Choosing the right auto reconditioning service to provide can be challenging. If you have experience or interest in repairing dents, a paintless dent repair (PDR) business may be a great option. PDR has grown in popularity in recent years and is the preferred alternative to traditional dent repair. Whether starting a new business or integrating PDR into an existing one, these steps will help you get started.
What is PDR & How is it Different from Traditional Dent Repair?
Car wrapping is the process of covering a car in vinyl to change the way it looks. This can mean a new color, design, or even texture – like matte or gloss. With the modern development and popularity of car wraps, clients can put their personal stamp on their car.
Paintless dent repair is a less expensive, more efficient alternative to traditional dent repair. PDR is used to correct hail damage, parking lot dings, and other damage to the body of a vehicle.
Keep in mind that PDR can only be performed if there is no damage to the paint on a vehicle. Traditional dent repair will be necessary for very large dents, or dents that have compromised the vehicle’s paint.
Consumers and insurance companies alike prefer PDR over traditional dent repair. It is much quicker to perform, less expensive, and less invasive than traditional dent repair. PDR can make a huge improvement to the cosmetic appearance of a vehicle.
This particular service will always see demand, as vehicles are constantly subjected to dents and dings. From crowded parking lots to collisions to hail, dents are virtually unavoidable.
In fact, the auto industry as a whole has seen an increased demand that is expected to continue. This can be explained by current trends. Vehicle owners are keeping their vehicles longer and prioritizing the longevity of their cars, both cosmetically and mechanically.
Whether integrating PDR into your business, or starting PDR from scratch, we have the steps to help you get started.
Starting a New PDR Business
Step One: Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan can help you determine the feasibility of your business idea and help you secure the necessary funding. A business plan will require you to identify some specific parts of the business such as:
- Business description
- Market analysis and strategy
- Management organization
- Marketing objectives
- Projected sales
- Start-up costs and ongoing expenses
Once that step is complete, the car should be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Next, the surface is sprayed with water and a special solvent, ready for the wrap. Finally, the wrap can be applied to the car.
Step Two: Form a Business Entity
A business entity is how a business legally operates. The four primary business entities include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Step Three: Initial Investments and Business Banking
The start-up costs for a PDR business are relatively low. This typically includes:
- $1,000 for dent repair tools
- $1,500 – $3,000 for a shop space deposit
- $600 – $1,000 for insurance
Step Four: Get Business Insurance
You’ll want to do your research as there are several types of business insurance. However, a few of the most common types of insurance include:
- General liability insurance can help protect you from third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. This may be expensive due to the potential for injuries.
- Professional liability insurance protects you from claims of professional errors or negligence that result in a financial loss.
- Worker’s compensation insurance covers expenses like medical bills and legal fees if an employee is injured while working.
Step Five: Hire Employees
With more technicians, you’ll be able to grow your customer base. Typically, technician pay includes a base salary plus commission. As you hire employees, some expenses to consider are:
- Workers comp
- Unemployment insurance
- Paid time off
Step Six: Set up an Accounting System
Before you open your shop, you’ll need to prepare an accounting system. This will help you monitor trends and cash flow in the business to maximize profits. Mobile Tech RX makes this easy with built-in payment processing, QuickBooks integration, and analytics.
Integrating PDR to Your Existing Business
If you already have an established auto repair business, integrating PDR will be fairly easy and inexpensive.
You should already have an understanding of your target market and local competition. However, it’s best to research the new competition you’ll have in PDR.
You’ll have a head start on start-up costs like a shop space deposit and business entity costs. Now, you’ll just have to purchase the proper tools and hire new staff or train your current staff.
Step One: Research Your Competition
As an auto reconditioning business, you know that the industry is in high demand. Regardless of what services you offer, you likely already understand the local competition within those services. Before integrating PDR, research other PDR businesses in your city and even your state. If you want to compare PDR prices across the country, we have plenty of resources on our website.
Step Two: Purchase Tools and Equipment
Next, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment for PDR. This includes things like technical dent tools, window protectors, and hand-pulling tools. You can purchase tools individually or find PDR tool kits with all of the essentials. If you don’t know where to begin, follow this list of PDR tools.
Step Three: Get Trained and Certified
Maybe you’ve decided to add PDR to your list of services because you already have experience with it. If not, you’ll need to get trained. Likewise, you’ll need to train your staff. You can also consider hiring additional technicians who are experienced and certified in PDR. Keep in mind that hiring new staff means expenses increase for wages, workers’ compensation, and paid time off. However, with a larger staff on hand, you’ll be able to service more vehicles.
Step Four: Share the Word about Your New Service
You want your customers to trust you in the new service you’re offering. Ask happy PDR customers to leave a review. You can also promote customer reviews on your website and social media to share the word about your new service. Mobile Tech RX has a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) tool, to help you stay in touch with your customers.
Step Five: Manage Multiple Services with Mobile Tech RX
Running any kind of business can be overwhelming, especially when juggling multiple auto recon services. Mobile Tech RX has specific features for each service to help throughout the process.
Business Runs Smoother with Mobile Tech RX
Determining prices can make or break your success. If you’re new to PDR, it’s important to nail down your prices right away.
Creating perfect prices starts with perfect estimates and Mobile Tech RX can help with that. We have PDR tools to help you create more accurate estimates:
- Panel replacement costs
- NADA vehicle values
- X-ray photos of a panel
- Comparative pricing
All you have to do is set prices ahead of time in the admin portal. Then, the app will automatically calculate the total as you add each component of the repair to the estimate.
Whether you offer one service or five, Mobile Tech RX can help you manage your auto reconditioning business. Our app helps you see everything you need in one place – schedules, estimates, invoices, reports, and analytics.
Are you looking to open a PDR business or integrated PDR into an existing one? Mobile Tech RX can help you stay organized, look more professional, and earn more. Try the #1 App for Auto Recon Businesses for free!
Start your journey today with a free trial of the leading auto reconditioning business app