5 Tips To Get Your Appliance Repair Business off the Ground
Household appliances simplify our hectic lives. Be it the washing machines, dishwashers, gas stoves, or cloth dryers, we rely on home appliances a lot. At times, these appliances break down and need repair. IBISWorld reports that the appliance repair market size in the U.S., measured in terms of revenue, comes to $5bn in 2020. For the past few years, owing to the increased disposable income, consumers have been motivated to undertake minimal DIY repairs. The lower upfront costs of repair also encourage consumers to seek industry services when the appliances begin to malfunction. 2020-2024 will see increased demand for home appliances repair services due to the rise in per capita disposable income and the increase in appliance sales. While the revenue growth is anticipated to be slow, the appliance repair and maintenance demands will continue to be stable, without the consumers postponing their repairs.
So, altogether, it’s not a bad idea to start an appliance repair business if you have the right knack for fixing things.
Besides your entrepreneurial spirit and technical know-how, you need to consider these 5 factors if you want to make a good start with the appliance repair business.
1. Get the Basics Right
Many aspiring entrepreneurs, obsessed with complex or difficult decisions, forget the basics.
- Decide on your company’s name. Make sure the name is catchy and has recall value. A logo adds to the professionalism and helps customers recognize the business.
- Decide on the structure of the business. Registering a company, even a one-person company lends professionalism to the business. It protects the owner’s assets if things go wrong.
- Identify the range of services upfront to:
- Procure the right tools
- Hire the right staff
- Identify the target customers
- Launch relevant marketing campaigns
Check the laws governing licenses and certifications in the jurisdiction of operations. Working with air conditioning equipment, refrigerators, and freezers need Environmental Protection Agency certification. The local municipality or chamber of commerce can offer good reference points.
2. Begin Well
“Well begun is half done!”
- Hire qualified and experienced staff. When the company is new and does not have customer testimonials, experienced staff can assuage customers.
- Procure the right tools of the trade. Good quality tools that speed up the job or improve service quality impress customers, which is vital for a start-up firm. Investing in the latest tools may deliver a competitive advantage to a new business.
- Establish a robust supply chain for consumables. Establish relationships with suppliers of spares and other essential items. Pandemics, floods, riots, or a key supplier going bankrupt may disrupt the supply chain at short notice. Have a backup plan ready to ensure business continuity.
- Plan how you manage transportation. Reaching the client’s location on time requires reliable transportation. Invest in a large van to fit the tools and equipment. The van decal is the best advertisement and visibility for the business in the initial days. If buying a used van, make sure it will not break down en-route to an appointment.
3. Arrange the Finances
Starting operations with a cash-crunch is a disaster and may sound the death knell of the business even before it starts.
- Arrange for finances upfront. Secure a bank loan or alternative source of funding for initial costs until the business can fund itself.
- Have a cash flow plan. Many businesses have failed not because of lack of customers or business potential, but because of their inability to manage cash.
- Get liability insurance and vehicle insurance. Insurance protects the owners if the repair job causes more damage to the appliance or the premises. It spares the business from paying compensation to an employee who suffers an accident or damage when on the job.
4. Get costing right
The cut-throat competition means profits come through internal efficiency and keeping costs low.
- Understand the ways to lower costs for appliance repairs. Know what needs repair and what needs replacement.
- The total bill is a combination of parts, labor, and service charges. Include hidden costs such as taxes, transportation, depreciation, and other crucial factors, in the service fee.
- There are no standard repair rates. But the rates charged by competitors offer a good benchmark. If charging higher than competitors, communicate the extra value offered to customers. Competing on price may work as a strategy for a while, but might not sustain in the long term.
- Establish a robust quote generation system before getting started.
5. Go Digital
Any business operating in today’s digital age needs a website, a mobile app, and active social media channels to engage with customers. Most customers seek reviews, browse the portfolio, or raise customer support issues through social media channels.
People who need to repair their appliances often google the words “appliance repair near me” to search for options. An SEO optimized website with fresh, evergreen content and an active blog help keep your business on top of search listings.
A CRM suite and a CMS do wonders for improving internal efficiency and marketing.
Most appliance repairs take place at the client’s premises or house. Hence, it’s important to have a field service management suite that helps the manager or the business owner keep track of operations in real-time, make proactive interventions to iron out glitches, monitor the progress of the technician, keep the technicians on time, sync with inventory to keep track of the spares and other supplies, auto-generate invoices and deliver to the customers via mobile app, WhatsApp or email, create customized reports on various aspects of the business, and generate rich analytical data for actionable insights.
A business can rely on word-of-mouth, repeat business and referrals once they have a base of satisfied customers. But in the initial days, there is no workaround to marketing and promotions. Some cost-effective digital options include:
- Active social media presence
- Posting ads in relevant channels, from Google AdSense to listing in Craigslist, and more
- Personalized email marketing
Appliance repair is an evergreen business, as very few households can afford to throw away gadgets if there are any glitches. But success depends on starting the business with all bases covered and running it professionally.
To learn more about how you can get an amazing start for your appliance repair business, contact ReachOut today.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.