So you are ready to start your own windshield repair business – congratulations! Once you get over the initial excitement, it’s time to make a comprehensive game plan for getting your business up and running. By using the Windshield Repair Business Checklist, the process of starting your own business is broken down into manageable pieces.
Download Business Checklist
There are tons of free and fee-based resources that will help you create a business plan, start a new business, and most importantly, run a successful business. Start with SCORE and the U.S. Small Business Administration. (SCORE offers individualized business startup assistance. To find a location nearest to you, navigate to the LOCATIONS tab on the top of the SCORE homepage) Note that steps 4-6 can be done anytime within your business startup process. We listed it at the beginning of your new business startup process because it is important that you enjoy repairing windshields and the only way to know if you are going to enjoy it is to try it.
By following these steps most entrepreneurs are able to start their new windshield repair business and begin earning income within 30-60 days. Stay focused and set goals beginning with completing everything on this checklist.
Contact Delta Kits if you need additional information about how to complete any of the steps below.
- Determine your business model Fleets, Retail (Cash and/or Insurance), Fixed Location, Mobile Location, Car Lots, or a combination of these.
- Analyze the profit potential of your preferred business model.
- Analyze the market potential in your desired area of operation.
- Purchase the windshield repair equipment and supplies necessary for your business model. Your Delta Kits representative can help you choose the right windshield repair system to fit “your” needs.
- Attend a Delta Kits training class. You have 30 days to return your Delta Kits equipment for a full refund so schedule your training class as soon as possible. This class is optional but highly recommended if quality is a high priority for you.
- Obtain a practice windshield and practice your repair skills until you are confident that you perform professional quality repairs.
- Create a business plan. Using a free template available from SCORE you can write a business plan in as little as one day. Creating a business plan will help you determine your objectives, set realistic goals and help keep you focused on reaching your objectives and goals. You will also need a business plan if you plan to borrow money to start or operate your new business.
- Register your business name with your state corporations division. Consult a tax professional to determine if your business should file as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-Corp or C-Corp. If you register as a corporation you will need to create the articles of incorporation for your business.
- Determine if you need an employer identification number (EIN), also called a tax identification number (TIN) or if you can simply use your social security number to file your taxes. The IRS has a checklist to help you with this task. If you need to apply for an EIN you can also find the application on the IRS website.
- Obtain a business license if required by your city, county or state. Please visit our State by State Business Startup Requirements page for links to federal and state requirements.
- Establish a business website (optional), phone number and email address. A website is recommended and does not need to be expensive. Having an email address that incorporates your URL projects a more professional image (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org is more professional than email@example.com)
- Purchase a fax machine or fax card and software in your computer giving you the ability to fax claims to insurance companies and TPAs.
- Create a logo for your business. There are many services and tutorials online for creating logos.
- Order a minimum of 500 business cards.
- Create an invoice template for your accounting software or have invoices printed.
- Create a chart of accounts and set up your accounting software or manual bookkeeping system if you will be doing your own bookkeeping. If you use, or plan to use, a professional accountant to file your taxes they can provide you with a chart of accounts.
- Sign up for the top four third party administrators (TPA) and learn how the process works by following this tutorial. Once you’re ready to make your first insurance call, download this step-by-step guide on making your first insurance call.
- Sign up for a preferred electronic data interchange (EDI) provider. DELTA KITS CUSTOMERS ONLY: Use the Delta Kits EDI Sign Up Form.
- Sign up for the windshield repair forum. The world’s largest Windshield Repair Forum is a great place to share ideas with other windshield repair professionals.
- Sign up at windshieldreferral.com, the only 100% free referral service for windshield repair professionals.
- Sign up for the Wise Crack, the Delta Kits newsletter to receive helpful windshield repair tips and monthly specials on windshield repair equipment and supplies.
- Connect with us by liking our facebook page and let us know how your repairs are coming along by posting photos to our wall. Plus enter to win giveaways and other fun contests.
- Consider adding signage to your vehicle if you will be providing a mobile windshield repair service.
- Create sales goals and a realistic budget based on the marketing strategy and profit projections outlined in your business plan.
Download Business Checklist
If you have any questions about completing any of these steps, feel free to contact us.