I was getting my car serviced today. As part of the waiting process, I go to a hotel near the garage where I get my car serviced. There I noticed the vinyl seats, and that set me thinking about 30 years ago when I was exploring different career options, I came across an advertisement for starting a vinyl repair business.
The advertisement said all the right things. I liked the advertisement and I requested more information via postal mail. The additional information came via postal mail. Back then, the internet as we know it today was not around. So I had to physically post the request and wait patiently for the postman to bring me their response.
Success, Here I Come, or So I Thought
All I had to do was buy a vinyl repair business kit, follow the training provided therein, use the business building materials to get business, use the initial stocks in the vinyl repair kit to repair my customer’s vinyl furniture and restock as I ran out of vinyl repair materials. They made it sound so easy and all one had to do was to follow the information provided in their vinyl repair business kit and I be set up for life. If only I knew then what I know now. 🙂
The Secrets Would All Be Revealed in Their Vinyl Repair Business Kit
The kit included various materials along with instructions. The materials consisted of tools and materials that would allow me to repair vinyl furniture that had become damaged due to use. The materials also consisted of business building materials as well. You know, business cards, A4 leaflets, some advertising sales copy and the like.
Vinyl Repair Business Kits Were Expensive
The vinyl repair business kit was very expensive in the first place, and of course the company wanted payment for it up front, there was no way to try out this for free, and see if it was something that suited me. After much detailed consideration at the time, I decided to go for it.
Payments Required Upfront, before I Could Prove That This Works for Me
I had to get a Sterling bank draft in order to pay for it upfront and post that with my details to the company. After a few weeks, I heard nothing, and so had to phone them internationally. In those days, phoning internationally was very expensive. During the expensive international phone call, I found out the status of my vinyl repair business kit. They had already shipped it. So the next question was So where was it?
It Was Time to Put on a “Sherlock Holmes” Hat 🙂
Putting on a “Sherlock Holmes” hat, I discovered that my new vinyl repair business kit was siting somewhere in a customs warehouse. In those days, there was no automatic tracking systems that you could use to find out the information. These days if a package is shipped within the shipping system with tracking, it is possible to find out quickly and with no extra expense where the package is. Not so 30 years ago.
Anyway I found out, it was sitting somewhere in a customs warehouse and had to wait its turn to be processed by customs. When eventually they got round to it, they decided that a number of customs related charges needed to be paid upfront before they could release the package.
I had to pay these charges upfront if I wanted the package, so I had to pay these charges upfront. I paid the charges and a while later the long awaited for package arrived.
Boy, Was I Excited?
Yes of course I was excited. This was the vinyl repair kit that was going to set me up for life. Of course, I knew that work was involved.
Vinyl Repair Materials and Training
Part of the kit included vinyl repair material and a training manual, along with of course, a price list and order forms for additional vinyl repair materials that I would need when my business took off. 🙂
Vinyl Repair Business Development Training Manual and Related Business Development Sales Materials
In the kit, was a business development manual, which outlined how to build the business. Other contents included a few business cards. I actually had to hand write my contact details onto those business cards.
Other contents included a few A4 sales brochures where I actually had to hand write my contact details onto those A4 sales brochures.
From memory, I think that the business development manual, included instructions to handwrite my contact details unto those few business cards and unto those few A4 sales brochures. They said that this approach was a personalized approach. Other content included price lists and order forms to purchase more. 🙂
Did I Follow the Instructions?
Yes I did.
Did I Visit Businesses and Homes to Try to Sell Vinyl Repairs?
Yes I did.
Did I Get Any Business?
Did I Ever Order Additional Things from Them?
Did I Learn from This?
Unless you are already somehow already involved with some sort of ‘brick and mortar’ business that already has a number of big clients that may benefit if you also offer a vinyl repair service, than I think you should stay away from a Vinyl Repair business. Or at least you should start it off, without buying an expensive vinyl repair business kit.
Also, reflecting on this many years later, I also think that you would need to be good at practical subjects, something like woodwork or metalwork or electronics. And also very good at being a face to face sales person. For me, in my late teens starting my career, this was probably too big of an ask, however I gave it my best shot.
You also need to be good at getting business, good at performing the repairs and good at getting paid. If that is you, I wish you all the best in starting your Vinyl Repair business if that is something that you want to do. I would of course suggest that if you are thinking along with lines, to do research, do some repairs and see how you can get business without spending a ton of money.
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