Make Big Money doing Small Repairs

Many auto repair jobs don’t require the overhead of an auto body shop. With a small investment in tools, you can travel to your customers. In car crazy Orange County, people need their car to be perfect. Those who you would think could wash their own car, will spend big bucks for a detail job. Even if they are working at the mall making fifty cents over minimum wage, they need a perfect ride. In other parts of the country your car is just a car so an imperfection is not a big deal–older cars are just dinged up.

The reality is that people just over spend on cars.  The guy checking you out out at the supermarket might be driving a BMW.  How can people afford these cars?  They lease.   That’s an opportunity to make some money.  The leasing company will go over the car with a fine tooth comb, and they will pay for every scratch, ding, and crack.  The opportunity is in fixing these problems.

Fix small dings: PDR Paintless Dent Removal

You can cash in on this insanity. Unlike other parts of the country, when they get a dent in their car, they will pay to have it fixed fast. The key is doing a paint-less repair. In the old days, you would sand out the dent, fill it with Bondo, apply more Bondo, then sand the area smooth. This was followed by repainting the area. But the new system involves just bending the sheet metal back in place. Any scratches can be dealt with by touch up paint. And insurance companies will often pay for this because it is cheaper than sending their clients to an auto repair shop. It’s easy for the customer, because you can do repairs at their home or place of employment. You don’t need a facility or staff. As with other businesses, the hardest thing you will have to do is marketing.

One of the big companies in this field is the Dent King of Huntington Beach. They have a whole system of education that teaches you how to get behind the dent and pop it out. They just don’t sell the tools and training, they sell the entire business. www.dingking.com/dent_removal

Their technique of getting behind the dent seems to be the best option. There are there other technologies. The first is a dent puller. You make a small hole in the dent and then use a tool to yank it out. The problem is that you have to make a small hole, and if you jerk the dent out too hard you could do other damage. The second technology is suction. Small dents are pulled out by a suction cup.

And the third technology works with glue. You glue a rod to the dented area and then pull the rod out. It is on a frame that’s against the sheet metal, or you use a reverse hammer. We found this more affordable system on line. But you are just paying for the system and not the “be your own boss” positive thinking, or the classroom instruction.

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Windshield Repair

This is similar to dent repair. You apply resin to cracks in a customer’s windshield, and use a vacuum to help it cure. You can make $100+/job. Insurance companies are happy to pay for this because they avoid paying for the entire windshield.

One company that sells a system is Liquid Resins http://www.liquidresins.com/ Kits start at around $300 and go to $1,000.

Another company selling kits for around $700-$2,500 is Glass technologies. http://www.gtglass.com/Windshield-Repair-Systems

There are less expensive kits on Amazon. If anyone has an an opinion on which kits are best, let us know.
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Buying a Franchise

As with most other businesses, your biggest challenge will be finding customers.  Even if you do a great job pulling dents and repairing windshields, you won’t get paid if people cannot find you.

SuperGlass Franchise   They do windshield repair, scratch removal, headlight restoration and window coating.  The cost to get into business ranges from $10,000 to $32,000.  According to their website “SuperGlass incorporates the most comprehensive windshield repair training and franchise setup system in the industry to ensure that you start your business with everything you need, including uniforms, printed literature and solid commercial accounts.”  The initial costs include a week of training in Florida; and a week of training with a SuperGlas trainer in your area.  Areas are exclusive–no other SuperGlass Franchisee can do business in your area.  They have a website which may drive some business to you, but they did not mention any additional advertising that they do for their franchisees.  So you have to decided if the value proposition is worth it.  On one hand it seems like a lot of money for training, uniforms, and equipment.  On the other hand, they might have a good system–we don’t know.

Safelite  This is the company you hear about on the radio.  It’s does not sell franchises.  But thanks to all their advertising, people know that you don’t have to replace your windshield if it has a small crack.

Bumper Doc They do paint-less dent removal and repair of plastic bumpers, headlight restoration, and widow tinting.  Mots cars now have plastic bumpers.   On their you-tube video they claim to have lower fees than other companies; and you don’t need automotive experience to get into this business, and in another video a franchisee said this is a business “anyone can do.”  It is not clear what it would cost to get started, or if they just want to deal with established auto body shops.  They support their franchisees with print and web marketing.

Dent Doctor   This franchise has been around since 1986.  They work directly with consumers, and work with insurance companies.  Insurance agents may recommend this service because it costs a lot less than going to a body shop, and the client does not need to rent a car.  They don’t give details on their website, but other websites have estimated start-up costs for this business between $47,500 and $161,000.  They take a royalty fee of 6% of gross sales.  And apparently require franchisees to have $20,000 in liquid assets and a new worth of at least $75,000.  The wide range of costs might be because they have a mobile service and a service that requires a shop.

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