You’ve been considering different businesses to start and Cell Phone Repair is on your short list. And it should be there for good reasons. It’s a billion dollar industry that’s growing, requires minimal investment to get started, and the skills can be easily acquired. This article will discuss why the cell phone repair business is one of the top business opportunities of 2016 and 2017.
The U.S. Economist Professor, Gregory Hamilton, declares that nearly 25% of all smartphone users have cracked screens. Cell phones are ultra-portable devices with glass displays, and are often used single-handed. This reality is one of the driving factors behind the ten thousand plus broken displays daily. Even though cracked screens makes up a large percentage of the cell phone repair business, they are not the only issue. Battery issues. Speaker issues. Camera issues. Connectivity issues. Virus and performance issues. The list of issues pushing this category could seem endless.
The two types of cell phone repair operations
There are two main types of mobile repair businesses. Storefront and Mobile Repair.
Storefront cell phone repair businesses have a physical location. These could be in a plaza, street facing, warehouse, inside a mall, anywhere. The storefront will instill more trust initially amount first-time customers. These locations also allows the owners to engage in brand building. Great locations will include high trafficked areas and can be an important source of new leads and customers. The understanding is that the location becomes one of the key business expenses, and owners will need to ensure that the shop maintains regular business hours.
Mobile cell phone repair businesses are operated in locations not open to the public. Mobile repair operations offer repairs by pick-up or mail in services. These options offer convenience to customers, especially for those who are very busy. The ability to start up the business without a storefront allows many repair entrepreneurs to operate from their basements and garages. This option dramatically lowers the owner’s start-up business costs. In the case of mobile repair shops sales and marketing operations are critical to getting the first customers. Because these businesses do not have physical locations to instill initial customer trust, owners need to ensure that all aspects of the business are presented as professionally as possible including website, repair quotes, and repair ticketing.
Of course, many storefront operations offer pickup and mobile services to clients, and these two business options are not mutually exclusive.
Why a cell phone repair business over a cell phone retail store?
The answer is simple. Profit margins.
The profit margins enjoyed by cell phone repair shops are extremely high. Typically the main costs are the parts and labor. This can lead to margins of over 100% on many services. When compared to selling cell phones in a retail environment, the highest margins typically go to refurbished devices, with margins of 20% – 40%.
Let’s say you can average $80 per repair and you do 10 repairs each week, that’s revenues of $800 weekly. Chances are those 10 repairs could take up 5-6 hours of labor. It is very unlikely that 10 device sales will produce profits near that amount.
What you’ll need to get started?
Parts, tools, and experience are the essential requirements to run a cell phone repair business.
As for repair parts, things like screens, charging ports, glass, batteries, can all be sourced cheaply from local suppliers and from local wholesalers and providers on services like Amazon and Ebay. There are typically no minimum order quantities for parts, so many owners keep their inventory levels low and order parts just ahead of their needs.
Tools required for repairs will vary from device to device, but are generally inexpensive. A universal smart phone tool kit will suffice when getting started. Other requirements will include: Isopropyl alcohol (fantastic for phones with water damage), anti static brush, suction cup, and tweezers. All of the tools listed can be purchased on Amazon for less than $100. For owners looking to do more complex repairs, a digitizer separator device (for screen repairs), can be purchased from $200 – $400 online.
Cell phone repair shop software and systems
There was a time where the most expensive part of starting any business was acquiring the proprietary software needed to run the business. Like other businesses there are many moving parts involved in running a mobile repairs business. The most successful owners will track their parts and product inventory, customers, open and closed repairs, sales, labor costs and other important business metrics. Although these processes have been managed using spreadsheets and paper, today’s owners are adopting software to help reduce the amount of time they spend on this administrative work.
Today, software companies like CellStore Software (www.cellstore.co) and others, provides repair stores owners with repair ticketing, customer invoicing, POS (point of sale), inventory management, business reporting, self-service customer repair tracking and customer database management. These tools make the shop run more efficiently and also make the operation look more professional, credible, and trust worthy.
Marketing and Advertising
Cell phone repair shop owners will need to understand and execute their own marketing and advertising to be successful. Luckily, this too does not require too much of the owners attention to get started. Many successful owners use free ads on local classified ad sites, and others to drive awareness of their services. In addition, many owners will market directly to local large businesses, distribute flies, and even do online pay-per-click advertising through services like Google’s Adwords. Regardless of how owners advertise their repair business, referrals from customers to new customers will be an important driver of business. Take care of your current customers and they will take care of you!
In addition to the traditional marketing strategies mentioned above, more cellphone repair owners are employing CRM (customer relationship management) strategies to help them market and grow their businesses.
A good CRM software for repair shops will track all existing customer and potential customer data allow the owner to contact segments of those customers for promotions.
Experience and Training
There are many inexpensive to very expensive training options for owners looking to do mobile repairs themselves. These option online training and traditional in-class training. Many owners choose to hire someone with experience manage the repairs. However, with the availability of free training resources on websites like YouTube, many owners start by learning to repair devices themselves.
The Cell Phone Repair Business is lucrative and growing worldwide propelled by the adoption of smartphones. The billions of dollars spent on cell phone repairs by individuals and companies are driving more and more people to consider getting into the business. The low cost barrier to enter the business makes this repair business extremely attractive. Whether you are looking to jump in full-time or part-time the smartphone repair business allows owners to get started where they feel most comfortable. With more than 25% of all cell phone devices in need of some repair, the repair business has to be given strong consideration for individuals looking to start a business that is in high demand.
Original Artic;e By Alvin Thompson, founder of CellStore Software)