Good luck Low and Domain too. When I started on my own, it was a challenge but you have to remember you are BUILDING a customer base. Almost as important as your knowledge of appliances is your ability to grasp low cost marketing.
When I first started, I was sort of thrown into it. My company was sold and I didn't have a job. My wife had lost her job 4 months earlier when they re-organized her clinic she was working at and let 75 people go and only hired 5 back. She wasn't one of them. So there we were, neither of us had a job. You guys are lucky in the fact that you are getting all your ducks in a row ahead of leaving your job. I didn't have that luxury.
That being said, you guys have plenty of options. At this point, I have more work than I can handle most weeks. You can get there too. Some suggestions
1. Craigs list - good start for customers.
2. Cork boards - these are available at restuarants, banks, Supermarkets etc. What you do is
keep a little book in truck and mark down where you put cards. Keep push pins with you.
When in area, re-plenish cards that were taken. Cards are relativly cheap in comparison with
other forms of advertising. I had 42 stops at one point, I still do this.
3. NETWORK> NETWORK> Always try to work in to a conversation that you repair appliances.
I get jobs from people I have met in line at supermarkets, banks, stores, use your
imagination. I also belonged to several network groups early on in the infancy of my own
business. Got a lot of leads and they still lead to jobs today even though I no longer have
time to go to these meetings. I also joined rotary and several other groups. I still belong
to an entepreneurs club. Most of the members and their familys are my customers. This
and other clubs is the reason I have stopped advertising at this point. I have a ton of
customers. Over 7000 in my database at this time.
4. Me and my wife go to several restuarants regularly. My cards are featured prominantly at
the registers. I have a gift of gab as does my wife, and I often get customers just from
talking. Sat night, we struck up a conversation with a couple next to us, and today I fixed
their dishwasher and am going to re-pipe their kitchen sink and install a new disposal and
replace the sloppy switch. ALWAYS be thinking business. PUSH your buisness.
5. You have this board and all the people on it to help you. I didn't have that when I started.
These are just a few ideas. They have worked for me. For years, I had run ads in 4 to 7 phone books a year at a cost of some years over 1000 a month. It built me up somewhat, no question. But as of this point, all my customers that come in are referrals of some sort. The waitress at one of our favorite restuarants gets me lots of customers. Me and my wife gave her a 50 dollar gift certificate in appreciation. Keep these things in mind - if someone helps get you 1000 or more in work, Take care of them. It comes back in droves.
Well, good luck. You cannot believe how good it feels to come home the end of day with 800 in repair money and you are not giving it to your boss. Its yours (less expenses and parts and taxes, of course) Thing is, no one can fire you. If you need time off, take it. If you want to go fishing, go. My only problem now is I'm so busy I can't take time to goof off at this point.
Good luck, were here to help you.