View Full Version : Couple of question regarding new shop

Big Jim
08-13-2011, 12:48 AM
Hi all,

fairly new to the forum but from what i have read so fa there seems to be a wealth of information and help here. So you'll probably find me spending more and more time here.

My background is that I have been running a mobile repair business for a little over a year and business hasn't picked up like I would have liked it to. Everyone seems to head toward the local PC shop (that I only ever hear complaints about, attitude, prices, workmanship etc.)

I decided to open my own direct competition repairshop. And due to this decided that delivering my flyers with nly a mobile number on would stop for a month whilst I got the shop open and a landline and all the details etc on there. 3 Months later still negotiating SLOW solicitors and business has dropped right off (no flyers = no awareness etc.)

Anyhow bar one more small formality the shop should be leased over to me very very shortly.

my questions are as follows.

1 - how do you deal with partly fixed computers ?
ie - customer brings in broken laptop, you take apart diagnose fault and order parts, my idea was to have plastic tubs big enough to store the said laptop and all associated parts that way it all stays together and I dont have to have either bits of a customers laptop floating around for a couple of days or have to waste time re-assembling whilst I wait for parts ?

2 - How many "stations" do you guys use ?
The building I am taking on is very small and I think I will outgrow it in 12 - 18 months but it is currently furnished as an office and has 2 big curved desks in there, I was thinking of joining these two up to make a workbench and make perhaps 3 stations, do you think that is enough or would I be better asking the landlord to empty the place and build a continuous workbench around the edge to allow me to have something like 6 workstations ?

3 - storage of computers I was going to stick some racking up and store jobs completed/waiting for repair on some simple racking .


Cadishead Computers
08-13-2011, 09:15 AM
Hi Jim, firstly congratulations on your new outlet. I trust and hope it will do all you want it to do. :)

To answer your questions.

1: Plastic tubs sounds like a really good idea. Also so you don't forget what screw comes from what part etc, there is a thread on here about screw management. Can I suggest that you read it, and utilise it. Well worth the expense, of a few pieces of paper ;).

2: Personally I would opt for workbenches around the perimeter of your layout. Cat5/6 it all over. 3 stations, I do not think would be anywhere near enough. At times, I can be working on 5-6 machines a day. (I work from home).

It's not just the pc's you need to be thinking of, its laptops as well. They require a little space if your dismantling them etc. This is where one of the curved desks could come into play. I would have laptops to have their own workbench, but thats just me.

What size room will you be getting, how about putting some drawings up on here, for us to have a look through for you. Then we may be able to assist in planning places for you to have things?

Also I would have a check in bench. This would be the part where clients come to check in their machines. They would not be able to go any further into the workshop. I would also use this check in bench, to show the clients the working machine. So you would need cat5/6 on it also.

4) Racking is a brilliant idea. I have 2 x 6' high 4' wide shelving units, where I put all my clients machines, firstly from booking in, then move them to the checking out. Obviously the shelves are magnetic, so you can put the work orders against each machine, so you would know whose is whose etc.

Again, this is my own personal view, but have a look for a laptop safe also (mine is just a shelving cabinet, with a good quality lock on it, I call the laptop safe).

Since the robberies earlier in the year, all laptops get put back into the safe each night. As soon as they are booked in, they go into the safe also. (This is one thing which I should of purchased right from the start).

Lighting. Again you can never have enough good quality lighting. In my workshop, there are 3 x 6' fluorescent lights, and I also have 2 down-lights over my workbenches, and a snake type light, for when im working on laptops. Natural light is better, but theres only 2 small windows down here.

Big Jim
08-13-2011, 02:11 PM

I don't have internal Dims of the shop yet.
I do however have the internal width and a picture that *may* help


the internal width of the shop is 3.2m I would imagine looking at the pic that the distance to the door is about the same.
I was thinking of installing a "C" shape workbench against the back wall that ran up to the door this should give me between 7 and 10 workstations to use (the main shop PC is likely to reside on one of these as well to be honest)

[EDIT] The desk you can see in the foregournd is exactly the same as the one near the back wall, I have the option if I like to keep both of these or scrap one or both or whatever, the only advantage I see to keeping them is money saving, and the only disadvantage to getting my own customised benches in is cost, I am not sure how much it would cost me to get a joiner in to build something to suit my needs though, what do you guys think ?
Also as far as repair tracking software goes, I don't use any at the minute because I NEVER have enough PCs that I dont remember. However I expect this to change a lot once shop is open, Problem is that PC Repair Tracker which seems to be highly reccomended on here requires a server running apache, MYSQL and PHP none of which I have ANY experience with. Would I still be safe using this software without knowledge of the other 3 programs ? I have looked at the screenshots online and it looks to do exactly what I need.


Cadishead Computers
08-13-2011, 02:37 PM
I would opt for the C design also.

There are a couple of threads on here, about home made work benches. Using some 4x2's, and mdf or chipboard. The cost should not be all that much.

Re pcrt, that can operate from your web hosts. If your hosting company has mysql and php thats all you need, and your set. You do not need knowledge of those programs.

I would thoroughly recommend pcrt. Luke is a member on here, has written the program from the ground up, and updates it on a regular basis. His site also has a forum, if your stuck with anything.

One good thing about having it hosted from your web hosts, is you can easily access the program from any pc in the world, as long as you have internet access.

I use it when I am at a clients premises, that together with dropbox (which has the majority of my tools in it), is mostly all you require.

What is behind where you have taken the pic from?, is it pretty much the same as the other side?

Does it have its own separate entrance, ie another door so clients can come in, or is it just the one door, which is seen in the pic.

If it has another door, then I would build a counter, as mentioned in the previous post.

You could put the racking on the right hand side of the door, as you look at it from the pic..

Just a few ideas to band about :)

Big Jim
08-13-2011, 02:56 PM
The door in the pic leads to the kitchen/toilet.
There is an external door that leads to an entrance then one door into the office.
I have spoken to the landlord and he has agreed to let me chop half the wall out so that i can put a counter in.

The customer area is really quite small but it will literally be a checking in area and nothing else.

the view from the other end is below.

Dimensions of the wall in shot are 190cm wide, and I am proposing ctting a hold 120cm wide for the counter. :)