What city? I ask because I need a small engine guy. All of the places near me are either old retired guys that like to tinker and don't really care if they have any business, or the guys that run them have more to offer than just small engine repair. They will offer things like chainsaw blade replacement and/or sharpening. Some will also offer sales and service. I think you are going to have to really work at this to make a go of it. Let's face it about 50% of people in today's society have the mindset that if it's broke its time for a new one. Come to think of it 50% may be on the low estimate. So, the customers you do get you will really need to take care of and treat right, they in turn will go out and spread your good name and reputation as a fair business person. All I'm really saying is your gonna have to do more than post a ad on Craigslist if you really want to have a successful small business.
Advertising locally would help. Include all the engines you are familiar with. One problem is with the exception of marine (boat) motors most people just buy a new one. You could look in yard sales or advertise on craigs list for broken lawn mowers that you could then fix and resell. If you have pipe fitting and welding skills then branching out into homemade small motor go carts might be possible.
You will need to advertise locally in print and radio/television ads. Advertising on the internet will not bring you very many customers, if any, especially to a brand new business. You might also look into sending out flyers or post cards to your zip code and the zip codes that immediately surround yours. Good luck!
Online isnt enough. Not everyone is online and even those who are may not see your add. You have to advertise in your community. If you cant afford a commercial send out flyers, put adds in the local papers, find restaurants that post business cards of local businesses or have public bulketin boards, hand out as many cards as you can,
To promote a shop online, you need to take more time on the internet. If you are doing local business, add your shop to your local business directories, and then use the social media, facebook or twiter.
It's hard. We just opened this location in February, so I understand what your going through. So far I have built a web site, www.SuncoastAutomotiveInc.com, I have also made a Facebook that can be seen at www.facebook.com/SuncoastAutomotive and I spend all my spare time registering in all the search engines I can find. I also advertise locally in flyers and on Craigslist. I am now doing Twitter and just in general trying to make my presence known, just like in this post. Good Luck, and keep your chin up!