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A screen repair business helps people repair electronic devices that have sustained physical trauma. Whether it’s a cell phone, tablet, or laptop, an experienced screen repair technician can help restore technology for a reasonable cost without the client having to buy an expensive replacement.
Who is this business right for?
This business is right for someone who loves technology. As new devices come out and screens change, owners will need to keep up with new demands while still being able to work with older devices.
What happens during a typical day at a screen repair business?
The majority of the day will be spent scheduling appointments and fulfilling repair commitments. There should also be time devoted to marketing, budgeting, and general equipment maintenance.
What is the target market?
The target market is anyone with a broken electronic device who doesn’t want to spend full price on a new device. The most common repair request will usually be for smartphone screens.
How does a screen repair business make money?
Screen repair businesses charge based on the time they spend making the repairs, the equipment they use, and the nature of the physical device itself. For example, certain phones require more expertise to fix, which means owners can charge a premium for those screens.
What is the growth potential for a screen repair business?
Smartphone repairs are a multi-billion dollar industry, and there’s still plenty of room to capitalize on the activity. Electronic devices have become truly ubiquitous in the world today, and their popularity is unlikely to change anytime soon. While new production methods will undoubtedly yield tougher, more resilient glass as years go by, it’s unlikely it will eliminate the need for a skilled screen repair technician.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful screen repair business?
Owners should have some experience repairing a variety of screens, whether they learned their skills in a classroom, on the clock, or just tinkering around at their home. As devices change from year to year, owners should be just as comfortable handling a 10-year old device as they are with a brand-new model. You'll also need some experience in customer service to be able to handle customer disputes and general requests.
What are the costs involved in opening a screen repair business?
Total costs will depend on whether or not an owner decides to open up a formal space. You likely already have many of the tools they need on hand to perform repairs (e.g., scissors, screwdrivers, etc.) If not, the costs are usually around $50 or less to purchase. In addition, you'll need an inventory of replacement screens available so that you don't have to make customers wait for you to order a new one. This will likely cost several hundred dollars to get the parts you need.
Additional costs include employee salaries if the business requires extra help, advertising dollars to get the word out, and website software to ensure easy online communication with customers.
What are the steps to start a screen repair business?
Once you're ready to start your screen repair business, follow these steps to ensure that your business is legally compliant and avoid wasting time and money as your business grows:
- Plan your business. A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. A few important topics to consider are your initial costs, your target market, and how long it will take you to break even.
- Form a legal entity. Establishing a legal business entity prevents you from being personally liable if your screen repair business is sued.
- Register for taxes. You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
- Open a business bank account. A dedicated checking account for your screen repair business keeps your finances organized and makes your business appear more professional to your customers.
- Set up business accounting. Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses. Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
- Get business insurance. Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.
- Define your brand. Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
- Establish a web presence. A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Where can I find a business mentor?
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a screen repair business?
The first think you'll need to do is decide on a specialty for your business. Few people can fix every type of device in the world, so choose based on the demographics of the neighborhood. Fads aren’t just for teenagers, so it should be easy to spot whether people seem to favor Apple, Samsung, HTC, or Google devices.
You'll also need to decide if a storefront is worth it to you. Storefronts give you an opportunity to house your inventory in one place, and makes it possible to work on several devices at once. It also gives you more credibility with your customers because you look like an established business. Finally, you can likely choose a storefront in a less expensive section of town because you just need a consistent space to work — not necessarily to impress customers.
However, a mobile business that allows you to visit customers at their home cuts out many of your initial start-up costs, and offers your customers the all-important convenience factor. It can still be a good way to build rapport and credibility as you service different clients (albeit, one at a time.)
Owners should also consider the angles they want to use to attract their customers. It’s important to put some time into determining your prices — especially as the cost of technology continues to go down. If you charge the same price as a used version of a current model, it will be difficult for a customer to justify spending the money to have their screen repaired. You may also be able to increase your revenue by marketing to those who want to keep their nostalgia devices (e.g., first-generation iPods, etc.) up to par.
How to promote & market a screen repair business
A screen repair business can be promoted on social media, with paper flyers, and through digital advertisements. You should also have a website that’s both memorable and easy to navigate. Once you start building up a clientele, word of mouth business should continue to compound your revenue.
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How to keep customers coming back
The best way to impress a customer is to provide courteous, efficient service all while making their device look as good as new.
How and when to build a team
You don’t necessarily need to hire a team at the beginning. In fact, it’s not recommended if you’re trying to keep your costs low. Use management tools such as online calendars to keep your appointments straight until you have enough customers (and revenue) that you absolutely need to hire help.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a screen repair business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Maintain Personal Asset Protection
Don’t think that just forming an LLC, or any other type of business, will save your personal assets in case of a lawsuit or other matter by itself.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Two of the simplest steps that will protect your business, and yourself, are to:
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
Certificate of Occupancy
A screen repair business is sometimes run out of a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a screen repair business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your screen repair business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
How much can you charge customers?
Because screen repair is a valuable skill, it’s not unusual to charge around $80 – $100 for each repair. Look up the rates of the competitor’s in your area for a better idea of how to price your services.
What are the ongoing expenses for a screen repair business?
Most technicians will want an available inventory to work with rather than ordering new screens every time, so they’ll need to keep up with replenishing their available stock. Owners will also have to factor in mortgage/lease payments if they have an office, and liability insurance on the off-chance they irreparably damage someone’s phone or a natural disaster (e.g., flooding, etc.) destroys their customer's electronic devices.
How much profit can a screen repair business make?
The cost of operations for a screen repair business is on the low side, so it’s not unusual for each repair to make high returns. If you're charging $100 a repair at an 80% profit margin, you would only need to repair 20 phones in a week to make $1,600 in profit. Considering a dropped phone is a common occurrence, 20 customers a week may not be difficult to achieve.
How can you make your business more profitable?
As you grow your clientele and your confidence, you can start offering additional repairs besides screens. For example, fixing phones and laptops with water damage or replacing broken components to ensure the longevity of the device. You may also want to start buying old, broken devices from customers so you can fix and sell them (either online or in-person) for a profit.