Starting a Computer Repair Business

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.

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 🙂

29 thoughts on “Starting a Computer Repair Business”

  1. You have a lot of great information on the site. You’ve condensed a lot of information into a useful “starter guide” that you don’t find often when it comes to starting a business. Especially telling people what you should know how to do and going beyond that and showing them. It made me realize I know these things and I can do it.

    I’ve been doing computer repair on a small time scale recently and am looking to market myself further. I can honestly say your site has helped motivate me to continue doing so. For years I took what I knew for granted, thinking that it was basic stuff anyone should know using a computer. You don’t realize how advanced the things you’ve learned over the years messing with your own machines really are as it seems to be basic everyday information at the present to you. I never really knew I had services to offer until I understood that.

    I’ve also found that with the continuing addition of legal online TV and movie streaming sources and faster connections, that many of my customers have been interested in media center PCs for their TVs if offered. Many people have older computers sitting around that Linux can easily turn into a workable media center due to the speed of Linux on older machines over Windows or such. It’s not really repair related, but you can end up turning a repair customer into a setup customer on top. It’s also helped convert a couple people to Linux permanently after they liked using the media center which helps me push to my larger goal of converting the masses to the beauty of Linux!

  2. Hi , You will need to setup a DBA or LLC if you don’t plan on using the business strictly in your name; you’ll need to get a FEIN for the LLC unless you make it a pass through entity. Most likely your county and\or city will require a special permit\licence to do computer work in that given area. Apart from licence and permit there are also several aspects you have to consider like The first step that you must take when you are thinking of starting a business is to set the right price for your service. Time is money, and you will probably charge by the hour.You need to market your business by sending mailers You can also promote your business on the Internet, by email marketing. You need to establish trust with the client because they are giving a computer that may have a Social Security number, credit card numbers, and so on. The technician should supply his credentials, so that the client is assured that the Technion can do the job. There are very good service center in the market like Computer repairs sheffieldwhere customers get full satisfaction with affordable price .

  3. I agree with some points that Software related problems has been the problem which causes most of problems on your PC but if you have a branded computer then most of companies gives free Telephone support for software. Also with industry always changing in terms its quite difficult to keep track of the hardware’s which fits with particular computer hardware. But in my opinion that providing computer repair services is very good choice and someone who likes to travel in the city can start their own computer repair business.

  4. I have benn repairing computers at home part time, I would like to get a DBA, how does that work? How do I declare taxes on a part time business? Thansk for your help, I live in Houston TX.

  5. @Jesus
    All a DBA is basically another name for yourself. Basically a company name but all liability is still on you. So say you want the name Computers R Us and you file a DBA legally your company name would be Jesus DBA(Doing Business As) Computers R Us. Taxes can be done as a cash in cash out basis. Meaning, you pay your taxes as you normally would. But you would have to pay double social security, etc. On a normal W2 the employer would pay half the Social security and you pay half….and so on.

  6. Nice basics on what you need to get started, but it really depends on the market you’re in. Where I’m at, everyone wants fast internet–even the old folks want to watch youtube. Though I have to agree, adware is the best thing that ever happened to pc support people–dealing with it is 80% of the work.

    Marketing-wise, take advantage of free online directories: Craigslist, pc repair directory, weekend wonks, find me a tech. Anything to get your name in front of people and search engines.

    And support contracts are huge. Make sure you have a plan with pricing for that as it’s an easy, steady stream of income.

  7. Great computer repair article. I also find that local seo and website seo is great. Classifieds is how I started my business and worked great like it says above.

  8. I have just started my own computer repair business. This is a great informational site for anyone wanting to do the same. When it comes to computer repair or electronics in general, I have no problem with performing the repairs, etc. What I do have a problem with is how much to charge for certain repairs. Most of the techs in the neighboring towns are really helpful and don’t mind sharing information with me as to what they charge, but I nor they rarely ever have time to sit and discuss it. All I want is to be fair with my customers and myself for the time I spend on a computer. Personally, I like a flat rate based service, except when I am doing a service call, which I do charge by the hour on.

  9. Hi, I have been fixing peoples computers every now and then, I no exactly what you’re talking about, I would love to set up my own computer repair business. I am in the UK can anybody tell what would be required to set it up, insurance and so on.

    Thanks

  10. Hey there! I know this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask. Does building a well-established website such as yours require a lot of work? I’m completely new to blogging but I do write in my diary on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so I can share my experience and feelings online. Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  11. this is just a bunch of loser trying to make a point, any of you that really wants to open a computer business can start by working for any small shop or best buy geek squad for the next 10 years………after that you have gain enough knowledge to go out and fail on your start-up success in becoming a business owner.

  12. I started my own because the small shops didn’t want to hire me and I did really well. It doesn’t take much to start so failing is not a big deal.

  13. hi man you help me alot,but who must I contact if I want funding for starting a bussness just because I have not sort of idea were can I get the funding to do this computer shop up and running.may you please make a susjestion.thanx bra ….

  14. I love how you addressed your niche of retired people. This is key to get into a ‘network’ in the community that will refer you on to others!

