Not all of your equipment is going to be tools and parts. Many times, it will be the bits and pieces that fall through the cracks that help you complete a job. Make sure you carry extras of these nine things:
Parts That Break Over Time
Very few of your repairs are going to be utterly catastrophic. Most jobs involve troubleshooting a malfunction, reconnecting something loose, or performing basic maintenance. Even for jobs that get more complicated, basic maintenance is going to be on your to-do list. So always have these three things on hand:
1. Extra Wire
Different gauges of extra loose wiring can be very helpful when troubleshooting and fixing one-off wiring issues. You never know when you run into an appliance that has a burned off wire that needs to be replaced.
Some clamps are built for one-use only and you have to snap them every time you get into an appliance. Metal clamps also rust or bend out of shape over time. Have several on-hand so you can keep going. It’s an inexpensive, preemptive solution to a potentially large waste of time.
Almost every appliance uses zip-ties to group wires together and out of the way of moving parts. You can cut through dozens of them over the course of a week. So make sure you have a large bag of the most common sizes.
While the appliances you work on don’t run on batteries, many of your tools do. Don’t get held up by a flickering flashlight or a dead multimeter. Asking for batteries, even just temporarily, is a mark against hiring your company again.
Things That Are Easy to Lose
Even if you have years of experience under your belt, it’s hard to keep track of all the removable pieces in an appliance. But the parts you ordered or brought with you won’t have extras in the bags. So carry these extras with you:
Fill up a toolbox with screws of different lengths and widths. Screws can get away from you by either falling behind a machine or rolling out of reach. If you don’t have extras, then you have to waste time fishing them out. So just have a ready inventory of the screws you’re likely to come across. They’ll also come in handy when you have customers who tried to handle their own repairs before calling you in: they can lose screws too.
6. Wire connectors
Wire connectors, or wire nuts, are also small enough to easily get lost. You’ll also find appliances that were outfitted with unsafe or incorrect nuts in previous repairs. Have a wide array available.
7. Thread seal tape and electrical tape
It’s impossible to know how much thread seal tape or electrical tape you’ll use over the course of a day. Many days you won’t use any. But some days can have you going through a whole row. Buy it in bulk and don’t risk running low.
Tools for Better Customer Service
Giving away free extras can seem like a straight loss, but being prepared is a great way to stand out in a crowd. Here are two more things you should bring with you to help your company stay memorable:
Sometimes you’ll have customers who want to handle a bit of DIY maintenance. Helping them out doesn’t eat into your business; in fact, it can help them remember you for future calls. Label parts and assemblies with customized labels that include your contact information.
If you’re going to work on an appliance that has a water connection, bring your own towels. Make sure they’re clean, and once you have the budget, get them monogrammed. It has the same effect as a uniform: it makes your company look professional and well-prepared. Also, the more often a customer sees your company name, the more they’ll remember it.
Of course, the most important thing you need to bring with you is a hands-on experience. Go to Fred’s Appliance Academy for complete appliance training and the tools you need to get to work.
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