People have loved music at all times, and most parents want their kids to learn to play some musical instrument. Luckily, the piano is the basic music instrument for every musician. So getting into the market of piano tuning can become a great profitable business idea for you. If you got tired of working for someone, then here is the most essential information on how to start a piano tuning business.
Skills & experience
If you already know what you need to learn to do before getting a license, then skip this step. Yet, we exhort on at least glancing through these points.
- Perfect pitch is the foundation of piano tuning business. Unless you know the difference between tones and halftones, you won’t be able to become great in this industry.
- Know piano structure. Pianos, just like human bodies, come in more or less standard sets. However, particular models and makes may have differences. You have to know that you can fix and tune pianos of all shapes, sizes, and manufacturers.
- Piano tuning training can help you gain knowledge, experience, and practice.
- Personality is essential in this business. There are many piano tuners but not all create six-figure businesses. You need to have great communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills to set the tone for your business and find the right relations for development.
- Basic accounting knowledge to manage a business budget.
- Obtain official recognition from the Piano Technician Guild.
Finances for a start
- To start a piano tuning business you need a certification. A basic course will cost you about $800-$1,000 in total plus the essential instrument kit for $170-$450.
- Besides the certification, you will need experience in the industry to start the business. To get it, it’s better to work as a tuner assistant for some time. So keep in mind that in the beginning this period won’t be paid as much as you deserve.
- Some transportation is also essential for a piano tuner. The cost of this point heavily depends on your preferences. Yet, you can get some basic vehicle for $700-$1,000 to tee up.
Piano tuning business from scratch
Top 10 steps to actually set up your small piano tuning business.
- Budget. Budget is the foundation of your business. Carefully calculate how much money you have to get the business going. Remember that you need not only the basic financials stated above but also some marketing and promotional budget as well. Consider also how long you can last with the minimal income should the business be slow in the beginning.
- Form a legal entity. Don’t offer piano tuning as an individual, create a business entity. This will guarantee that in case of lawsuits you won’t be personally liable for any problems.
- Register for taxes. Don’t play with avoiding taxes because later on you might have huge law problems. Read your local regulations for businesses to ensure that you give the country everything you have to. And remember to do it before you open the business, not after! If you’re not sure about the local regulations for business owners, don’t neglect the services of tax preparation to get some basic knowledge on the matter.
- Set up a business bank account. Since most payments go cashless in the current world, having no bank account is a huge mistake. Moreover, with a business bank account, you will later be able to get a credit for business enlargement, should one be required. On top of that, customers trust you more as they know that all their payments go through the official bank system.
- Create business accounting. Accounting helps to keep the track of your incomes and expenses. It’s essential to understand business financial performance to build a profitable company. Moreover, at the end of the year, you will need to send an annual tax report and accurate accounting makes it much simpler! Note that you don’t have to perform all the accounting yourself if you have no clue about it. Hire a professional accountant at least at the beginning to get a smooth start.
- Permits and licenses. Some states and cities have particular permits and licenses required for a piano tuning business. You can visit the official page of the US Small Business Association to get the extensive information on the matter. Failure to obtain the proper legal documents and permits will eventually lead to the complete loss of a business.
- Business insurance. You never know what may happen in the process of tuning a piano, especially if you’re a newcomer to this industry; especially if the instrument is really old; especially if there are…many other reasons to worry about. So unless you want to pay for anything that may go wrong, get yourself proper business insurance. Remember that there are more people than just you in the company, it’s also advised to get a compensation insurance for your workers.
- Create a brand. A brand is something people remember and recommend to each other. While there are definitely many piano tuners in your city, you need to ensure that your service is unique in some way. Stand out from competitors with the values you have, special services you offer or anything else that comes to your mind.
- Establish web presence. Since most individual clients look for service providers online, having a webpage, a business page on social media and a blog will help you get to your clients faster and easier. Today the cost of a qualitative web page is not that high. So invest in a great website and attract new clients and customers easier.
- Invest in promotion. Yes, without promotion you won’t reach the summit. Always plan your promotion in the neighborhood carefully. Go to the local music schools and colleges to start from somewhere. Don’t also forget about the churches with pianos – they are always willing to help young and ambitious people, so it can be a great place to start!
Remember that piano tuning business doesn’t offer a kind of service required every day for everybody. You will have a very particular clientele so be ready for some ups and downs. The only way to earn a profit in this industry is to get returning customers. To make it work you must truly offer a top-notch service every time. Earn your reputation among music professionals in music and regular schools, colleges, conservatories, specialized schools, clubs, kindergartens, etc. Reputation is the only way to stay ahead of the competition!