Thinking about opening a wheelchair repair business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Demand for Wheelchair Repair Services
Wheelchair repair businesses provide an essential service to nearly two million disabled consumers in the U.S. Without access to repair providers, these individuals would find it difficult (if not impossible) to maintain their mobility and protect the value of an asset worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
To successfully accommodate the demand for wheelchair repair services in your community, you'll need to be acquainted with the mechanics of multiple types of wheelchairs including manual, electric, all-terrain and sports wheelchairs as well as electric scooters.
Crafting a Service Model for Your Wheelchair Repair Startup
The best wheelchair repair startups prioritize excellent customer service. Keep in mind that your customers aren't typical consumers -- they depend on their wheelchairs to accomplish everyday tasks and to perform activities that essential to their livelihood. Even small hiccups in your service model can represent major disruptions in your customers' lives.
Every service and repair engagement should include a complete evaluation of the unit. You'll need to tighten loose nuts & bolts, inspect axles, inflate tires and thoroughly clean the wheelchair. Whenever possible, service should be provided at the customers' location for their convenience. If more extensive repairs are required, be prepared to provide the customer with a loaner unit until repairs are complete.
Tips for Staying Ahead of the Wheelchair Repair Marketplace
Like any other industry, the wheelchair repair industry is competitive. To compete effectively, you'll need to proactively educate yourself about developments in the disabled community and wheelchair designs.
Some wheelchair manufacturers offer training and events to educate repair techs about their latest models; for other models, you'll need to network with other wheelchair repair specialists to overcome new design challenges.
Following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, organizations such as the American Disabilities Association have sprung up to advocate for the rights of the disabled and to educate the public about ADA compliance issues. As a wheelchair repair startup, you'll want to connect with these organizations so you can be conversant in the issues that are important to your customers.
Creating Business Plans for a Wheelchair Repair Business
Does your wheelchair repair business have a business plan? If not, your company is lacking a critical business tool. If it's sound, your wheelchair repair company's business plan will serve as a blueprint for success.
Although many entrepreneurs write their own business plans, others outsource business plan creation to a professional business plan writer.
Time and time again, the best entrepreneurs we see rely on professionally crafted plans to guide their decision making. However, outsourcing doesn't completely eliminate your responsibilities in the writing process.
As the primary stakeholder in your wheelchair repair business, you will intentionally need to insert yourself in various stages of the plan's development.
Look Over Competitors
Prior to opening a wheelchair repair business in your area, it's a good idea to see how strong the competition is. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors near you. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of wheelchair repair businesses in your town.
How tough is the competition in the market you are considering? If the competition is too tough, you may need to think about starting the business in a different area or even start a completely different business instead.
Studying the Market
Once you've finished assessing the competion, you really ought to speak with 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, an entrepreneur who owns a wheelchair 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. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How do you locate somebody who runs a wheelchair repair business in another community?
Here's how we would do it. Try the useful link below and key in a random city/state or zipcode.
Is It Easier to Buy an Existing Wheelchair Repair Business?
Tough decisions are what business ownership is all about. And one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether to start a business from scratch or buy an existing wheelchair repair business.
Time and time again, we see entrepreneurs struggle to launch a new wheelchair repair business when they could have bought a first-rate wheelchair repair business. When you buy an established wheelchair repair business, you gain access to a functional business operation with a customer base and a steady revenue stream.
Depending on your business goals, you may have no choice but to start a wheelchair repair business from scratch. However, in today's business-for-sale marketplace, there is an abundance of wheelchair repair businesses worth considering.
Franchising May Be a Better Way to Go
The odds of surviving in business zoom upwards if you opt for franchising rather than going it alone.
If you planning on starting a wheelchair repair business, you should investigate whether buying a franchise could increase your chances of success.
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 currently own a wheelchair repair business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to wheelchair repair businesses, this isn't the right place for you. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.