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Old 08-01-2011, 06:41 AM
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OK, so here's my situation ATM.

I'm looking into opening my very first store here in Sydney, Australia.
I've been working mobile for a little over a year. Business is good. Income is great but I have always wanted a shop.

I found a place for rent on the busiest road in Western Sydney. The shop is 100sq metres. It is already decked out with floating floorboards, ducted aircons, data cabling, alarm etc. All i would basically need to do is paint interior and exterior, put up window signs and signs on the roof, move in all the furniture and computers and start advertising.

According to my calculations, a $20000 loan is enough to get me started (this includes the first 3 months of rent, electricity, insurance, phone and internet).

The rent is between $550 and $600 p.w (still negotiable). This price includes taxes and outgoings.

There is no other computer store for a good 10km radius. There are plenty of businesses in the area. It's actually one of Sydneys largest industrial and commercial suburbs. If i target mainly businesses in the area, i know i can get a good cashflow. But it would be a waste to only target businesses as there is alot of foot and car traffic on that road.

My plans are to start small with repairs and support, establish myself and then eventually holding a large amount of stock, reselling all computer products. The shop is big enough for it. I would also sell online, while still providing repairs and support to the community.

My heart is saying "DO IT!" but my head is saying "Don't be an idiot! You're paying no rent right now. Spend that $20k towards your mobile business and you will probably be better off".

I don't know what to do. I feel that if i wanted to open a shop, now would be the best time for it. If i don't open it and a year later someone else opens a store in the area (and is actually busy) i would hurt myself!

But then if i open up, and the business doesn't do too well, i would hate myself for getting into this mess in the first place.

Ugggghhh I'm stressing so much over this ****! Someone help please.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:47 AM
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It sounds like you've done some research.

If I were you, I'd make sure to have at least 6 months rent + utilities saved up just in case, and then go ahead and do it.

Of course make a big splash with your old customers that you now have a shop, come on by to check it out (Including a We-just-opened-promo-discount) etc. etc.
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:52 AM
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Just wondering about the loan, why do you need that you think?

I would try to figure out how to do it without the loan, my first office was $650 a month and I just marketed harder to make that pay for itself.

I'm excited for you!!! How fun to get into the shop!
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by callthatgirl View Post
Just wondering about the loan, why do you need that you think?

I would try to figure out how to do it without the loan, my first office was $650 a month and I just marketed harder to make that pay for itself.

I'm excited for you!!! How fun to get into the shop!
$650 PER MONTH??? Woah! You will not find anywhere is Sydney for less than $1000 per month, and even then it would be in a very crappy suburb, hidden behind trees and probably infested with termites.

The $20000 loan will cover the first 3 months of rent, electricity, insurance, phone and internet. It will also pay for paint, any electrical work, signs, furniture, computers, printer, surveillance installation, website/hosting, cards/flyers/promotional stuff, advertising, some basic stock and some left over cash if needed.

It would be quite hard to do it without the loan i think.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:19 AM
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Best of luck securing the loan. I'm in the same boat as you, but credit is just too tight for small businesses in the US right now. I am going to privately finance this expansion just as I've financed prior expansions. Would be nice to use other people's money for a change.

If you open the shop and continue your mobile business, who watches the shop while you're out doing service calls? I don't think you can just close up in the middle of the day and not expect some unhappy customers.
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Old 08-01-2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichmondTech View Post
Best of luck securing the loan. I'm in the same boat as you, but credit is just too tight for small businesses in the US right now. I am going to privately finance this expansion just as I've financed prior expansions. Would be nice to use other people's money for a change.

If you open the shop and continue your mobile business, who watches the shop while you're out doing service calls? I don't think you can just close up in the middle of the day and not expect some unhappy customers.
I will hire a technician (my future brother in law). He still needs abit of training, but working instore with me for a couple of months will get him all the training and experience needed. I trust him to run the shop for the hour or two when I am out doing onsites.

The planning of the shop is well thought out. My best friend is a marketing genius and he is going to help me out a fair bit in that department. I have all my suppliers on board. Once the loan is approved I am pretty much ready to rock n roll.

But there's just something in my head which is freaking me out. I am scared so much and stressing out at the fact that my business might bust.

That is the worrying part.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
OK, so here's my situation ATM.

I'm looking into opening my very first store here in Sydney, Australia.
I've been working mobile for a little over a year. Business is good. Income is great but I have always wanted a shop.
I was to the point of taking appointments all day and taking some pc's home each night to repair while eating dinner. Girl friend got tired of stepping over pc's and parts in the house. So I got a shop with $500 rent. It was a flexible lease with only a 1 year term.

Thing is that you need to be able to hire a jr tech to handle the store....no big deal but they should be able to answer the phones, check in pc's, explain a diagnoses and get authorization for repair, do the repair and collect the visa or cash when done.

I presume you are still going to continue to do your out calls. This worked for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
I found a place for rent on the busiest road in Western Sydney.
I had four shops and paid the most rent to a shop on a major highway. My clients didn't respond as well as I liked on the heavy traffic location. Apparently people hate busy intersections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
The shop is 100sq metres. It is already decked out with floating floorboards, ducted aircons, data cabling, alarm etc. All i would basically need to do is paint interior and exterior, put up window signs and signs on the roof, move in all the furniture and computers and start advertising.
Perfect. You might ask the landlord to paint the store for you in exchange for your signing a lease. If you feel a better price is available the way to handle this is to give him a letter of intent to lease the store. Which just states your intention to try and negotiate a lease.

