I invested some time (3 months) and money (home study training, promotional materials, and inventory) into learning to be an appliance repair technician and starting my own business.
Now that I’m actually doing it for a living, I thought I ought to review my choice and see how I feel about it.
Well, here are some of the good things about it:
- I’m Running My Own Business. I never liked working for somebody else and being subject to their decisions. I would way rather be in charge. I also want to keep all the money myself, and not be dependent on someone else for a raise. The harder I work, the more money I make.
- It is Challenging and Keeps My Interest. If I had chosen, for example, to become a handyman instead, the learning curve would have been quicker, but over the long haul, it would have become routine. I am always learning new things in appliance repair, and it is really satisfying to solve a technical problem successfully.
- I Love My Customers. The people whose appliances I service are really, really nice. Some of them give me tips on the way out the door, and I’ve had some even give me homemade cookies. One of the best parts of this job is meeting people, solving their problems and making them happy.
- I’m Proud of What I Do. My father-in-law is impressed by how I started up my own appliance repair business in just 30 days. My brother and sister think it’s cool I am working for myself. My wife, of course, loves the income, especially in this terrible economy. I actually amazed myself that I could do it so quickly (of course I took a shortcut with Uncle Harry’s training).
- It Gets Easier Every Day. When I first started out, I didn’t even know the basics off the top of my head, and I needed to research reference material for the most common repairs. Now I’m pretty comfortable with those same repairs (like I know a warm refrigerator issue is usually a defrost failure or sealed system failure) and I can get in and out of the call faster, and often in one visit if I have the part in my inventory.
Some of the things that need work:
- The Learning Curve. With all the makes, models, types of appliances and years of technology changes, I couldn’t wait to get to that comfort point where I felt like I knew what I was doing most of the time. I just armed myself with good research materials and support (Uncle Harry was a big part of this), until I had serviced enough machines to be more familiar with them on my own.
- More Control of the Call Flow. Usually, I’m wall-to-wall busy, and sometimes there’s a lull in the action. I love it when I’m slammed because there’s no better feeling than making money. Then there will be times when calls will taper off, and I’ll have downtime. I use it to get a breather, for one thing, and study more about questions that have come up in the repairs I’m doing, or gaps I’ve identified in my knowledge. Then I can use that information when I get slammed again.
I guess the point is, I enjoy appliance repair. I would encourage anyone looking into it to read my startup blog to help them decide.