Thinking about opening a propane engine conversion business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Considerations for Startups
Environmental issues play a central role in the energy and transportation industries. As consumer demand for cost-effective and environmentally friendly forms of transportation rises, entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate with innovative business models – including propane engine conversion businesses.
Propane-powered vehicles offer several important benefits for consumers and for the environment. Since propane is less stressful on moving parts like plugs, valves, and cylinders, drivers receive the benefit of fewer repairs and longer vehicle life. At the same time, propane benefits the environment with a 70% reduction in the harmful emissions that come from gasoline-powered vehicles.
By converting existing vehicles to propane, propane engine conversion businesses give consumers a viable alternative to traditional fuel sources. The downside is that it is much less convenient to refill a propane tank than it is to pull into the local gas station for a fill up. To compensate, most propane engine conversion businesses install a duel system that allows drivers to switch back to gasoline when propane isn't immediately available.
Since the concept of propane conversion is still new to consumers, your marketing efforts should emphasize educational messages that tout the environmental benefits of propane and its advantages for consumers. A typical conversion costs a few hundred dollars, but can result in lower overall fuel costs.
Learn more about starting an environmentally focused business in our How to Build a Green Business article!
In addition to an ample inventory of conversion parts, the startup equipment for a propane conversion business is not unlike the equipment you would need for a typical auto repair shop. For your customers' convenience, it may also beneficial to install a propane refilling station onsite.
Propane is regulated and refilling stations are highly flammable. Plan on conducting research with municipal and state authorities to assess regulatory requirements, and implement comprehensive handling precautions to minimize the possibility of an environmental spill or safety emergency.
Business Plans for a Propane Engine Conversion Business
A common mistake for a small business owner is to launch your company without having written a business plan.
The key benefit of writing a business plan is that it defines the game plan. The absence of an effective business plan inevitably results in impulsive leadership, choosing short-term opportunities at the expense of long-term benefits.
Start by defining your business mission. The process of writing a mission statement doesn't have to be complicated. From there, it's time to initiate the hard work involved with writing the rest of your propane engine conversion company's business plan.
Assess the Competition
Prior to opening a propane engine conversion business in your area, it's a smart move to find out how strong the competition is. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors near you. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of propane engine conversion businesses in your town.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
If you want to open a propane engine conversion business you really ought to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
But, a person who owns a propane engine conversion business in a location that is not competitive to you may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
What's the process for finding an owner of a propane engine conversion business in another community?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Benefits of Buying a Propane Engine Conversion Business
On a percentage basis, more entrepreneurs intend to enter propane engine conversion business ownership through a startup than through a business purchase. However, many new entrepreneurs aren't experienced for the rigors of a startup operation.
There are a lot of factors that need to be considered in buying vs. starting a business. By buying a profitable propane engine conversion business, you'll shorten the amount of time it takes to achieve a return on your investment because you'll have the advantage of a proven operation and an existing customer base.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Your chances of achieving the entrepreneurial goal of surviving in business greatly improve when you opt to franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
Before you consider starting a propane engine conversion business, you should check out whether franchise opportunities in your space might help you avoid common entrepreneurial mistakes.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a propane engine conversion business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to propane engine conversion businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.