Then in a separate letter you begin your negotiations. Things you might ask for are:

Paint and maintenance (plumbing or hvac) to perfect the store.
Lower rental rate initially or over all. Specify what you want to pay. I'd start about 75% of what he offered.
Free rent for a few months, I always ask for 1 month for each year on the lease. If he has a good sense about you he might even help out with the signs and put it in additional rent which lowers your upfront capital requirements.
Break out clause which states if you do not achieve a specified minimum amount of sales within 6 months you can give 30 day notice to cancel the lease. Expect to pay back all free rent and costs for any lease improvements if this happens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
According to my calculations, a $20000 loan is enough to get me started (this includes the first 3 months of rent, electricity, insurance, phone and internet).
I got my Chrome retail display racks from Sam's Club $69 ea. Tech bench I built from counter top material $99 ea 10' and ran the cat 5 myself. I also got power strips that plug into the wall and then mount on the wall and give 12 outlets without hiring an electrician. Bought a tool box for organizer. Used 2x4's to make triangle mounts to mount the counter top to the wall. Very simple and inexpensive.

I believe that the tech area should be separated by the check in area so that the customer doesn't try to talk to you and ask questions while you are working, nor see the disorganization that is sometimes present. We put a one way mirror in the wall to monitor customers while working on the bench plus we have a bell on the door to alert us when someone comes in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
There is no other computer store for a good 10km radius. There are plenty of businesses in the area. It's actually one of Sydneys largest industrial and commercial suburbs. If i target mainly businesses in the area, i know i can get a good cashflow. But it would be a waste to only target businesses as there is alot of foot and car traffic on that road.
yellow pages and web SEO will both help with getting the retail customers to call you. When I get a phone number for a new store I always request an old number that is easily associated with that geographical area. I find customers will quickly scan for the prefix that they recognize as close by and call them first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
My plans are to start small with repairs and support, establish myself and then eventually holding a large amount of stock, reselling all computer products. The shop is big enough for it. I would also sell online, while still providing repairs and support to the community.
I was probably making close to $10k per month when I decided I needed a shop. At that time I was only spending about $2000 per month so I had saved enough to open with cash and buy inventory. You can probably open with your credit line on your visa. I'd avoid buying more inventory than what you absolutely need at first. For about $2000 you can get enough hardware to build two complete pc's and have 10 power supplies, 2-3 hard drives and some memory for upgrade sales.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
My heart is saying "DO IT!" but my head is saying "Don't be an idiot! You're paying no rent right now. Spend that $20k towards your mobile business and you will probably be better off".
If you were to spend it towards your mobile business, what would you do with the money?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
I don't know what to do. I feel that if i wanted to open a shop, now would be the best time for it. If i don't open it and a year later someone else opens a store in the area (and is actually busy) i would hurt myself!

But then if i open up, and the business doesn't do too well, i would hate myself for getting into this mess in the first place.

Ugggghhh I'm stressing so much over this ****! Someone help please.
OK don't stress. If there are computers in the area then you can make money fixing them. If you don't do this someone else will. Do it.

Go to tech tools on this site and read what and how many of us are using tools to make our lives more productive, go to marketing and get some ideas.

Good luck.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:53 PM
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I got so excited to answer you I didn't even read the rest of the posts till now. Sorry to repeat what others have said.

One last bit of advice. I am a generous person and I always want to pay my friends and family top dollar for everything. Thing is that you really need to pay what the market requires not what you want to pay.

I recommend paying market wages for a Jr tech to your bro in law. Around here we pay about $8-$8.50 per hour and $7.25 is minimum wage. A 3 year experienced bench tech might make $11-12.

Being a self employed owner, you need to practice being a little stingy to preserve cash. Once you have allot more cash you can always do something nice for people who help you get there.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph@Dagon View Post
$650 PER MONTH??? Woah! You will not find anywhere is Sydney for less than $1000 per month, and even then it would be in a very crappy suburb, hidden behind trees and probably infested with termites.

The $20000 loan will cover the first 3 months of rent, electricity, insurance, phone and internet. It will also pay for paint, any electrical work, signs, furniture, computers, printer, surveillance installation, website/hosting, cards/flyers/promotional stuff, advertising, some basic stock and some left over cash if needed.

It would be quite hard to do it without the loan i think.
Yeah I'm oz too my store is nearly $650 a week, need any more advice on starting in a shop, I've done two so far
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  #10  
Old 08-02-2011, 12:35 PM
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Joseph@Dagon Joseph@Dagon is offline
 
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Originally Posted by n3rdism View Post
Yeah I'm oz too my store is nearly $650 a week, need any more advice on starting in a shop, I've done two so far
Hey mate, great to hear! Where is your shop?
How busy are you guys? And do you find it tough with the $650 rent?
That's the thing scaring me the most. I've never paid rent in my life.
According to my calculations, to pay off my rent, electricity, phone, internet and insurance, I need to make $110 per day. I will be open 6 days a week. My virus removals cost $130. Callouts to home are $90/h and businesses $130/h.
Does this look familiar to yours?
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