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June 11, 2012 at 5:47 pm #48284watchdoggParticipant
Hey guys. I have really enjoyed the watch hobby and I was wondering , how could I get started in makeing money with it? I would really like to find a shop to work in and be possibly an apprentice somewhere.
Every where I have been no one has a watch maker or watch repair person. I just feel like I could really enjoy this sorta of work if only on a part-time week.
Am I the only one that has wanted this and if someone has been successful in doing so please give me your advise.
So if this is something I need to do on my own, where do I go if I get in trouble? Most the folks I have talked to really don’t want to help me…..?
Ok,as long as the asking was free, I just thought I’d ask
Thank you for your advise, PhilJune 12, 2012 at 12:18 am #51822aruthaParticipant
From my experience and bear in mind I live in the UK, most jewelry shops dont employ people to repair clocks and watches. They have repair people who they take their stuff to. If you are serious about starting up the easiest thing to do is to work from home, get some cards made up and take them to jewelry shops and if you are doing clocks too, take them to antique shops. You can also set yourself up a website, there are a lot of free hosts out there.
It is important to have some form of business insurance too just incase the worst should happen, if you had a fire or burglary and some of your customers items are taken or destroyed you need to be able to cover their replacement. I started off by buying clocks on e-bay and at boot sales (flea markets) etc, doing them up and selling them on, not a great deal of money was made but the experience is priceless as I now have a reasonable understanding of how long a job should take and can price it accordingly.
As for getting help we are always here but for hands on help that can be a bit tricky, I have had a large amount of difficulty finding someone willing to teach me but through buying tools on e-bay and going to clock meets I now have a couple of contacts who are there should I get myself into trouble. If you have not joined your local branch of the NAWCC I suggest you do that before anything else as it will help to build you a very useful contact list.
Hope this helps Phil but it can be a long process, it has taken me the best part of 3 years to get into a position where I feel confident enough and have the tools I need to be able to offer a good service. It might not take you that long but its not an overnight thing.
Paul.June 12, 2012 at 7:50 am #51823willofiamModerator
Hi Phil, I know just where you are coming from as I have recently opened the doors to my own clock repair service, I Have had 2 other businesses for the last 20 years and have acquired some of that business knowledge. The best advice I have is first get a hold of Bob and get on his mailing list for starting up a business, He has some great things to look at and think about. I started by buying 14 clocks and thoroughly going thru each one, buying several books and reading as much material as possible, I then picked up most of the tools I thought I would need with a lot of advice from guys on this forum and came up with a pretty good start, becoming involved in problem solving on this forum has been a great educational tool for me, after that I made the decision to move towards making a business out of it, this required a lot of thought and prayer as I knew I would have to put all my effort and as much time into it as I could knowing this would move me from my other business towards this, at the same time not shorting myself financially, (listening to response from above and my wife who tends to have super ideas) I then mentioned what I was doing to friends of mine and came up with 3 clocks that needed fixin, since they were friends I felt they wold be more forgiving if I was unable to accomplish the task properly and being honest and up front with them I was more at ease, halleluiah everything worked out good and I made a couple a bucks. There can be alot of pressure when working on a strangers clock or watch especially something very valuable or intricate. Time and experience will help with this but it is easy to get into a bad position, be careful about it and dont be afraid to be honest and say no or maybe later. I was able to find several clock guys who either retired, were getting there or were just working on clocks in their spare time, started a relationship with them, asking for some backing from them if I was unable figure something out, (my experience is that they were more than happy to share their experience and be there if needed) Remember most of these clocks or watches have meaning to their owners, it is a great responsibility and honor to be trusted with such items of personal value. I would think most states in the US have starting small business resources and can be valuable in that area. In a nutshell you are right, even here all I hear from people is there needs to be a watch guy or even just a pocket watch guy, (I am not brave enough for that at this point) and money can be made, pricing is something you will have to investigate in you area, I have found this the most difficult but time has helped and I have adjusted accordingly, ( i even did a couple of jobs free for the word of mouth advertising) I think there is a good process to go thru no matter how long or short it may take. I made business cards and handed them out to anyone who would take one, set up a booth at a local antique store displaying refurbished clocks, and 3 newspapers wrote stories on this new business (thanks to my wife’s help), (if anyone desires to see the article it was in the Rochester Minnesota Post-Bulletin on May 5 2012) Its been placed upon your heart for some reason, now just allowing God to direct your path and dedicating yourself will dictate your successes. Dont forget to have fun with it and soon you will be the watch guy. That is my advice and experience, WilliamJune 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm #51824aruthaParticipant
I think a good point William makes is that you will get a good amount of business by word of mouth. There is no better advertising. As long as you do a good job and treat the customer and their clock/watch as if they were the only ones in the world you would see more work coming your way. the main thing is to get as much experience as you can fixing watches if thats the route you are taking, look for items on e-bay or at flea markets that look to be in a reasonable cosmetic condition and try to give them a good service and get them running then advertise them for sale localy, you never know who you might end up selling to, a watch collector that just happens to have a few watches that need servicing?
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