Most anyone can learn to tune a piano with a little training. Piano tuning is a profitable career that is accessible to most people, but starting a business can be daunting. Read on for some steps you can use to start your business and get on your way to earning money.
Learn to tune pianos, as you'll probably not be much use without this skill. You can choose to apprentice with an existing piano tuner, learn at a dedicated school, or you can teach yourself the necessary skills. International Piano Supply offers a series of DVDs that you can use to educate yourself (see Resources).
Get a reliable set of tuning tools that you can use for a long time. A little investment here will pay off down the road, so don't get the cheapest tools you can find.
Check your local area to find out what licenses and permits you will need. This is different for every area, so check your local chamber of commerce to find out what applies to you. Also check to see what property insurance you might require for your new business.
Advertise your services wherever you can. When you're getting started, advertising your services broadly is an effective way to get your first few customers. Make sure your business is available in the phone book and in any areas where customers might look, like local musician's stores.
Expand your services to get and retain more customers. In addition to basic piano tuning, offer to replace piano wires or learn to repair slightly damaged pianos. Once you show up for an appointment, take the opportunity to help the customer by repairing their piano.
The best way to build your piano tuning business is through the use of referrals and repeat business. Potential customers may be nervous about hiring an unknown piano tuner, and getting a referral from someone they trust will help you get your foot in the door. Eventually, you'll get a callback to a customer's home where they are dissatisfied with your performance. This is an opportunity to prove how professional and skilled you are, so make sure to treat the customer's concerns with respect and leave them happy with the experience.