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pnave01
02-02-2009, 08:06 PM
Was wondering how many people run there computer business out of there homes?

I am slowly getting to the point that i am ready to start my business, but i am worried that i wont be taken seriously if I run my business from home.

Also was wondering if you do run your computer business from home do you put down your address on your business card, or just a phone number?

Also how do you handle situations when you have to take a system home for repair?

Sorry for all the questions. But i want to succeed and the only way i know how to do that is hard work, and asking help when i need it.

Thanks

usacvlr
02-02-2009, 09:10 PM
usalaptoprepair.com started out of small garage building at home and grew into the office it is in now which is also Central Valley laptop Repair. I generally avoided local work and only did mail order repair work which was simple as we only specialized in laptops. If you do local work you must find a way to limit your exposure to the customers lest they will bug you at all hours of the day or night at your residence expecting their pc to be finished. Do not put your home address on a business card or your home number. My family was involved in horse and bird raising for many years and people literally showed up late in the evening expecting to be helped. You have to establish boundaries. Now that I am in a physical office location I do local work but without having a physical office I just don't see how it could possibly be practical at least if you want to be taken seriously for local work.

nelsonm
02-02-2009, 09:33 PM
1. Don't put your home address on any advertisements, business cards, workorders, invoices or sales receipts. Instead put something like "Servicing the Metro whatever area".

2. If a caller asks where your shop is, answer by stating "We are located in whatever city and service the metro whatever area".

3. If callers ask where they can drop off their computer, respond by saying "Our shop is not setup for store front service, however, for your convenience we offer pickup and delivery".

4. If the caller asks you if you work out of your home, tell the truth. Most people would rather deal with an honest vendor and don't care how you work as long as you do good work.

It may cost you some gas and may not be ideal, but it will keep traffic and unwanted customers away from your home until you get big enough to rent or buy some space somewhere.

Jory
02-02-2009, 09:49 PM
I have a P.O. Box that I list as an address. It is possible for a person to get your address from just the P.O. Box, but if they're willing to put in the work to do that it wouldn't be hard to find me anyway.

I don't care if people know where I live, but I wouldn't ever advertise my home address. That's basically an invitation to show up.

dcstek
02-03-2009, 12:10 AM
I started working out of my house and had to go before the city council and explain that we were primarily an on-site service and would not create increased traffic into our neighborhood. We moved shortly thereafter to a house on a centrally located street and as we have grown rapidly the traffic has definitely increased without any problems with the city. We purchased a competitor in a town just north of us that included a small shop. We are now working out of both places and the business continues to increase. I don't really get bothered by customers after hours at my home but I am planning to open a similar shop in the town I live in. The main reason for this move is so I can put a bench tech in the shop and don't have to have him in my home. The home office will remain for my office manager (wife) to work from. Working from my home has been a good experience for me and being able to work late while at home with my family has been a bonus, HOWEVER I need to stop working at 5:00pm and leave the work at the shop for my own sanity and to be able to stay in this business for a long time.

nudone
03-21-2009, 07:13 PM
i'm not sure if this a cultural thing but i find it odd that people would trust you if you refrain from stating what your 'real' address is. i'm in the UK, working from home but doing onsite (call out) work.

i fully understand the reluctance to put a home address on your literature, but omitting it looks kind of deceitful to me. as a customer, i'd be wondering why you are hiding your address - i'd wonder if it's because you are going to do something bad to my machine and then disappear into the night.

i contemplated using a P.O. box but in the end just went for the good old honest 'this is who and where i am' approach. so far, i've not had any cold caller customers banging on the door - maybe i'll get them eventually, but it seems like a price i have to pay. i'm either upfront and honest about who i am with the possibility of people arriving uninvited, or i'm completely open and hopefully seen as more trustworthy. trust and reliability being a crucial for the customer.

either way, demonstrating you aren't hiding anything must give a better impression to prospective customers. if you find that hiding your address doesn't lose any custom then it obviously doesn't matter. i don't think i'd risk it.

TimeCode
03-23-2009, 03:09 PM
If you do local work you must find a way to limit your exposure to the customers lest they will bug you at all hours of the day or night at your residence expecting their pc to be finished. Do not put your home address on a business card or your home number.

This is good advice!!! To that point, I put my business cell on my card as well as my 800 number. If there is a real emergency, I want to take care of it. So after hours, my 800 number goes to my personal cell. But for the most part, I have separated the 2 numbers so people know the difference. And I DO NOT give out my personal number to clients...

i'm not sure if this a cultural thing but i find it odd that people would trust you if you refrain from stating what your 'real' address is. i'm in the UK, working from home but doing onsite (call out) work.

At the beginning I lost a bit of business because I said that I was a home-based business. In the Los Angeles area that just gets no respect. In Maine, having a home-based business is almost expected. It depends upon the local culture. However once you have the client, they are unlikely to leave you for another tech just because you tell them that you run a business out of your house.

