I, too, am in the PC business, and I could give you suggestions to help you grow. They do work well.
1. If you have not yet come up with a good name, you could do what I did. You could use your town's name and put PC after it. It sounded good enough, as I could not think of anything that was catchy and impressive. So, I called my company Waldorf PC.
2. Get an LLC made up for your business. These come handy just in case you should ever get into any trouble, God forbid. They cost anywhere between two hundred fifty to three hundred bucks depending on the lawyer.
3. Utilize social networking sites for your business growth. Facebook and LinkedIn are two that I use regularly. www.linkedin.com
is strictly business, and if you are really good at getting to know people and networking, you'll hit it off great. Join some groups on LinkedIn, and respond to discussions, and people will grow to know you and want to network with you. You could even let people know in the groups that you are an open networker and desire to grow your network with other professionals. Once your network starts to grow, go to the Q and A and answer as many of their questions as you can. The key is to build trust in your expertise. Facebook consists of people of all types, but remember that anyone could be your customer. Just grow your friends list as big as you can, not doing it in the way of spam but getting to know the people for real, and you could make a special event twice a year or so to allow people to take advantage of good sales. For ideas to grow your list without spamming people, use the friend finder and add everyone you can that goes to your school or college. This way, you are not spamming, as you already have something in common in that you attended the same school or college. Once you add these people, stay in touch with them regularly. It is important that you build a repore with them. Comment on their status, send messages periodically, write on their walls, take a personal interest, and grow into great friendships. You'll be surprised how this helps your company grow. You can also gain friendships on FaceBook by joining business related groups, as well as other interest groups.
4. It is definitely good to have a legal service to back you and contracts written up that all of your customers will have to sign before you will even touch their computers. for fifty dollars a month, there is a service that you could take advantage of. It works to assist small businesses in that they help with taxes, provide legal aide, give you marketing and strategizing advice, write up contracts, and several other things. To get started, visit Steven Wilson's page on LinkedIn. You can find him at http://www.linkedin.com/profile?view...2Emid_89620883
These services are something that will definitely aide you. Tell him that Reina Brown from Waldorf PC sent you, and I promise he will take care of you.
5. Make sure you have a paymet gateway set up, and have more than one to offer a selection of choices for your customers, as some may prefer one over another. I currently use Paypal and Google Checkout. I'm also working on setting up a merchant account with the bank to take credit cards over the phone. You can Do this with Google Checkout but the customer has to open the emailed invoice and pay for the product himself. If he does not have a computer, wll, he will have to go to the library, and he could lose interest in your sale, which you do not want.
6. To figure out pricing, here is a strategy you can use to help you out.
a. For parts, tack on thirty percent to the cost you've paid. For instance, if you paid $6 for a jump drive, then add on thirty percent of $6, and this is the profit you will keep for yourself.
B. for custom builds, tack on thirty percent to everything you buy for the system and charge one hundred dollars flat for labor.
C. For services, watch your competitors closely, such as the Geek Squad or any other computer place local to you. Always go lower than they do but still make enough to put money in your pocket. i do not use Geek Squad to gage my prices so much since they charge an arm and a leg. I use the other local shops, and I will charge five or ten dollars less. Do you get it?
D. For name brand or off brand computers, get in touch with a wholeseller and charge slightly lower than other stores. You'll keep a handle on your competitors this way. Two wholesellers that are small business friendly are www.outletpc.com
Make sure that when you contact them, you let them know you need to deal with the wholesellers because you are in the business.
I hope I've helped out. If I can answer any more questions or provide any knowledge, please let me know.