If you have a passion for working with computers and have the technical knowhow to make it work and trouble shoot problems, you may want to consider starting you own computer repair business.
With computers now an integral and commonplace equipment in both businesses and homes, computer repair is one of the fastest growing industries today. Add to that the fact that there are a lot of individuals and even businesses who don’t have the skills, manpower, time or desire to repair or install upgrades in their own computers.
Some of the common services you may want to offer in your computer repair business include:
- Spyware and malware removal
- Virus removal and cleanup
- Windows installation
- Recovering a unbootable computer
- Setting up of hardware and support
- Upgrading and replacing broken hardware
- Repairing Macs (huge demand especially in the residential market)
- Networking, including printer sharing
- Setting up and troubleshooting software
- Training and consulting
Most of those who start a computer repair business start tinkering with computers as a hobby, and find that fixing computers are a challenge that is worth taking. However, in starting this business, you need to consider three important factors:
- willingness to dedicate time and effort to succeed in the business
- capital to jumpstart and run the business
- tools to use for the business
Just like any business, you need to define your target market and determine how to effectively reach them. Some possible target markets include:
- Small business owners, who more often than not do not have a dedicated employee for computer repair needs. Most of small businesses also would rather outsource the repair and maintenance of their computers rather than spend too much time away from their core business to do the repairs needed.
- Home business owners and one person businesses whose computers are extremely essential to the operation of their business
- Retired baby boomers are another important possible target market for this business. Most of the old folks will not drive to town to get their computer fixed. Plus, many of them are not willing or do not have the technical know-how to do even simple fixes or installs.
Some ways to market the business and reach your target market include (for more marketing and advertising ideas, visit PowerHomeBiz.com Marketing and Promoting a Small Business section):
- Direct mail campaign (e.g, check with your local county the list of new businesses)
- Flyers and postcards, including door hangers
- Advertising in print media such as local papers, regional papers, national papers, business and trade magazine
- Advertising in talk radio, including guesting spots talking about computers
- Networking in organizations such as local chamber of commerce, board of trade, associations, community groups, etc.;
- Online presence including creating a presentation website and listing in local online directories and yellow pages
- PR such as writing of press releases announcing your new business
- Establishing yourself as an expert by writing articles for a newspaper/magazine
- Participation, even sponsoring special community events
- Trade shows, association events, meetings, and free seminars.
Part of the process involves knowing your competitors and understanding what will set your business apart from the competition. And you’ll be up against the likes of Geek Squad and Geeks On Call Geek Squad, both of which have reasonably competent technicians and reasonable rates, backed by strong marketing campaigns. It might be useful to consider employment wit such companies first before venturing with your own computer repair business to understand and learn the demands of the business, the systems needed to run the business, get the know how as to who really needs the service and what types of services are most needed.
For additional information, read the following books:
- Computer Repair Business Lessons Learned by Daniel Hand
- How to start and run your own computer repair business by Joe A. Wisinski
- Start Your Own Computer Business: Building a Successful PC Repair and Service Business by Supporting Customers and Managing Money by Morris Rosenthal and Reva Rubenstein
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