Daifne
03-23-2009, 03:45 PM
As a female tech running my business out of my home and living alone at the time I started my business, I felt that advertising my address would be a very bad idea. When customers ask if they can drop it off, I explain that I work out of my home. I have never had a customer back off because I do. Maybe it's the city I work in or maybe because I am a female, but I have found that my customers are quite comfortable with this.

As to when needing to take the computer back to the shop, I generally broach this on the initial call. The majority of my calls are malware removal and I do these in house rather than onsite. I explain that they would not want to pay for the time where I waiting for a scan twiddling my thumbs. Again, never a problem.

My business cards only have my business name, my name and my business phone # and my Yellow Pages and Yellow Book ads only the business name and number.

camp.cool007
04-01-2009, 01:05 AM
I dont think many run it from their homes because of all the stuff involved. I personally wouldn't take it seriously and would be highly suspicious because they aren't in my home and I have to leave it in other people's homes.

dhrandy
04-01-2009, 05:56 AM
I do my business from home and I haven't had anyone that didn't take me seriously. I try not to have customers bring there computers to my location and do on-site pickup. As long as you are professional and show a professional appearance I don't think you will have a problem.

I have a shirt with my business name on it that is the same color as the blue on my website. I have business cards and and have my business name on all my documents.

DanF
04-01-2009, 09:09 AM
I do work from home, and there's anything I can do other than writing my parents' address (as I live with them) on my business cards. When some client phones because of a problem he's expecting me to go and check on site... after all that's one of the logistics behind my service, so I rarely get clients behind my parents' door. Another advantage is that Malta is so small that I can easily cover the whole island, as you can cross it in 30 to 45 minutes, so there's no need for the clients to come home :)

Sure, if it gets to a point where it will bother my parents (because it's not going to bother me for sure), I'll see what to do. But then again, my business is not as big as the majority of you and I don't have enough money to invest into a garage or something.

SOHO-NZ
04-08-2009, 08:34 AM
Late on this thread, but...

In New Zealand no-ones seems to care about me being a home based business. I recently bought a new house to accommodate my business better. (more space, that is separate from the rest of the house). I decided that having a larger mortgage was better than paying rent for premises. When 90% of my work is on-site, there are many more downsides to having commercial premises (like more power, phone, internet etc costs - over here they seems to think it's Ok to charge double for a business phone & internet over domestic rates)

I do have customer drop off their PC's, but the new house is well laid out for that - my office is next to the front door, and I keep it in a respectable state to try to maintain some professionalism....

The separate phone line for business is essential - I have had customers ring as late as 10.00pm and expect me to help them - nowadays, I let it ring after 8.00pm. If it really is urgent, they can can leave a message or call my cellphone.

I don't advertise my address on business cards, but can be easily found on Google maps . I do wish I had arranged a PO Box for mail before I moved house though. - the poor people who bought my old house are still getting junk mail for my business...!

jackdavis
04-12-2009, 05:31 PM
There are many that do run their business out of their homes. It is a neat way to save some commercial expenditure and get the cash flowing in. It is not only an increasing thing, but has advantages also. Once you are in the line, you dont need to have any commercial place to get the customers.

Majestic
04-13-2009, 06:07 AM
Was wondering how many people run there computer business out of there homes?

I am slowly getting to the point that i am ready to start my business, but i am worried that i wont be taken seriously if I run my business from home.

Also was wondering if you do run your computer business from home do you put down your address on your business card, or just a phone number?

Also how do you handle situations when you have to take a system home for repair?

Sorry for all the questions. But i want to succeed and the only way i know how to do that is hard work, and asking help when i need it.

Thanks

I run my business from home. That does not mean much since I do both remote work and (mostly) On-Site work.

In any case, I leave my real (home) address on my invoices and I use my cell phone as my work phone.

When I have systems that I have to bring home, I do just that. I NEVER (unless it's a personal friend) have clients come over ever. What's more is that they won't know my address unless they are a company in the first place (they'll have it on the invoice.)

In such cases where I need to bring the computer to my place I do just that.. keep track of my time, finish the job, and bring the computer back to them with an invoice.

You really don't need to be concerned with people not taking you seriously because you work out of home. MANY businesses are home based. The customer cares about reliability, efficiency and professionalism. Furthermore, they don't KNOW you work out of home.. You have an address which could be anything from a residence to a commercial office, they simply don't know unless you tell them.

Get yourself some professional business cards (I designed them with my gf on Vistaprint.com) and some good advertising in your local papers.

Good luck!

Majestic

frostbyte5014
04-13-2009, 08:21 AM
I only do commercial work and have no need for a store or shop. I been doing it out of my home for six years and wouldn't have it any other way. My customers are more concerned with the service I provide them that where I have my office. I dress and look professional and have a nice commercial service van so they know I'm legit.