How to Start a Profitable Mobile Phone Repair Business in 2021

Is repairing mobile phones a profitable business? -

Operating a mobile phone repair business can be very profitable. It doesn’t matter where you’re based at – whether you’re in Europe, USA or in Asia. 

Here’s the thing: Almost everyone uses a mobile phone repair service sometime in their lives, especially if they’re using Apple iPhones and Samsung mobile phones. 

This article teaches you how to start your very own mobile phone repair business with little experience and a small investment. 

We even provide you with a cell phone store business plan with step-by-step planners to make your dream of starting your own business come true. 

How you make your profits are through repeated business from your clients who then use word-of-mouth to help you scale your business. Not to mention that mobile phone repairs can come with high profit margins. 

All you need to operate such a profitable mobile phone repair business is to have the proper instruments, skills and a small shop (or even online or a work-from-home model). If you’re young, this is something you could do without much capital. 

If you’re looking to build more than a small business and you want to learn how to build a startup, check out our free step-by-step article – Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Startup – The Strawberry Startup Method. 


Why Mobile Phone Businesses are Naturally Profitable: There’s Always Demand 

The mobile phone business is on a growth trajectory thanks to the constant introduction of new phone models – not just by the big brands in the likes of Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi or Oppo. 

What makes mobile phone repair businesses a profitable venture is the competition between these mobile phone brands that makes them more compelling to users. 

Hence, allowing yourself to specialise in the more profitable models allows you to be an expert in repairing that particular brand, hence getting a steady stream of revenue. 

Moreover, breaking your mobile screen is commonplace and no matter what sort of gorilla glass anyone has installed on their smartphones, everyone is vulnerable to mobile screen mishaps (yes, that include accidental drops in toilet bowls).


How does a Mobile Repair Shop make money?

Through franchise agreements of selling phones: To open an authorised mobile shop (depends on the area you’re based at), you have to contact your local distributor of the mobile phones you want to sell, repair and you’ll be given a franchise form. 

Most of the time, they will have a sales rep who will go through the Dos and the Don’ts when handling their products, especially when it comes to service agreements. 


Quick Services & Advanced-level Repairs: There are not many mobile service centers out there that offer advanced-level repairs, or repairs that happen on the spot. Think of the problems that consumers face when they damage their phones – they want a quick fix! 

Stand out from the other mobile repair shops by offering highly specialised mobile phone repair services, with top-notched customer service, good quality service parts and knowing where the exact problem is. 

The last thing a customer wants is to walk into a mobile repair shop, and come with a phone that has more damage done during the inspection process!


Choose One: Physical Storefront or Online Mobile Repair Business (Both complements each other but we recommend going online)

There are a few ways that you can start your cell phone repair business, but there exists two main models that are popular:

(1) Having a physical storefront 

(2) Operating an online mobile repair business.

Let’s cover both of them in a bit of detail – note that both can be easily written using our cell phone store business plan later in this article.

Mobile Phone Repair Shop Location

Have a Storefront for your Mobile Phone Repair Business

The storefront is the best way to start branding your product. It shows legitimacy and puts trust in the minds of your customers. 

However, the start up costs of starting your own store are a lot larger than that of a mobile repair business.

Having a storefront allows you to keep all of your inventory in one place as well as allowing you to work on multiple devices at the same time. This may be alright for business owners who have some capital to burn and are able to handle more risks. 

The mobile phone repair business is great for low capital business owners and offers your customer convenience. It is also good for developing relationships with your customers and is great for referrals.

The downside of the mobile phone repair business is that you can only work on one device at a time. This will generate lower profit margins, but allows you to have better control over your schedule.

It really depends on your situation. For those who have never run a business before and only have a little bit of money to work with, the mobile repair business is probably the way to go.

We recommend that you use technology to your advantage – read further to learn how to effortlessly manage your parts and tools inventory, ensuring that you’ve a constant stream of orders and how to hire employees for your profitable mobile phone repair business. 


Location of your physical shop is Important 

Skip this section if you’re planning to build your mobile phone repair business from home (which we recommend)

Basically, you want to be wherever your customers are. 

