You've decided to start one of the most difficult, physically taxing, and mentally straining self-employment options available.
Not exactly what you expected in the first sentence, eh?
Well, this content is going to be a lot different from the Rah-Rah cheerleader nonsense you will find in AI-written articles across the internet about how easy and fun it is to start a Paintless Dent Repair business.
I, Dave O, have been doing this full-time for 13 years now. It's been rewarding; I've built a great life for myself and my family, provided a nice home, nice cars, vacations, and a very nice middle-class or upper-middle-class life depending on what area of the world or country you are in, cost of living, etc...
That being said, I'm going to start this by giving you the best piece of advice that you probably do not want to hear.
If you are starting Paintless Dent Repair solely because you think it will be one or more of the following:
• Fun to work on cool cars.
• Easy to grow and acquire new customers.
• Better and simpler than working a traditional job.
• Something that is quick to get into and turn into a reliable income.
• Better than working a job for others because you don’t like a traditional working environment and having a job and or having a boss telling you what to do.
Please do yourself a huge favor before you read any further or take any further action.
Go back and re-think every single reason why you are wanting to start a Paintless Dent Repair business or become a PDR Tech because if you are going to make this business actually work and make yourself a long-term career and full-time income out of this type of work, ALMOST NOTHING THAT IS WRITTEN ABOVE IN BULLET POINTS IS TRUE.
Let me break this down for you a little bit and explain.
“It will be fun to work on cool cars!”
Maybe. For a while. But in the beginning, you will very likely not be working on very many cool cars. For most PDR Techs a majority of their work is daily driven vehicles that need dents removed and reconditioning.
Ford F-150’s, Honda Accords, you know, the flashy stuff.
Especially when starting out and you are trying to build your customer list, you are not going to be able to be picky about what you work on. If the customer is willing to pay the amount you need to make to make a living, you are going to need the work and to build relationships. More on this much, much later.
Another side of this is that working on cool cars gets boring. I know you are probably sitting there reading this, thinking that can’t possibly be true. After 13 years of doing this, thousands of dents, hail cars, and large smashes later, I can tell you this statement is very true.
It all becomes metal, paint, glass, and trim. It is a job that needs to be completed in a certain amount of time to a certain expectation of service. Trust me on this or not, the cool car aspect of this will get old.
“It will be easy to acquire and serve new customers.”
Another fact that you want to believe going into this. “But Dave, I see cars every single day that need dents removed they could all be my customers!”. While that is technically true, the reality is much different.
Not everyone wants to or can afford to pay to have their dents removed. A lot of people who can afford to have their dents removed will still not have it done because of distrust of the process, not wanting the inconvenience of not having their car for any amount of time, or because they simply do not care about keeping their car nice. There are also dozens of other reasons why this is true.
While there is a large market for Dent Removal services, to think that acquiring a long-term loyal customer base that will sustain you with income from services sold is going to be fast and simple is bordering on delusional.
It will take many months, or likely years to build a large enough customer base to create a consistent full-time income doing this. It will not be easy or fast.
“This will be better and simpler than working a traditional job!”
There is a saying in the business world. Business owners are the only people who work 70 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.
While there are outliers due to scaling your business and building up systems and processes so that in the long term you are operating the business rather than working in it, unless you have 6+ figures of investment money starting out to build a large operation right off the bat, you are going to spend a lot of hours working in and on your business.
If you think this is going to be simple, you are wrong. If you are under the impression that you will be able to simply clock in and clock out of your business, doing the same things just like you would a traditional job, you are in for a huge surprise.
“This will be something that is quick to get into and will easily turn into a reliable income.”
This one is a little nuanced because very little of running a business is purely black and white.
While the cost of entry into Paintless Dent Repair isn't the most expensive, turning this into a reliable (meaning all year around) that pays your bills, taxes, retirement, covers all expenses, and gives you enough money to take the family to Disney World or your vacation destination of choice occasionally is a completely different animal.
It will very likely take you 3-5 years of hard, disciplined, smart work and development of your PDR business to get to where you have enough consistent income to do all the things in the paragraph above.
If you think that in 3-6 months you are going to be rolling in cash and living the life of your dreams, while that is technically possible it is extremely unlikely.
“It will be better than working a job for others because I don’t like a traditional working environment and having a job and or having a boss telling me what to do.”
A revelation most people are not wanting to hear: If you cannot handle working for a traditional boss, you are likely going to like your new boss even less.
That boss is going to be you.
That’s right, if you don’t a traditional working environment because you don’t like discipline, accountability, and working with others, this type of business is not going to be as easy as you think.
The main reason is not that you need to like being around other people. I’m an introvert myself and it can be a very strong personality type for successful self-employment.
The self-discipline part is what will make this extremely difficult. No one is going to be asking you to complete checklists, there will be no quarterly job performance meetings, no one is going to be double checking your work, or making sure that you have completed all of your tasks for the week.
It will be entirely up to you to set up the systems and processes to keep you productive and accountable, and to implement those systems and processes so that your business functions properly.
Ok, now that I have broken down that whole line of nonsense that leads so many people to start a business like this, I’m going to tell you some reasons why you should go into business for yourself:
1. You want the challenge of building a business.
2. You want the independence that can come from business ownership and self-employment.
3. Building a business is an opportunity to break through financial ceilings in your life, and you want the best life for yourself, for your family, and for those around you possible.
4. You embrace change and are willing to grow as a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. You are willing to learn from mistakes and accept that this will be a journey, not just a destination.
5. You enjoy working with your own two hands and accept that, especially during the initial growth phase of your business, you are going to be wearing all the hats.
While I could have very easily added this to the bullet points, it deserves its own little paragraph with an explanation. Please read this one hard and absorb it in. Don’t look over this. This will be vitally important to your growth in the future.
You want to be a business owner, not just a Paintless Dent Repair Technician.
If you simply want to be around cars, do not do this. It won’t pay off for you. Your joy, which is likely now a hobby, will turn into a job and into something that will bring bitterness and resentment later.
If you want to work on cars or around cars, there are tons of career fields, including working as a full-time PDR Tech for a reputable shop that might be up your alley (***Ask me how Dentless Touch can get you set up)
Do this because you want to own a business. That is the long-term play here that will lead to prosperity and abundance. That will lead you to the learning opportunities that will allow you to continue to grow and advance yourself long after you get bored and tired of making cars dent free.
Now next, let’s talk about the best tools to use.
Just kidding. We aren’t even close to that, and if you are all pumped for that e-mail, what I have to say about that topic is probably going to really disappoint you.
Because, again, we are doing this as a business. To make a profit and earn a good living, not to feed our excitement of a new interest. That’s for people who PDR cars as a hobby.
If you are ready to stop playing games and run your business like a real business that focuses on profits and long-term growth, contact Dentless Touch and see how we can assist you in your own franchise location.