Starting Your New Windshield Repair Business

Post your windshield repair tips, questions, advice! Note there is a sub-forum specifically for business development questions.

what kit to start with

Postby Coitster » October 6th, 2003, 6:41 pm

Hello everyone,
I wanted to put in a new post for the new people who are just getting started in the windshield repair business. I wanted to go over some basics for people that don't know what they need or what to do. First thing you need to do is get a kit. Now there are lots of manufacturers out there, I personally like the Delta Kit because it is easy to use and easy to understand. They have good service and are very helpful. Also they don't cost you an arm and a leg to get started. Here we go.

1st get a kit with two pedestals. A lot of guys get one, and I personally think that you need more than one. You are going to come across so many times windshields that have more then one chip and unless you want to be there half the day, you will want to work on more than one chip at the same time, or you are going to be working at a fleet account and have multiple vehicles. Fleets usualy want to get their vehicles in the field asap, so they don't want you taking forever. So my two cents is get a kit with multiple pedestals.

2nd you are going to need some things to run your business. You need a fax machine. This is a must, now you can use a computer program like winfax for incoming and creating outgoing faxs that you make up on your computer. I personally have both. I like to fax newsletters to my current customers. You are going to need a computer for insurance billing and bookkeeping. Voicemail so your customers can get a hold of you (Fleet and retail). I also recommend getting a computer program called ACT! 6. Many businesses will tell you but so few people actually do it, but track your customers. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Also if you plan on doing any insurance work which is where the money is at you have 2 choices. You can use Delta Kits ACT system, its a turn key system that costs you 15 dollars per invoice if you don't want to have to bill insurance companies yourself. All you need is a fax to do it, but hey some people still want to use it. The other option is to do it yourself.

You are going to need 4 packets to get you set up. Call Safelite and have them send you a packet to get on their list. Then call lynx and have them send you 3 packets. 1 for state farm, 1 for allstate and 1 more for lynx in general. Lynx will charge you a one time fee of $100 dollars to process it. When you do a insurance job they will fax you an authorization sheet that will have the fax number and price list. Extremely simple, up to you if you want to do it yourself. I do mine myself. Safelite you don't have to fax, you can go onto their website and do everything online. Now to get onto those lists you will have to have liablity insurance valued at $500,000 and you can get that easy. Look at previous postings on this board.

3rd now you have to get a marketing plan. Sounds simple don't it. It ain't, trust me. You are going to have to work. Don't let people convince you that any type of business is easy. Simple yes, easy no, you are going to have to work. Spend time going out and getting fleet accounts, talking to retail customers (my personaly favorite). Fleets are any company with vehicles. Warning stay away from car dealers or used car lots. Trust me, they suck, and don't have any loyalty to you. Get shirts with your company name on them. Nothing is more unprofessional then walking into a business to talk to the fleet manager and you are wearing a shirt that doesn't let them know who you are.

Thats all I am going to cover in this message. I am sure their are lots of other guys have been in this business for a while that have lots to add too this. Hope some of this helps.
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check out some past posts

Postby Delta Kits » October 6th, 2003, 8:07 pm

Coitster,

First of all, thank you for an extremely well thought out post. It is great to see people on this forum truly trying to help their fellow repair techs. Couple of comments, then i'll get out of the way, as i'm sure more techs would love to give tips to startups.

Coitster wrote:You can use Delta Kits ACT system, its a turn key system that costs you 15 dollars per invoice if you don't want to have to bill insurance companies yourself.


STOP!!! :)

A.C.T. is certainly not owned by Delta Kits, and we are not affiliated in any way with it. In fact, it is owned by a competitor of ours!! We simply tell new customers about it as a simple way of getting started billing insurance.

Coitster wrote:The other option is to do it yourself.

You are going to need 4 packets to get you set up. Call Safelite and have them send you a packet to get on their list. Then call lynx and have them send you 3 packets. 1 for state farm, 1 for allstate and 1 more for lynx in general.


Safelite: http://www.sgcnetwork.com
Phone: 1.614.602.2120

Lynx Services information

Coitster wrote:Now to get onto those lists you will have to have liablity insurance valued at $500,000 and you can get that easy. Look at previous postings on this board.


Check out this post:
http://www.windshield-repair-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=383

Coitster wrote:3rd now you have to get a marketing plan.


