When I first started learning the craft of paintless dent repair or PDR, I wasn’t sure where it would take me. I knew I could make a decent living, but I didn’t know if it would blossom into a career much less a business. I stayed with my original company for several years. When it got to the point where I knew enough and had the experience to hang out my shingle, I made the leap, and I am glad I did.
Being your own boss entails a lot more than just knowing your craft. You’re also in charge of accounting, marketing, public relations and everything else that comes along. But it has been a terrific learning experience.
Though I wear a lot of hats, I realize knowing and keeping up with the techniques of PDR remains the most essential part of my business. I strive to give my customers the best results possible.
It doesn’t take long in this business to realize you need to keep up with the technology. There are continuous changes in the tools and techniques of the PDR industry and additionally, changes in the auto industry in the way of materials used in the bodies of the vehicles.
That’s why I make it a point to continue my education to improve my craft and knowledge whenever I get the chance. I told you a while back about my attending the Mobile Tech Expo in January in Orlando. Yes, it was tough to leave Minnesota for Orlando in January, but it was an exciting and educational experience.
Recently, I had the opportunity to learn from some of the masters in the business at the Stainliner PDR Seminar in Wayzata. With over 50 years in the industry, Kaz Stainliner provided a great event for learning and networking. They offered classes on complex damage, door dings, glue pulling and more.
I’ve also been working on my certifications. I was recently Master certified at Certifiedpdr.com, and I joined Napdrt.org. My commitment to my craft, of course, is driven by my commitment to my customers.
And, as you may know, my experience has enabled me to design some pretty handy tools. Not to toot my own horn, but it turns out a lot of guys in the industry also think they’re pretty great. Check them out under Dent Reaper.
One of the great things about this industry is that although competition exists, there is still a lot of great networking and sharing of education and information.
Utilizing the Stanliner tools and techniques will, no doubt, increase efficiency and reduce fatigue. Learning directly from Kaz and his Gold Certified trainers was an excellent experience that I would liken to fertilizing my paintless dent removal skills this spring.
Also, having the opportunity to network with PDR Professionals from all over the world (yes, there were technicians attending from multiple foreign countries) was also amazing. Although there are many differences across the various markets, the commitment to quality repairs and continual learning and improvement was something we all had in common.
So, with the weather starting to improve it’s a great time to start planning those summer road trips. After a brutal Minnesota winter, you’re bound to run into a few potholes on your spring and summer drives. I wish only safe travels for you, but if you do end up with some dings and dents, you know who to call.