Re: Working for yourself as a PC tech

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by plazticsoul, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. plazticsoul

    plazticsoul Guest

    What you need to do is establish a legitimate business. Contact your state's
    department of revenue and get an occupational license. There is a one-time
    fee but it shouldn't be expensive. Second, build a website, or pay someone
    to design it for you. Third, have business cards printed with the website
    address and your cell phone number. You're in business, my friend!!

    I run a business on the side, apart from my regular job as a state worker. I
    don't have a "store front". It is strictly onsite/delivery/pickup. The
    drawback of an occupational license is you have to charge sales tax for your
    services, and report it monthly to the state you live in. On the plus side,
    it is a REAL business and you are the OWNER, and this will pay off big in
    the end when you apply for a REAL job. If needed they can contact the
    department of revenue and taxation and verify that you are doing business
    and that people have paid for your services.

    You can check out my website, although it's not quite finished and the
    information within is very basic, but you can use it as an example and also
    check out the prices which is dirt-cheap right now. If I get more business,
    then I'll raise those prices ;) www.brtechguy.com


    "news" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In this terrible job market, it is obvious that it's time to work for
    > myself.
    >
    > For those doing basic computer repair, how do you market yourself?
    >
    > How do you set rates?
    >
    > What are your most common service calls?
    >
    > Do you have a "store front" or do you do pickup/delivery/onsite?
    >
    > Any other advice?
    >
    >
    >
    plazticsoul, Apr 14, 2005
    #1
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  2. plazticsoul

    Jim Nugent Guest

    "plazticsoul" <> wrote in message
    news:3Xh7e.3764$9S4.2962@okepread06...
    > What you need to do is establish a legitimate business. Contact your

    state's
    > department of revenue and get an occupational license. There is a one-time
    > fee but it shouldn't be expensive. Second, build a website, or pay someone
    > to design it for you. Third, have business cards printed with the website
    > address and your cell phone number. You're in business, my friend!!


    There seems to be a lot of folks either doing this or contemplating it. My
    question is: What do you do about liability insurance. I don't mean the kind
    that covers someone's $3,000 Tiffany lamp that you kicked over during a
    house call --- that's easy to get (though you do need a *Professional*
    endorsement), I mean Profession Performance liability insurance, as in
    "Yesterday you worked on my computer and now all my files are gone!"

    My understanding is that while you could be found to be negligent, the much
    bigger problem is just that someone blames you without a very strong case,
    but in this litigious society, you have to defend it which can get
    expensive. Any thoughts?
    --
    Jim
    "Be right back... Godot"
    Jim Nugent, May 21, 2005
    #2
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  3. plazticsoul

    AG Guest

    "Jim Nugent" <> wrote in message
    news:80Hje.3552$...
    >
    > "plazticsoul" <> wrote in message
    > news:3Xh7e.3764$9S4.2962@okepread06...
    >> What you need to do is establish a legitimate business. Contact your

    > state's
    >> department of revenue and get an occupational license. There is a
    >> one-time
    >> fee but it shouldn't be expensive. Second, build a website, or pay
    >> someone
    >> to design it for you. Third, have business cards printed with the website
    >> address and your cell phone number. You're in business, my friend!!

    >
    > There seems to be a lot of folks either doing this or contemplating it. My
    > question is: What do you do about liability insurance. I don't mean the
    > kind
    > that covers someone's $3,000 Tiffany lamp that you kicked over during a
    > house call --- that's easy to get (though you do need a *Professional*
    > endorsement), I mean Profession Performance liability insurance, as in
    > "Yesterday you worked on my computer and now all my files are gone!"
    >
    > My understanding is that while you could be found to be negligent, the
    > much
    > bigger problem is just that someone blames you without a very strong case,
    > but in this litigious society, you have to defend it which can get
    > expensive. Any thoughts?
    > --
    > Jim
    > "Be right back... Godot"



    That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign holding
    you not liable for lost data is important.
    Data is very fragile and it's pretty hard to PROVE a tech was the reason
    that it was lost.

    AG
    AG, May 22, 2005
    #3
  4. On Sun, 22 May 2005 22:19:51 GMT, "AG" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Jim Nugent" <> wrote in message
    >news:80Hje.3552$...
    >>
    >> "plazticsoul" <> wrote in message
    >> news:3Xh7e.3764$9S4.2962@okepread06...
    >>> What you need to do is establish a legitimate business. Contact your

    >> state's
    >>> department of revenue and get an occupational license. There is a
    >>> one-time
    >>> fee but it shouldn't be expensive. Second, build a website, or pay
    >>> someone
    >>> to design it for you. Third, have business cards printed with the website
    >>> address and your cell phone number. You're in business, my friend!!

