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Inheriting a clock business. Tips?

Missrepairlady

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Jan 13, 2021
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Title explains mostly all. I’m inheriting a clock business. The original owner is retiring and I couldn’t bare to let the clock die with him so I decided to take it on. I’m extremely mechanical and know these clocks in and out. I’ve seen behind the scenes of the business but I repair only. I’ve never dealt with ordering parts that are constantly being discontinued or dealing with clients other than shipping issues.

Do you have any tips for me about running a clock business? I’m trying to get all the advice I can. I will be dealing with a mostly older clientele, I’m young. I don’t know if they will be as keen to trusting me.

I know this is an art that is slowly going out but I refuse to let it go away. The clocks are precious.
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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Dec 18, 2020
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Make everything as clear and transparent as possible. Put your rates on a pre-published price guide so it doesn't look like you ar making it up as you go along. Don't get pressured into doing stuff you are not comfortable with such as part-jobs "It only needs a...". Make sure your public liability and professional indemnity insurance is up to scratch. Photograph everything so you have a record as you go along. I would strongly suggest you have a set charge. i.e. published hourly rate. Certainly don't charge more for expensive clocks/wealthy people or vice-versa. Make sure the work and cost is agreed in writing before you start. Hope this helps. More if you need it.
 

shutterbug

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Order parts catalogs from the usual suppliers. Some have things that others don't. Familiarize yourself with those catalogs so you have an idea about what is available. Also, don't be afraid to "farm out" repairs that are above your level to other shops. You'll keep learning as you go, and it takes time. You'll have to establish yourself as a competent repairman in your own right, and positive word of mouth will get you the respect you need.
 

shutterbug

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Oooops! Repair woman :) Sorry! I don't see a need to inform a customer that I subcontracted a part to someone else. They bring me a clock to repair, and I return it repaired. If I have to have a part made somewhere, I do it. It's only going to come up once a year or less. I will say though that I only add the exact price I was charged for the repair. I don't try to make a profit on someone else's work :)
Typically I farm out things like electric motors, boards, gears - things like that. I don't have a mill.
 

howtorepairpendulumclocks

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:=) Totally agree about not profiting from sub-contract. On bigger jobs, I sometimes ask the client/customer to pay the contractor direct so there is transparency.
 

jmclaugh

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If you haven't already ask the owner you are taking over from about other clock repairers are in your area or check for yourself, it will give you an idea of the competition. Good luck.
 

Andy Dervan

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I sent you a private message. Click the envelope box next to your name to read it.

Andy Dervan
 

Royce

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Missrepairlady,
First and foremost, welcome to the Forum. I personally only restore clocks as a hobby but you will find, as are the previous posts, many very experienced and knowledgeable people on this forum whom are very willing to assist you with any related inquiries. Glad to see a young person keeping that business alive. Good luck with your new endeavor!!