How to Start a Skilled Trade Business

The pandemic is upending the world of business in countless ways, from changes in the workforce to a debate about higher wages and increased demand in different industries. According to reporting in the Wall Street Journal, “the percentage of Americans leaving employers for new opportunities is at its highest level in more than two decades.” As more and more workers quit their jobs outright rather than return to the office, small businesses are bound to pop up in greater numbers than ever before. If you’re an entrepreneur interested in starting your own business after the pandemic, there are a lot of options to consider. That being said, some options may seem more worthwhile than others as you reflect on what you want to do moving forward.

For example, while restaurants and concert venues are on the rebound, you certainly wouldn’t be faulted for considering a different line of business than two of the types of industries that were most harmed by the COVID-19 virus. One area of the economy that has been relatively unscathed due to the pandemic is any business that constitutes an “essential business.” Of these types of businesses, those that involved skilled trades, such as diesel mechanics and automotive technicians, fared particularly well. Read on for some tips and tricks to keep in mind as you look to start your own business in the automotive and diesel technology field.

Build relationships with certificate programs that produce qualified diesel mechanics.

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Having qualified workers is critical if you’re going to have the kind of workforce with the technical skills necessary to handle clients’ automotive technology. From understanding the ins and outs of diesel engines to being able to work on the electronic system, brakes, transmission, and suspension system of a vehicle, it’s critical to have a team of capable diesel technicians if you’re going to make the most of your new business. While it’s one thing to seek out job applicants who have completed a certificate program, another way to find potential employees with the technical skills necessary to work on automotive technology is to build a relationship with a local automotive program so that you have a pipeline of qualified applicants. Finding an associate of applied science program or an automotive and diesel technology program can help you network with and attract top candidates with hands-on experience and the technical skills to work on heavy equipment.

Understand local labor law to avoid litigation.

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Beyond attracting a workforce with the technical skills to work in the automotive industry, it’s also important to create a workplace where everyone feels like they can do their best work. Part of that involves brushing up on labor law so that you know how to avoid issues of sexual harassment, retaliation, and even personal injury cases that could set your business back. If you don’t already have legal representation, it’s a good idea to find a legal team at the onset of launching your business. Oftentimes, it’s best to find a local law firm that can help you understand the attorney-client relationship and educate you on labor law in your locality. To find a law firm in your region and start comparing one employment attorney to another, simply head to your favorite search engine and type in something along the lines of “labor law representation in Springfield, MA” or wherever it is that you live. From staying up to date on the latest guidelines from various government agencies to understanding how to be in compliance with the medical leave act or handling something like termination, having a team of legal professionals in your back pocket can ensure that this law firm is there to protect your business and its best interests.

David Freeman