Business Overview

Musical instrument ownership in the United States is high. According to a 25-year-anniversary report from the International Music Products Association, about half (52 percent) of U.S. households have at least one instrument-owning musician. Of those that have a musician, about half (48 percent) have two or more family members who play something.

Although this report is from 2003, instrument ownership has remained high since the report was issued. Lots of people in the U.S. own instruments -- and some of those instruments break down.

Musical instrument repair businesses service and repair instruments when they need routine maintenance or break. With so many people owning instruments, there is high demand for repair work.

Who is this business right for?

Anyone who enjoys music and is mechanically inclined might like running a musical instrument repair business. Business owners regularly interact with people who are passionate about music, and fixing instruments is a hands-on, mechanical process.

What happens during a typical day at a musical instrument repair business?

A typical day at a musical instrument repair business involves:

  • talking to customers about issues their instruments are having
  • ordering supplies needed for fixing instruments
  • repairing and servicing instruments
  • testing instruments after they’re repaired

What is the target market?

The target market for a musical instrument repair business is local musicians. Because musical instruments are large and valuable, musicians normally won’t ship them into repair facilities. Instead, they’ll bring them to a repair professional in the area.

How does a musical instrument repair business make money?

A musical instrument repair business makes money by charging customers for fixing their instruments. There are different levels of repair:

  • “Play condition” repairs mechanically fix an instrument but don’t make aesthetic improvements
  • “Professional quality” repairs fix an instrument technically and aesthetically
  • “Overhauls” completely rebuild an instrument so that it’s like-new

What is the growth potential for a musical instrument repair business?

A music instrument repair business can be a small, one-person operation that maintains part-time hours, or it can grow to have multiple locations in different states. The Cayuga Music Shop is an example of a local repair business. Sam Ash is a larger company that has locations in sixteen states. Sam Ash, like most larger companies, sells instruments and provides lessons in addition to making repairs.