To you who own a computer repair service - advice please

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by G. Morgan, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    I am thinking about diving in to the computer repair business. I plan to
    place an advertisement or two in the local papers to get it started. I will
    offer diagnostics, upgrades, system security (crapware/anti-virus), backup's,
    and whatever else I can think of. I will do the work at the customer's
    home/business, I will also offer a pickup/drop off service for repairs that
    will take more time.

    To you whom are *already* in business, can you provide any advice that will
    G. Morgan, Feb 10, 2009
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  2. Word of mouth is the best advertisement/or ruin, whatever the case may be.
    YuStrokHeet-AlWauch, Feb 10, 2009
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  3. G. Morgan

    Keyser Söze Guest

    I'm not in that business, and don't need to know jack-shit about it to know
    price is key to staying profitable - your hourly rate and those who will
    work for you will make your business model cost prohibitive.
    Keyser Söze, Feb 10, 2009
  4. G. Morgan

    PeeCee Guest

    Well not if you value your sanity and private life.

    Seriously I wish you well.

    * Apply all the usual business rules eg keep notes in writing, keep
    receipts, pay your taxes, be polite clean & tidy, keep appointments, etc.
    * Be honest, it's not your problem, it's theirs.
    * Decide early on what you will and 'will not' cater for.
    * Avoid pirate or dodgy licensed software full stop.
    * Listen to the customer then 'Listen' again and make sure you are both on
    the same path.
    * Do what the customer want's not what 'you' think they should do.
    * When training make the user sit in the seat and do it, that way it will
    stick in their memory.
    * Note what you are being asked to do and amend your tool/skill set to match
    the market.
    * Be prepared to be the butt of complaints for other parties.
    * Develop peer group networks, you might think you're brilliant at PC's but
    'nobody' knows everything about PC's

    Now a little test for you:
    * means tech's response.

    Inwards phone call
    My computer started up with funny messages this morning.
    *OK what were they?
    Oh something dll and all I could do was click ok and restart.
    * What was the message on the screen and what were the name of the dll's
    Oh I don't know, I don't understand these things, you're the computer man.
    It said something about they were missing.
    *And what happened when you clicked 'restart'?
    Oh it's going OK now, just thought you might know what caused it and what
    should I do about it.

    From that conversation what steps, tests and questions would you perform/ask
    to identify the problem (if there is a problem) and how would you remedy it.

    The case is real, the call came in while I was typing this post.
    I know the machine and have a good idea what needs to be done.
    In a lot of cases though you won't know the machine, it will be 2 pm on a
    Sunday, and the owner will expect you to do it 'now'.

    PeeCee, Feb 10, 2009
  5. While the above response may sound flippant, it is actually sound advice and
    should be heeded by the OP. And I'll add my 2¢ as well. If you're not
    already (successfully) doing repair and diagnostics for friends and
    relatives, and if you are not receiving requests from friends of friends and
    friends of relatives that you have done this for ... don't bother. A couple
    of ads in a local paper or on some unknown website is not going to garner
    you any business ... there has to be a demand for your services if you're
    going to be successful.
    J¡m ßéâñ, Feb 10, 2009
  6. G. Morgan

    Mara Guest

    Yes. Don't.
    Mara, Feb 10, 2009
  7. G. Morgan

    Mike Walker Guest

    expect the unexpected
    Mike Walker, Feb 11, 2009
  8. PeeCee wrote:

    Standard advice (without further knowledge) would be "insert your windows
    install cd and type "sfc /scannow" in the "run" line.
    At least it will keep him busy for a while ...
    wisdomkiller & pain, Feb 11, 2009
  9. Repairing cheap-shop computers hardware-wise won't cover your costs (it
    will be cheaper to buy a new one, for the client). Professionals already
    have their trusted partners and data-recovery shops, and it will be hard
    for you to get into business with them. The remainder (fubared cheap-shop
    computers that need recovery and reinstall, but with saving private data)
    are too time-consuming to gain profit.
    Do not expect you can repair much onsite. It will cost too much time just
    waiting. Noone can pay your time for that.
    You have to take most computers to the shop to be able to do simultanous
    wisdomkiller & pain, Feb 11, 2009
  10. G. Morgan

    why? Guest

    Aim somewhere else, it's safer.
    Do it the other way around. Find some place already doing this type of
    work, get a job, and learn.
    It's the whatever that gets you in trouble.
    Working on site, ditto.
    If you already said you have know DOS/CMD line, WIN version desktop +
    servers + everything else including building your own PCs, then go for
    it, otherwise ....
    ..... don't.

    why?, Feb 11, 2009
  11. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    No doubt, thanks.
    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  12. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    Yep. Definitely.
    Oh believe me, I get calls to fix other's crap all the time. I want to get
    paid for it. I quit my day job recently because I got sick of working 8-5 in
    a dull computer lab doing dull things all day long.

