How to Start an Appliance Repair Business
Starting your own appliance repair business is exciting. You’re going out on your own, being your own boss, and embarking on the entrepreneurship journey.
But before you do that, you need to know which steps to take to set yourself up for success. From training and certification to researching competitors and making a business plan, use this resource to find out how to get started on getting your appliance repair business up and running.
What is an appliance repair business?
An appliance repair business helps its clients to install, repair, maintain, and remove common household appliances like microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators, and cooktops.
An appliance repair business can specialize in types of appliances or even specific manufacturers or it can offer general services for a variety of appliances and brands.
Typically, appliance repair businesses service residential clients such as homeowners, but they may be contracted to work for home builders or development companies as well.
How do I start my own appliance repair business?
Before you launch your appliance repair business, you need to ensure that you start off strong to boost your chances of succeeding in a competitive industry.
Here are some of the most important steps that you can take:
1. Appliance repair training and work experience
Hands-on work experience and on-the-job training are essential when it comes to starting an appliance repair business.
Clients want to hire appliance repair technicians who are quick, efficient, and knowledgeable. Before you can start hiring out your services, you need to have a solid grasp of the industry and a practiced skillset.
There are many different ways you can start building your professional expertise, from starting an apprenticeship to getting your appliance repair certification from the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET).
We should note that although a certificate isn’t required, you should have a decent amount of professional work experience under your belt before heading out on your own.
2. Research your competitors
Competitor research can provide you with a lot of valuable information. When reviewing the competition in your area, pay special attention to:
- Their pricing
- The types of services they offer
- Whether they’re in a niche
- Who their clients are
- How they market their business
- How they compare to your business
By researching your competitors, you get a better feel for how to position your own appliance repair business. It’ll help you determine what sets you apart from your competitors and what you can learn from them.
You may discover that your main competitor only services high-end appliances and targets wealthy clients. This means that you have the opportunity to aim for mid-level clients and more common brand names, and potentially a larger client base.
Or perhaps there’s already a general appliance repair business in your town that gives you a chance to focus on a niche market, like washers and dryers or refrigerators.
Use competitor research to help shape your business, so that you have a clear idea of who your clients are, which services you plan to offer, and the manufacturers you want to specialize in if any.
3. Make a business plan
A business plan organizes and clarifies the vision you have for your appliance repair startup. A lot of what goes into your business plan can be informed by the competitor research you did.
Typically, a business plan includes:
- A detailed list of the products and services you plan to offer
- A market analysis, including competitors and your target market
- A marketing plan, outlining specific ways you plan to attract clients
- A budget, including all of your costs
- A financial plan for the first 2-3 years
- A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats)
Not only will a business plan get you thinking about aspects of your appliance repair business you may not have thought of, but it can also help you to get funding or scale down your spending.
If you need financing to help start your appliance repair business, your business plan can be used when requesting funding from banks and lenders.
If your business is self-funded, a business plan helps you to plan out clear goals and identify potential issues. Understanding potential issues you may face in the future allows you to consider how to avoid them before they become a problem.
4. Register and insure your business
After you’ve completed your business plan and are ready to start your appliance repair business, you’ll need to get it registered and insured.
This means choosing a business name and determining what type of business structure you need. For example, if you plan to work as an independent contractor to start, you’ll most likely want to register as a sole proprietorship.
Insurance is also essential since it will protect you, your clients, and your business from any accidents you might encounter on the job. While you’ll have to get general liability insurance, you may also need to insure valuable appliance repair tools or equipment as well as your work vehicle.
READ MORE: What business insurance do I need?
Getting appliance repair clients
Once you’re ready to start your appliance repair business, you need to figure out how to get your first clients.
When you were researching competitors and building your business plan, you probably learned a lot about who your target market is and how you can reach them. Now’s the time to put that information to good use.
Here are the first steps you can take:
1. Identify your target market
Use the research you gathered to figure out exactly who your target market is. Be as specific as possible. For example, your target clients might be residential homeowners who:
- Have a broken appliance that needs to be repaired
- Own common appliance brands such as Whirlpool, Frigidaire, Samsung, Maytag, and LG
- Are outside of their warranty period
- Live within a certain distance of your city or town
- Are on a budget
- Don’t have the time or knowledge to repair their own appliance
That’s not to say all of your clients have to fit that description. Some clients may just hire you to install a new range or complete basic maintenance on a washer to keep it running smoothly.
Generally, you should have a clear idea of who your most common client is, which can depend on the services you offer.
If you’re having trouble figuring out who your target market is, think about who your target market isn’t. By filtering out who doesn’t fit into your ideal client list, you can begin to see which types of qualities and characteristics are a match for your services.
2. Reach out to your target market
Next, it’s time to roll out the marketing plan you outlined in your business plan. For example, you could:
- Build a website and social media pages
- Put ads in local papers
- Hang tear-away flyers on community message boards
- Have a logo and business cards made
- Get a branded decal or wrap for your vehicle
Make sure that your marketing plan targets the right clients and stays within budget. Test different advertising methods to see which are the most successful for you before spending too much money on expensive ads.
Not only will these efforts bring in new clients, but they’ll also help you to build brand awareness. The more that your name gets out there, the more recognizable it becomes, ensuring that when an appliance breaks, your appliance repair business gets the service call.
3. Price effectively for profit
Pricing plays a major part in how many new clients you get. Price too high for your ideal client and you’ll get overlooked for a competitor. Price too low and you’ll either get low-quality clients or jobs with little to no profit margin.
Base your pricing on:
- Your competitors
- The clients you want to work with
- The appliances you want to service
- Your business expenses
- Your experience and skillset
You’ll also need to consider your own salary. For example, the average appliance repair technician makes about $46,000 each year in the U.S.
Create a pricing sheet to make it easier to price jobs consistently and so that you have a healthy profit margin for each one.
How to run an appliance repair business efficiently
Once you have clients, you need to manage them effectively. If you don’t, you risk missing payments, losing track of jobs, and making a bad impression on clients and industry contacts.
READ MORE: The best appliance repair apps to run your business
The best way to keep track of your clients, jobs, and paperwork is to use appliance repair software to manage them for you. Using Jobber, you can effectively and efficiently:
- Create, send, and track professional quotes
- Build and manage sent, paid, and past due appliance repair invoices
- Track and store important customer and job-related information through a CRM