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Old 07-09-2007, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

Hi all...I'm thinking about starting my own computer business here's my game plan so far...but I'm not where close to the end product:

Start by word-of-mouth advertising, nothing major like newspaper ads or ads that cost me any money

I'm not looking for major profits, I'm only 16 so I'm not supporting myself or anything, and I have another part time job as a DJ for a local country station, so there's some money flow there...I'm just looking to stay in the black, I know sometimes the first bit of startup will land you in the red, but thats a risk I'm willing to take.

I can build computers and also fix most bugs and such, and most major major major problems can be solved through forums and such, IF I would happen to hit a dead end, which everyone does once in a while

I love working with people so this job would be a plus for me, I'm not a money hound, so I can definately work with reasonable prices, unlike brand name/chains that fix computers (such as Geek Squad...blah!!! :-( they suck!...damn expensive)

That's all I've got so far but that's why I'm here on BC cuz I need suggestions and such...pro's/con's, ideas, suggestions, info...what ever you've got I'll take it...but please, from serious people only....preferably from those in the business

Thank you for any help received, it will be much appreciated...

Zac, Southern Minnesota
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

well, to be honest I just don't see it working too well.

First you would probably want to rent some place to start the business in. That's going to cost a lot. I don't really have any idea what the prices are around there, but I'd guess you are looking at around $400/month. (+electricity etc)
Then you would have to be there full time, you are only 16 so you are probably in school so being there full time isn't an option. So you would need to hire someone to be there during the day. That would probably mean at least a $1000/month.

Starting a business won't be easy, and it definitely won't be cheap.
If you thought about doing just kinda "call me and I'll come and fix your computer" that might work, but most of the time people would prefer to pay that ~$60 and take it for some company to fix instead of calling some random 16 year old guy to come and fix their computer for $20.

Think about it, you have a car and you have no idea how to fix it. Will you take it to some guy who definitely knows his stuff etc or will you call some kid who lives down the road? If you would have the money you would definitely let a professional take a look at it.

So really, it's probably not going to be worth it. But you can still try if you want to, just ask questions and we will help you if we can.
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Old 07-09-2007, 06:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

Yeah i kind of agree with the above . Try and get a reputation for being able to fix stuff first . Fix friends pc's and family and then when you fix them tell them to let there familys now if they need cheap pc repairs . Eventualy you will have more jobs .If you have a job as well i would fix workmates computers

Another thing to consider doing is building comoputers and selling them . You could also offer to do custum machines
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

I do agree with the others. My sophomore year in high school i was just beginning to enter the world of computers. Only my friends knew that. So they knew that i kinda knew about computers and would ask me stuff. But during that year i started helping our computer tech at school. Which i did the same through out my entire junior year also. As people saw me going around school fixing computers and what not. They realized i knew stuff about computers. And about 80% of the graduating seniors, of 35 students, asked me for computer advice or help with computers. Moral of the story, establish credibility.

Anyways, if you want to fix computers and the sort. You are going to need the right stuff. As said before by mammikoura, you are going to need a place to do all of this. Either it be a basement, garage, you're room, a rented place if you have the money. It has to be clean and be ready for customers to enter. Even if its your basement or garage and if they see a well set up area equipped for the maintenance of computers. It will ease their worries a little or even a lot.

Then you are going to need the right tools. I know on newegg that they have tool kits for maintenance, system builders, server builders/maintenance. Or you could even pick up a lot of your tools at your local hardware store.

Then you are going to need parts. Make sure you have an array of parts such as cd rom drives. Motherboards. RAM, Powersupplies. Fans. hard drives and the sort so you can use them to test problems or even sell them to customers. If its a used part you might want to tell them that just incase it does something wrong to their computer.

Also have the right programs ready. Memtests. Helpful programs that would ne nice to put on their computers such as anti-virus, and the such. Even if you can, have OS discs.

And make sure you know what you are talking about and if you do be able to "dumb" it down for people. Not everybody knows what you mean that your dual core runs at 2.2 GHZ and has a good L2 cache and that you have 2 gigs of ram. Make sure you ran relay the info to them so they understand.

Thats all i can think of right now. Hope if you do it that it works out for ya.
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

wow...you guys...like I'm not even close to thinking of doing this on a scale that you are thinking I'm going to be doing this on...I just mean fixing and building computers for close friends and family....people I trust...if it expands from there, then I will go ahead and see whats next, but theres no way this will be anywhere near full time, and theres no way im renting a place, i dont have that kind of money. I'm starting small anyways, so, i dont think it will too big of a deal to just have it in my extra room in my house...i live in a town of about 3500 people, and im sure that like less 1 percent of them even need a computer since half are over the damn age of 65.......thanks though, but im just not looking at that big of scale right now
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:02 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

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Originally Posted by dude_56013 View Post
.I just mean fixing and building computers for close friends and family....people I trust...
well I bet that is something most of the forum members do already. Though at least I never ask for money when doing that kinda stuff for friends or for family members, and I don't think you can call it a business either.

