Wanting to start small computer business

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Rob, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Rob

    Rob Guest

    Hi guys, I am hoping that some of you might be able to pool some creative
    juices and help me out. As everyone who's not in a vegetative state knows.
    The IT/Computer field is stagnant. Basically my dilemma is that I have been
    working or more like it trying to work in the field for the last couple
    years. I have been a help desk tech and a SysOp among other things. The
    problem is that every IT/computer job I get, I get laid off from. I am tired
    of trying to work for the computer field and want to try to make the
    computer field work for me. I want to start a small computer business out of
    my house. Basically repairs, builds, upgrades, small networking. I have a
    million questions regarding this venture as I would suspect anyone starting
    out would have. I guess the ones standing out in my mind right now are...If
    it's just a small business out of my house, do I still need to get a DBA
    name??...Do I need to register that business for sales tax??...Should I get
    supplies on a "per build" basis, or keep an inventory?? Who's a good
    wholesale supplier, or should I again just look around for the best deal on
    components on a "per build" basis?? Should I go talk to someone at the SBA
    agency?? I know that these questions are somewhat ambiguous and broad. Also
    if anyone can think of any other questions I should be asking myself, i
    would appreciate it. Starting my own business is where I eventually wanted
    to be in life. But circumstances have arose that make me feel I need to
    start now at the age of 22. I would appreciate any help anyone could give
    me. This is just a start but hopefully it's one in the right direction.
    Thanks So Much!!!

    RobNY
     
    Rob, Oct 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. Rob

    Dan Dawson Guest

    It is always nice to be your own boss, but this industry is really very
    competetive now. I am not here to discourage you, but would like to share
    some thoughts. I am from Canada, so I am not going to comment on business
    registration process.

    Here in Canada, you can still make some money in the service business,
    fixing PCs, making networks for small businesses and homes. But it takes a
    while to build up the customer base.
    You should provide the ultimate best service, because you cannot afford to
    lose even one customer. But giving best service at a competetive price is
    very hard, because there are people here who fix computers for less than $10
    an hour. Very many people use pirated softwares and even the OS. Most of the
    customers don't have a clue what is happening. All they will ask is why you
    are expensive and the next door guy is cheap. It is a nightmare to explain
    the whole situation. But, if you can attract the small businesses around
    your area (even doctor's offices, law offices, etc) you still have a chance
    to win.

    Making profint out of building PCs is even tougher. You have to first figure
    out all the places where you can find components for very good price. As you
    know, Canada is built on Immigrants. So you will see cheap components coming
    here from all over the world and it is very hard to compete with them unless
    we know some of these places as well. Customer doesn't know,what is inside
    except the model of CPU. I have seen P4 computers selling for about $300
    here. But if I try to build a computer, the CPU itself will cost be almost
    that price. I always wonder how could these people able to sell it for this
    price?? Please shed me some light if anyone know??? I even bought one PC
    (P3) from these stores, just to try. I opened up the case, and saw most of
    the components are made by companies which I have never heard of. But the
    CPU was Intel and the hard drive was Maxtor. Just two of these parts will
    cost more than the price of the computer!! Do you think that there are
    places you can buy fake Intel chip as well? I news is that I bought this PC
    about 2 years back and still working without a any hassle. How could you
    compete with these guys???? The only thing is they don't installl the OS.
    They expect you to get it from your friend!! But if you install the OS, then
    you cannot compete with the big giants like Dell!

    This is just my opinion and what I have been seeing here. Is it the same
    story all around the world????
     
    Dan Dawson, Oct 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. Rob

    techshare Guest

    Yep, pretty much the same story everywhere. However, I say f*ck the
    undercutters ... you'll still get real customers that want a real
    professional working for real rates. The problem is, there are not many real
    customers in computer service nowadays. About 80% of the calls I get are
    nonsense of one form or another. The best you can do is cut through them,
    and perhaps supplement your income with another business (until the pc
    service one ever takes off again).
     
    techshare, Nov 3, 2003
    #3
  4. Rob

    Crapulax Guest

    I'd actually like to do the same thing. But here's something you'll
    need to know BEOFRE you start. The main thing you need to know to
    succeed in business (especially in a competitive sector that's not
    really expanding at the moment) is just that...BUSINESS. If you don't
    already, learn some accounting, marketing, management, and tax law.
    Most small businesses go under because people start them with
    knowledge of WORK but little knowledge of BUSINESS. If you've had a
    job, you know how to work, but you have to know more than that to run
    a business.

    Network. Get to know others in the industry. You'd be surprised what
    people in your industry who know how to make money will tell you if
    you just ask them. Have you worked at a business that does the same
    thing you'd like for yours to do? Keep those connections, and the
    customers. They will remember you when you start on your own.

    I'm planning to start my own computer repair shop AND my own coffee
    shop. My business partner managed a computer repair shop (and I
    worked there), so I know the ins and outs of that business. I've
    worked at 5 different coffee shop locations for three companies
    (managing at 4 of them), so I know the ins and outs of that business
    as well. I keep all connections open, and know my customers well.
    They all know that I'm going to open my own place, and they can't
    WAIT. What's even better is that MANY of my coffee shop customers are
    good people to know: they've got money. I have three of them
    CONSIDERING to help me start up. I'm not yet sure if I can convince
    them, but I'm thrilled to have any connections whatsoever!

    From this point on... untill you're ready to start up... make sure
    that any job you take, you don't take for a paycheck. Only take a job
    for what you can learn and for networking opportunities. Often in
    business, it's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know.

    You CAN succeed. But don't dive into something you don't know
    anything about. Study business. I'm not saying go get an MBA. But a
    tech can't start a business. It takes a business person to start a
    business. So you have to be a techie AND a business person.
    Knowledge of business will make all the difference in the world.
     
    Crapulax, Feb 23, 2004
    #4
  5. Rob

    Steve Guest

    One thing that I'd recommend is to keep your primary focus on doing
    'outside' repair work & service...go to businesses and offer computer
    repair, networking services, etc as much as possible. The market for
    the mom & pop computer repair shop - where they don't do any outside
    work - has dried up alot over the last few years. You might do well in
    your local market...but I know that in Dallas over 75% (if not more)
    of all the mom & pop computer shops are now gone. The smart ones kept
    their retail presence to a minimum...and provided on-site
    repair/support services as well OR in lieu of a retail business
    altogether...and have done really well. Anyway, that's just my 2
    cents. Good luck with it & I wish you the best!
     
    Steve, Feb 24, 2004
    #5
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