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 Delta's professional windshield repiar kits
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.