THE BIG COMEBACK
If you’re of a certain age, there’s a good chance that you can recall a time when electronic repair shops could be found on just about any corner of any street. Sadly, those days are now gone; consumerism has made modern-day electronics expendable. Why fix what you can replace, right? That’s the rationale for many consumers but not all of them. According to online publication, theguardian.com (a British news and media website), the electronic repair business is making a comeback, which is spurring business opportunities for many people.
WHY FIX WHAT YOU CAN REPLACE?
Consumers are expecting, if not demanding, “design for repair” products that can either be taken to a repair shop or designed in such a way that they feel confident in repairing it themselves. This is a sentiment shared by Autodesk’s Senior Business Architect, Adam Menter, who believes that electronics that are designed to be expendable contribute to “e-waste.” He further states that many electronic products, for example, are made up of components that will either fail or need to be upgraded before the products have fully reached the end of their lifecycle.
It’s easy to see how reparability can resolve the problem of e-waste; it comes down to major corporations choosing to manufacturer products that are relatively easy to repair, which, in turn, will make customers feel compelled to hold on to their products longer.
GAINING UNDERSTANDING THROUGH REPAIRS
It’s no secret that it is far easier to replace broken devices than it is to fix them. However, through repairing them, we gain valuable insights with regard to how they work. Also, it creates opportunities to improve on their existing design. Now more than ever, there is a public outcry for products, particularly electronics, to be designed in such a way that they can be easily taken apart and repaired.
Many consumers believe that corporations purposely design products to be replaced instead of repaired. And many people believe that the rationale behind this decision lies in the corporation's desire to either enhance the aesthetics of their products or, even worse, exploit consumers.
A RECESSION-PROOF BUSINESS
For those considering opening a small appliance/electronic business, it’s important to note that this is one of the few businesses that can thrive in a down economy. Obviously, the country has regained its economic footing since the 2007-2009 recession, but it doesn’t mean that we are impervious to experiencing another one.
Many entrepreneurs are well aware of this possibility, and therefore, have started opening repair businesses, namely computer and phone repair businesses. Are we back to where we were in the 1980s and the 1990s, with repair shops on every corner? Not even close, but clearly, the small appliance/electronic repair business is making a comeback.
These types of businesses flourish during a recession; if people are out of work, the last thing they will want to do is buy a new gadget. Also, they are a godsend to someone who may be temporarily in between jobs. In either scenario, these are the businesses that consumers will be flocking to if their cherished iPhone, laptops, or televisions unexpectedly stop working.