Starting a computer repair/setup/consulting business - just me - need tips

Mojo88

Honorable
Sep 24, 2013
2
0
10,510
0
I am contemplating doing some computer setup/repair/consulting work as a sideline business. I have always been pretty good with mechanical and electronic stuff. I've built a bunch of my own computers and I have been a computer consultant to friends and family for many years (I'm 62 years old).

I have an existing office (insurance type business), which I share with a partner. We make decent money, but I get bored sitting around the office.

I am think about targeting home users and offering setup/repairs/consulting in customer's homes, where possible or feasible. Obviously, some repairs would need parts or a lot of time, and for those jobs I would bring the computer back to the office. I would be doing Windows-based machines only, no Apple stuff (don't know if this is a big drawback or not).

Part of my business plan is to offer the following services:
1) free pickup and delivery
2) in-home repair service, where possible
3) in-home consultation & setup to help folks use their computers easier
4) in-home setup of printers, other devices and /or networks

I know enough to be dangerous, but I am not an IT pro by trade. I would absolutely want to get some additional training, so any tips or tricks, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks, Dave F. in Rhode Island
 

kulmnar

Distinguished
Dec 15, 2011
310
0
18,860
29
You will need:
1- Insurance
2- Customer service skills: Be able to put up with irate, angry customers who will treat you like you're not worth a damn. This is real. If my negativity sounds annoying wait until you see your customers. Have you ever worked in retail (cashier) or in the restaurant business (waiter)? These types of jobs will train you to put up with hell.
3- Someone to cover for you when you're not available (customers want regular service, they will feel ripped off if you're sick for a week and no one else can fix their $350 used PC that they are using to play BF3 lol)
4- Offer at least a 1 year warranty if you're building new systems for your customers. Otherwise you probably will have trouble attracting business.
5- Competitive pricing: you will get hammered here. You will not be able to offer what Dell and HP and any other big business offers. Try to personalize the service in some way in order to differentiate yourself from faceless corporations. Then maybe customers will be convinced to pay higher prices.
 

legacyBIOS

Honorable
Sep 10, 2013
74
0
10,660
15
I do this in my town in Ohio in probably the poorest county here. I will say that I don't get a TON of business because of that, BUT there is definitely a need for freelance IT work. As for not doing Apple products, many Apple devices will need to be shipped back to Apple for repairs because either it's extremely frustrating messing with Apple hardware, or B, if you yourself work on the hardware, it can void their warranty since Apple's a stickler for that kind of thing. It's much better if Apple users send it back for them to repair it than you. If it's something software-wise like a reformat or an OS upgrade, you can do that yourself easily. Otherwise, good luck. Hopefully you live in a more populated and wealthier part of the country than I do. Cheers!
 

kulmnar

Distinguished
Dec 15, 2011
310
0
18,860
29
You will need:
1- Insurance
2- Customer service skills: Be able to put up with irate, angry customers who will treat you like you're not worth a damn. This is real. If my negativity sounds annoying wait until you see your customers. Have you ever worked in retail (cashier) or in the restaurant business (waiter)? These types of jobs will train you to put up with hell.
3- Someone to cover for you when you're not available (customers want regular service, they will feel ripped off if you're sick for a week and no one else can fix their $350 used PC that they are using to play BF3 lol)
4- Offer at least a 1 year warranty if you're building new systems for your customers. Otherwise you probably will have trouble attracting business.
5- Competitive pricing: you will get hammered here. You will not be able to offer what Dell and HP and any other big business offers. Try to personalize the service in some way in order to differentiate yourself from faceless corporations. Then maybe customers will be convinced to pay higher prices.
 

ingtar33

Illustrious
this is a tight and difficult field to get into and make a living doing. understand there will need to be a lot of hustle to drum up business as you'll need to compete with geek squad and all the know-it-alls who built their own computer once and now think they're an expert.

good luck, price yourself according to your skills. in this field being high priced isn't a bad thing, just make sure your work is worth it.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
RyukKanji Work & Education 3

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS