Wondering how to start a dairy equipment repair business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Outlook for Dairy Equipment Repair Professionals
As of 2009, there were 65,000 milk cow operations in the U.S. -- a significant drop from the 97,000+ dairy operations in 2001. But over the same time period, both the number of milk cows and milk production realized steady gains, revealing a trend toward larger (but fewer) dairy farms in the U.S.
For dairy equipment repair businesses, the movement toward larger farms in the U.S. dairy industry is a mixed bag. Although big dairy operations usually employ their own repair specialists, corporate farms may also be fertile soil for outsourced repairs and service when it's time to manage labor expenses.
In the current economic climate, startup dairy equipment repair businesses must make a strong case for cost savings through outsourcing and be equipped to handle a variety of repair and service categories including milking systems, feeding systems and slurry (manure removal) systems.
Dairy Equipment Dealers vs. Repair Specialists
Many dairy equipment repair providers are dealers who offer service contracts and warranty repair on the equipment they sell. The dealer model allows entrepreneurs to expand their revenue opportunities, but it also requires a level of upfront investment that is beyond the reach of many startup entrepreneurs.
Since raising startup capital can be a challenge, a better approach may be to specialize in repair and service only. If you are a skilled repair and maintenance service provider, you can operate a specialized startup out of your home. Prospective customers won't care as much about your base of operations as they will about your reputation for providing exceptional repair and maintenance.
Revenue Generating Tips for Dairy Equipment Startups
Although there are several ways new dairy equipment repair companies can capture market share, one of the most reliable ways to generate revenue is to focus your marketing efforts on dairy operations that lack full-time maintenance personnel.
Dairy farmers often prefer to handle their own repair and maintenance. But if you can create a sound business model that saves dairy producers time and money, you can achieve traction with customers, especially now that smaller farms are conscious of the need to ramp up production to compete with larger dairy farms.
Another revenue strategy is to contact equipment manufacturers about the possibility of becoming a certified repair provider. If the manufacturer or dealer has a limited number of repair providers in your area, your startup could be the beneficiary of recurring revenue through warranty referrals.
Best Practices for Dairy Equipment Repair Company Business Plans
The idea of writing a business plan is intimidating to most aspiring dairy equipment repair business owners. If it's comprehensive and well-written, however, your business plan will serve as a strategic anchor point and a calling card for external stakeholders.
After the plan has been completed, its effectiveness will largely depend on what you do next.
A business plan distribution strategy represents the backend of your business planning requirements. Generally, effective distribution models include the incorporation of tracking systems into the company's startup plan.
Investigate the Competition
Prior to launching a dairy equipment repair business in your area, it's worthwhile to see what the competition looks like. Use the link below to find competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of dairy equipment repair businesses near you.
Is the established competition doing a good job? It's important to understand their strengths and weaknesses and think through how you'll stake up against those established businesses.
Learn from Others Who Are Already In This Space
After you've evaluated your local competitors, it's essential that you learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a dairy equipment repair business in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs If you are persistent, you can find a business mentor who is willing to help you out.
Do you know how to find a dairy equipment repair business manager in another community?
It's not that hard. Just use the handy link below and enter in a random city/state or zipcode.
Branding Advantages of Buying a Dairy Equipment Repair Business
As an emerging dairy equipment repair business startup, your company are at a competitive disadvantage because you brand is just beginning to establish an identity in the marketplace.
To compensate, one of the techniques entrepreneurs use is to buy a business to get an established brand. As a startup, the best you can hope for is to gradually develop brand awareness over a period of months and years.
However, a dairy equipment repair business acquisition can put you at the helm of a brand that is already highly trusted by your target market.
Don't Forget About Franchising As an Option
You should know that your odds of being a successful business owner greatly improve when you franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
As part of your process in starting a dairy equipment repair business, you may want to investigate whether buying a franchise could alleviate your startup process.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing dairy equipment repair business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to dairy equipment repair businesses, this isn't the right place for you. Try these resources instead:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.