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TomOsborne
03-01-2009, 02:46 PM
My name's Tom Osborne and I live in the UK, I am a 16 year old teenager still currently in main-stream education and I am very computer/tech orientated. I love learning new things, to do with tech/gizmo's specifically, and I have always wanted to do something for myself in terms of making a living, rather than relying on 'big boy' companies giving me a job and so, have decided to look into the computer technician sector of today's industry.

I am currently studying Business Studies at school which I really enjoy, I am three quarter's of the way through the course and want to put what I have learnt to some use. I want to start a business by fixing any computer problems anyone might have, in Windows seeing as I grew up using it, unfortunately and hardware issues, also with the option of myself building a PC for a client. I have made three computer systems of my own and two computer systems for friends of family, all with success and have troubleshooted some problems in Windows that friends/family have come across. I have an Uncle who is successful in his trade, who owns and runs a market leading business in Semi-bespoke property management software, who has offered to fund me my first 500-1000 of equipment, which is very fortunate. My brothers girlfriend is a financial expert which could come in handy also.

The only and BIG problem is that of what I think and would love any feedback from you as to whether you think I am correct or not.

I keep thinking that my age might prevent potential clients from contacting me because of the negative image stereotypical teenagers have on the 'good' bunch, that we are rude and just mess things up. I also worry about how this experience may have an effect on my future in business, whether, if it goes wrong I won't ever have the will power to try it again.

So as you can see it's not really a financial problem preventing me from starting a business, which is very fortunate for me as I said, but a negative image sort of problem.

I would also appreciate any other thoughts you have as to whether or not I should go ahead and do it.

Kind regards,

Tom Osborne
tom_osborne@live.co.uk

Bryce W
03-01-2009, 03:57 PM
I say go for it. I started when I was 17 so I've been there and done that. Just dont let it mess with your studies.

Be a little bit cheaper than that most. Be prepared to make a crapload of mistakes and if it was your fault, fix it for free. Learn from your mistakes and dont get discouraged as success is a series of failures.

Also, dont be afraid of walking away from a job you dont know how to fix and dont charge for it. Its hits the pride a little bit you cant know it all.

JohnG
03-01-2009, 04:06 PM
Welcome to Technibble Tom!

It sounds as though you have thought things through. This in itself is a great thing. Definitely make use of the resources offered and available to you. Personally, I think you are correct, in your belief that your age can be a detriment to your business. But, if you present yourself in a positive and professional manner, you will succeed in your business endeavors. Remember, it is cliche, but it holds true; you only get one chance at making a first impression. Starting out, use your family to advertise your services to their friends. If you are successful, these first clients will spread the word for you (maybe offer a future discount for referals). Good luck Tom! :D

NYJimbo
03-01-2009, 04:47 PM
I keep thinking that my age might prevent potential clients from contacting me because of the negative image stereotypical teenagers have on the 'good' bunch, that we are rude and just mess things up. I also worry about how this experience may have an effect on my future in business, whether, if it goes wrong I won't ever have the will power to try it again.

First off, YES, your age will stop some people from wanting to work with you. Keep that in mind, but that doesn't mean you shouldnt go for it anyway. The only way you will get experience is to start working, some people will not want you at 16 but if you can deal with that you will keep learning, and aging, and at some point your age will no longer matter to anyone and you will have alot of experience.

Second, if you fail at this it WILL have a very negative psychological impact on you. I have started serveral businesses that failed and each time it hurts, not just financially but emotionally. Again, that should not stop you, if it does then you are crippling yourself with fear and will never do anything risky like this.

TomOsborne
03-01-2009, 08:46 PM
Thank you all for your advice and quick response. I shall start slowly, I have learnt enough to know you can't expect to earn 1000's in your first week and that starting a business is a life changing commitment. I will keep your suggestions in mind and continue to read the articles on Technibble and it's forums, which has already helped me a great deal.

Now I have read these few but very warming replies, it has given me a psychological boost and made me really want to pursue and succeed in my plan.

I will continue to post on the forums, both giving and asking for advice and I hope I won't bug you all with worries, problems and queries.

I'd like to say that, before discovering Technibble, my thoughts about starting a business in computer tech were distinguishing quickly, but now my hope has been regained, all thanks to everyone at Technibble.

Kind regards,

Tom Osborne

TimeCode
03-02-2009, 05:24 PM
I say go for it. I started when I was 17 so I've been there and done that. Just dont let it mess with your studies.

Be a little bit cheaper than that most. Be prepared to make a crapload of mistakes and if it was your fault, fix it for free. Learn from your mistakes and dont get discouraged as success is a series of failures.

Also, dont be afraid of walking away from a job you dont know how to fix and dont charge for it. Its hits the pride a little bit you cant know it all.

Great advice, Bryce!!! Sorry, that wasn't supposed to rhyme.


Tom,
Go for it. And if I were you, I'd start with residential clients until you've built up a reputation. Eventually, you'll have residential clients who will bring you to their offices to fix PCs there and that's your gravy train. Residential is cool, but it doesn't have the consistency of work that commercial clients provide.

ASDCR
03-03-2009, 04:38 AM
yeah.. what they said!



start w/ friends and family - tell people at church you're in business

if you know how to start up a website, do that



do as much "free" advertising as possible - we have kudzu.com (not sure if that applies over there)

you can get business cards really low cost from VistaPrint.com



and keep an eye towards setting yourself apart - what do all the OTHER tech companies do that tick off clients, and tell your prospects you don't do that - or look for something that the typical client wants and needs, but other techies don't do and tell your prospects you do that!

look out over the tech support landscape - what is a need that isn't being met



for us, we noticed how many ppl grouse at how long it takes to get a tech into the office to fix something

we say we'll get there the same day we're called!



so.. things like that

but, you put your own spin on it - put your own personality into it

l337
03-03-2009, 05:34 AM
could always try and apply for local jobs under existing tech shops that way u can gain alot of knowledge and maybe even insider buisness ideas/concepts first.

TomOsborne
03-05-2009, 08:41 PM
Again guys, thanks ever so much!

I've started to attack friends/family by giving my Nan a lot of business cards to distribute to her friends, I've also printed off 400 small leaflets and given to my Mum to put in the local hospital (where she works) and to brother to put in the local college.

I've already been called out to fix a teenagers PC, as you could expect, crawling in viruses and spyware but fixed in no time, I charged 40, without hesitation, for being there 60 minutes and have a system to build next week, once the delivery comes.

Thanks again for the information and I will be working on it, I also have to say the tools list you are supplying Bryce, basically got me the 40 for my first job, and the list of steps people take when dealing with that kind of job off the forums,

Kind regards,

Tom Osborne