How To Start A Repair Business

Things are looking up with the economy; at least, that’s what we’re all hoping for. While the evidence really doesn’t back that up yet, there are a lot of businesses hiring and expanding.

If things keep going like they are, we should see a real reduction in the unemployment rate, rather than the fake one that has been reported for the last eight years.

But we are far from being out of the woods. The national debt is still staggering and nothing that Trump has proposed as of yet is going to do a thing to bring it down. Even his 2018 budget proposal does little to reduce the debt, although it’s a good start at going in the right direction.

There are also rumors floating around about a pending financial crash. Granted, there have been rumors floating around about that for years, but the rumors have changed slightly. Now, instead of it being due to the sluggish economy and the rising national debt, the potential for a collapse is supposed to be due to the world’s top financial movers and shakers.

If the rumors are true, and there is plenty of reason to believe them, pretty much every financial collapse that has occurred, regardless of the country where it occurred, has been engineered by these financial big wigs, in an effort to consolidate wealth and the resulting power in their own hands.

These big money men are all part of the globalist elite, working behind the scenes to bring us to a one world progressive liberal government. Supposedly, their plans require that the United States come in line with their philosophy.

That wasn’t much of a problem when Barack Obama was in office, as he is a globalist, but now that Donald Trump is president, they are concerned. Trump isn’t one of them, and in fact, stands strongly against them.

So they want to make Trump the fall guy, showing that his plans to “Make America Great Again” through capitalism and free markets can’t work. That, in turn, means that they want to bring about the crash in the next three and a half years, while Trump is in office.

When and if that happens, we can expect something much worse than the 2009 housing slump and the recession that it brought on.

This will be more like the Great Depression of the 1930s, or even worse. A combination of runaway inflation and unemployment rates that top out over 25 percent will cause havoc in all corners of our nation and the globe. Then, these global elites can “benevolently step in with their answer.” That answer will be world socialism, ruled by them.

Why Start a Repair Business?

Before we even reach that point, we have to survive through the hard financial times which will bring our nation to its knees. For some of us, that will most likely mean the loss of our jobs, our cars and our homes; in fact, it could mean the loss of everything that’s important to us, if we lose our jobs.

Let me say this though, and this is important; not everyone who goes through a financial collapse suffers from it. There are some people who flourish. The key is to be in a position where you are able to flourish, even while others are floundering.

Now I know what many of you are thinking; that to flourish during a time of financial collapse, you have to have a lot of money to start with. But that’s not true.

The key to financial success has always been the same, find a need and fill it. That’s true in times of plenty and it’s true in times of lack. So, what you need to do is find something that will be an area of need in that time, and prepare to fulfill that need.

I realize that can be tricky, but it doesn’t require a crystal ball. All we have to do, is look at what sorts of needs there have been in other countries, when they went through a financial collapse. Fortunately for us, there are a number of examples we can use, most notably Argentina.

While there are actually a number of things we could look at, I want to concentrate on only one area; that of starting a repair business. My reason for this is that repair businesses always flourish during a time of financial hardship.

The reason is quite simple, during a time of financial hardship people stop buying luxuries, mostly because they can’t afford them. As part of that, they try and get more mileage out of the things they have, rather than replacing them.

You might ask how this can be so, when people are out of work and businesses are closing. The answer is simple. Yes, there are a lot of people who end up out of work during a financial collapse.

During Argentina’s collapse of ’99, the real unemployment rate topped 25%. But those people aren’t the potential customers you would be looking for; you’d want the customers who are still working. They won’t have it as bad as those who are out of a job, but they’ll still have hardship too.

Remember, they will be suffering under runaway inflation, and wages won’t be keeping up. So those people will need to get more bang for their buck. Hence, the need for repair businesses.

Anyone can make the most complex DIY projects in no time!

Picking a Business

While we live in a largely disposable society, most of what we throw away is repairable, even if it may not seem so at first glance. There are people today who are making a living off of repairing windshields, reconditioning batteries and cell phones.

