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Home Based Business Idea: Appliance Repair Business

What it Takes to Set up an Appliance Repair Home Based Business

By Ron Dicker

(LifeWire) - Overview of the Appliance Repair Business

The mechanically inclined will find plenty of opportunities in a home based appliance repair business. Appliance repair persons can earn as much as $75 for the first hour, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. You'll be resuscitating stoves, dryers, microwaves, fridges, washing machines, and just about anything else that keeps a household humming.

Experts recommend offering round-the-clock emergency service and money-back guarantees to boost your appliance repair prospects. No formal training or licensing is needed, except when working with refrigerants, which requires you to pass an Environmental Protection Agency test. That said, nothing beats good old-fashioned hands-on appliance repair experience, gained by an apprenticeship or vocational training. Minor appliance repairs can be done on-site, but major repairs can be performed in your personal workspace at home in your shop or garage. Typically, major repairs of older appliances result in the homeowner deciding to replace rather than repair.

Reputable certification, although not necessary, is available through the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and The Professional Service Association (PSA). Both give well-regarded tests in diagnostics for electronics. Graduating to commercial kitchen appliances and other public systems will require some formal training, but the profit might be worth it.

Pros of a Home Based Appliance Repair Business

  • Twenty-seven percent of appliance repairers are self-employed, so it's a welcoming field for determined independents.
  • Flexibility pays: An emergency or off-hours repair call can net you at least 25% more income.
  • Household gadgetry and automation are expanding, ensuring a future revenue stream for folks who able to repair them.
Cons of Home Based Appliance Repair Business
  • The appliance repair field is supposed to grow by only 2% through 2016, far below the national average for all occupations.
  • Possibility of injuries while transporting heavy appliances plus exposure to electrical shocks and gas leaks
  • More consumers are replacing rather than repairing broken appliances because it's often cost-effective.
What You Need to Get Started in a Home Based Appliance Repair Business
  • You'll probably need at least $5,000 in capital for appliance repair tools and dollies, provided you already have a van or truck to transport equipment.
  • A business license and bonding, if required. Check with your local chamber of commerce or state officials to find out.
  • A website, vehicle signage, business cards and print and online advertising to promote your appliance repair business
  • Strong networking skills to develop relations with clients and appliance manufacturers

Appliance Repair Service: Real-Life Example

Harry Showalter, owner of HJ's Appliance Service in Harrisonburg, Va., since 1991, told the Daily News Record that a refrigerator compressor "gone bad" costs the customer $400. Some opt to buy a new refrigerator instead, reinforcing the replace-rather-repair trend that Showalter observed, especially with smaller appliances.

LifeWire, a part of The New York Times Company, provides original and syndicated online lifestyle content. Ron Dicker is a New York-based freelance writer who covered sports for the New York Times from 1996 to 2005.
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