Home-Based Business Idea -- Appliance Repair Home-Based Business

Do You Have What It Takes to Start an Appliance Repair Business?

Repairman working on refrigerator
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The mechanically inclined will find plenty of opportunity for income with a home-based appliance repair business. You'll be resuscitating stoves, dryers, microwaves, fridges, washing machines and just about anything else that keeps a household humming.

No formal training or licensing is required, except when working with refrigerants. This requires that you pass an Environmental Protection Agency test.

Nothing beats the good old-fashioned hands-on experience you’ll gain from an apprenticeship or vocational training, but a reputable certification 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.

What You’ll Need to Get Started in an Appliance Repair Business

  • A van or truck to transport tools and equipment, but the trunk of your car and an ample backseat can get you started
  • Some capital for tools and dollies if you don’t already have them – you can often purchase the basics, like fuses, belts and thermostats for a few hundred dollars  
  • A website, magnetic door signs for your vehicle, business cards, and print and online advertising to promote your business
  • A work area in your home for major repairs, although you can perform minor appliance repairs on site
  • Insurance on your vehicle that covers you on service calls
  • A business license – check with your local chamber of commerce or state officials to find out if this is required
  • Bonding to protect you in the event something goes wrong on a job that the customer can hold you responsible for, or consider setting your business up as a corporation or limited liability company to protect your personal assets
  • Strong networking skills to develop relationships with clients, appliance vendors and warranty companies 

Advantages of an Appliance Repair Business

This is a welcoming field for determined independents – about a third of all appliance repairers are self-employed. Household gadgetry and automation are always expanding, ensuring a future revenue stream for folks who are able to repair them. If you’re a tinkerer by avocation, fine-tuning your skills can result in a respectable income, particularly if you’re willing to do a little research. Read manuals for tips of the trade and to bring yourself up to speed on all the newest models.

Disadvantages of an Appliance Repair Business

Appliance repair can involve some heavy labor and lifting, so injuries are possible, particularly when transporting heavy appliances. You may also be exposed to electric shocks and gas leaks.

Although appliances aren’t going anywhere and they’ll keep malfunctioning and breaking down, it’s often more cost effective for consumers to replace appliances rather than have them repaired.

Replacing a refrigerator compressor can cost homeowners almost half as much as a new fridge, and something else might go wrong after the compressor is replaced. This is good for you, but not so good for your customers. Opportunity exists for earning more money if you’re willing to go out on off-hours calls or take on a job immediately in an emergency. Graduating to commercial kitchen appliances and other public systems will require some formal training, but the profit and steadier work might be worth it.

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