Some of these people are just offering repair services, while others are buying non-working devices, repairing them, and reselling them. In the area where I live, there are a couple of businesses which specialize in doing that with appliances. Since they get the appliances for almost nothing, most of what they sell them for is profit. Their only real inventory cost is the parts they put into repairing them.

Start out by looking at what sorts of things you already know how to repair. Perhaps there is something you’ve had to learn how to repair for your own needs at home; or there might be something that you’ve had to learn how to repair as part of your work.

You might even be working in a job currently, where you repair things for your employer. Whatever you know, prepare to start a business repairing that sort of equipment.

If you don’t already have something that you know how to repair, then learn something simple. A moment ago, I mentioned repairing cracked windshields. That’s not really hard to learn, and it doesn’t require a lot of investment.

Video first seen on ChrisFix.

People who have a broken windshield will gladly pay someone who knows how to repair their cracked windshield, since that is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new one.

Prepare to Start Your Business

Besides customers, there are three things any repair business is going to need:

  • Tools
  • Information
  • Parts.

Many repair businesses have little investment in parts, because they buy the parts for each repair that they do. But even then, there are common parts that need to be stocked, just to prevent the necessity of having to run to the store or parts house to buy them for every job.

Getting your tools and parts is going to require some investment on your part. So, you’re better off starting that now, while you are still working a regular job. Taking a small part of what you’re earning every week and investing it for the future is a sound financial decision; one that will pay big dividends later on.

My son is a certified network geek, working for a phone company. He has a number of different certifications on different things associated with his job. Some are specific to telephony, while others are about computer networking in general. So he’s starting a sideline business, offering his services to companies that can’t afford a full-time computer networking geek or telephone repair man.

That has meant buying the tools he needs to have, in order to troubleshoot networking and telephone problems, as well as a few common parts (mostly cables and connectors). So what he’s been doing is taking a small percentage of his paycheck each week and using that to buy the things he needs.

At the same time, he’s working on increasing his knowledge and gaining more certifications. His target is to reach a level of certification high enough that there are few people who know the things he will know.

When he reaches that point, he’ll basically be able to write his own ticket as a consultant, charging pretty much whatever he wants. That goes hand in hand with having knowledge that few people have.

This mechanism is so simple you can put it together by yourself in no time!

Start Small, But Start Soon

One of the things that keeps many people from starting a business of any sort is the cost. We tend to think in terms of needing to rent a storefront and build a complete business. But in reality, many businesses, like repair businesses, can be started out really small.

How small? That depends on how much room you have in your workshop. You can start in your garage or basement, on the back porch, or in a shed in the backyard. That’s the way people used to start their businesses.

If you go to any third-world or emerging country, you’ll still see people today who are running a repair business, small fabrication operation or small store out of their home. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Later on, if your business grows, you can start thinking about renting some space and moving into it. But if you’re going to do that, you’re probably going to need to have grown your business into a full-time job. At first, it won’t be that, more of a hobby business.

Don’t wait to start your business until you need it to generate business for you. Any business takes time to grow, so you’re better off growing your business while you still have a full-time job to pay the bills. That will also allow you to invest your profits back into your business, increasing inventory, buying more tools and marketing your business.

Keep in mind that some repair businesses may not generate a lot of money right now, simply because people aren’t accustomed to repairing things, but rather replacing them.

So you may not be able to grow your business past the hobby business stage. Even so, you should start now, so that you can build your reputation. This will also give you the opportunity to learn how to make your business run efficiently, improving profits. That way, whenever a financial crash comes, you are ready to expand your business.

Marketing Your Business

One of the biggest mistakes that people starting their first small business make is poor marketing. They don’t realize that good marketing is the number one key to opening a successful business.

It is marketing that will being customers in, nothing else. So if you want customers, you need some good marketing material and a good marketing strategy.

I’m going to concentrate on only three things here:

Flyers

While not glamorous, flyers are probably the single most common form of advertising there is, other than business cards. You need a good color flyer, explaining your business, with your logo prominently displayed and clear contact information.

Unless you know how to do this yourself, don’t even try. Hire a professional. While that might cost you a couple hundred bucks, you’ll end up with a much better product.