    Excellent work!

  15. I swear as I was reading the article I had the feeling that I wrote that myself. Everything mentioned I had done. Crazy how close of a life we must live yet so far away. I also prefer affiliate programs on websites for computer repair. After all your probably going to want to have a website to send your customers to for pricing, help, contact information, its your online professional profile. Weebly.com is a really easy website designer if you choose to make one. Back to the affiliate programs, you can add pages to the website and promote sales such as tablets, laptops, cell phones, software and earn commission based on products sold. It’s an easy way to generate a little added income.

  16. Start a Computer Business to Enjoy Great Opportunities. In a typical corporate computer or IT job, your earnings potential and career advancement possibilities are constrained by elements you can’t control: lazy, incompetent peers; ineffective management; and a seniority system that is not necessarily based on the hard work of employees. When you decide to start a computer business, you get rid of many of these annoyances and barriers. You get to be your own boss, find your own peers and clients, and be appreciated for what you do. Plus, the market for those trying to start a computer business is diverse and continues to grow. Today, no business can exist without some type of computer help. So you will be needed and have many opportunities to earn substantial revenue from great, loyal clients.

  17. I ran a computer repair business for a while. It is very stressful though as some computers take a LOT of work to find out the problems wrong with them. Furthermore sometimes you cant charge a lot as the computer itself is not worth much. If the client is worried about their personal information they are willing to pay more though.

  18. I agree with Computer Repair Guy. I also started with break/fix (and I would honestly prefer to stay with it) but for the amount I could charge and be competitive, it just wasn’t worth it. I would go to the customer, but nobody wants you in there for more than 2 hours, and I don’t want to be there for more than 2 hours. I took more machines with me than not as the “repair” usually took longer than that. Full scans take a long time, installations with updates take a long time, and many diagnostics take a long time. So I then had to make the trip to return the machine. I just didn’t feel like I was making a fair amount for what I had to put into it. I think a service center is a better option if you can afford it. But people do seem to like the onsite option. It’s just really hard to compete with the big name businesses like Best Buy’s Geek Squad, etc…. You have to undercharge and that just isn’t beneficial to me financially.

  19. You right flat rate is a good option for when you can take a computer home and spend as much time as you need on it. I do believe and onsite option lets individual techs compete against established pc repair shops or big businesses like staples, office depot, or best buy. Last I checked geek squad’s onsite service started at $200! It’s not very hard to undercut them and still make a significant amount of money. I usually work onsite for up to 2 hours and if it takes longer than that I take it home to finish up but don’t charge for the entire time, keeps me and my customers happy.

  20. Wow good information, i been fixing pc for a while now, and this article is correct most problems are software related

  21. I have no idea when this was published, but you are way out of date.

    The biggest recent problem has got to be graphics chips on laptops, another big problem is DC sockets, again on laptops and while you are right that PSU’s go a lot, it is by no way as much as hard drives, but I would guess you rarely check for problems on those.

    Laptops are by far the key market, we service 100ish computers a month, about 10% are Mac desktops while the other 90% are laptops with perhaps a few a year of PC desktops.

    Spyware is an easy enough thing to fix, profit, what? £20-£30? likely hood is that you don’t do it right so there is still some left and often you just reload the OS instead of fixing the issue.

    Unless requested by the customer, we have never just reloaded the OS because of Spyware, we can ALWAYS remove it.

    I also find that word and mouth backed up with following up is by far the most powerful marketing possible.

    I go into my bank to set up a new bank account, I get a job, I eat lunch with the parents of a new partner, I get a new job, I move shops, I get lots of new jobs, almost everybody who asks what I do, has a computer problem.

    Second would have to be SEO, unlikely you know what that is, but it is effectivly free and can generate thousands of customers, another, I have never correctly tried is Google Adwords, you pay for who visits your website, and wants their computer repaired which is amazing.

    Anyway, good luck, I do hope this is outdated and you are not one of the many who are no more knowledgeable than I was at the age of 10 and I hope you can solder, fix GPU’s, Apple Macs, replace LCDs etc.

    P.S. We have expanded on average every 1.5 years, started in a bedroom, then onto an office, then onto a industrial unit, and within a few months onto a high street with a shopfront.

  22. Luke – if you looked at the header you would have seen this was written over 2 years ago. Your condescending attitude would only get me to go elsewhere for anything to do with computers. Most computer problems can be easily diagnosed inside a few minutes and the rest you use experience and some fine software to figure out. Hirens is chalked full of good diagnostic programs as one example. Anyway. cudos to the site .

  23. If you’re looking to sell and service computers within your local community and remain a one-person operation, residential clients may suit you best. They’re generally more responsive to advertising and marketing than small-business owners are, according to Reaves.

  24. I am a hardware engineer. I want to build a computer service center and I want to the support whole of world . My terget is iso certified company build up. At present I have no capital. Please help me and give me the solution.

  25. Spyware is an easy enough thing to fix, profit, what? £20-£30? likely hood is that you don’t do it right so there is still some left and often you just reload the OS instead of fixing the issue.

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