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starting a computer business

peace computer family how is everyone doing?fine I hope!!!!!!.
I just starting to gets calls from people about servcing pc's
but I need some information: first i would like to know what is going service call for a tech to go to someone home to service their computer and does this service call includes what is wrong with the pc? example I went to someone home.to service their pc the problem was the pc didnt come on or would not power on according to the customer/client so when i got there i check all cords and find out that it was just a loose cable cord coming from the cpu itself i unplugged it and put it back in and problem solved does this include the service call fee and plus fixing the problem? do anyone have a computer service invoice or some type of form i can use as  receipt to give to my customers.also i installation a encarta for this customer as well and she felt like all she want to pay was the service call and that its which is what i was not suppose to do just the original problem should i have charge her for this? and do anyone have information on how much i should be charging to installation a device like modem or harddrive etc i need some pricing.on different things im doing my paper work  right now so i can get my computer name registered here in new jersey.how do people set up to sale computers and how do they get them I want to sell pc's as well not now but later on after I setup the first thing first and then move on to the next thing.need help starting a computer business please keep me posted peace out computer family
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michael9822
Asked:
michael9822
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7 Solutions
 
blue_zeeCommented:

I hope you can get some useful answers here but you would probably be better off placing this question on

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Miscellaneous/

But maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, best of luck!

Zee
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BillDLCommented:
Michael
It would be very useful to others when you post your new question (or leave it here for suggestions to be made) if you said what country and/or state you live in.  For instance, if you lived in Alaska, and had to make a 400 mile round-trip to install a modem, then that would certainly incur more time and expense than nipping across to the other side of Milwaukee to do the same job, and you would probably charge different rates.

My advice is to visit a number of PC repair shops and pick up some leaflets that give some fixed prices for common jobs.  This would let you to :
1. work out the average time a job like that would do
2. deduct the cost of the hardware
3. calculate a rough hourly rate.

Because you obviously don't have a shop to pay the rent for, but would have to travel to customers' homes by car, then you should be able to lower the hourly rate below what the shop charges.

It all depends what type of area you live in, and whether all the customers would be home users looking for common break/fix or upgrade jobs.

One other thing you would have to think about carefully is the issue of warranties and guarantees for your workmanship.  If you waltz into someone's home and format all their irreplaceable data from the hard drive without specifically telling them that this will be a requirement, then you could be sued.  If you stick a dodgy power supply unit in a PC and it blows out the mains power in the house and the entire neighbourhood, then your hard-earned word-of-mouth references will be about as useful as toilet paper and you could be hit with a bill by the Municipal Works department :-)

Extreme examples obviously, but you would have to consider these aspects.
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michael9822Author Commented:
computer family first of all i live in new jersey and second of all i do electrial work and i know how to handle my business and oh yeah there is chance of something going wrong but only if you think that way. i handle what i can do nothing more nothing less. so all of that about being sued and stuff could happen but i feel as long as i follow the safety watch what iam doing im fine. if its something i can handle i wont do it. third and from doing research  is not how those computer guys got started helping people with there pc from home or a basement or something so what iam suppose to do let my schooling go to waste i dont think so not going to happen. and you can tell me you have not helped someone with there pc before or after you got a certificate.I have confidence in my skills and not its time i held back all of this time i want to  show my skills so when i do really get out there things will be fine.but i understand what you are saying but that just wont discourage me from what i want to do.so i will continue doing what im doing but i will go get leaflets and all that so i thank you for that response peace
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Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

 
blue_zeeCommented:

Michael,

Were you planning to close the question and accept ONLY my answer?

Zee
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BillDLCommented:
Peace to you too, Michael.  I admire your drive and determination.
Yes, it's quite true that many technicians started out on their career paths by helping friends, family and acquaintances (often for no payment), but it is a really fierce market and you will need all that determination to build up a reputation.

Do yourself a favour.  When you get your business cards and invoice templates made up, please be sure to use uppercase in the right places and some punctuation :-)

You know, I see these A2 sized laminated boards cable-tied to railings near traffic lights at various places as I leave my work every night and stop at the lights.  They have a large catchy heading, something like

              Computer Problems?
----------------------------------------------------
    Call the Experts to your home!
  Upgrades, Custom Builds, Installations,
Virus Removal, and Software problems fixed.
----------------------------------------------------
       Telephone 0123456789 Now!!

I don't know how much business they generate before the roads department remove them (not allowed to post advert placards without authority), but something like that might be a good way of advertising for free.  If I was a regular home user who didn't really know how to fix a problem, I might be tempted to call the number.

If you see any like that, why not pretend to be a prospective customer and phone up to find out a bit more about their rates, call-out charges, etc.

Supermarkets in the UK have wallboards where you can stick commercial adverts for a very small weekly charge.

Good luck.
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blue_zeeCommented:

Over here they are distributing business cards, dropping them in all the mail boxes they can find.
;-)

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BillDLCommented:
Here several self-employed home based technicians in my town are obviously paying paper girls or boys a few bucks to stick a leaflet in each paper they deliver.  I guarantee that every town has more than its fair share of similar home-based technicians doing similar things.  I got 3 leaflets from different technicians in my last paper, all of them professing to offer the best service :-)

You see, what's happened here is that every job section of all the national papers have drummed it into school-leavers (and those in dead-end jobs), that there is an IT skills shortage, and there are a HUGE number of companies offering all the usual "technician" courses as well as the MCSE and Cisco courses.  From what I can determine, there is now an overload of those who took the "technicians" course under the delusion that they would get jobs instantly, and most of them are still stuck in their crap jobs while fixing PC's to supplement the equally crap wages.  What they WEREN'T told was that the IT skills shortage was for fully qualified and experienced network engineers and programmers - not break/fix technicians.

The same is true of self-employed driving instructors here.  They are "employed" by companies who "put them through their training" and "guarantee" a minimum number of bookings while the trainees work towards their 2nd and 3rd instructors' tests while teaching pupils.  It isn't made clear at the outset that the sponsored trainee is endebted and tied to that company for as long as it takes to repay the 7 to 10 grand training fees, and that once they break away into self-employment, they will be entering a market with 10 newly qualified driving instructors in every neighbourhood all battling for business.

That said, however, I would still give up my crap job if I thought I could pay the bills fixing peoples' PC's instead of telling them over a help forum how to do it themselves for nothing ;-)
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blue_zeeCommented:
Michael,

I have posted to reopen this question.

Before closing again, please read this:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi69

Thanks!

Zee
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you Michael, and the best of luck with your venture.
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