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Old 05-23-2012, 02:22 PM
Jobrien Jobrien is offline
 
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Default Business Idea?

I've been going over in my head, 2 business models that I think would work but not sure about the pitfalls or if anyone knows of someone doing the same thing.

Basically both fall under the same category but a different approach. Set up is like a "Depot" type place. You do all the computer repairs, sell hardware, but you don't deal with the general public. You do it all through "Reps".

These "Reps" are business that want extra income (small store) or already provide the same services (Another repair shop). Basically they advertise, manage the customers, charge whatever they want to them, and your depot does the repair. The depot provides the rep with a branded sheet detailing what was done. You invoice the "rep" your determined amount and move on. As a business owner "rep" you now have a "repair shop" where you do very little work and make money. So in the end if you get 5 jobs a day, the rep makes say 150.00 - 300.00 depending and literally takes him 20 min, and a bit of paperwork, and the "rep" retains the customer.

meanwhile US as the DEPOT may see 5 computer from 1 rep, 5 from another, 5 from another and 5 from another.. so say 20 computers with even a profit of 20.00 after overhead expenses and payroll for employees you're still looking at 400.00 a day with no limit to the potential.. You could be a depot for phones, tablets, pc's macs, whatever you wanna hire someone to look after.

The other "REPS" could be individuals. The local "Geek" or a senior citizen looking for some extra income. They need little to no expertise, just an interest. They travel around collecting items for repair, bring them to the DEPOT, get their BRANDED work report, and all they had to invest was time. You can even give them access to parts for them to sell, no overhead on their part. You would be helping them be business owners themselves.

The thing is, as the DEPOT, you have all the expertise, you do all the labour and there is no incentive for the "REPS" to take the customers and go on thier own, because all of a sudden they have to put in 10 hours work to get the same profit. Their 10 hours would be better spent getting 10 new customers..

sorry for the incoherent mumbling but thats how it's been bouncing around in my head. Anyone know of anything like that?
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:32 PM
Tekko Tekko is offline
 
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It could work...

I did something similar, I would do DC jacks, Macs, just whatever other shops didn't want to do. It didn't work out that well, but I was a lot younger and looking back I think it could have worked had I done various things different.

The problem you'll have is keeping your reps. Most people who have an interest in computer think they can fix anything under the sun themselves; so finding reps in the first place may be hard. On top of that once a rep gets crankin I'm sure he'll come to the realization that its cheaper for him to hire an in house tech for 12.5 an hour, and send less work to the depot.
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:48 PM
Jobrien Jobrien is offline
 
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That's what I was thinking, but if it was profitable enough for them, and you kept the quality of the work very high. Their customers would soon recognize the drop in quality, and they would recognize the increase in cost..

I guess it would boil down to high quality work they have a hard time reproducing at the DEPOT cost..
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:58 PM
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I see one major problem right off. You will have a delay in getting the computers from the rep to the depot and then back again. Even if you concentrate on local, you are talking a few hours to a day or two extra. And then what if you have a complicated repair where the work order scope changes?

I'm not saying this is an awful idea, but it needs a lot of work in the details and a good up-front investment. Plus, you need extra help for when you get slammed (new virus, new OS, etc.). I just see it being a lot of trouble for not the return you could get by going after those customers yourself.

We have a guy in our office complex that has something similar for large retail business clients. He will get in broken computers by the truckload and have his guys refurbish them and send them back out. He does well, but that is for businesses, and it is specialized equipment he deals with.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:17 PM
Jobrien Jobrien is offline
 
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In my head.. I imagined... Enough locations you could justify a "Delivery guy".. like the post office.. 1 round trip a day. Any complicated fixes would be Called back to the rep.

The people working in the depot would work commission.. Paid per job so to speak, and they could work whenever they wanted.. I figure, they should be able to make 25.00 an hour given enough space to have each computer set up and running.

They way I see it.. it breaks out something like this.

Average Virus Removal/ Clean up.

25.00 for Rep
25.00 for Tech
25.00 for Yourself.

individualy.. not really gonna work, but in volume. say 10 straight forward jobs.
250.00 for rep ......... 4 hours work
250 for Tech(s)......... 6 hours work, (all 10 stations running the same time)
250 for Business ..... 2 hours work.

Thats not alot for the business, but if you double or triple that, paying a delivery guy, and shop overhead becomes a little issue..

even at the profits involved it would be hard for a rep to duplicate upwards of 70 an hour, if he decides to go on his own..
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:23 PM
altrenda altrenda is offline
 
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It could work. No reason you can't set up 1 or 2 depots along with your regular work to see how it goes.

And a serious question. Not knowing where you are, is $25 an hour the going rate for good bench techs? The kind you don't have to supervise everything they do?
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:01 AM
bwhatley87 bwhatley87 is offline
 
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We are currently doing this. We have a service depot in a neighboring town. We pay them 10%. The only thing they have to do is log in the computer and have the customer sign, and check it out and receive payment. Credit card being preferred because it takes care of itself. No cash to track down.

I think 10% is a pipe dream if this wasnt a friend.

We track everything in pcrt so all equipment is tagged and we put all invoices and documents in a customer printed envelope to send back with the computer.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:48 AM
altrenda altrenda is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhatley87 View Post
We are currently doing this. We have a service depot in a neighboring town. We pay them 10%. The only thing they have to do is log in the computer and have the customer sign, and check it out and receive payment. Credit card being preferred because it takes care of itself. No cash to track down.

I think 10% is a pipe dream if this wasnt a friend.

We track everything in pcrt so all equipment is tagged and we put all invoices and documents in a customer printed envelope to send back with the computer.
They are willing to do this for less than 10 bucks? I'd gladly pay someone to deal face to face with customers, take payments, store computers after they're fixed, etc. How do you handle liability for customers property if something happens?

Time to talk to the guy at our PO Box store.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:13 PM
Jobrien Jobrien is offline
 
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As for liability and charges and whatnot.. My Contract would be with the "REP".. and they would know in advanced what the standard rates are, and would be the same as myself if something comes up on the bench the customer has the final say.

I wouldn't care what the charged.. The "rep" knows what he's gonna be charged, it's up to him to charge his customer. If something goes wrong, then the "REP" can fire me if he wants too.

I think it would be good for someone who is interested and doesn';t have to be technical to be a rep. They don't really have to fix anything but the better they are dealing with thier customers the better it is for everyone. The can even advertise their own business.

It has to be a fair amount though, I'm pretty sure they are not gonna do it for 10%. I'm thinking 33% REP, Tech, Business......Everyone plays a role.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:51 PM
JonnyRT JonnyRT is offline
 
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I think it is a good idea and it would certainly appeal to me. I come from a very customer service background so enjoy the serving customers side of the business, as well as doing the marketing. I'm not as experienced as most of you guys on here with the technical side of things, so don't enjoy it when I run into a problem that I'm struggling to solve.

I think if you find a 'rep' who is good at the marketing and customer side of things, they can probably charge higher than average prices because of the good marketing and good service meaning there is plenty of profit to go around.
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