How To Start a Phone Repair Business: 4 Steps to Success

Muhammad Saqib

February 20, 2024

How To Start a Phone Repair Business: 4 Steps to Success

97 percent of Americans own a cell phone. That’s over 325 million people and 325 million phones that will inevitably need repairs at some point. 

All those broken phones equal an excellent opportunity for someone looking to start a business. Opening your own phone repair shop requires relatively low startup costs but offers high earning potential. So, how do you get started?

This article answers how to start a phone repair business and covers the key steps to set yourself up for success in this rapidly growing industry. Let’s get started! 

How To Start a Phone Repair Business 

The global demand for phone repairs is consistent and not a need going anywhere anytime soon. Common issues like cracked screens, faulty ports or buttons, and water damage create prime business opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs in the electronics repair business. 

A phone repair shop generates revenue by charging customers a fee to diagnose issues and complete fixes. Repair costs vary based on the phone make or model and the extent of damage, ranging from basic screen replacements to complex motherboard repairs.

Related Read: 5 Marketing Tips for Repair Stores

In addition to one-time repair jobs, many cell phone repair shops boost their revenue by selling additional products and accessories like phone cases, screen covers, and other items with high profit margins. Extended warranties, damage insurance plans, and service contracts also deliver ongoing value from existing customer relationships.

The relatively low startup costs of tools and small inventory list make phone repair an accessible industry to launch into. However, investing in the right supporting software from day one is critical if you want your store to stand the test of time. 

An all-in-one point of sale (POS) system delivers convenience for customers to book appointments and make payments — all while managing all internal processes from inventory to payroll. With the help of a specialized POS system, you can see the metrics that matter and grow your business sustainably. With this in mind, let’s dive into the four steps every aspiring phone repair shop owner must follow to start their own business in this growing industry. 

See How Our POS Strengthens Repair Shop Operations

Step 1: Learn Technical Phone Repair Skills 

Step one of how to start a phone repair business should be fairly obvious: You must learn how to repair electronics and mobile devices. You could outsource your repairs to a third party, but if you can diagnose issues and perform quality repairs in-house, you save money and resources you’d otherwise spend cutting in that third party repair shop. 

Unsure of how to learn the basics of phone repair? Search YouTube for phone model-specific tutorial videos on common fixes like cracked screens, charging port replacements, etc. Channels like Fixez and PhoneRepairGuru offer detailed visual walkthroughs.

Another great repair tutorial resource is iFixit, which offers thousands of written and video guides for repairing Macs, iPhones, and Android devices. You can learn skills like soldering components, fixing software issues, replacing batteries and screens, and general troubleshooting best practices.

These resources can help you understand the basics, but if you want to take your skills up a notch, you may have to think beyond free online tutorials. Resources like Udemy offer highly-rated classes for mobile repair technicians just getting started. More advanced intensive training programs are also worth exploring if you want to confidently perform complex component-level phone repairs. Mobile Repair Institute offers virtual and in-person classroom options with practice gear provided to cement hands-on skills.

Finally, getting certified also validates your expertise to customers. Earn an Associate Certified Electronics Technician (CETa) credential or iPhone Certification from industry associations like Independent Repair Provider (IRP) programs. Prominently display badges on your website and in-store once qualified.

Investing in technical knowledge early pays dividends with higher quality repairs, faster turnarounds, and satisfied repeat customers. So focus on building your repair skills before getting too far along your journey. 

Step 2: Create a Business Plan 

Once you understand your industry, your next critical step is to create your business plan. This plan helps you determine the right focus area for your business, giving you the tools you need to set your business up for success. 

First, research your area's most common phone issues and costs to decide which repair services to offer. Display cracks, charging port malfunctions, battery replacements, and water damage are the most frequent and economical fixes smartphone owners seek in most markets. 

Once you’ve identified the services you intend to offer, vet out suppliers for the parts and products you intend to stock in your repair shop. Use these suppliers’ pricing to help estimate your repair costs.

Related Read: 104 Small Business Resources & Tools You Need This Year

Next, set competitive service prices based on rates other local repair shops charge for similar phone makes and issues. As a newcomer, consider pricing 10 to 20 percent below competitors on key offerings to attract customers initially. Be careful not to price yourself out of business, though! Ensure your prices still allow healthy profit margins per device based on your expense estimates.