If you’re targeting working professionals looking for a quick fix for their broken phone screens, then locate your store in the business district or in a small shop near to where they stay (usually fringes of the city). 


Have a few spare mobile phones for your customers to use while you’re repairing their phones

I suggest that you have a few cheap smartphones which you can give as a backup for the customers to use while their phone is being repaired. Transfer the contacts and the SIM card into that backup phone.

Then you have met their immediate needs of having a replacement phone. Consider selling second-hand phones as part of your mobile phone business plan as well. 


How much you can make in the Mobile Phone Repair Business

The average salary for cell phone repair technicians (employees at repair shops and retail stores) hover around $30,000. With commissions and bonuses thrown into the mix, expect about 25% more, at about $38,000.

However, expect to earn more at some hotspot locations where the average cell phone repair tech salary in San Francisco is about $38,000, at least 25% higher than the national salary average! 

Remember the Apple Geniuses? The ones who work at the Apple stores as Apple repair technicians are the ones leading the pack with an average annual salary of $48,000!


Pay your business partners and get them to help you out

Plug into the supply chain where you can call your spare parts dealer who will send them through your local bus driver or someone who travels everyday. Pay them something. Never ask for free help. Have a few basic parts like batteries etc.

But who will repair them? If you can, good. But if you can’t, then learn. You can’t afford to depend on another mechanic who thinks that you are dependent on him. He should feel that you are providing him the job , though you can do it yourself.


How to Maintain Your Parts Inventory: Label, label, label

You want to make sure that you have enough parts to keep up with the demand of your service – this is called safety stock. 

Depending on how much availability you have, you may want to start with 5-15 pieces of each item that you wish to repair.

This allows you to continue to serve your customers while waiting on more parts to arrive. 

This cost can range between $100 – $500, not to mention that these parts do take up space. Hence, always plan to have a small store room in your mobile repair shop to store these parts properly. 

Just as needles and pins are to a seamstress, your plethora of parts and tools need to be kept in an inventory list, especially when this list is exhaustive. 

Label your boxes, place them on well-labelled shelves at a specific storage space. Separate new items from the faculty and used ones – note that used items can still be used, especially if they’re expensive. Otherwise, the metal parts can be melted down and sold. 

Did you know that poorly organised inventory systems not only result in lower productivity, but it results in a foggier mind? You definitely don’t want your head to be clouded when getting new customers onboard for your cell phone repair business. 

When you’ve all your parts and tools well-organised, this can increase your sales conversions, motivate your workers (with a clean and organised workspace), and increase the lead time it takes to service your customers – who wouldn’t want their phones to be repaired quickly?


Where to Get Your Tools & Parts for your Mobile Phone Repair Business 

The question of how you can get the right mobile parts depends on your local network of suppliers. 

Usually the bigger tech companies are interested in ensuring that their customers are able to get their phones fixed easily – either through their own official repair stores, or affiliated networks of stores, or simply unaffiliated mobile phone stores. 

If you’re looking to build something other than a traditional mobile repair business, here’s how to check if your startup idea already exists and also to future proof your idea – what if someone steals my startup idea?


How to Maintain Your Tools Inventory

Now that you have all of the parts you need to repair the phones you have chosen to fix, you need to make sure that you have the right tools.

There are many cell phone repair kits out there, but each device requires a different type of tools, especially when the cell phones are manufactured by different companies. 

It is good to start with the basics like screwdrivers, spudgers, adhesive tape, scissors and tweezers. This cost should not be more than $100, and can be used as general tools for your household repair (ie. no asset depreciation). 

What’s more important is that you learn from a veteran in the mobile phone repair business of how to use these tools properly, and the proper fixes to your customers’ phone. 

If you make a mistake on your customer’s phone (which could be a present from a beloved someone), you may be made to compensate your customer, draining your profitability further. 

Remember that the mobile phone repair business relies on complicated parts that are intended to replace certain faculty parts, so invest in quality control and checks of your tools and parts. 

Let Software Do the Work for You and Your Business

Once again, use technology to your advantage – there’s countless free software out there that helps with inventory management for small businesses. 

