View Full Version : Sooo i want to quit working for myself.....

04-05-2008, 02:47 AM
I want to quit the freelance computer repair business and work for someone else. iv been working for myself for about 6 years and iv done ok not great but enough to live on, sometimes barley. But i want some more stability in my life right now and a 40hr week is what i want.

My skills with computer repair i think are quite high but iv never had any formal training or been certified in anything but iv been messing around with computers since my Vic-20 and Toshiba T1100 laptop back in the mid 80s lol. I also have pretty strong communication skills when it comes to the customers i can handle the calm clients to the stressed "omg is my computer broke and are all my illegal mp3's gone?" clients lol

Sooo my question is maybe for someone you that have hired or been hired before as PC technician. Would my 6 years of doing it on my own be enough for getting hired by some company doing similar stuff, i have quite a few clients that i could use as refrances from million dollar companies to even a government run program were i have built all there computers and networked them and are there only pc technician. but would that be enough to show i have the skills? And i dont want to work for geeksquad....

04-05-2008, 03:46 AM
My day job employer wont touch anyone without being A+ certified. No matter what experience you have. We find that alot of people say they have experience and then you find out that experience is only checking email and not freelance computer repair like you have, so you would probably have quite a bit of a challege there.

04-05-2008, 07:04 AM
woah... you need to turn this thought around in your head and approach it differently. It's fine that you want to get back into the single client game, so I won't talk you out of that. But you need to look at yourself differently. You have been the owner of a business that has lasted for 6 years. Do you know the failure rate of small businesses in the first year... how about the first 2 years. hint: it's more than half. So congratulations on being a tremendous success and outlasting many others who didn't make it as well as you.

Now, your future. I just left a technology services company (VAR/staffing/projects/consulting) that I was at for 8 years. For the last 18 months there I hired in people in your exact skill set. I would recommend that you go to work for a company like this over going to some company where you will be just part of the desktop support team for the next 20 years. Get with a company that is like what you are doing now only much bigger than you, and I don't mean geeksquad... Did you sell hardware at all? Did you use Ingram or other distributors? If so, look up your former competitors and go to them. You have much more leverage with a company like that. Why? You have clients - those equal clients for your new employer. You won't have that advantage by going to work at the local hospital or bank. If you know some of your competitors, take the owner to lunch. Tell him you'd like to come to work for him and hand over all your clients to him and all you want is a) a one year contract with no non-compete or b) a portion of revenue from every client that you are handing over who converts. Look at what you are doing as your exit strategy, not giving up for a normal 9-5.

If you don't know your competitors and can't get a lunch with the owner/president then get your A+ if you don't have it and polish up that resume and get an interview. Understand that your interviewer (after you get past recruiting) will probably be a manager who has never worked for himself and who wants an employee who will make him money. He is probably bonused on the amount of profit he manages. He doesn't care so much that you worked for yourself, but he might admire you on principle. However, you still have your secret weapon - your client base. During the interview, mention to him that you have all these customers and you'd like to continue to service them at whatever place you go to work, not as a side business or anything, but as customers of the business you are going to. For the hiring manager, this is possibly more clients that he can add into his bonus column if they convert. As long as you don't come across as technically ignorant, you look better than every other candidate he has interviewed.

Some things to keep in mind about working for someone else after 6 years of being on your own:
1) Your risk of unemployment just increased by a percentage equal to the ratio of your number of current clients and 1. That is, if you had 50 clients before you would have to be fired by all of them to be really fired. Now, you only have 1 client who can kick you to the curb in a snap.
2) Your way of solving technical problems is probably going to change. You have to do it the way your company says, not necessarily the way you've always liked to. Your way might take too long and that was fine when you were running the show (not really, but...). If you went a little long on an hourly repair and you felt like you shouldn't charge the customer for some of that time, you had that option. No more.
3) What you get paid per hour is going to drop by at least 50% unless you were starving yourself as a freelancer. Also, you won't see more than an average of 3-5% in income increases annually. Use your client list to get paid more when you start with the company or you will hate yourself and your job.
4) Do everything you can to move up in your new organization. Find out who the rainmakers are - the top 20% sales people who bring in the 80% of revenue to the company (pareto is right). Identify these people and make them your preferred customers. Find out their accounts and try to work them. Get in front of them and wow them. Do favors for them, pay them extra attention whenever you can interact with them, ooze the best service all over their clients. Turn these guys into your champions in the company. They are the real power in the organization. They'll start to tell your boss that you should get more money. They'll start to talk about you to the higher ups in the company. Your name will become associated with success and you will move up and make more money.

Ok, that's all I've got. Congratulations on 6 years of being on your own and good luck as you continue your career.

04-05-2008, 09:10 AM
Thank you Hawks5999

One of the reason i'm stopping is the area im in, i live between 2 long large lakes so my area i can cover is a 20 mile by 50 mile area and i live dead center. The area is not heavily populated either at one time there was a huge military base (Seneca army depot) but it was shut down so a large area of the 20X50 mile area is a closed military base. So having steady business has been some what difficult.

Now i do have some very large cities with in driving range for a steady job, Rochester NY , Syracuse NY driving time is about 40-55min drive from me. They would be my best bet for a good job but i need to look up what computer repair places they have up there. Iv looked at Craigs list at the jobs posting and there seems to be some jobs that would be perfect for me but i need to make a resume, more like pay someone to make it for me...

Now for my clients transferring to where i work for, i have no problem doing that if they cover my area. And as for doing stuff in a different way i figured that one to they will use different programs. I have thought about getting the A+ certification but only just so i could put on the resume if i really needed to. How many refrances should i put on the resume?

04-06-2008, 07:37 AM
You've got the idea on the A+ - it is only ever for putting on a resume.
For more resume info:

Number of references for your resume: 0

Don't even put "References available on request".

Everyone knows they are, it just wastes space.

When you apply for a job, you will need reference info for the application but don't put it on the resume.

04-07-2008, 05:40 AM
Another one of my problems is my lack of other work experience. Im 26 now but up until i was 20 i worked with my father construction business i did run many jobs by myself were i had to supervise the workers to, maybe like 2-3 of them at a time, along with doing the work. My jobs were doing all roofing, siding the outside, insulation. For a few months after that i helped a friends new york pizza restaurant, were i pretty much took care of everything in the back doing all the prep stuff . Then after i started getting a decent number of calls for computer repairs i stopped working at the pizza place.

It actually doesn't sound that bad when i type it out like that, just the first 2 jobs were completely under the table....., is that an issue? Think i just need to stop complaining and get the stuff done, i need more confidence in myself lol

04-07-2008, 11:53 AM
Sorry to hear you are getting out of the business but I do understand. Sometimes it is a very difficult business to be in.

Seeing that you do have experience I think the best bet is to make sure the wording on your resume reflects it properly. That way a potential employeer will not just think you are some fly by night operation that closed.

Cert's would defiently be a plus to get into the market if you can take the time to bang out one or two that could help.

I own my business but have also been a contractor since retiring from the Military. I work with multi-million dollary govt contrats and do alot of hiring. Unfortuenelty in this arena you pretty much need a clearance to get started. But, there is always work even for those with no clearance. Might want to try your resume on monster, dice, career builder, even craigslist.

Feel free to contact me with a copy of your resume and i'd be glad to go over it and tweak it for you. I see resumes on a daily basis and sometimes am in amazement as to what people are thinking when they do them.

Either way best of luck.