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  1. #1
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts mjunkaged's Avatar
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    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    I have been having a tough time for a few years, now I find out property management companies are getting into the copier business, and having their tenants go to them instead of local service companies!

  2. #2
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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    I'm a one man shop. It is tough. The copier companies are growing into huge concerns. (Dex, Staples) All you can do is try match them on price if possible. Offer things the big boys cant do like personalized local service. Get into networking, computer stuff or printer repair. Diversify. Eventually everything is going to be digital. So the copier industry will be a shadow of itself in 5 years of so.

  3. #3
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??


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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    So don't little guys have some advantage since their markup doesn't include huge rent, payroll, utilities, etc overhead?

  4. #4
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    One man dealers pay at least 15-20 % more for new hardware compared to the large dealers who can buy $100k or much more at one time direct from manufacturers.

    One man dealers do not have enough sales volume with leasing vendors to get a lower cost of money.

    Little guys have the advantage of flexibility but the disadvantage of limited time and resources. One man dealers have to do things like offer free copies in their quotes or a fixed cpc for 60 months that is difficult for sales reps from larger dealers to get approved.

    One man dealers rarely get to take holidays, sick days or technical training days.

    One man dealers are often too cheap to pay for a 3rd party to move equipment putting their health at risk every time they try and lift a copier.

    One man dealers often are in cash crunch with their equipment suppliers if the customer prefers to buy rather than lease and then take 30-60-90 days to pay.

    One man dealers often live on the dream that somebody is going to buy their base of copiers for a good buck when they plan to retire. Usually there is no buyer who is willing to pay what the one man dealer thinks his business is worth.

    Property Management businesses getting into the copier business is just not a thing. Mjunkaged is looking at this via too small a lens.

  5. #5
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts
    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??


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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    Quote Originally Posted by mjunkaged View Post
    I have been having a tough time for a few years, now I find out property management companies are getting into the copier business, and having their tenants go to them instead of local service companies!
    Sorry to hear you are going through some rough times. Hope things turn around for you.

    I'm in NJ and know others here on the east coast doing well. I'm in a Dem state like you with all the state regulations, taxes, etc but business is still good because of the Trump economy. My 2 largest accounts are building roads at a record pace. Each new project requires a color copier for the Dept of transportation office, and bigger jobs 2 more color copiers for engineers & lab where they test the concrete & asphalt. All this federal money was from Trump UNdoing some regulations. So yes it has trickled down to this little business. Others I know say they are doing good. Maybe it's certain parts of the country but most business is positive from what I see and hear.

    Best of luck

  6. #6
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts mjunkaged's Avatar
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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    Quote Originally Posted by SalesServiceGuy View Post
    One man dealers pay at least 15-20 % more for new hardware compared to the large dealers who can buy $100k or much more at one time direct from manufacturers.

    One man dealers do not have enough sales volume with leasing vendors to get a lower cost of money.

    Little guys have the advantage of flexibility but the disadvantage of limited time and resources. One man dealers have to do things like offer free copies in their quotes or a fixed cpc for 60 months that is difficult for sales reps from larger dealers to get approved.

    One man dealers rarely get to take holidays, sick days or technical training days.

    One man dealers are often too cheap to pay for a 3rd party to move equipment putting their health at risk every time they try and lift a copier.

    One man dealers often are in cash crunch with their equipment suppliers if the customer prefers to buy rather than lease and then take 30-60-90 days to pay.

    One man dealers often live on the dream that somebody is going to buy their base of copiers for a good buck when they plan to retire. Usually there is no buyer who is willing to pay what the one man dealer thinks his business is worth.

    Property Management businesses getting into the copier business is just not a thing. Mjunkaged is looking at this via too small a lens.
    I agree with you on everything but your last opinion - the prop managers becoming their own copier company for their tenants (I heard this from TWO former customers) isn't the ONLY thing, it's just ANOTHER new thing that works against the mom & pop (or just pop) shops! Having been in business for myself for 10 years, and working for others for over 20 before that, I haven't missed much. Larger companies are even suffering.

  7. #7
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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    That's why they are merging. Not because things are great but because they are bad. I think all the manufacturer's are selling less these days. They seem to be moving to cloud services, software as a service, computer and network maintenance. I know one factory store that is losing techs. They don't replace them when they leave. They just make the remaining techs territory a little bigger. I think one manufacturer is selling water coolers to increase business.