Technology helps you to reduce errors (which brings about both tangible and intangible costs = time and money), as well as helps you to save labour hours in recording all processes and transactions. 

Start with the basic software, then move on to getting automated reports, invoicing payments and even automated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that allow you to follow up with both your suppliers and customers. 


Earn Additional Revenue by selling other products and services

Moreover, in the mobile phone repairing business, you should expand your offerings to selling mobile phone accessories, smartphone cases, and old mobile phones.

In fact, you can even run a business from your mobile device these days – build a website with a well-converting landing page, run ads and start driving customers to leave their email addresses or give you a call if they need their mobile phones fixed.

Once you’ve generated a pool of customers, you can be sure that your customers, who by then are pleased with your service, will be valuable ambassadors generating word-of-mouth publicity for your mobile phone repair business. 

If you’re looking to sell a mobile-related service (which you can earn a higher margin as compared to just running a mobile phone repair business), look at expanding your skills to learn:

  1. Instagram Marketer
  2. App Developer or Mobile Testers
  3. Tech Support
  4. Telemarketing

How to Market Your Cell Phone Repair Business

Before you start advertising your cell phone repair business, you need to sit down and define your target audience clearly.

A lot of people make this mistake in the early stages. They don’t define their target audience, start running ads and complain that they don’t get enough conversions. Even if you are not opting for paid advertising, a specific target market is mandatory.

Once you have clearly defined your potential customers, now is the time for choosing from different types of marketing strategies which suits your business acumen and preference. They can be:

1- Social Media

2- Word of Mouth

3- Search Engine Marketing  (Google Adwords, Bing Ads etc)

4- Email Marketing

5- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – learn how to build your own SEO agency

Of course you must have a website because the world is rapidly shifting towards Digital – especially after the coronavirus literally shut businesses down with lock downs, quarantines and all. 

If you don’t have a website, then you are missing out on opportunities! The first thing that a customer would do is to Google about you (this is called the Zero Moment of Truth). Get yourself listed on Google My Business – a free service by Google themselves. 


What Type of Phones Should You Repair?

You should chose which phones to repair based on the demographic of your area. The easiest phones to get started with are iPhones as they require little experience to fix and minimal parts and tools.

However, Android phones control most of the market share of devices on the market. The big 3 brands out there are Samsung, HTC and LG. These require a bit more equipment and experience to fix though.

Another brand that receives a small amount of business are Windows phones.

In a future article we will cover how to get started on practicing the repair of each individual device and where to find resources to fix them.

For now, explore the options of parts and tools costs associated with each and see which one suits your business model the best.


Earn Additional Revenue by selling other products and services

Moreover, in the mobile phone repairing business, you should expand your offerings to selling mobile phone accessories, smartphone cases, and old mobile phones.
In fact, you can even run a business from your mobile device these days.

If you’re looking to sell a service (which you can earn a higher margin as compared to just running a mobile phone repair business), look at expanding your skills to learn:

  1. Instagram Markeer
  2. App Developer or Mobile Testers
  3. Tech Support
  4. Telemarketing


Take the Day Off While Planning For Your New Business Venture 

Rome was not built in a day. Just as how employees are taking a mental health day or a just a sick day, taking time off can just be the thing to help you balance your life, find the distraction away from work and recharge for you to start building your business. 

Avoid working during your vacation. It can do more harm than good, and you’re at risk of burnout. Worse, you become disillusioned of building your mobile phone repair business. Remember that it’s a process, not an end. 

So take the day off and rejuvenate yourself. This will make you healthier (your body will thank you for that), more satisfied with your life, calmer in your thoughts and more focused at how you will want to bring your business forward. 

Research also supports this – taking time off shows that you’re more likely to do high-quality work, so relax with your family, go on a great first date (if you’re single), make new friends and catch a movie.


Conclusion: Start Building Your Mobile Phone Repair Business

The success of your mobile phone repair depends heavily on how much value you bring to your customers, your marketing plan and your customer service. Work on improving your skills, your marketing plan so you don’t miss out on growing your very own business from home. 

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