Finally, map out one, two, and three-year financial projections. Estimate monthly overhead like retail space or home office rental, payroll based on staffing requirements, advertising, supply purchases, and other core business expenses so you know how much capital is required to keep operations running. 

Compare your monthly costs to revenue forecasts based on serving X customers per week at an average sale price. These calculations give you realistic profit/loss expectations and help potential investors gain confidence that your shop is positioned for a successful launch and sustainable growth. 

Step 3: Set Up Your Phone Repair Workshop 

An efficient, organized repair workshop is the foundation for quality service and profitability, so determine your startup costs wisely.

First, pick an affordable storefront location with decent foot traffic. Spots near college campuses or malls are ideal spots to begin your search. Aim for a 500- to 1000-square-foot shop to minimize rent and renovation costs needed to get open for business, and remember to budget for at least one to two months of full expenses before counting on revenue to start offsetting those costs. 

Next, invest in the repair tools and equipment your technicians will need. Select high-quality tools rather than buying gimmicky, dirt-cheap kits. A few high-quality precision screwdrivers, spudgers, tweezers, clamp sets, magnifying glasses/macro lenses, multi-bit kits, and ESD mats form a versatile starter toolbox for common fixes without breaking the bank. 

Related Read: Top 6 Important Mobile Phone Repairs This Year

Once you have your basics covered, you can level up with more advanced gear like thermal imaging cameras, hot air stations, inspection microscopes, and soldering irons if you want to perform component-level board repairs. This equipment allows the intricate work needed for data recovery or iOS jailbreaking services, for example. 

Pro Tip: Consider buying used repair equipment initially to save on startup costs. 

You’ll also need to organize parts inventory components like replacement screens, batteries, and charger ports to locate them easily for each repair job. Categorize uniquely by device make and model, log purchased and used stock, and integrate the system with your accounting platform to calculate costs per repair accurately.

Using an integrated retail point of sale system like CellSmart POS helps tie this together by tracking inventory levels in real time while letting you book repair jobs. This integration prevents overselling or missing parts that cause delays. Our platform handles warehousing, purchasing, payroll, and more with powerful reporting, giving you everything you need to get your shop off the ground — and keep it in the air. 

Step 4: Open and Market Your Repair Business 

Last but not least, you need to launch your store — and you need customers.

Start by optimizing your website for local SEO so people can easily find your store's services and prices when searching for repairs in your area. Use geo-targeted keywords like “phone screen repair near me” in content.

Get listed on directories like Google My Business and Yelp to appear in map results. Run promotions offering first-time customer discounts or free diagnostics to incentivize visits initially.

Partner with nearby retail stores, restaurants, and community boards to cross-promote. Offer their customers 10 percent off or other perks for checking you out. You can also talk to local partners to see if they'll display your business cards or refer walk-ins with broken devices. 

Build a social media presence showcasing great repair work and happy customers. Run hyperlocal ads targeted to area residents searching for common fixes. 

Finally, ensure that your store’s chosen technology offers features and tools that help your workflows and marketing efforts rather than hinder them. CellSmart POS integrates repairs, inventory, CRM, and payments so you can focus on growth.

With the right marketing plan and tools in place, you'll be your community's first pick when accidents happen and screens crack or batteries die.

How To Start a Phone Repair Business: The Best Software Solution 

Following the four steps outlined in this post, you can get your cell phone repair business started on the right foot. However, you need the right tools and systems to ensure you have everything you need to maximize your chances of success. A robust point of sale solution is the most important of these tools and systems. But what is the best point of sale system for your repair shop?

No single solution fits every shop's unique needs and priorities. However, if you are an independent cell phone and electronics repair shop looking for a fully customizable, all-in-one solution, CellSmart POS might be the right solution for you. 

CellSmart POS elegantly combines inventory and order management, streamlined tech workflows, secure payment processing, and detailed sales analytics in one platform. Our customized POS software also provides loyalty programs, business dashboard reporting, automated promotions, and more to drive customer retention and referrals.

Discover why leading repair shops rely on their unified platform tailored for parts management, purchase orders, layaway payment plans, and technician compensation tracking. Schedule a demo with CellSmart POS today. 

See How Our POS Strengthens Repair Shop Operations

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