  8. #8
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts
    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    Well said, Salesserviceguy
    (One man dealers often live on the dream that somebody is going to buy their base of copiers for a good buck when they plan to retire. Usually there is no buyer who is willing to pay what the one man dealer thinks his business is worth.) SPOT ON

    I Am A True Independent. You ALL touched on some solid points, All of You. Anyone thinking on going on your own, Donít. (At least not at this time)
    If you canít stop the urge of being your own boss then,(Make A Plan) Don't keep fixing older equipment, in the long run itís not to your benefit or the customers, become a better Sales Person, Sell to your base. Did I say to Sell your own base. I lack computer skills, (My Problem) so I hire out, which leaves money $ on the table.

    That being said, I have NO regrets. Working for Yourself, Way Cool. I would do it again. It is slower than I like it right now, I better start doing some courtesy calls this week. At least my current base wont tell me Get Your a-- out of here. Please other 1 man horse shows, chime in.
    Give a man a fish he eats for a day,Teach a man to fish he eats for a Life time.

  9. #9
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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    I've had good luck selling used copiers. At one time there was a big difference between the new stuff over the used. Not so much anymore. It can save the customer a ton of money. The dealerships are wired to sell new stuff. Of course the customer is going to want a service plan with the used copier because a used copier may need a little more service than a new one. There are still opportunities out there. You just have to work a little harder to find them. The original poster did not mention having a website for his business. Mine is optimized so I'm on page one of most searches related to copier and printer repair.

  10. #10
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts
    How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    copiertec's Avatar
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    Re: How's business?? Any other 1-man copier servicers dying out here??

    Sorry to hear you woes, this is typically the slower part of the season for some. First, I would not worry about companies that do not specialize in copier/networking if they have no knowledge of how to repair because they will need to hire out a company that does, eventually. Being you are a one man show that means that you are the salesman as well, go to the top, and find out who runs the show, introduce yourself and in 30 seconds you need to make a connection with that person and convince them your company is the company to use. I suggest learning about sales techniques that successful salespeople use, YouTube, etc. Also, watch 10 habits of successful people, etc. I have found being genuine, confident and non aggressive to be the best bet, potential clients want someone they can trust.
    I hope your open for critique, I looked at your website, it needs a lot of work. Let me start by saying I am trying to help you. You have to give the illusion of being larger than just a one man show, speak instead of "me"... use "us", or "our company". If I were a CEO looking for a company to repair my office equipment, I would be looking for a mid-sized company with several techs because if you are a one man show, I would feel one person can not possibly be able to service all of my office equipment that is spread out over several cities. What if you get in an accident, get sick, go on vacation, etc, these are things that go though their heads before hiring a new vendor. Also, instead of a picture of an empty office show a picture of business people smiling and conversing with one another around a copier or some sort of office equipment,etc. Tell future prospects about your accomplishments and years of experience and why you formed your company. You are selling subliminally though words and pictures, selling peace of mind and security, that is what your webpage is for. Also, you need to connect with your clients, let them know what you do, for example, Rockin Repair does not identify what you do, instead, how about Rocking Office Machines or Rocking Copier repair, etc.
    You being a one man show means you need to work harder and smarter than ever before, for example, when you do a service call, make it a point to deliver at least 5 business cards to new potential clients in that area. Do that at least, 2 times a day, everyday...no excuses. Write down who you visited and make it a point to stop back a few months later and follow up...two things, eye contact and confidence and you do not need to shake every persons hand and talk too much (rookie mistake).
    If you do not know much about IT, start learning, get you Comp TIA certifications and befriend an owner of a local IT company and start to learn as much as you can because IT understanding is more important now, than ever before. The days of just repairing copiers has been over a long time ago, if you are not willing to learn...your dead. Again, there is plenty of information available via the internet, learn to to set up scanning to folders, email, cloud, etc.
    As far as selling machines, do not sell on the level of the "big companies," look for a wholesaler of off lease equipment and sell boxes you are familiar with that you are able to get firmware updates for. You can sell new, but the off lease will be your best bet, back it with a solid service contract or a 90 day limited parts and labor factory warranty. Most dealers and sales people have quotas to meet, you don't. Potential clients are always looking for ways to cut costs..you could be that way.

    I work for a mid sized company currently, but over the years, have stepped in and revamped a few struggling companies that eventually were sold to bigger ones and I was compensated for my efforts. So, I may not have all the answers but I do know a few things about building an office technology company. Times are changing, technology is changing and you have to change with it! For example, I befriended a person, who owns a phone company, they sell Viop phone systems, I was offered a great opportunity to sell their systems.. all drawn up by an attorney, of course, and it works! Plus, I am compensated for any and all systems I sell, so being I am in offices everyday, I have the opportunity to make those sales and it is not a conflict of interest with my current employer. I set up the sale and that is it, the phone representative does the rest.
    Last edited by copiertec; 10-30-2019 at 11:33 PM.

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