How Expectations Compare with Reality in the Repair Business

by Komayal Hassan
Expectation vs Reality in the Repair Business

Expectations are an idealistic construct. Being theoretical, they envision the world the way it should be. Reality, however, is visceral; the tale as it is actually spun. Both, of course, are consequential for any analysis; the latter being even more so. 

In the context of the repair field, the contrast here is stark – determinative of business growth 🌚🌞

Aspirations, in a nutshell, glorify an account of rewards attainment that is easy. The real ordeal suffered by repair practitioners requires another rendering. Heady things I plan to lay out in this piece – an unusual account even for me.

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. Because the insinuation here is worrying. 

Repair, it would be better served by qualifying, is only taxing for the purposefully incompetent. The kind who only have their subscribed POS software applications to take comfort in – having no originality of function to spare. For the dedicated laborer, it is a goldmine ripe for the constant taking. 

But the truth of the matter is that only a few people ever fall into this latter category of workers. Most field entrants give up the domain after a season. And the learning-resistant amateurs who remain soon end up getting discredited.

The 5 Types of Theory-to-Field Divergence

Now, I mean to be specific in this narration.

Actionable – in the sense of yielding some indirect benefit. 🥂

Here, these would be the things any field newbie should anticipate. So that the ‘right start’, informed of what is to come, can be taken. 

The prominent five of this listing are as follows:

  • Starting Capital (more than the touted $5k)
  • Licensing Timeframes (expect delays and cross-negotiations)
  • Skilled & Dedicated Labor Shortfalls (despite the ‘crowd’)
  • Inventory Problems (a real, chronic, pain!)
  • Customer Brawls (mostly verbal – thankfully)

Let’s open each.

The Starting-Capital-Always-on-the-Low Quandary

Unless you’ve got your literal life savings on the line or a massive investment, this will be a problem. Count on it. I have yet to see a bottom up-and-comer go unscathed on this front.

So, your best bet here is to channel funds into the business avenues that matter most. Marketing, procurements, overheads management, and salaries. Be conservative. In real life, ‘coming out with a bang’ is preceded by months of speculation.

Start with working on creating a sustainable enterprise – exceed your profit pool. This is how you reward yourself and shore up adequate money for the next business cycle. At this stage, you don’t need outside currency to make ends meet.

Also, consider the (US-specific) $5000 figure touted by many domain pundits a myth. It’s trite, outdated news. Because, nowadays, the costs tend to pile up incrementally.

Licensing is Time-Consuming (beyond schedule)

Blame the bureaucracy for this one.

Even in America, you can’t help but deal with some level of delay in the inevitable licensing paperwork. Government shutdowns, spurned by politics, are the worse. These can add days, sometimes even weeks, to documentation ETAs.

So, you need to be prepared for this. Don’t expect to start repairs the moment you’re done with the business feasibility. Chances are, you’re going to open shop on the month after the one fixed. 

This issue takes heightened import when third-party investors are in the picture. They’re keen on the returns – and so may not have much patience for the red tap-ism. Even when they know it’s not your fault.

Also, be prepared to engage in some (legit) running after the licensing dept. Repeat phone and in-person checkups are a staple menace of the territory. 

Don’t get discouraged.

Skilled Labour Can Be Rarer than Gold

Lookup any repair forum these days and you’d think that it’s raining experts. 🧐

But the reality, as any field vet can attest, is bitter to contemplate. Because very few people from the ‘crowd’ are actually versed in the intricacies of the affair. Techs who understand the risks inherent to opening up customer devices and other submissions. Recruits who don’t, as already mentioned, totally depend on their companies’ cell phone repair shop software frameworks to get by.

Another concern:

The authentic few keep rooted in either their own repair venture or as an employee of another. On the latter end, business owners, keen on retaining the best talent, are to blame. They understandably don’t want to part with solid fix-professionals if they can help it. 

Also, didactic regimens like training sessions and courses only go a little way. There is no substitute for hands-on experience. Or the refinement attained through self-practice.

So, as a repair shop owner, you want to net this talent to whatever degree is manageable. Suitable incentives, of course, are the name of the game. The alternative, where you suffer a net outflow of dedicated workers, is commercially unviable.

Inventory Scuffles

Even with the best logistics framework, inventory shortages (a.k.a disasters) occur as a dime-a-dozen circuit. Vendor lags will take place. Often, these arise on account of unalterable exigencies. Natural occurrences (including disasters of all kinds) cannot be done away with. 🙅‍♂️

A solution to this regress is to have multiple parts and product suppliers on board. This is so that a bottleneck in one can be circumvented through an order acquisition from another.

An easy way to manage several inventory suppliers is to make use of a good repair shop software. This recourse provides a snap listing of all available vendors – filtered by part type – on one screen interface.

RepairDesk Subscription Link
Snap RepairDesk Subscription Link

Customer Dissatisfaction Runs

Another perennial truth of the trade is worth recounting. 

Customer Disapproval: An inevitability that crops up even with the best service dispensation.

In the least instance, you will get your daily client complaints on imagined slights of all manner. When these situations arise, take comfort in the (paraphrased) maxim:

Humans, no matter the depth of service rendered to them, will still find something to moan about.

Better not to let it get to your head – demotivate your advance! 👍

If you’re a longtime repair field affiliate, you will probably have more pressing domain ‘realisms’ to dish. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

The main takeaway here concerns the repair business owner’s grounding – cognizance of the reality to expect.

The success of everything else flows from this spring.

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