Image is an extremely important part of marketing. In our modern world, people are highly visual. They are used to identifying a business by its “branding,” which is the current buzz-word for their logo, style, font, and the colors that they use. Good banding and good printed material can make a closet-sized repair company look like it’s the world’s best.

Website

The second important thing you should do for your marketing is have a website. Here in the information age, just about everyone checks out a business online, before doing business with them.

Your website can be a way of introduction yourself to your potential customers, informing them about your services and sharing testimonies from satisfied customers.

The best business websites go beyond just talking about the business and educate the customer. Obviously, this needs to be in some area that is associated with the business.

So if you are repairing cell phones, you should have a series of articles about cell phones; perhaps covering tricks or “hacks” to get the most out of your cell phone, how to care for your cell phone and how to deal with common cell phone problems.

As part of your website, you also need an online presence on Facebook, with a link from your website to your Facebook page. Many people use Facebook as a way of checking out a business, as well as talking about their experience with that business.

Post regularly, talking about milestones in your business, new services offered, links to the articles on your website, funny stories, and articles of interest, which are associated with the products you repair.

Advertising

Finally, make use of the power of Facebook advertising. Your Facebook page is part of this. But more than anything, Facebook is a marketing platform, probably the single most effective one that exists today. Even so, you can advertise on Facebook very inexpensively, setting your own budget and parameters to ensure that you are getting the best value for your advertising dollar.

While there are many other things you can do in marketing, these three are the most important ones to get your business off the ground and starting to grow.

If you do them, chances are you’ll have success. But if you don’t, you’ll probably have trouble finding customers.

Even within the area of repair businesses, there are lots of different choices you can make. The key is in finding something that would fit you and provide you with a good business.

Grab your tools and start practicing your skills now!

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 This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.


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Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Great article with lots of ideas, but now I'd like to see a follow up version that extends each of the recommendations to how to do it post-SHTF. Conditions will likely include poor or intermittent electrical power, limited access to (or heavy monitoring of) Internet and services like Facebook and the local service referral pages, and very limited access to ordering of repair parts. The new article should point out the few, essential materials one can stockpile that will serve many purposes. Also point out the value of tools to do repairs and to make simple repair parts. Also the value of befriending a good independent machinist. Think in terms of the Depression-era "shade tree mechanic" and traveling tinker. Our technology base will look more like 1917 than like 2017. Must adjust our focus.

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  • Thanks, this article is right on the mark. A small repair business where a person does something hands-on to alter or repair a thing should always do well, no matter what the economy does. My wife and I have a small sewing, alterations, and repair business in a small rural farm town, and we’re kept busy most of the time. We have a very small shop that we own downtown, and we also sew at our home. We’re even set up to do our services without electricity if need be, by the use of treadle and handcrank sewing machines. I use treadle sewing machines almost exclusively for mending and repairs that I do, even though we have electricity at both places. My wife has manual-operated machines too, but prefers to use her electric ones. We’re in our 12th year of operation.

    A few minor points that I would disagree with the article:

    Avoid being too flashy with your advertising. Most people these days prefer the quaint little shops, so make yourself look like one, including your business card, website, and printed advertising. After all, if it’s just you doing the work, you’re kind of in the quaint category anyway, so keep those ads simple and easy to read by avoiding the cutsie fonts and layouts. People know when they’re getting a snow job.

    Stay away from social network platforms yourself, to allow more time for your hands-on repairs. Facebook is nothing more than a popularity contest anyway, and I’ve seen small operators get hung up in a text-storm with an unhappy client that really damaged their business. Also, doing constant updates will take up too much of your time after the new wears off in about six months. If you have time to constantly post, you don’t have enough work to do, and people will eventually see that. Have a family member, friend, or satisfied client make a post every now and then on your behalf instead. Generally, word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, but not when it’s coming from your mouth. Don’t have a business Facebook account. Monitor the social traffic with a personal account, and don’t comment much about your business except to say “thank you” when appropriate.

    CD in Oklahoma

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