    >>
    >> There seems to be a lot of folks either doing this or contemplating it. My
    >> question is: What do you do about liability insurance. I don't mean the
    >> kind
    >> that covers someone's $3,000 Tiffany lamp that you kicked over during a
    >> house call --- that's easy to get (though you do need a *Professional*
    >> endorsement), I mean Profession Performance liability insurance, as in
    >> "Yesterday you worked on my computer and now all my files are gone!"
    >>
    >> My understanding is that while you could be found to be negligent, the
    >> much
    >> bigger problem is just that someone blames you without a very strong case,
    >> but in this litigious society, you have to defend it which can get
    >> expensive. Any thoughts?
    >> --
    >> Jim
    >> "Be right back... Godot"

    >
    >
    >That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign holding
    >you not liable for lost data is important.
    >Data is very fragile and it's pretty hard to PROVE a tech was the reason
    >that it was lost.
    >
    >AG
    >


    One reason why I'd have never made it as a helpdesk technician...in my
    previous work in IT data was sacred, to be retrieved at pretty much
    all costs. That mindset has stuck with me, and it doesn't fit very
    well with the support of proprietary PC's...or probably PC's in
    general.

    Tom
    Tom MacIntyre, May 23, 2005
    #4
  5. plazticsoul

    AG Guest

    "Tom MacIntyre" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > One reason why I'd have never made it as a helpdesk technician...in my
    > previous work in IT data was sacred, to be retrieved at pretty much
    > all costs. That mindset has stuck with me, and it doesn't fit very
    > well with the support of proprietary PC's...or probably PC's in
    > general.
    >
    > Tom


    Actually the only time I've wiped a customers data was when they told me to.
    If I need to save data I usually boot a computer with Knoppix, Linux on a
    disk for those of you that don't know, and if the customer doesn't have a
    burner I use my USB burner to save their My Documents folder and anything
    else they tell me they want. I've never had it to fail yet. In an infinite
    universe all things are possible though so I won't say that it can't.

    AG
    AG, May 23, 2005
    #5
  6. plazticsoul

    Jim Nugent Guest

    "AG" <> wrote in message
    news:bA7ke.197$...

    > That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign

    holding
    > you not liable for lost data is important.


    I'm astounded by how sanguine everyone is about this. It's an eye opener. I
    guess I'm the one who's out of step...

    Indemnify and hold harmless contracts might deter a customer from making a
    claim, but most lawyers, going back to my father, have told me they won't
    hold up in court if you're found to be negligent. Nobody's perfect. Just
    think about some the damages (and costs) that could result from a botched
    service call.
    --
    Jim
    "Be right back... Godot"
    Jim Nugent, May 29, 2005
    #6
  7. plazticsoul

    AG Guest

    "Jim Nugent" <> wrote in message
    news:Flame.2572$...
    >
    > "AG" <> wrote in message
    > news:bA7ke.197$...
    >
    >> That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign

    > holding
    >> you not liable for lost data is important.

    >
    > I'm astounded by how sanguine everyone is about this. It's an eye opener.
    > I
    > guess I'm the one who's out of step...
    >
    > Indemnify and hold harmless contracts might deter a customer from making a
    > claim, but most lawyers, going back to my father, have told me they won't
    > hold up in court if you're found to be negligent. Nobody's perfect. Just
    > think about some the damages (and costs) that could result from a botched
    > service call.
    > --
    > Jim
    > "Be right back... Godot"



    That's the thing "if you're found to be negligent." A customer who is not
    very tech save would have to prove to the satisfaction of a judge that it's
    the technician's fault. They would also have to prove to said judge that
    the data had value. If it is that valuable then IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BACKED
    UP!!!!!
    If it was not then that's the customer's fault.

    AG
    AG, May 29, 2005
    #7
  8. On Sun, 29 May 2005 12:41:40 GMT, "AG" <> wrote:

    >
    >"Jim Nugent" <> wrote in message
    >news:Flame.2572$...
    >>
    >> "AG" <> wrote in message
    >> news:bA7ke.197$...
    >>
    >>> That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign

    >> holding
    >>> you not liable for lost data is important.

