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- > Izakaya Tavern > Appliance War Stories > How to start your own business?

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 Posted: Fri Sep 28th, 2007 03:29 am
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laboy
Senior Apprentice Appliantologist
 

Joined: Sat Nov 11th, 2006
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Hello everyone!

 I work for couple of years for private company, think I have a lot of experience to start my own business. If any one of you ever did it before, please share you experience. I heard most technician start working for insurances companies, such as Maytag Dependability Plus…

All your help appreciated. Thank you! :)

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 Posted: Fri Sep 28th, 2007 04:08 am
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BrntToast
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you need a fair bit of money or credit to start a new service business

the way to make money is to complete as many calls as possible on the first visit, this means you need a well stocked service vechile

also calculate advertising and insurance, these cost alot

i'm 17 years into working for the man and still dont go out on my own cause i know i dont have enough capital to proffit and support the children my wife is popping out like a pez dispensor

 



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hope i've been helpfull, if you wish to buy Brnt beer kick here

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feel free to prvt msg frigidaire questions my way
(i dont log in every day)
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 Posted: Fri Oct 19th, 2007 02:01 am
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laboy
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Well, I have good stock (about $10 spend) also fully insured. Question is how to get authorized by Maytag, Miele, SubZero ….

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 Posted: Mon Oct 22nd, 2007 03:13 pm
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Poobah
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To me the most important variable is to know your area, and what brands are represented. There is no need to stock many parts for brands you only see once in a blue moon.  Also know what brands are carried in the local rent to own stores. getting in with these type stores will also bring alot of business, doing their warranty repair.

Deciding whether to be a brick and morter establishment (actual building w/ storefront) and servicer, or just a servicer will be a major factor in start up cost also. Insurance liability, water, electric, gas, etc. (if B/M). 

Try to get hooked up with a good parts supplier so you can have special order parts next day if needed. usually after explaining to a customer that you carry 95% of the basics but you can't have it all, but I can have it for you tommorrow for as little as $10.00 shipping it will make you look as if you went out of your way to help them, and it's good for repeat business.

As Brnttoast said always try to complete your calls the first time out.  It's not always possible but should be over 90% of the time.  2 trips cuts into your profit time and gas.  These are just a few things to think about, but if your can ever get out on your own it's always better than working for the man.....unless the man pays good hourly wage and benefits.



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 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2007 10:22 pm
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himeros

 

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You may have to sell the appliances before you can service them under warranty.  Warranty normally does not pay that much, but is good if you have new product to sell when their old ones are too bad to fix.  If you are approved, you will have to take factory training, and don't forget the CA State repair department, they will want you to comply with certain practices, and money from you.

Himeros

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 Posted: Tue Dec 18th, 2007 09:46 am
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Oceti
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Don't start by going crazy on ads. Phone or others. A business Builder ad in the local paper works together with a line add in the yellow pages.  Have your hard-line phone transfer to your cel so you can stay on the road.

A great book to learn pricing can be purchased from Appliance University on the web. The front of the book explains it all. The book is a little pricey but it will pay for itself in a few calls.

My #1 rule, :poison:DON'T STOCK TIMERS!!! :poison:

I've been doing this for about 28 years and I love it.
:cool:
 



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 Posted: Sun May 30th, 2010 10:04 pm
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mehoss
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I know that this is an old post, but perhaps my story may be of help to someone else.  I got into the appliance repair business by accident.  He is how it happened: 

I start out as a guy in the computer/telecom industry with 20 some years experience, so I am already a techie and that helps.  I still have my day job, so I do this on the side.

OK so Im in my home and the AC stops cooling, I call a guy to fix it, he charges 120 to add a lil fridgerant.  The next year, same story, but this time cost is 200.  So I thinks to myself, I can get me jug o dat fridgerant and do this myself.  Not so fast sayith the EPA!  So I study and pass the EPA Universal test and pick up a jug of R22.  So I do some web study and learn just enough to be dangerous and fix my system.  Then I start fixing my neighbors systems...then strangers. After a few under my belt, I get the "While your here, can you fix my fridge or dishwasher"?  I dont like leaving $$ on the table, so I always said "yes"  ( I am wiser now)  I would like to thank my first few customers who allowed me to edumacate myself in their house on their appliances.  Especially my first lazy spin whirlpool with the "bad" timer and motor and clutch and transmission and...did i miss anything?   sorry dude.  Oh well he got a great deal on that new washer with the old cabinet.  I was fixing stuff for 40 bucks (more now that Im "smart"), such a deal.  So I run an add on craigslist and getting 3-8 calls a week.  So I go to legalzoom.com and incorporate as an LLC ($300) so I can get a business checking account and buy wholesale parts and accept checks in the name of the company.  I buy insurance for $800 a year.  I spend 100 a year on a web site that I designed myself (not real fancy) and pay zilch on advertising.  

THE MORAL IS YOU CAN START WITH  ZERO $$!!!  The hardest part is to place your first free add on craigslist and answering your first call.  But if you already have appliance repair experience, then you will have a much less stressful start than me!  Imagine not even knowing how to frigging open a GE vs Whirlpool washing machine! I used to hate when the customer would sit there and watch me try to figure out where the secret clips were!  haha 

The only problem is if you work for an appliance repair company, you should legally (and morally) sever the relationship prior to competing OR tell your boss your intentions and make sure there is no conflict.  My advantage was that I had no conflict of interest as I was not out installing computer security systems for people.

If you are thinking about it, go place a free add on craigslist NOW!  Answer the phone...the business will drive itself on autopilot!  You will see.  I have more work than I can handle.  I turn away all customers more than 15 miles away and sometimes I stop placing free adds when I get too much work.  So when my fortune 500 company decides to replace me with the smart,  young,  low-cost punjabs that now surround my cubicle, I shall be ready to expand my appliance repair empire! ha-ha  Good Luck to everyone.

 

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