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How to start a domestic appliance engineering business

Our homes are filled with appliances which form major part of our everyday life. So, when one stops working, homeowners need someone to come to their aid. This is what makes domestic appliance engineers such highly valued tradesmen. Whether it’s a washing machine, cooker or fridge, there’s a range of experts in the appliance engineering…

Our homes are filled with appliances which form major part of our everyday life. So, when one stops working, homeowners need someone to come to their aid. This is what makes domestic appliance engineers such highly valued tradesmen.

Whether it’s a washing machine, cooker or fridge, there’s a range of experts in the appliance engineering industry that can be hired to install, repair and maintain these household units. The demand for domestic appliance engineers, along with the variety of work, makes starting your own business in this sector a real opportunity.

This guide will take you through how to do exactly that. Read on to find out how you can build your own start-up and develop a career as a self-employed domestic appliance engineer.


Credible qualifications

Customers will, of course, value your experience, but possessing formal qualifications is very useful to show you’ve been fully trained to do your job. That’s why credentials can make your business appear more reliable and encourage potential clients to trust your service. Here are the most recognised qualifications among domestic appliance engineers to possess:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation or Engineering Technology
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Installation Engineering apprenticeship
  • Electronic Product Service apprenticeship


Institute memberships

Joining a relevant industry institution is a great way to enhance your business profile and impress clients. Gaining membership relies on completing formal assessments, and passing these highlights your credibility, competence and skill. As a domestic appliance engineer, these are the industry bodies to consider joining:

  • Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA)
  • Domestic Appliance Service Association (DASA)
  • Institute for White Goods Engineers (IWGE)


Strong skill set

Along with credentials, it’s important to have the right qualities for providing exemplary service. Not only will you need skills relevant to your work, but also to running a business. These are the strengths you’ll need to be successful at both:

  • Attention to detail
  • Problem solving skills
  • Practical thinking
  • Technical knowledge
  • Able to work well under pressure
  • Ability to manage
  • Interpersonal skills
  • High standard of customer service
  • Organisation


Fully equipped

Every domestic appliance engineer will need the correct equipment to complement their skills. Approaching a job fully prepared will make you appear professional to the customer and allow you to work more efficiently. This way, you’re more likely to receive recommendations and grow your business.

Your inventory may vary depending on the appliances you work on, but essential tools include:

  • Volt/Ohm meter
  • Wrenches
  • Pliers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Power tools
  • Glues and sealants
  • Connectors

Keep in mind you’ll also need a van and a valid driving license in order to transport all your tools between jobs.


Starting your business

Once you’ve covered all these bases, it’s time to go about starting your business. There are several steps to ensure you get off on the right foot.


First, you’ll need to legally register your business online and decide on a recognised structure. You can choose to set up as a sole trader or a limited company, and each has different benefits to consider.

If you plan to work independently, it may be better to start-up as a sole trader as you have more business freedom and won’t have to deal with as much paperwork. However, registering as a limited company will provide you with greater financial security, among other benefits. Read our full guide here to help you make an informed decision.

When registering your business, you’ll also have to come up with a company name. Try keeping this professional and to the point, so potential customers are more likely to take note.

Business planning

Drawing up a thorough plan is central to any successful start-up. Within this, it’s best to identify the services you’ll be providing based on your expertise, experience and interest. Alongside your service, you’ll also need to consider the target audience. Bringing these two together can allow you to establish a niche.

For example, your service could focus on flexibility. Make emergency call outs and quick response times your main selling points to gain an edge over competition. Having an extremely mobile service is a sure-fire way to attract more customers to your business. In this instance, you’ll need to target your local area so you can ensure your flexibility is feasible when taking on jobs

Once you’ve identified your target market, think about designing your service around your expertise. If your experience and technical know-how lies in fridges, make this your selling point. Read our fridge repairs cost guide here so you can set a competitive pay rate within this niche.


As a business owner, you’ll need to do your fair share of bookkeeping to make sure everything runs smoothly. Managing your finances involves documenting your income and expenditure, as well as any relevant taxes to your business.

You will probably find that, when starting out, your expenses exceed your revenue due to start-up costs. This is typical for any new business, and one way to cover them is to take out a business loan. If you choose to do so, make sure to consider the interest rates.


The success of your business relies on securing work, and marketing is essential for growing these opportunities. There are several ways to go about this, but joining Checkatrade is one of the most effective routes for online marketing. With a membership, your business will be visible to millions of monthly site users that could become your customers. Last year alone, Checkatrade created over four million jobs for tradespeople, so visibility is bound to secure you more business.

Traditional word-of-mouth recommendations are a great source of business, and you can also boost your local profile through print marketing. Distributing leaflets, flyers and business cards are simple methods for increasing your presence and gaining new opportunities.

For more tips on marketing and further advice on starting your business, read our guide here.



How much does a domestic appliance engineer earn?

The average salary for a domestic appliance engineer is £29,000. But as a self-employed domestic appliance engineer, you have the potential to earn even more from growing your customer base and taking on more business opportunities.


Is appliance repair profitable?

When you consider the number of appliances owned by homeowners and businesses across the UK, there is plenty of opportunity for repair services. In addition, appliances will always malfunction and need to be repaired. For these reasons, appliance repair is a very profitable business.


Is appliance repair a dying business?

Many homeowners are mindful of money, and will choose to have their appliance fixed rather than replaced. Therefore, appliance repair is far from a dying business – there are always opportunities available in this line of work.


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