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Old 01-22-2012, 05:45 PM
GKnoll GKnoll is offline
 
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Smile Greetings form a fledgling startup

Please tell us a little about yourself. Whats your name? What country do you live in?
My name is Greg and I am from and live in the US.

What is your current experience? (Years working on computers, in the business, certifications etc..)
I have been in the computer business in one way or another for the better part of 20 years. I currently work for a company that services and supports them banknig industry. My primary role is to support field service technicians in the work they do on site. Assist is diagnosing iissues with computers, laser printers, receipt printers and check scanners.

I am currently certified in HP Proliant servers, professional desktops / laptops, most Lexmark printers / MFP's. Working on certifications for Dell and Lenovo.


Are you self looking to start a computer business, already have one, working for someone else or something else?
I want to start my own business to supplement my current income, and eventually run it full time.


Anything else you would like to share? hobbies etc..

I'd like to say this site is the BOMB! I tried to start a business several years ago, even had a client or two, but it didn't last long.
I want to try again, and with this site as a resource, I just might be able to get the ball rolling.

The first thing I really need help with is putting together a business plan.
Anyone with any advise or insight would be great.

Also any ideas on starting out with little or no funding.

Greg
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2012, 06:50 PM
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phaZed phaZed is online now
 
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Welcome to the site Greg.

Business plans are rarely useful for the actual business owner, and are mostly for the securing of loans and business capitol IMO. The problem with a business plan is that everything seems to change once you get everything going, and then the business plan is outdated/no longer applies.


Focus on getting your name out there. For me, Google and word of mouth is what is bringing in the business. I do other advertising as well like flyers, but those are only somewhat successful.

Like you, finding this site has been one of the best things to get my business going. The knowledge base here is phenomenal in many ways.
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:26 PM
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smashedbotatos smashedbotatos is offline
 
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I have a few suggestions for you! Actually, a lot I guess lol I woudl recommend using Technibble's document kit, I dont' use it, because I didn't know it existed when I very first started out.

One, see what is already offered in the local area. Compare what you want to offer compared to what they offer. Price-wise, you can almost always knock 5-10% off services until you get a good base of customers.

Two, You need a name and logo, and a theme. Something catchy and pretty.

Third, Create a simple website based on your logo design and color theme. Keep it clean and smooth, colorful and professional. People will remember you by your mascot and colors. Don't forget to list all your services on your site with prices.

Fourth, Create Flyers, and hang them anywhere and everywhere you can. Places with a lot of foot traffic is key. Local grocery stores, convenience stores, and really any where there is a bulletin board. The flyers should contain a few services you offer....the ones people will want the most. Tuneups, small time software/hardware repair, virus removal, and just basic stuff.

Fifth, By this time you should start to see small amounts of web traffic from the flyers and business cards. So its time to setup adwords! Setup a google business account, and give them a call they will give you 75 or 100 to get you started.

Sixth, Always make people feel like they are getting a huge deal. Price things about $10 higher than you would normally charge for them, and drop the price for them. "Virus removal...yea, I can do that for you, and I normally charge $75 for that service. For you though I will make you a one time offer of $60"

Set up your workstation to be efficient, I personally use a PXE Boot Server to host all my diagnostic disks, and it is snappy not needing the CD/DVD. You could do the same with a couple 16gig USB sticks and making iso images of your install media. Always make sure you have more than just 1 DVD/CD/Flash Drive, because sometimes you will get a few machines to scan or diagnose its always helpful.

Hope its helpful, and if you have any questions on my workstation setup or how to make your efficient let me know, I will be glad to help.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2012, 12:25 PM
GKnoll GKnoll is offline
 
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Default Thank you!

Thank you guys for your comments. I appreciate your advise.

I pretty much already have a color scheme and mascot for a logo and such.
I just ned to make sure they are legal to use.

I am also, needing to get an LLC set up and that takes some funding to get, which I don't have right now. I am trying to find someone to help with that part of it.

Once I get those things set I willbe hitting it hard.

Again I appreciate your feed back.

Greg

Beartown Technologies soon to be LLC.
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2012, 10:48 PM
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SprinterTech-WI SprinterTech-WI is offline
 
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What state are you in (OP)?
I know here in WI it's just $150 for the LLC filing.... pretty simple, I'm actually still a sole-prop until we switch to an S-corp.... may want to talk to your accountant about the differences.

Also IMO a business plan is good because it requires if nothing else for you to really lay out the exact costs, and what not for the next 1, 3, 5 yrs... so you'll know exactly how much you'll need to charge etc.... are you looking at opening a store or just out of your home?

Just a few things I can think of off the top of my head
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:35 PM
GKnoll GKnoll is offline
 
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In MN it's 135.00 to register an LLC.
I have spoken to many people about this, and this is the way to start without a lot of hoops to jump through.

I am still loking into the whole business plan thing. I will probably need it if I find someone to loan me some funding. They would want to know I'm sure.

Just starting in my home for now. No money to get a storefront.

I can't operate like a regular business because of zoning, but I do plan to offer free pick up and drop off. I don't mind onsite services as long as I know it won't be more that an hour. Installing software, or upgraing or replacing some hardware. Otherwise working in my shop is better for full system scans and diagnostics since these things can take lots of time and IMO to costly for both parties.

I will be offering remote services as well.

Greg

Beartown Technologies soon to be LLC.
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