    I disagree. The only way to initially "get the word out" is advertising.
    Granted, there are different vectors to advertising and print media may not be
    the best. The reason for going for a paper ad is I can target customers in my
    part of the city, and it's relatively cheap.
    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  13. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    I will likely price my services based on those of "Geek Squad", then reduce
    them by 10-20%.
    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  14. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    I don't understand. Could you be a little more blunt? ;~)
    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  15. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    I already do, hardly anything surprises me any more.

    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  16. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    Right, but I expect with the state of the economy more folks are looking to
    keep their older machines running longer. I can install a new HDD, add some
    RAM, and flatten/rebuild the system for half the price of a new 'puter.
    Maybe, but not necessarily.
    Again, maybe, but not necessarily.
    Yep. Agreed.

    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  17. G. Morgan

    G. Morgan Guest

    Awwww come on now.
    Why on Earth would I want to work for someone else? The whole point of my
    venture is to free myself. :)

    Right, biting off more than I can chew?

    Yep, got all that. Gawd, maybe I'll have to answer more tekkie questions
    around this dump. I thought my supreme knowledge has already been
    demonstrated. :p

    G. Morgan, Feb 11, 2009
  18. That's even questionable at our corporation, just exchanging them for a new
    cheap office-type box and doing some automated reinstall (user files are
    redirected to network drives anyways) is faster/costs less labor most of
    the time, except for lab computers that have to drive other machines and
    need special interfaces/software.
    If you have to consider your way costs to the client, the time it takes
    backing up and restoring/cloning (just for changing a harddrive), you can't
    make a living from that, after taxes.
    You can do a "bring-in" repair most of the times, but still there are
    disabled and aged people, and there are these which won't get their
    computer parts plugged together afterwards, and then bitch on you.
    wisdomkiller & pain, Feb 11, 2009
  19. G. Morgan

    Keyser Söze Guest

    Beginning your business venture by potentially losing money is not a good
    idea; In fact it suggests you have not done the math (all the costings,
    projections, market research, assessments and planning etc. - note the word

    You should /'kick'/ those and all other important business practices and
    methodologies /'to death'/ in determining and establishing a solid business
    foundation. Make your plan, then stick to it (where you can).

    Is your notional reduction in price based on a job price or an hourly, or
    quarter hourly price?

    How do "Geek Squad" price? If they price one way or the other or have a mix,
    it will have been established based on their projected volumes of work, yes?
    And if they're profitable it'll be because they're hitting or exceeding
    their projected targets. How then, where you will not have that level of
    business in mix and volume are you able to reconcile and justify your price
    reduction based on prices you haven't yet conjured?

    If you're going to be running the business AND appoint yourself as the lead
    'hands on' AND putting yourself out there to muster new business, your 8-5
    is soon going to begin to look greener; But hey, if you don't chance your
    arm, you'll never break your neck, eh?

    All the above is for you to fathom, if you haven't already - I doubt you've
    covered all bases, yet; Yet, all bases take time to cover, do you have time
    to make a loss before profit?

    There is of course a potential upside to what you want to do, especially
    starting now - people have significantly less money than ever before in many
    cases, so their impulse to buy new is less today, so you certainly have an
    opportunity with those potential punters who do not know to use the
    hinternet to find the answers to their problems, not least, they consider
    themselves less than able to fix things themselves and prefer someone to do
    it for them - Your biggest concern should be 'follow up service' where your
    effort to fix a problem appears to them not to have worked and they expect
    you to put right (without further cost to them) what should have been put
    right to begin with; You then become head administrator in the form legal
    (potentially), customer service, customer relations, and general punchbag.
    Just make sure you and your 'helpers' *get it right first time*, and that is
    where you will retain 'clients' and get more business from word of mouth.
    Reputation is everything, without exception!

    Good luck by making your own luck.
    Keyser Söze, Feb 11, 2009
  20. G. Morgan

    PeeCee Guest

    Try looking here

    PeeCee, Feb 11, 2009
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