A total of 156,350 people were employed as telecommunications line installers and repairers whose salaries averaged $50,080 annually, according to 2010 figures from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Managers of these companies averaged $141,350 annually. As of 2011, more than 30 million active satellite dish accounts are in the United States.
Items you will need
- Installation tools
- Sales tax license
- Federal employer identification number
- Liability and workman's compensation insurance
- Reliable transportation
Construct a business plan that details what satellite equipment you will likely install, how your company will operate, expansion plans and offer a basic explanation of your cash flow.
Decide on what business entity type you want to establish. Many satellite installation companies use the tax and liability benefits of being a limited liability company or partnership. Consult a tax adviser and an attorney to determine which type fits your situation.
Apply for an employer identification number at IRS.gov. This will allow you to hire employees and establish a business checking account.
Apply for a sales tax license in your state. This allows you to sell retail items and collect state sales tax. This is important for selling added value items such as universal remote controls, TVs and off-air antennas.
Apply for financing. Apply for enough to cover additional operating capital because it often takes between one and two weeks to arrange an installation, perform it and be paid from the provider.
Purchase liability and workman's compensation insurance. Your insurance provider will want to know the details of the kind of work you and your staff will do in determining rates.
Become certified in Dish Network and DirecTV installation through each company's website. Other satellite providers can add after this certification, but these two will make up the bulk of your business. This will involve a comprehensive training conducted at a central location for each company.
Purchase installation tools including a cable crimper, satellite signal meter, drill, fence post digger and other hand tools for every member of your staff.
Apply to sell satellite equipment if you have a storefront for your installation company. Customers often see an installer performing an installation and pursue it too. If you are not interested in this, establish relationships with independent satellite sales stores and electronics retailers to install as a primary or a secondary installer in addition to installing directly from the providers.
Advertise your services. If you can add additional services such as installing security systems, doorbells, Christmas lights and other electronics, market those services as well.
Do not assume a company already has an installer. Most companies want more than one for peak installation seasons and emergencies. Monitor satellite accounts receivable payments closely. Buy supplies, most notably cable and connectors, in bulk. Have antennas, universal remotes, digital converter boxes and other accessories available for sale during an installation. These are typically high profit margin items.
Income from satellite installation is steady but seasonal. Diversify product or service offerings to smooth out slower periods. Update liability insurance often.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages; May 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2010 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Telecommunications
- DirecTV: Self-Installer's Guide
- Dish Network: DISH Network Broadband – Self Installation Help Guide
- United States Small Business Administration: Starting and Managing a Business
- Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images