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New Piano Tech Business
#2888921 09/10/19 10:05 AM
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Hi all,

I'm just starting up a new business servicing pianos. I recently passed the RPT exam and my wife and I have just moved to Chico, California. This will be a part-time, semi-retirement gig for me. There are a couple hundred thousand people living within a 50 mile radius. There is a university, several high schools, lots of churches, etc. I've done the following things to get started:

- applied for a business license
- built a website (see URL below)
- designed some business cards
- met with some other technicians in the area (there are two other RPTs working in the area (one is the university tech) and a few other tuners)
- set up Gazelle to manage clients, pianos, appointment, invoices, etc.
- set up bookkeeping software
- let people I know in the area know that I'm open for business

What would be your advice for next important steps to take, or not take?


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
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Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2888922 09/10/19 10:11 AM
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Piano stores and schools.

Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2888924 09/10/19 10:19 AM
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In all sizes of markets: the piano market is like a small town, and almost everybody knows everybody else.

Thus you must try to produce a positive impression with everyone one of your customers.

It looks like you have taken many good steps to get started and I wish you luck.

The two most important point about customer relations are; the customer must feel safe and comfortable around you and your tunings need to hold.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2888954 09/10/19 12:01 PM
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Make sure you are listed (with your website URL) in any free online directories for your area. These will probably not result in all that much business, but they can help to generate "backlinks" for your website, which helps it rise in the search engine rankings.

Keep your website regularly updated, and have plenty of well-written relevant content on it. Don't "stuff" it with keywords - write naturally. The search engine bots like to find regular updates.. A website that hasn't changed in two years will fall in the rankings, and one that has good stuff added to it regularly will rise.

You could consider having a Facebook Business Page and/or a Blog associated with your site, where you post new things as they happen.

It might be worth getting some of Chuck Behm's excellent "Promos" - information sheets customized with your own details. http://www.pianopromoproductions.com/piano-promos.php (Not sure if he is still producing them however). These can be left with or sent to customers whose pianos need extra work.

Although it can be a bind to have to put everything in the car, take everything with you, so that you won't be caught out without a vital tool or part.

I think you are doing everything very sensibly, and are also sensible in your expectations. A part-time retirement income is realistic.

All the best with it!

Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889004 09/10/19 02:56 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. David and Ed, I've learned a lot from your postings in this forum over the past few years. Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge and experience!


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889072 09/10/19 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bobrunyan
Thanks for the suggestions. David and Ed, I've learned a lot from your postings in this forum over the past few years. Thanks for your willingness to share your knowledge and experience!


.....Here! Here!.....I second that and there are several more I have learned from.....best of luck, Bob Runyan......


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889221 09/11/19 09:56 AM
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Great looking website. Good luck!!


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889258 09/11/19 12:22 PM
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Thanks Scott. Booked my first new client today, a recommendation from Yamaha. The person spoke highly of me. I haven't got a clue who it was!

Got some good ideas from looking at your website, like listing piano teachers (and presumably you get them to link back to your page).


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889355 09/11/19 04:44 PM
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Not sure how metro your area is, but it's nice to have your photo on your website so people know who you are when you come to the door. A rural area might be different, but some places safety is really important.

An appealing name adds a bit. A few that caught my attention were: A Joyful Sound, Middle C Tuning, The Piano Lady.

I like to see basic pricing on the website. I probably wouldn't call someone if I didn't have some confidence that their prices are in the customary range.

If you have a musical background I'd mention that. For no good reason I would prefer a musician over a non-musician, even though I know the two things are totally different skills. There's no accounting for human nature.

I know you just started, but as soon as you get some institutional clients like schools or churches, put their names on the site for credibility.

Maybe this doesn't apply in California, but if the weather is lousy, bring shoe covers and put them on when you come inside the front door. Most people will tell you not to bother, but you'll get points for respecting their house.


Yamaha P90, Kawai GL-10
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889424 09/12/19 10:16 AM
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Thanks Mark. All really good suggestions.


Bob Runyan, RPT
Chico, CA
www.runyanpiano.com
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889546 09/12/19 03:21 PM
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Dress like the professional you are too.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889711 09/12/19 10:42 PM
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Advertise on Craigslist. You won't be sorry!


Piano Player
Part-time Professional Piano Tuner/Technician
Piano Voicer In-Training
Re: New Piano Tech Business
bobrunyan #2889937 09/13/19 11:47 AM
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I'm not a technician, but I'm thinking of things that might entice me to try out a new technician. Maybe a discount on an initial tuning, offer a free service offering along with the 1st tuning. I'd try to get testimonials from clients. I'd also post videos demonstrating what your tunings/voicings sound like, etc.


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