If you want to purchase a marketing system, I would recommend asking around about it first. There are quite a few that, in our opinion, are not worth the paper they're printed on. Don't let us windshield repair manufacturers fool you either, you will be MUCH better off getting one from a marketing company such as these, rather than one written by a manufacturer. If I were you, even if my system came with one, I still highly recommend budgeting enough to purchase one of these. If you need help locating either of these, email me or click below for live chat, and i'll help you find it.

Again, thanks Coitster for your excellent post.

Let's try to keep it going, anyone else got any helpful advice for people just getting into this business?
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Networks

Postby autocosmetics » October 7th, 2003, 3:18 am

Thanks for all the great information that's been on here! I'm just starting out in wsr and was a little overwhelmed with questions about insurance companies, billing, etc. I had received information about the Elmo system that is an EDI billing software program specifically designed for windshield repair services, but being new at this, I didn't know if it was necessary to spend $800.00 :shock: for the software. I've just been doing repairs for friends, and still practicing on an old windshield to make sure I'm comfortable, but I'm just about ready to get busy. I bought the CinRon marketing program, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone, it's excellent. Lots of ideas in it, even if you only use a few to start, it's worth the price. So, if I get the packets from Safelite and Lynx, will this cover all the insurance companies out there, or will there still be some I come across not covered--and then would I just bill them directly? I haven't yet billed an insurance company, or even called one, so I have to say it's tempting to let a company like ACT do it for me, but I think once I get the hang of it I'll be glad I did it myself. Where can I find out about ACT! 6 (not the billing co)?
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Postby Coitster » October 7th, 2003, 5:53 am

Hey Autocosmetics,
First off the ACT! 6 software can be found at any Office Depot or Office Max store. It is the most popular contact management software in the world. And any Barns & Noble book store will sell an ACT!6 for dummies book. Thats how I learned, I personally use ACT! 2000 its an older one. Trust me you will love it.

As for your question about insurance companies. Their are literally thousands of companies out their. Lynx and Safelite cover the main ones. Their are still lots of companies that aren't on either network. For example, Travelers Insurance has their own. I am not on that one, and they have never ever tried to steer anyone from me, they are good. For little insurance companies all you have to do is look on the customer's liability card that they carry with them (required by law). They almost always have a claims phone number on them. Just call that number and they will give you a billing address or fax number to send in your invoice too. Don't get scared about billing insurance companies directly. It's very, very easy. You just fax in the invoice to the phone numbers provided by insurance companies and then they send you a check.
BTW I used to use the Elmo software program. You are right it can be expensive to start out with. I recommend you build your business first before you buy that. Lots of options out there.

One more thing, in regards to a fax machine, you don't have to have one but it does make your life simpler, whenever you bill an insurance company they will usually fax you a form to fill out that allows them to send you checks, it's better then snail mail. 8)
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Starting your new windshield repair business

Postby Delta Kits » October 7th, 2003, 6:31 am

autocosmetics wrote:Where can I find out about ACT! 6 (not the billing co)?


You can check out their web page for more information, http://www.act.com
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Re: Great information!

Postby autocosmetics » October 7th, 2003, 8:42 am

I called Safelite and asked them to send me a packet to get on their list, and they just faxed me a sales application. Is this right or did I ask for the wrong thing? Also, the number above for Lynx just put me through to a fax machine. Is there another number? thanks again!!
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Safelite application

Postby Delta Kits » October 7th, 2003, 8:47 am

autocosmetics wrote:Also, the number above for Lynx just put me through to a fax machine. Is there another number? thanks again!!


Sorry, correct number is 1.239.479.6000

Will correct post above, thanks! :)
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Re: Safelite application

Postby DaveC » October 7th, 2003, 10:37 am

Thanks Dave!

Some great points made in this "comprehensive" rehash.

Another item to add to the "Quick Start" list is to check with your State/Municipal/County/Parrish tax collectors and ensure that you have the appropriate business licenses and tax numbers/forms.

No sense getting hit with fines/penalties/possible incarceration for failing te "Render unto Caesar :wink: "
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One more item ....

Postby Coitster » October 7th, 2003, 2:42 pm

Hey Auto cosmetics,
Safelite sent you the wrong package, Call them back and ask to get the Windshield repair packet to get on their network.
They will fax you the form. It's about 5 pages long I think, with 1 or 2 pages to fill out. It's been so long since I filled one out that I forget how big it is. It's pretty small.
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Announcing the Delta Kit Chat Room

Postby Repair1 » October 7th, 2003, 6:36 pm

Dave, I have to be honest with you I disagree with you about dealers I make a lot of money form dealers. It
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