One business industry that has never had too much trouble finding customers is the repair business. Whether it is repairing computers or pipes, houses or malls, aircraft or cars, there are only a small number of people or companies who have the knowledge and patience.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs who develop a repair business are often astonished at how little it has to do with their technical skills and how much it has to do with business smarts.
7 Ways to Run a More Efficient Business
Here are 7 tips of how to fix a repair business if it’s not as profitable as you think it should be:
1. Keep track of everything.
Fortunately, the solution to keep track of all the moving parts of a repair business is software. Astea depot repair provides elegant solutions to automate the tracking of assets. It does this through equipment calibration and repair chains. Some of the benefits include gaining realistic visibility of all repair chain processes, ensuring compliance with contractual agreements and responding to customer calls with an accurate repair status.
2. Focus on developing soft skills.
The technical side of keeping track of repairs is only one side of creating a repair-oriented business, there is also another element to get right—the human side of running the business. In business, these are known as soft skills—intangible skills like listening well and articulating an idea.
3. Stick with what you do best.
It’s only too easy to jump from fixing computers to fixing anything else related to electronics. If a company spreads its expertise too thin, it runs into two problems. One, its experts are often out of their depth, since everything has ever deeper layers to it. Two, customers become confused by the company brand, which appears to have become diffused. Three, the business runs out of resources to keep on top of the business, from labor resources to capital expenses.
4. Keep on getting better.
Any business that is built around the owner's core strength will have a better chance of success. One reason why people fail to succeed in a business is that they try to learn new things that are outside their skill sets. For instance, someone who is comfortable with crunching numbers as an accountant earning $25.65 an hour decides that it is more profitable to be an electrician and make $80 an hour. People will pay a lot more to fix their electrical problems than they will to fix their financial records. The business will fail because it is too large a leap from one skill set to another. The best way to grow a business is by building it around something you already do well.
5. Avoid the get-rich quick mentality.
A smart entrepreneur is not quick to pursue a glamorous lifestyle. It’s only too easy to get caught up in driving a nicer car, working out of a more modern looking office, and fiddling with an impressive expense account. People who spend their money in this way after some initial success are doomed to failure. This is because they have failed to understand the basics of business—which is the art of frugality and building enough funds to continually reinvest in the business. In fact, the best way to spot a get-rich quick business opportunity is when lifestyle is advertised over the development of sound business philosophies.
6. Understand the difference between education and experience.
Education, at best, is a theoretical construct of what should happen. Experience is all about coping with what does happen. While it is prudent to study how to repair computers from videos and books, you won’t really learn how to do it until you have plenty of hands on experience sorting through a large selection of different computer problems.
7. Learn that your reputation is the best form of advertising.
Customers are not just interested in getting things fixed; they also want to be treated with respect and charged a fair price. This is something that many taciturn, technically-minded people fail to appreciate when they work with customers. Those who do learn how to connect with people develop a recurring business that expands. Those who don’t end up working for somebody else who does know how to handle the public relations side of a business.
Think like a Business Person
There is a huge difference in repairing something, say, computers, and building a computer repair business. One requires thinking like a technician, the other requires thinking like a business person. Running a business requires frequent exchanges between subcontractors, vendors, and customers. It's less about repairs and more about organizing things.
As a business person you have to understand a wide number of things:
- You have to understand how to get the financing for equipment from a loan.
- You have to understand all aspects of business administration.
- You have to understand all kinds of transportation logistics—like merchandise shipment; cross shipments; or pickups.
- You have to understand how to deal with miscellaneous issues like consolidated repair orders, finding adequate storage and working in compliance with refurbishment regulations.
Henry Ford is often credited for building one of the earliest cars, but his real genius may have been in figuring out how to create an assembly line and building a business around car manufacturing.