As an experienced computer whiz, your knowledge of hardware, software, malware and the rest of the -ware family comes in handy whenever you, relatives or coworkers have computer issues. If you enjoy working on computers and helping others resolve their computer problems, why not turn your hobby into a career by starting a computer repair business?
Of course, starting your own business doesn’t just happen overnight, so here are some questions to consider for guidance:
1. What Type of Business is it?
Running a small business out of your home is completely different than starting a full-fledged company in a separate facility. Consider what your business goals are now and how they may change in the future. If you’re committed to eventually running the business full-time, an in-home operation allows you to test the waters first, and to gain a customer base before launching a company.
2. Where will you do Repairs?
Transportation is another issue to sort out in the beginning. In-home repair is convenient, but you risk losing customers who don’t have vehicles or are uncomfortable meeting you at your home. On the other hand, traveling to customers’ houses is more time-consuming and requires more gas money. If you go with in-home repairs, designate a room for repairs. Make it as organized as possible, investing in multiple work tables for plenty of maintenance space, and to keep track of each customer’s device.
3. What Services should you Offer?
Virus removal, installing anti-virus software and other software issues are common customer needs, but you could also offer actual hardware repair, too. If you prefer one computer manufacturer, brush up on the differences between Macs and PCs – especially their operating systems and hardware. You should also consider whether you’ll provide services for businesses, individual customers or both.
4. What is the Hourly Rate?
While you’ll want to make a decent profit for your services, you also want to offer a fair price for your target audience. For example, you could probably charge a higher amount per hour in a large city area than a small country town. Research what your competitors are charging to get an idea of what you should be charging in your area.
5. How will you Attract Customers?
One of the most important steps of gaining loyal customers is effectively marketing your business. A website that lists your contact information, services, credentials, hours of operation and location is a must. Consider which method of advertising and marketing will reach your customers. Social media is useful in some cases, but if a majority of residents in the surrounding area are elderly, you can probably get by without posting regular business updates on Twitter.
6. Should you Hire Employees?
If you accumulate a large enough customer base, it wouldn’t hurt to think about hiring a few employees to help with demand. This brings a whole new level of responsibility to the table. Not only do you have to provide the correct tax forms, arrange a payroll system and compose contracts, but you have to hire experienced, polite, competent people. However, the right employees can be valuable for quicker service, which makes current customers happy and provides room for new ones.
Whether you’re looking for a part-time gig or starting a new career, your love of computers and helping others can translate to a rewarding job in computer repair.