Need tips, starting computer repair business. Just me.

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May 24, 2011
Hi everyone I was wondering if any of you had any tips for me about starting a computer repair, teaching business and maybe some tv stuff to. This is my first time starting anything like this and I'm sure there are lots of you have tons of experience. I have a few clients already and made 60 bucks yesterday. I'm thinking 20 dollars an hour and if I can't diagnose or fix the problem I will only charge 10 dollars. One of my clients spent 300 dollars for geek squad to come out to their house and look at there computer to get rid of a virus. That's super pricey I don't see why anyone would pay that much when I can do the same job for way less. What do you think I would need besides my laptop and USB sticks? I was thinking maybe a assort of ram and hard drives I could sell them if theirs went out. I have just been working for old people lately and If I could work 6+ hours a day I could make good money for a college kid. Anything would be appreciated thanks.
Businesses charge big money because they have A LOT of overhead costs and business costs to operate. Don't forget you have to pay tax if you are running a business and are getting an income from it. You can make a few good bucks on the side if you have people coming to you for help. I usually charge $40 an hour, but I rarely do things on the side anymore. I could probably charge more than that though. $20 is really low unless you are pretty inexperienced and takes a while to work an issue. It is very difficult to actually make a living out of doing this unless you have ton's of people coming to you or have several businesses lined up that you frequently do work for. Those are the places that you can really get some hours at. There are alot of small businesses out there that need an IT guy once and a while and for advice and guidance. I've done work for my dentist office and a few small businesses YEARS ago and it was some nice extra cash.

As far as stock items.. I would never keep a stock of parts because their value is constantly going down and you won't use the product fast enough. I usually order it from newegg and say it will be here in a few days, or if it is needed ASAP I run to a local shop to find it and just have them pay for the cost. I charge for hours only, not parts. Alot of people will respect you for being upfront and honest. You can do that over the big guys if it is just for extra money. Side work is usually picked up by word of mouth. "Hey, Billy worked on my computer and he was great. blah blah blah, he didn't shaft me like the nerd herd." Older people REALLY appreciate someone who will come to their house and not BS them or try to sell them something. That and they love to talk about you forever to everyone.

Good luck.


If you do business work, try getting a contract in place. You'll find it may become a moving target on what work you're doing.
Working for individuals will be decent but don't expect to keep making money on it. Everyone's kid today can do some kind of computer work and thinks they know how to fix stuff.

You're better off coming up with a flat rate for select repairs. Virus removal, $50 for example. Go to Best Buy, see what they charge, and slash your prices against their pricing. They can charge that much because of overhead and because people have few places they can go these days to have computer work done. Often, it becomes cheaper to buy a new computer for $400 than to repair the older system. That has become a downfall to many of mom & pop places that used to do the work.

Moving up into supporting a business is where the money will be found though. You could even sign on to do phone support after hours for a monthly fee, or on whatever schedule you have. Find a niche, work it hard, and you'll be doing good.

Basic computer work is fine.. but don't expect it to last. Plus, get ready for the headaches that come with doing the work. You'll fix someone's computer, 3 weeks later they'll call you saying you screwed their computer up because the printer won't work now. Or they'll keep calling you thinking you'll work for free.

Always send them a bill after they've paid saying how much the work was and that it was paid in full.
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