Starting a Computer Repair Business
By Brenden Bell
For most people who love computers, and think they want to go into business, they don't know where to start. Starting a computer repair business can easily be considered one of the fastest growing home businesses in the US. There are scores of households who want their computers repaired but don't know where to go. There may be questions on what skills you will need, other than computer skills you will need in starting a computer repair business, and the steps involved in getting it off the ground.
You will need to follow a logical, careful steps and plan very carefully to make sure you understand what you need to do before you are able to even provide services to your clients.
The same holds true of offices or small businesses that have avoided signing expensive annual maintenance contracts. They need computer repair personnel to come and fix their computers. But there are not enough computer repair personnel available. So, if you have a natural flair for technology, starting a computer repair business is the way to go. If done right, it is one business where you will have more work than you can possibly do.
The ideal person in starting a computer repair business is by nature a problem solver. Such a person is well-versed with both the hardware and software side of the computer business. But there is no rule that says that you cannot repair computers unless you are a computer engineer. There are several computer repair professionals who have never had formal training. More than that, these individuals have a passion for technology. They can't sit still. They need to put their heads inside their personal computers to know how it works. They want to load every new software package that comes along themselves. If you are one of these people, then you are the right person for starting a computer repair business.
You may want to differentiate between the software and hardware side of starting a computer repair business if you feel you aren't strong enough to be a problem solver for both sides. The hardware side is more difficult since it requires knowledge of circuits and chips. The software side is relatively easier. Each software has a help manual, books, courses, websites, and forums that makes installation, customization and running it easy.
In this style of business, it can be essential to upgrade your skills constantly. There can be a high degree of obsolescence inside the computer system industry. You must know the latest versions of hardware and software available. This would require attending workshops run by computer system professionals. Computer firms like IBM and Apple, too, hold training sessions for computer pros to keep them in the loop. You should make certain that you attend these workshops once every few months.
You ought to also visit the internet sites of major personal computer equipment manufacturers as a rule, and study the technical details of every new product. If will need be, you should email the technical advisory teams to clarify doubts you have. This is an efficient way to keep yourself abreast of latest developments. An additional excellent source of knowledge is technical forums. You are able to post questions on these forums and wait for an individual to reply. Staying up to date is essential to starting a computer repair business.
Your principal investment really should be on acquiring knowledge. After that, you'll need four points: a car to attend repair calls, a telephone to answer queries, an web connection to browse computer web sites and check out technical forums, and a tool kit. You ought to in no way assemble an inventory. Set up relationships with computer part dealers so that you can purchase a computer element or software as and when necessary. Settle the bill as soon as you get funds from the client. This will help you develop a positive cash flow.
You should not waste income on setting up a swank office. It is much better to operate from your existing facilities. Maybe, it is possible to use a garage or an inside room as your workshop.
The success of your company depends on how well you identify your target market. You are able to decide on households, for instance. In this situation, you need to be willing to travel to distant homes to repair a computer system or bring the pc home for repairs. You are able to also look at servicing offices. In this circumstance, you need to draw up a maintenance contract whose terms really should be far more attractive to your clients than those demanded by big companies. In either situation, you have to work hard to create your customer base.
If you make out calls, then do a good job at it. It can be more lucrative. Don't wait for the clients to bring you their computers. Your uniqueness in making outcalls can be beneficial. If you're looking at the office visits as your principal customer base, then you really should be ready to make service calls. Go to as numerous offices as possible. You will find that business will eventually come to you on its own. Focus on the speed of your response. Attend a call as soon as it comes. Please remember that people feel paralyzed when their laptop or computer breaks down. They want the system to be fixed at the earliest time. This is one area where if you want a lot of business, you need to step up your service. Whenever you attend a call, leave your company card behind. Before you know it, you can have built a loyal base of customers, with one satisfied consumer passing your number to yet another and then one more and so on. You possibly can also advertise in online directory, newspaper classifieds and online on sites that target your city. Even get your own website.
How much you charge is totally dependent on the type of customer you have. The advantage of starting a computer repair business is that the customer pays you immediately. Your money isn't restricted. Also, make sure the repair rates are reasonable. You are able to effortlessly charge $25-$50 an hour plus. The main thing is set your rates from the very beginning. Be upfront with your customers about your rates, and give them good accurate estimates, just be honest with them. Besides this, don't forget to charge transportation expenses, because you've invested both time and funds in going out on a repair call. You can also make a few dollars upselling parts and to do this try to find a deal with a PC parts supplier.
There are some additional steps you can take that will help you in starting a computer repair business.
First, determine who is your ideal client. This may be individuals, small businesses, medium to large size business, you need to know who your target is before you go after them. You need to know who your clients will be, what your ideal clients are and what are their unique characteristics. When I say characteristics I mean how big, location, type of employees for a business or type of household. Also determine what is your niche and if you have a specialty. Also think about if your clients will have be in a specific industry, for business, will they have a specific type of hardware and software. Having a niche or specialty can help you position yourself to offer technology solutions that few others may offer in your area. As a result you will be a lot more indispensable to your clients.
Next determine your own strengths and weaknesses. If you really are a hardware person and weak in software then make it your niche or specialty. Also determine if your business skills match your computer skills, if you are not very business savvy, then you may want to seek those who can help you. To have the best result you want to have a good mix of business skills and technical skills. Anybody who is starting a computer repair business also has to have good social skills. You must always be marketing and advertising your business. If your skills in that area aren't very good you may want to try a professional. Maybe check out advertisesmallbusiness.com for tips for advertising your business.
Just be patient and let your business grow over time, be consistent and treat your clients with respect. You are bound to be successful.
Brenden Bell has created a website to help people find home based business opportunities. Read about this one and more at http://www.getpaid2workfromhome.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brenden_Bell