is called analysis paralysis. Then their are those who don’t even register a business? I mean talk about fly by night.

You don’t want to be in either of these categories. Your going to make mistakes so get used to it, every business owner has made them, AND A LOT OF THEM. It’s not the mistakes that will kill you. It’s your mindset that will. Using a simple guide like the one below is a methodical way of opening an aircraft maintenance business that won’t take forever. Once you’re up and going you may have to go back and cover something that isn’t mentioned here. That’s ok. We’re giving you the absolutes that need to be done prior to starting an aircraft maintenance business. Alright lets jump in!

  1. Register Your Business

First you’ll need to register your business. This includes picking out a name, searching that name to make sure it’s not taken, and registering your business. It sounds tough right? YOUR WRONG. Legally registering your business is super simple, especially with a service like the ones we listed below. For less than 75 bucks you can be a legal registered business in your state. We recommend using the LLC structure as it’s simple and low maintenance. Having a separate business is a must when operating an aircraft maintenance operation. It helps separate you legally from your personal assets such as your personal savings, house, car, etc.

You’ll want to check to make sure another business name like your proposed one doesn’t exist before registering your business. Do a simple google search for your business name (Example: Phalanx Aviation LLC). If you see a similar business name pop up in the aviation industry, don’t use that name. Also check your states “secretary of state” for similar names. This is where all businesses within your state must file their paper work to become a business. Simply google your state followed by “secretary of state” business search (Example: Colorado Secretary Of State Business Search)

  1. Get Customers (Online Presence)

You maybe thinking wait don’t I have to get tooling, hangar, and other permits? The answer is yes, but not now. It’s all about conserving your energy and time. At this stage you want to start bringing in customers. Why? Without customers you don’t have a business. You can always tell a customer “hey I’m not ready yet”. What you can’t do is make customers suddenly appear. In addition, getting the word out about your business takes time. Now is the time to put some effort into getting those customers.

We recommend starting your business as a mobile aircraft mechanic. Their are so many reasons why we recommend this. Some include low monthly cost, faster growth, and less airport politics. As for tooling you can start this business with a basic set of hand tools. Seriously if your building this thing with as little cash investment as possible then you will want to get the tools and materials as you need them.

“We Recommend Starting Your Business As A Mobile Aircraft Mechanic”

Its no secret. The businesses that are doing the best are the ones that are showing up in front of customers. Having an online presence is key to keeping customers knocking on your door. This too can be a huge under taking. To have one of the highest paying aircraft mechanic jobs you will need to have a constant flow of incoming customers. The beauty of running your own business is you can work as much or as little as you want. This can be a side gig or it can be a full time Hussle.

First, it will still take days or even weeks to learn the system and have a functioning website THAT ACTUALLY BRINGS IN CUSTOMERS. Isn’t The Main Purpose Of A Website To Get More Customers? To have one of the highest paying aircraft mechanic jobs you’ll need exposure to your customers.

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  1. Insurance

Definitely one of the most expensive aspects of the start up will be insurance, but do you need insurance? The short answer is no, and if your comfortable doing light maintenance than maybe you don’t get insurance starting out. The choice is yours. For those who want to get insurance before they start here's how to do it. First you MUST execute step 2 above. People have to know about your business before you take on debit. The key is to get a good list of customers built up. When someone wants maintenance get their name, phone, and email. Let them know your getting your customer list built up before purchasing insurance.

Second: Get your insurance broken down into payments. You’ll be dealing with an insurance broker not the insurance company. So make sure to ask if they will break the insurance down into payments. Check out the list below for a list of aviation maintenance insurance brokers. Only when you have a couple of jobs lined up do you bind or get the insurance.

  1. Game Plan For First Job

I’m not kidding If you want to be your own boss with little up front cash and time investment then you’ll want to do things in a methodical order. If you’ve accomplished steps 1 through 3 your ready for your first job. Now its time to walk yourself through the first customer. The job cycle can be broken down into 4 sections. Estimate, Job Prep, Job Performance, and Job Closeout.

When it comes time to invoice your customer you can use an array of options available to process payments. Most of them are free and only charge a processing fee to accept the payment. Checkout the list below for our recommendations. We recommend accepting credit and debit cards in the beginning. We know the 2–3 percent processing fee can add up, but a lot of customers will want to use their credit card. This gives them another reason to choose you over your competition. Once you’ve built up a customer portfolio then you can decide if you want to only accept cash and check.

Starting An Aircraft Maintenance Business Summary

At this point your thinking this isn’t an article talking about the highest paying aircraft mechanic jobs…. You are 100% correct! Let me ask you a question. Do you want a new job or a new lifestyle? The difference between a job and owning your own business is your quality of life. Instead of dreading going to work you will enjoy going to work. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but for some it can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Do You Want A New Job Or A New Lifestyle?

The answer to “What are the highest paying aircraft mechanic jobs” question is being your own boss. As a business owner the amount you can make is limitless. Starting your own side gig or full time aircraft maintenance business does not have to be hard. If done correctly it can literally change your life for the better. Individuals who own their own business often find a whole new purpose in life. If your passionate about aviation and possess and A&P license you should consider starting your own aircraft maintenance business!

Michael Sawyer is a small business owner in the aviation industry. From aircraft maintenance businesses to flight schools Michael

has been involved with aviation since he was 17 years old.

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