Getting broken items back into working order

Major variations

On-demand repairs versus maintenance contracts. Repairing items using readily available materials versus replacing specialist components only manufactured far away.

Potential impacts

  • Keep items in use that would otherwise go to waste or landfill
  • Enable people to keep using items that they perhaps could not afford to replace
  • Keeping local industry or businesses functioning and productive – economic impacts in the community
  • Reduce energy and material usage due to increasing the life span of items


  • In most places there will be demand for the repair of some type of item, and it can benefit the community a lot to offer it


  • A wide range of skills may be needed depending on how different the items brought to you for repair are.
  • Some spare parts may be difficult to get hold of, and the unpredictability of demand can make keeping stock expensive.
  • For some items, mass produced new equivalents can be so cheap that the labour intensive approach of repairing old ones is uneconomic.

Complementary models

Supporting others to develop knowledge and skills with the focus on education and certification​

Business model canvas

Key partners

  • Repair Café movement
  • ASK Network (open source repair toolkit)
  • Suppliers of components and spare parts
  • Look for partners who can help you with any of the items that would otherwise be costs: e.g. community centres or libraries who might let you use their space

Key activities

  • Advertising
  • Repairing
  • Ensuring parts availability

Key resources

  • Repair skills
  • Tools & equipment

Value propositions

  • Ability to use the item or device again (whether for personal use, or in income generating activities) 
  • Cost savings over buying a new item
  • Reduce waste and the number of items going to landfill
  • Convenience – being able to get something working quickly

Customer relationships

  • Service relationship
  • Co-creation – repairing things alongside the customer and transferring skills at the same time


  • Social media & local advertising to individuals
  • Word of mouth & referrals
  • Build relationships with organisations

Customer segments

  • People with broken items
  • Organisations with broken items
  • Organisations who provide items to others that they want kept in good repair
  • Charities or other organisations that want to support device repair

Cost structure

  • Time 
  • Components
  • Tools & equipment
  • Inventory carrying cost
  • Space where repairs are carried out
  • Advertising or marketing costs

Revenue streams

  • Charge for repairs (by time spent or per item)
  • Charge for spare parts
  • Charge an annual fee for maintenance
  • Ask for voluntary contributions (tips / pay what you can)
  • Vol
Print Friendly, PDF & Email