You may be interested in computers – why don’t you turn this interest into an income-generating profession? Be encouraged by the fact that a PC repair service, especially when established and enjoying a solid client base, could bring in a fairly lucrative income.
If you’d like to launch a career in this business, here are some great tips to help you get started:
Determine your client base. One of the first things that you have to do is to determine who would be your target customers. This is because once you’ve considered this factor, you would be able to plan your business and advertising strategy better. By the way, remember that a computer repair business is still a business. Computer know-how is important, but so is management, promotions, financial planning, etc. For example, if you decide on having local residents as your customers, then opt to make your advertising low-scale but intensive. Put up fliers on local businesses, especially relevant ones such as Internet cafés or near stores that sell computers, or go door-to-door and hand out your business card to residents. If you opt to cater to businesses, you can choose to go specialized. For example, you could approach a school principal and inquire if he needs somebody to maintain the school’s computer equipment and software. If you obtain that business then you’ve won for yourself a solid niche. It would, however, entail you intensively study that business’ specific programs and operating systems. You could also offer them special rates for bulk orders and services. Remember, the more well versed you are about your clients’ specific computer needs the more indispensable you will be to them.
Check out the competition. Give yourself some time to visit other computer repair centers in your area to check out their services, rates and products. Afterwards, use the data you have compiled to plan out the details of your own business. Determine your price for each specific service, and it’s a good idea to add a little bit extra to your service to encourage clients to choose to hire you. For example, offer on-site repair, give real-time online instant messaging advice to loyal customers, and give freebies such as computer hardware cleaning solutions and PC magazines. Keep track of the problems they face with their computers, record them all in one file, and the next time you visit, ask them about their problems again. This will help you establish a rapport with your customers and show that you genuinely like to work with them to maximize their computer’s efficiency. If your clients see these qualities in you they will definitely forego other, possibly more experienced computer repair consultants and head automatically to you whenever they encounter a problem with their computer.
Specify the services you’d provide. While on the business planning stage, you have to be specific as to what services you would offer to your customers. These services may include general PC and laptop repair, virus removal, data recovery, software upgrades, computer troubleshooting and computer hardware repair. Once you have specified this list, this is important–make sure you continuously update your knowledge about these skills. The thing about computers is that new programs, models and even viruses are constantly on the rise, and every techie worth his salt should be able to keep up with these technological developments. It’s important that you make yourself up to be a valuable consultant to your clients, and you’ll reap the benefits when you have built for yourself a satisfied client base.
Promote your business. As mentioned earlier, it all depends on your client base. You could opt to do your promotions locally, or on a wider scale (such as through setting up a website, attending industry fairs and seminars and giving out your business cards there, and taking out ad space in your county newspaper). The key thing here is this–you have to let people know about your business.
Determine your business setting. You would have to consider where to set up your computer repair shop. If you want to work from home, a viable option is to convert your garage into your operations base. If you don’t have available space at home, then consider renting out office space. Be advised that you would need to save up more capital for this. Make sure too that you have about six to nine months worth of your living expenses in your bank account before you start your business; this would give you allowance during the times when your business won’t be earning enough yet.
Remember, in setting up your computer repair business, a genuine love for computers and relating with people would help you think of this whole venture not just as an occupation, but a fun way of earning a living. And since you’re so computer-savvy, taking the occasional online course in business will be the perfect way for you to keep your skills sharp!