Operating a mobile phone business is very profitable. It doesn’t matter you are in Europe, USA or in Asia, everyone goes to mobile repairing shops – especially iPhones.
All you need to operate such a business is to have the proper instruments, skills and a small shop. If you’re young, this is something you could do without much capital. (Read: How should a person in their early 20s invest their money?)
These days, breaking your mobile screen is commonplace and no matter what sort of gorilla glass you have in your smartphone screen, everyone is vulnerable to mobile screen mishaps (yes, that include accidental drops in toilet bowls).
There a few ways that you can start your cell phone repair business. The two main models that are popular are (1) having a storefront and (2) operating an online mobile repair business.
Let’s cover both of them in a bit of detail.
Have a Storefront for your Mobile Phone 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 ideal for the business owner who has a lot of start up capital and is able to take a risk.
The mobile 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 repair business is that you can only work on one device at a time. This will generate lower profit margins, but allow you to have better control over your schedule.
It 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.
Sell Other Products & Services
Moreover, in mobile repairing business, it’s better you also sell mobile phone accessories, smartphone cases, sell old mobiles and also buy old mobiles.
In fact, you can even run a business from your mobile device these days. Check out Entrepreneur’s How to Start a Business with No Money from your Smart Phone.
- Instagram Marketer
- App Developer / Tester
- Tech Support
And many more!
Location of your shop is important.
Location of the shop directly impact on business. but if you are planning to work online business. then you need a good website and marketing expertise as well.
If you don’t have a storefront, you can take orders online.
Have a few spare mobile phones for your customers to use while their phones are on repair.
Where do you want to do it? How can you ensure credibility and spare part availability?
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 secondhand phones as part of your mobile phone business plan as well.
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.
You want to make sure that you have enough parts to keep up with the demand of your service.
Depending on how much availability you have, you may want to start with 5-15 pieces of each item 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.
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 and amount of tools.
It is good to start with the basics like screwdrivers, spudgers, adhesive tape, scissors and tweezers. This cost is about $50.
That is all of the requirements needed to fix a phone. If you are starting a business though, you need to begin marketing that business to start receiving customers.
How to Market Your Cellphone 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 the target audience, start running ads and 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 type of advertising / marketing strategies which can suite your business. They can be:
1- Social Media
2- Word of Mouth
3- Search Engine Marketing (AdWords etc.)
4- Email Marketing
5- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Of course you must have a website because the world is constantly and rapidly shifting towards digital media. And if you don’t have a website, then you are not doing it right!
For more Marketing tips, check out our Marketing section.
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.