Starting a computer repair business can be profitable, especially if you have the skills in place to provide such services. However, before you decide to launch such a business, it's important to make sure that you have what it takes to be successful in this industry.
Before Starting a Computer Repair Business
If you are the person that people call when they need help with their computer, then turning this skill into a business may be an excellent idea. According to the U.S. Census from 2000, 54 million households in the United States (over 51%) own at least one computer. Since that time, computer use has grown substantially. Many businesses also rely heavily on computers. There's a high demand for computer repair technicians to service all those machines.
Before you can become a computer repair technician, ensure you have the most up to date education in computer repair. Some community colleges and trade schools offer computer repair technician certificates and degrees. However, most technicians will need to update their education as new technologies become available.
Steps to Opening Your Business
Starting a computer repair business can be highly successful. Consider the following steps when developing a plan to open the doors to your computer repair business to ensure you have the skills and resources in place to help you to excel.
- Know Your Value: Although older businesses centered on selling parts, today's repair business will focus on performing repair tasks for individuals. Determine the value of your time by investigating what competitors are charging. In some cases, rates as high as $100 per hour is common. In addition, in home services generally more expensive.
- Determine the Customer: Who is the customer you are targeting? If your business is small and consists primarily of you, then serving local residential computer users may be a good place to start. A larger business can take on small business needs. Residential repair is a large market; however, the need for in house repairs is common.
- Know Your Competition: The largest company in many areas offering computer repair is Best Buy's Geek Squad. However, there are likely to be small computers. Check the yellow pages. Knowing who your competition is, but learning what they offer is most important. New businesses need to offer something new to compete in the marketplace.
- Market Your Business: From day one, the key to success in this business venture will be marketing your services properly. Word of mouth marketing is a good place to start, however you may need to use both online and offline marketing techniques to build awareness in the local community. Be involved in the community. Offer free service to a school, for example, for a small ad space or mention in a monthly newsletter.
- Chamber of Commerce: Speak with your local chamber of commerce. This local service will help you to get your business established legally within the city. This includes getting the necessary business license to operate (if your city requires it) and helping to list your business with the city. The chamber of commerce is one of the best places to get your foot in the door.
- Get Contracts in Order: For every project, you will need to present a contract to your client. The contract outlines the liabilities involved in working for them. A local attorney can draft the contracts for you or you can find generic options in most office supply stores or online. Further, you should contact your insurance agent to inquire about liability insurance for your business. Protecting yourself, your equipment and your client's needs is important.
- Manage Your Equipment: If you will need equipment for your business, purchase what you need only at first. Later, as your business develops you can purchase additional products and services. Also, network with local businesses to have ready access to parts you may need. Computer technicians with a business license can find wholesale parts on the market to use.
Finally, start small. A successful computer repair business will take time to build up value and to turn a profit.