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b_jonston
07-12-2007, 03:42 PM
How many people here started a computer repair business from home or are currently running their business from home? Not just that...how many do this on the side and are actually trying to get it to grow into something?

I've been running my business from home doing in the field calls while maintaining a full time job. I'm trying to get enough income to start my own brick and mortar business - I have a feeling this would give me more clients.

Just looking to see who's in the same boat as I am and who started where I am.

tkrabec
07-13-2007, 06:46 AM
I'm considering doing that right now.

I'll keep you all posted.

JJsMom
07-26-2007, 11:46 AM
I am definitely looking into starting my own home based business. I am already incorporated. I will need to get some local licenses etc. At this point I am gathering up information as well as tools of the trade.

gunslinger
07-26-2007, 09:55 PM
Been running me own home based business for about 4 years now after leaving the security/police business. Sometimes the money is really good, sometimes not, but working for myself and making my own hours more than makes up for it.

Bryce W
07-26-2007, 10:20 PM
I have been in business for 5 (just about 6) years now. Started it while still in highschool and worked at a videostore while studying until my clientelle picked up. By the time I finished studying I was just about able to go full time computer repair.
Some people say they could never work for themselves, too much work to do with accounting/advertising/other stuff and they would rather work their 9-5 and not think about it.
For me however, both of my parents are self employed so I don't know any other way than freelancing.

Simmy
08-12-2007, 03:37 PM
Hi,

I started a computer repair business from my bedroom just over 2 years ago. I graduated from uni and decided now was the best time to try it on my own, rather than get a full time job and become "settled". Being young and having just graduated, I could afford to make a mistake.

I looked into the idea of running a shop but after doing some calculations, I decided it simply wasn't worth it. Taking the cost of a lease (here in the UK, you could get a modest shop for £15,000/year), I would have to work 40hours extra a month to simply pay for the rent. Factoring in the additional costs of electricity, gas, security, internet connection, travelling costs to the shop, business rates etc. I decided I was better off working from home.

The only problem is, working from your bedroom doesn't look very professional and is sometimes embarassing! A few weeks ago, I was still working from my bedroom and two customers caught me off guard and turned up at the same time to collect their machines. This was embarassing for two reasons: 1)there was nowhere for them to sit (apart from my bed) and 2) my underwear was scattered on the floor!

One of my housemates recently moved out, so instead of finding someone to take his place, I have turned his bedroom into an office which is perfect. It takes the working environment out of my bedroom but allowed me to stay at home without having to shell out extra money to rent a shop.

As I type, two computers are working away (one installing XP and the other scanning for viruses) in the office whilst I sit here watching a DVD and typing this message :D

In my opinion, stick to working from home if you can. At least whilst starting up. Do you have a room/garage you can turn into an office?

Bryce W
08-12-2007, 04:03 PM
Excellent first post Simmy! I totally agree with you to stay at home as long as possible, but out of the bedroom. Once you are out of the bedroom, it really helps productivity having office infrastructure around you. And of course, it looks better to clients not having underwear on the floor ;)

cmonova
08-20-2007, 01:14 PM
We started out working out of our house and then after a few years opened our first store-front. It would be hard to start with a store-front right out the door. You are best building up your client list or even getting a few business contracts in place prior to making that jump.

It obviously cost a bit more having the store-front but the return makes it worthwhile for numerous reasons.

jimmm33
09-05-2007, 01:10 AM
I have been working out of my home full time (60+ hours a week it seems) for about 4 years now. I have been pretty successful. I considered the store front but I'm sure it would not work judging by how few independant repair shops exits nowadays. I just went do to city hall and got a business license. It cost about $40 in Knoxville, TN.

Keep costs down, I say. It's the way you can beat the big guys like Geek Squad and Firedog. I offer better service and charge less by working from home. I manage to pay the mortgage and two car payments. The downside is that I can't really make much more because there are not enough hours in a day unless I hire someone or raise my rates.

I completely lost interest in a storefront. I believe it would ruin the good thing I have going.

Holzster
09-24-2007, 02:33 AM
I also worked out of the house for 2 years, then I (& still do) rent an executive office. If you do not know it is just an office (locked) and there are several of those in one building/large suite. This works out great as I can now separate work for home life, get all the "stuff" out of the house, & I have a place to meet clients that looks very professional.
What I am looking into now is a Sprinter Van (a utility van that is real tall so you can stand up in it). I will create a work bench with a low power PC (like this one - I already own 2 of them & love them koolu.com). I will get a Cingualar or Sprint internet card put it into a router so I have a network in the van. That way I have all my stuff with me & I am not driving back & forth with the clients CPU's I can fix/scan/rebuild right on the spot!!

Downside - one more payment :(

Holzster

bubba zen
10-01-2007, 04:09 AM
I just signed a lease to open my first store after running my home-based mobile service business. There were a number of factors that I considered before making the decision to do it.

1. My local service area is spread out. Realistically, I could only service between 5-7 clients a day. The remainder of my time is spent on the road moving between jobs. I can make a decent living doing this everyday, but it doesn't afford me the opportunity of much more growth unless I hire more mobile techs. I've seen a computer business try this before and they end of losing the clients to moonlighting techs that your client has established a relationship with.

2. Storefronts seemingly add greater credibility over a home-based business. I've been analyzing the local competition for years and typically see their tech benches overflowing with repair work. The local Firedog has some of the worst techs I've ever seen and they are on a two-week waiting list to fix a machine taken in today for repair.

3. Many major PC manufacturers have really dropped the ball and I see a tremendous opportunity to steal back new & refurbished computer business. Many manufacturers are moving their telephone sales office overseas and the frustration level is rising when ordering. Just try ordering a new XP computer these days. Ten years ago, I would have told you forget new computer sales. Today, I see it as a renewed opportunity because the big boys are shooting themselves in the foot since offshoring the sales and tech support.

4. Too many big manufacturers are selling under-performing machines. There's a huge opportunity for upgrade part sales to make their new dog jump the hoops through a retail outlet.

My new store is scheduled to grand open on November 15th, possibly sooner depending on construction. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress.

Wish me luck!

Bryce W
10-01-2007, 05:17 AM
Thats very cool bubba zen. I read the line "I just signed my lease" and thought "oh oh, a newbie just got into the business and signed a nice expensive lease" but then after reading the rest of the post it sounds like you are totally ready to start a shop. It sounds like you have really thought it through and I wish you good luck. Keep us updated with it all, hopefully you can post some pictures of your workbench overflowing with customers computers. :)

gunslinger
10-01-2007, 01:42 PM
I agree with pretty much everything you said bubba zen,especially the part about " the big boys are shooting themselves in the foot since offshoring the sales and tech support " I could not agree more. Thats what happens when companies get greedy. Why pay an american $10 an hour for something we can go to ( insert name of eastern country here ) and get it for $2 an hour. Ah but i'm ranting again. Good luck with your new venture, I hope it goes well for you.