How to Start a PDR Business
If you’re looking to start a Paintless Dent Removal business, chances are you already work in some area of the auto repair industry. You are aware of how PDR has become increasingly popular due to its high demand, especially during hail season which is normally from mid-April to mid-September in North America. A typical day’s activities running a PDR business can range from tool maintenance, dent repair, marketing/advertising, and even continuing education on new techniques or vehicles.
PDR is a specialized skill, and like any craft, it requires training and practice to become and remain proficient. Most successful PDR practitioners train through some combination of either hands-on courses offered in many cities, learn by watching or helping an experienced PDR tech, or practicing on scrap panels or their own or family vehicles, Once you have a basic knowledge of the craft, you can also become certified, if you choose, through the NAPDRT or other organizations.
But how can you take this knowledge and apply it to creating a thriving business? You already know your market and what the repair entails. If you do it right and decide to take your PDR skills on the road to be a hail chaser, then you have the potential to make a ton of money that goes directly to you.
Since PDR can be considered an “on the go” service that doesn’t need assistance, people can begin their business without a large investment behind them. In fact, if you choose to be 100% mobile, you’ll actually be saving money on rent or lease costs which will open up more money to purchase the best tools you’ll need (or an upgrade to the ones you already have).
The following is a step-by-step list of how you can start your PDR business that ensures your business is not only legal, but also ensures you’re not wasting time or money:
1. Plan: As a business owner, it’s important that you have a clear plan laid out. Consider planning out your initial costs, target market, and how long it will take for you to break even.
2. Form a legal entity: By establishing yourself as a legal business entity, it can prevent you from ever being personally liable if your PDR service is ever sued for damages.
3. Register for taxes: You’ll have to register for a variety of federal and state taxes before opening up your business.
4. Open a business bank account: By having a checking account only for your PDR service not only keeps the finances organizes, but also makes you look more professional to your customers.
5. Set up accounting: In order to understand the financial rating and performance of your business, you need to have on record your sources of income and the various expenses. By keeping these detailed and accurate accounts, it also greatly simplifies the quarterly or annual tax filing.
6. Obtain needed permits and licenses: Depending on your state and neighborhood, you may also need a small business license. You can learn more about the licensing requirements in your state by clicking here. If you don’t have the necessary permits and licenses, then you run the risk of paying fines or even having your business shut down.
7. Insurance: Like with anything else in life, having insurance for your business is highly recommended. If you hire any employees, then workers compensation may be a requirement for your state.
8. Define your brand: Who are you? What is your message to your customers? Defining your brand is a representation of you and what your business stands for, does, and promises to every customer. The greater you define your brand, the more you’ll stand out among the competition with your own unique voice.
9. Establish a web presence: Websites are so easy to create nowadays and even social media is being used for businesses. Establish your business online so customers can learn more about you, your team, location, and the services you offer.
If you keep the right mindset and do all the necessary steps, creating a PDR business can be the start of something really big and exciting! Some of the most successful PDR businesses only work during hail season and have the flexibility to work (or not) wherever they choose for the rest of the year. After all, if you love what you do, why not do what you love?