    >>
    >> I'm astounded by how sanguine everyone is about this. It's an eye opener.
    >> I
    >> guess I'm the one who's out of step...
    >>
    >> Indemnify and hold harmless contracts might deter a customer from making a
    >> claim, but most lawyers, going back to my father, have told me they won't
    >> hold up in court if you're found to be negligent. Nobody's perfect. Just
    >> think about some the damages (and costs) that could result from a botched
    >> service call.
    >> --
    >> Jim
    >> "Be right back... Godot"

    >
    >
    >That's the thing "if you're found to be negligent." A customer who is not
    >very tech save would have to prove to the satisfaction of a judge that it's
    >the technician's fault. They would also have to prove to said judge that
    >the data had value. If it is that valuable then IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BACKED
    >UP!!!!!
    >If it was not then that's the customer's fault.
    >
    >AG
    >


    The "if you're...negligent" part was what caught my attention
    also...equivalent to a back door for a computer program. :)

    Tom
    Tom MacIntyre, May 29, 2005
    #8
  9. On Sun, 29 May 2005 17:41:09 GMT, Barry Watzman
    <> wrote:

    >A customer without backups is negligent.
    >


    The reality, though, is that most PC users don't back up, and many are
    not sufficiently knowledgeable to do so.

    Tom


    >
    >AG wrote:
    >> "Jim Nugent" <> wrote in message
    >> news:Flame.2572$...
    >>
    >>>"AG" <> wrote in message
    >>>news:bA7ke.197$...
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>That's where a good customer policy that you have the customer sign
    >>>
    >>>holding
    >>>
    >>>>you not liable for lost data is important.
    >>>
    >>>I'm astounded by how sanguine everyone is about this. It's an eye opener.
    >>>I
    >>>guess I'm the one who's out of step...
    >>>
    >>>Indemnify and hold harmless contracts might deter a customer from making a
    >>>claim, but most lawyers, going back to my father, have told me they won't
    >>>hold up in court if you're found to be negligent. Nobody's perfect. Just
    >>>think about some the damages (and costs) that could result from a botched
    >>>service call.
    >>>--
    >>>Jim
    >>>"Be right back... Godot"

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> That's the thing "if you're found to be negligent." A customer who is not
    >> very tech save would have to prove to the satisfaction of a judge that it's
    >> the technician's fault. They would also have to prove to said judge that
    >> the data had value. If it is that valuable then IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN BACKED
    >> UP!!!!!
    >> If it was not then that's the customer's fault.
    >>
    >> AG
    >>
    >>
    Tom MacIntyre, May 30, 2005
    #9
  10. plazticsoul

    AG Guest

    "Rightard Whitey" <> wrote in message
    news:lusme.49636$...
    > I worked years ago on an old 286 that had a corrupt HD. I told the
    > customer all data was going to be lost. The customer had Word Perfect on
    > the HD, but didn't have the software. I had a scaled down Word Perfect
    > version I told her I would put back on. I got everything working, and
    > left. She called me back a month a later and told me she didn't like the
    > "new version" and wanted the old version back. Since she didn't have the
    > Word Perfect disks, this was impossible.
    >
    > This is the type of nut you occasionally run into.
    >
    > --
    > The Democratic Party; the people who brought you the weekend.



    I had a customer in about '99, well into Win98 times, that wanted to run
    Wordstar on her Win98 computer. It was a true nightmare.

    AG
    AG, May 31, 2005
    #10
  11. plazticsoul

    Breedo Guest

    Would anyone be willing to share the form or waiver they have their
    customers sign? I've been very concerned about this issue since I first
    started thinking about starting a business. Whether or not a customer
    backs-up their data on a regular basis, I can always do a back-up or image
    for them (with a charge for my time, of course). However, if you have to
    open up the system there's always an inherent risk that something could
    happen, even with the best precautions. Has anyone ever faced a situation
    where a component on a customer's system was fried or failed to work
    properly after they took standard precautions? What was the outcome?

    Thanks,
    -Breedo_
    Breedo, Jun 1, 2005
    #11
  12. plazticsoul

    AG Guest

    "Breedo" <> wrote in message
    news:Zp9ne.7547$...
    > Would anyone be willing to share the form or waiver they have their
    > customers sign? I've been very concerned about this issue since I first
    > started thinking about starting a business. Whether or not a customer
    > backs-up their data on a regular basis, I can always do a back-up or image
    > for them (with a charge for my time, of course). However, if you have to
    > open up the system there's always an inherent risk that something could
    > happen, even with the best precautions. Has anyone ever faced a situation
    > where a component on a customer's system was fried or failed to work
    > properly after they took standard precautions? What was the outcome?
    >
    > Thanks,
    > -Breedo_


    Do a Google groups search. I know several have been posted. I didn't save
    any of them.

    AG
    AG, Jun 1, 2005
    #12
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