Finding work Part 5

Some of us have a natural talent to use our hands to create or fix things. For the rest of us holding a cold beer and operating the TV remote is about all we can seem to get them to do. For some people using this creative gift can be profitable.

If you are willing to explore your gift to use your hands in ways to make money, you still need to sit down and work out how to do it. Part 5 will cover some of the basics to start a business.

So lets assume you are great at fixing things, and you are constantly trying to modify or improve whatever to make it perform better. A souring economy works to your benefit simply because when times are tough, fixing things is often cheaper than buying a new one to replace it. The only time this would not apply if the replacement was an upgrade.

The next thing to look at is targeting necessity items to fix. Lawn mowers and garden equipment is a good choice if you live is the suburbs. If you have some talent with electronics then that opens up a whole new market. The key in any of this is the cost. If you can keep your total bill at or below 60% of the replacement cost you should do well. That total cost includes parts and labor.

The next thing is knowing your limits and abilities. Nothing is worse than having a bad reputation. After all, look at what is going on in China with their quality issues. That includes promised delivery times. So in all cases be honest to your customers as that will help feed word of mouth business. As word of mouth can help your business, it can also hurt it. It all comes down to what is being said.

If you have 100% control over the project meaning you have the tools and parts in stock, you can fairly easily lock down when the job will be done. If you are waiting for parts and the delivery time is out of your control, simply tell your customer that. It acts as a disclaimer and keeps you honest. You can say it will take ‘x’ hours to fix once the parts arrive. You will be honest and develop respect. Taking on the burden of saying it will be done on a certain date will eventually come around and bite you in the ass. Not everyone you rely on for parts is in the overnight delivery business.

It is very important to know your limitations so don’t bite off more than you can chew if you get busy. Also if the job is beyond your ability, don’t put it on the standard to do list. Tell your customer this and see if you can work a deal with him at a lower price. It will give you the chance to learn and still provide a service. Empower your customer with this choice and you can’t go wrong. Remember that every happy customer will sooner or later send you a new customer to help grow your business.

The next thing is advertizing your business, so you need to go where the customers are. Many small businesses have boards that you can advertise on. Putting up your business card or advertizement is free. Places that sell but not repair the things you fix is a good start.

Check back soon for part 6 or hit the subscribe button.

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