How to Start an Electronics Repair Business
Given how prevalent our devices are in our day-to-day lives, it’s natural that the demand for electronics repair is a reliable one. If you’re thinking of starting an electronics repair business, read on for everything you’ll need to know.
Starting an electronics repair business is a great idea if you’re enthusiastic and knowledgeable about electronic devices, from televisions to cell phones. With the smartphone becoming a ubiquitous device in many parts of the world, starting an electronics repair business is a great idea for the small business owner. What’s more, this kind of business has a great potential for growth due to the diversity of the market segments it appeals to — I mean, who hasn’t cracked their phone screen or needed a battery replacement at some point?
First Steps to Starting an Electronics Repair Business
The first and most important step in starting an electronics repair business will be drafting a complete and thorough business plan (don’t worry, we have free business plan templates for download to help you out). Your business plan should cover the structure of your business, which will depend on a number of factors — are you a sole proprietorship or freelancer working out of your mom’s basement, for example, or are you partnering with your brother to rent or buy a storefront? The business plan should also go into detail on factors like where your start-up capital is coming from, when you plan to break even, and how your business is projected to grow. If you aren’t sure what structure is right for your company, you can check out our articles on business structures available in the United States, the UK, and France.
You’ll need to name your business, register for taxes, and open a dedicated bank account. If you aren’t working as a freelancer and you don’t have special expertise in electronics repair, you may want to consider hiring employees. This will oblige you to register with your local tax authority as an employer. Assuming that you do have special expertise, and that this is why you’re starting an electronics repair business, you may choose to run a smaller operation yourself or with a friend.
It’s important when starting an electronics repair business to open a website dedicated to your services, ideally that includes not only your practical information (location, hours of operation, phone number and a service email address), but your quotes for basic services. For example, you should devise a pricing scheme for things like cracked iPhone screens, laptop battery replacements, and more. Often, clients go to small electronics repair businesses because their devices are out-of-warranty or were bought second-hand — it’s important that your prices are fair, but within reach for a vast demographic.
The best way to ensure the success of your business is to make sure that you provide your customers expertise and execute repairs quickly, reliably, and which leave your customers satisfied with the service they’ve received. While repair shops in areas with foot traffic will often benefit simply from their location, there is really nothing like word-of-mouth for small businesses like yours. The better your service, both in terms of the repairs themselves and your customer service, the more likely it is that your customers will become return customers, and tell their friends. In order to attract new customers in order to reap the benefits of this word-of-mouth advertising, you might consider giving first-time customers a discount or some other small perk, especially when you’re just starting an electronics repair business.
Some electronics repair shops work other services into their business in order to boost marketing and merchandising possibilities. For example, you could consider having a sort of repair delivery service, where yourself, a partner, or an employee goes to the house or office of the person or business who needs technical assistance. Keeping in mind that this would change your insurance needs, such as auto insurance, it’s also a good idea for expanding the scope of your business. By not being locked to your storefront or your freelancing location, you’re able to appeal to clients who may not be able to come to you, like offices that are in the midst of a network issue (and would love if you’d come take a look!)
You may also want to consider selling second-hand or even new electronics merchandise, as well as useful tidbits like different kinds of batteries, chords, chargers, and headphones. While keeping in mind that this will require you to register for sales tax and licenses in most cases, it’s a good way to attract more customers and up-sell the ones you already have. Keep in mind though that if you’re selling second-hand goods, it’s also likely that you’ll need to apply for a secondhand dealer license with the relevant authorities in your region.
Costs and Licensing
Thankfully, starting an electronics repair business comes with relatively low costs after location considerations and getting set up. You’ll need to invest in diagnostic softwares, the choice in which is vast, as is the pricing. You’ll also need to have all the necessary repair tools at your disposal in order to conduct the vast majority of repairs in-house; especially if you consider doing off-site repairs, you’ll need to invest in the proper insurance and even vehicle branding.
In most regions, you’ll also need to apply for and obtain an Electronics Repair License, which you can apply for in the US online. The fees for the license amount to just over $550 USD at the time of writing and the license is valid for 2 years. This means that if you plan to keep your electronics repair business open and functioning as-is, you’ll need to re-apply for the license at regular intervals. This will be something you’ll need to be vigilant about as your business ages!
In the United States, you’ll also need to file for a surety bond, which is $2,000 USD for electronics repair businesses with fewer than 5 employees, and $5,000 USD for those with more than 5. Keep in mind that setting up as a freelance electrician is a different process and does not incur these same costs, though you will need to follow a different special process to obtain a license.
Starting an electronics repair business is a potentially lucrative and reliable small-business idea, especially if you are already enthusiastic about electronic devices, how they work, and making them good-as-new. Given their importance in our day-to-day life, you can be sure that there will never be a lack of demand for experts on making these devices work. So long as you make sure to be vigilant about your licensing and insurance, and provide great service with a smile, you can be sure that you’ll build a loyal base of customers that will only grow in the future.