But seriously, if you don't go big then don't go at all. There isn't really any point in making a computer business unless you are ready to actually compete with the other computer shops. That means be available most of the time and be ready to fix anything in a few days. But you can still let people know that if they need computer help you can come and fix it. That way you might get a few jobs every year, nothing that will make you rich but at least you get something to do.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

Ya guys he said he was 16, he won't be renting out a building and getting a store stocked with stuff or anything like that. First thing I would do is get yourself a website, its going to cost a little bit of money but it will look professional. After that spread through word of mouth, ask friends or family and see what happens.
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Old 07-09-2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

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Originally Posted by hascet View Post
Ya guys he said he was 16, he won't be renting out a building and getting a store stocked with stuff or anything like that. First thing I would do is get yourself a website, its going to cost a little bit of money but it will look professional. After that spread through word of mouth, ask friends or family and see what happens.
THANK YOU for backing me up here, geesh....i don't have to go big because there is no other computer store even close to me....the nearest is like 40 miles away! That's why I just want to start small at first, get used to it, and let it blossom.....I mainly want to spread the word that I build custom computers, not mainly spread the word that I do other software and bug fixes because theres a gazillion people that have problems like that and only one of me...plus building is way more fun than all that crap ...im not saying i won't offer my customers that option, im just saying thats not mainly what i want to go for

yes thank you very much Hascet, I'm 16 and i dont plan on renting a damn building....I don't need to have parts in stock as I'm not going to sell parts....I'm going to build computers...thats my main interest..I have an extra room in my house I'm working on fixing up anyways so i'll have a space for it...

i also have a friend who knows quite a bit about computers, and he's my Linux guy, so if i have questions on that i can go to him..but like i said, i'm starting small, im not a money hungry person, i just want to give people the option of going to someone who will treat them right and give them fair deals and such....unlike tons of big name places...
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

This is basically what I do. I started rebuilding and reselling PCs when I was 16, almost a year ago. I got about half the attic in my house dedicated as my computer work room. I live out in the middle of nowhere, 20 minutes away from the edge of the city, so business is nowhere near booming. I have sold quite a few rebuilt PCs with many happy customers.

I mainly get donations or get stuff for cheap if I need it bad enough. When I have a system ready to be sold, I post it on craigslist. The people that want a good deal on a ready to go system that handles the internet well will take the 20 minute drive to my house.

I've even repaired several PCs of people I didn't even know. If you drop the price enough, people will go for you for repairs. My base price for repairs is $15. It generally doesn't go up unless something else arises. Beats the PC repair shops price of $30 just to install an optical drive (no kidding).

Although I don't build new since I run off of mostly donations, that is basically what I do. I think it may help you out if you do rebuild older PCs too. not everyone can afford new, and they don't need new to use the Internet since that's what most people use theirs for. It can also act as a PC recycling service for the people that just want to get rid of their old systems. I've gotten quite a few nice systems (worth about $200-300 per system) for free.

Just a few things to throw out there for you. You can charge your family/friends for repairs, because I also wouldn't want to work for free, but give them a discount over your regular price at least.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:28 AM   #10
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Default Re: Thinking of starting my own computer business...suggestions, help, info...thanks

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Originally Posted by Jesusfrk611 View Post
This is basically what I do. I started rebuilding and reselling PCs when I was 16, almost a year ago. I got about half the attic in my house dedicated as my computer work room. I live out in the middle of nowhere, 20 minutes away from the edge of the city, so business is nowhere near booming. I have sold quite a few rebuilt PCs with many happy customers.

I mainly get donations or get stuff for cheap if I need it bad enough. When I have a system ready to be sold, I post it on craigslist. The people that want a good deal on a ready to go system that handles the internet well will take the 20 minute drive to my house.

I've even repaired several PCs of people I didn't even know. If you drop the price enough, people will go for you for repairs. My base price for repairs is $15. It generally doesn't go up unless something else arises. Beats the PC repair shops price of $30 just to install an optical drive (no kidding).

Although I don't build new since I run off of mostly donations, that is basically what I do. I think it may help you out if you do rebuild older PCs too. not everyone can afford new, and they don't need new to use the Internet since that's what most people use theirs for. It can also act as a PC recycling service for the people that just want to get rid of their old systems. I've gotten quite a few nice systems (worth about $200-300 per system) for free.

Just a few things to throw out there for you. You can charge your family/friends for repairs, because I also wouldn't want to work for free, but give them a discount over your regular price at least.
ok...you have no idea how much the last two posts have helped me....thank you very much.....im glad to see a few people are on my side and giving my some pro's, not just cons

yes I know, I would also rebuild and recycle old pc's ....and maybe get a special going where like depending on what condition there old pc was in, give them a discount for me taking there old system and building them a new one...im going to start building a basic html website tonight and see where i get..maybe just a simple 2 framed site.....idk ill see...ill let you know how it goes thanks all...

-Zac
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