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Starting a trade repair workshop


#1

Hi,

I am looking into opening a trade repair workshop from home here in
the U.K. I envisage recieving and sending parcels of jobs via
courier or pick up from a p.o. box at the sorting office.

Can anyone with experience of this let me know about a few of the
pitfalls/things to avoid in a venture of this type,in particular
insurance,take in proceedures etc, in fact anything you think might
help.

I would at first still be working full time in my employers workshop,
leaving evenings and weekends to do other peoples repairs,hopefully
in time getting enough work to go full time with my own business.

Thanks in advance for any replies,
Steven


#2

First thing you should do is check with your present employer to see
if he minds that you become a competitor. That may be your biggest
problem for now.


#3

My only advice is get paid. Either on COD basis or when they ship the
next package make sure there is payment enclosed and do not let it
slide. Some people will hang you out to dry for up to 6 months if you
let them.

Good luck and take care, Paul LeMay.


#4

Steven

Some stores would just never send their jewellery to a P.O. Box
number. It would be better if you just give them an address to send
it to…then say it’s at suite number ?

Get your items insured and covered by “Jewellers Mutual”. If some
gem stones get broken, it would be your worth while to have a basic
supply on hand, just in case. I even had a small range of diamonds
also “just in case”…things can and will happen ! I had about 8
carats of diamonds and over 2,000 synthetic cz’s and genuine stones
just for this “just in case situation”. Its kind of rough to be
caught on the weekend with no supplier at hand.

I would refer to the pricing structure book written by Americas
ultra-famous “David Geller”. This book alone is like a bible to many
stores and workshops.

Do not go cheap just to get a client. If you do, you’ll never be
able to raise your prices afterwards.

Hope this works for you. In this economy I wish you tunz
of luck and admiration.

Gerry!


#5
I envisage recieving and sending parcels of jobs via courier or
pick up from a p.o. box at the sorting office. 

I can’t speak for practices in the UK but on this side retailers
giving you work would like to see who you are. They like free pickup
and delivery…in person. Or at least for you to have a location to
which they can send one of their people during business hours for
delivery.

And they want it cheap, which might be half the reason for personal
delivery…no shipping charges.


#6

Thanks for the replies,very helpful. I would only be taking repairs
from outside my current employers town, though i realise he could
still consider this competion. I would be going to meet store owners
personally and inviting them to my workshop,i don’t think anyone
would be happy to send their customers work through the post to a
complete stranger. How do you work with the stores regarding their
take in proceedure as in my and i’m sure your experience not
everthing that needs doing is spotted on the initial take in?

Thanks again for your advice,
Steven


#7

I advise all tradeshops to get a signed paper to charge the owners
credit card when you deliver their work. You get paid and they can
pay later, pay a smaller amount later and get POINTS

All the while, you get paid and they don’t have to pay you right
away.

David
David S. Geller
JewelerProfit


#8

Hi Steven,

How do you work with the stores regarding their take in proceedure
as in my and i'm sure your experience not everthing that needs
doing is spotted on the initial take in? 

While the stores should have their own take in procedure that
documents the condition of the item it probably would be a good idea
for you to have a ‘take in procedure’ for things that come from the
stores.

One way to do that would be to photograph the item. There’s a very
nice camera microscope that attaches to the usb port of a pc
available. You can see it at the following web site:
thelittlecameras.com.

Usual disclaimers, just a very satisfied user.

Dave


#9

In my experience the key to succesful trade work is communication.
Hopefully you can train the sales staff to work with the customers in
the same way you would if you were face to face with the customer.
Unfortunately, most stores have a commisson structure that puts
repairs pretty low on the pay scale and the sales staff doesn’t take
much interest in it. If you have an opportunity to do a training
session with the staff on how to look at repairs, find out why a
stone is loose, see where else a shank or chain may break, know when
a new head is needed instead of a prong tip… this can save you alot
of problems and extra phone calls. You can also teach them how
repairs can be profitable for both you and the sales staff.