Starting a Computer Repair Business
If you are like me you grew up always being interested in Computers. I was always reading thick computer books for fun and tinkering with all the computers we had at home and started collecting more and more until I had enough to setup my own home network. I felt like I could fix anything with the computer and I was not too far from the truth. Then it started, my friends and family and acquaintances started wanting help with their computer. Being the generous guy that I was I help them out and didn’t charge them anything. But then it started happening more and more and I thought about charging but had no idea how much
or when or anything. If you feel like you are in the same place I might be able to help you start your computer repair business.
Like most things in life to get anything out of it you first have to put something into it. You can’t expect to start a business without putting any effort or capital into it. So you might have to spend a little money on marketing and promotion. I would say the first part about making your business is making it look like a business. The best way to do that is by making some business cards. I don’t know why but somehow a little piece of paper with your name and number on it and maybe a little eye candy has a way of making people take you seriously. After you have a business card print out a thousand or so (after all you are
serious about this, right?)
Most people try to promote their computer repair business by word of mouth. That’s all well and good if you want about 1 job every month. The best marketing techniques I have found are putting a small 4 line ad in my local newspaper. Most papers have a services section on the classifieds page. To do that it only costs about $60 a month and it is well worth it. The majority of my has come from that ad in the paper.
The vast majority of people that I have helped have been old retired people. That is why my major selling point is that I come on site. Retired people, especially those that live in the boonies don’t want to have to go into town just to get their stupid computer fixed.
Since I have started I have fixed many different kinds of problems. Most of them have been related to spyware. I don’t know about you but spyware is the greatest thing that ever happened to the computer industry. It keeps me employed. Probably the next most common thing I do is just windows installation. Recovering a unbootable computer. If you expect to start a business just upgrading and replacing broken hardware you’ll find that there’s not much of a demand for it. In the year and a half I’ve been working I’ve had about 5 actual upgrades. Most people are just want a computer to get on the Internet and check e-mail. So I’m always prepared to setup a new computer on the Internet. To do this you need a good fast, easy-to-setup provider like Aceweb and a few good reliable modems. Most of my customers aren’t really interested in paying lots of money for DSL. They just want to get on the Internet, not download movies. I’ve found that setting somebody up with Aceweb and Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail and Mozilla Firefox for Internet is a pretty fool-proof system. I’m working on an even more fool-proof system using Linux but I havn’t perfected it yet.
I get most my parts at Newegg, the older ones I get from EBay. As a mentioned before most of the time new parts are not necessary to fix the problem but it’s a good idea to have some handy. The most failure prone part is power supplies. You might not think so at first but I’ve replaced more of these than any other part, having a few of these around is a good idea, and make sure they are at least 350 Watts and have the P4 connector and a 20+-4 pin connect that way they are much more versatile. As far as modems go just get any hardware based 56k modem. Most of the parts I sell are only a little over retail prices. I’m in the computer repair business not the retail business so I don’t charge way to much for parts just for installing the parts.
By now you should have some idea of what it takes to start a computer repair business. If you still think you can do but aren’t sure if you know enough to handle all the problems you might come across I am working on a series of articles on how to fix the common problems with computers. Listed in order of importance.
- Spyware removal
- Operating system Recovery
- Finding and Installing windows device drivers
- Installing/Upgrading any piece of hardware
Once you read those articles you should know all you need to know to fix most of the common problems with computers. If you feel you are ready and live in the Treasure Valley in Idaho and you don’t want to bother with the trouble of starting a business give me a call at 899-6665 and I will see if I can hire you 🙂