For those of you that are running a repair business out of your home, how do you handle intake and return of instruments? Do you ever have privacy concerns?

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Hi Chris,

When I started out I ran the business out of a garage/shed.  That's relatively easy and if you have a shed or a garage I suggest that's where you want to be doing business.   Running your business out of the domestic area of your house is another issue and while I know colleagues who do this I'm not comfortable having customers in my living space.  If you have a dedicated room to receive/assess and talk business that is readily accessible from your front door and private from the domestic goings on I think that may be the best way.

Regards, Rusty.

I have been running my repair / setup business for 18 years from garage and back shed situations , both my houses had the garage under , so the entry was at the front , but for about 12 yrs I was in a back shed and customers would just get used to walking out back . Insurance for the business usually requires a seperate access and no connection to the house . These days with phones in our pocket its easy to explain the situation to customers who may get confused , a sign and a good door bell are essential .

Thanks for the input Len.

Thank you Rusty.  I appreciate the feedback.

I do it. No problems. My shop is on the second floor and I invite my customers into my living room to discuss what needs to be done.

But, then again, I live in Denmark and Danish people trust each other and are generally nice and friendly :-)

Thank you Palle.  I appreciate you sharing.  Maybe I should move to Denmark ;)

I've done this the off and on throughout the years. It worked best after developing a client list. My layout was different each time. That definitely had an impact on the game. Best for me was a separate two car garage. City codes, taxes, insurance etc.. all played a roll as well. Run the numbers first. Cheers. Tom

Thank you Tom.

My repair business operates from my basement, but generally the only customers who see it are friends. Often I will go to the customer. This does two things. It keeps them from my house and it gives me an idea of the financial situation the customer has. I have had to pause when I walk into a dump and the customer want's me to do several hundred dollars worth of work. I have turned down jobs when I had payment concerns, especially if the instrument isn't of a value to justify the work requested. I have thought about approaching one customer who has a small recording studio behind his house about meeting clients there. His benefit is new people get to see his studio. Mine is that they don't see my house. Just a thought.

Thank you Allan.  Good thoughts and nice idea about the recording studio.

I run my repair biz from home. All the work is done in my workshop (a separate bldg from the house) and that's where I'll meet my customers. We live in a rural area so there's lots of direction-giving, etc. but it usually tends to work-out OK.

One of my pet peeves is when a customer arranges to bring (or pickup) an instrument on a certain day/time and is either hours late or doesn't show at all.  To them, it's not a big deal to "drop-in" unannounced (or maybe even not at all... ) with the rationale that it's no different than going to, say, Safeway at their convenience. 

Many times I'll arrange glue-up work (or something involved) around when a customer plans on stopping-by and it throws a monkey wrench into my schedule if they're not here.  I'll put-off going shopping or leaving the house because someone says they'll be here at a certain time... and then they aren't.  

To stay sane, I always have to remind myself that most folks are used-to dealing with stores that are open and available all day long, 6 or 7 days a week.

Regardless, when someone says "I'll be by on Monday afternoon"... it'd sure be great if they could either adhere to that....or at least give me a call and we can rearrange something.

Of course, nothing's gonna' change human behavior.... but I feel better now!   So thanks for letting a guy vent :)

Yeah, I also had a lot if that years back.

These days I make all appointments in writing (email, text message, messenger, etc..) and make it clear that if they don't show up at the agreed time, I will not be available. That helped a lot. No one wants to drive for miles just to meet a closed door ;-)


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