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How to start an appliance repair business

Thinking of starting an appliance repair business? From creating a business plan to building trusted relationships with customers, there’s a lot you’ll need to consider. Read on for all you need to know before you get started.

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

Appliance engineers are needed to install, repair, and maintain these household units, whether it’s a washing machine, cooker or fridge. This high demand and variety of work make starting your own business in this sector a great opportunity.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to start your own appliance repair business.

Getting the right credentials to repair appliances

While customers will value your experience, possessing formal qualifications is very useful to show you’ve been fully trained to do your job.

That’s why credentials can make your appliance repair 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 another 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)

Domestic appliance engineer checking fridge freezer

Useful skills for appliance repair business owners

Along with credentials, it’s important to have the right personal qualities to start your own appliance repair service.

You will need skills relevant not only 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

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Do you have the right tools for the job?

Every domestic appliance engineer will need the right tools and 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 appliance repair tasks 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 to transport all your tools between jobs.

American fridge freezer installation cost

Starting an appliance repair business

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

Register your new business

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, starting up as a sole trader may be better. This way, 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 on the difference between registering as a sole trader and a limited company to help you make an informed decision.

Remember, when registering your appliance repair 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.

Create a business plan for your appliance repair business

Drawing up a thorough business plan is central to any successful start-up. This should identify the services you’ll be providing based on your expertise, experience and interest.

It’s also important to consider who your target audience is. Bringing these two together will help you establish a unique selling point (USP).

For example, if your service focuses on flexibility, make emergency callouts and quick response times your main selling points. This will give you an edge over your competition.

If you want to target your local area, ensuring you have an extremely mobile service is a surefire way to attract business.

Is your experience and technical know-how in fridges? Read our fridge repairs cost guide so you can set a competitive pay rate within this niche.

Learn to manage finances

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 expenses, as well as any relevant taxes to your business.

When starting an appliance repair business, you’ll probably find that 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.

Look into marketing options

Marketing your appliance repair business is essential for securing work.

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.

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 who could become your customers.

Last year alone, Checkatrade created over four million jobs for tradespeople, so visibility is bound to secure you more business.

For more tips, check out our detailed guide on starting your own trade business.

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Removing a dishwasher filter pump

Appliance repair business FAQs

How much does a domestic appliance engineer earn?

The average salary for a domestic appliance engineer is £29,000. However, as a self-employed domestic appliance engineer, you could earn even more from growing your customer base and taking on more business.

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.

Plus, 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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