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Old 03-26-2009, 04:21 AM
paulw paulw is offline
 
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Default Setting up a business

I've been thinking about doing this for a for years, but now that I'm married and have a mortgage it's time to take it a bit more seriously!

I've been building/repairing PCs for over 10 years and do a bit of consulting for a family friend's small business, I work on a helpdesk and I know what I'm doing (most of the time, for those moments where I'm stuck I have Google).

I live in a huge apartment complex, with over 1000 flats inside a 5-10 minute walk. Most of the people living around here are young professionals/families. My plan is to offer an "After Hours" service, as most of these people work all day and can't take a day off work to wait around for the PC repair guy. "Work hours" will probably be from 7:30-10pm and weekends.

Because I'll be working outside office hours, I'm thinking that charging AUD$80/hour (around US$55/hour) isn't unreasonable. Does that seem ok?

Do any of you maintain a customer database? Is it just a spreadsheet or do you have something set up in Access?


These are mainly Australian-centric questions, but do I need to set up an ABN etc for this sort of thing? If not, what do I do about tax?
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:30 AM
mmanna mmanna is offline
 
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I could be mistaken, but I think most people expect to pay LESS for an individual (not an established business) coming out in the evening because whether or not it's true, they may assume you're "moonlighting" and expect to pay accordingly.

For example, an electrician employed at a company may bill out at $80/hr during the day (but perhaps only getting paid $50), or he may offer to come out and moonlight for someone on his personal time AFTER hours for $60/hr, saving the customer $20/hr while increasing his own pay by $10/hr.

I've had a handful of customers over the years come into my shop and ask about rates etc., and then ask me if I could come out "on the side" for a little less money. I typically chuckle and then explain to them that I am one of the owners of the company, so NO, I won't be doing any moonlighting!
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:56 AM
paulw paulw is offline
 
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I've checked the local PC Repair business (Safe Mode) and they're charging AUD$49/half hour with a minimum one hour visit). There's another group who charge around the same amount as well.

And yes, I am moonlighting but my day job is not related to my evening job.

Anyone have advice on setting up flyers? I am no marketing wizard.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:32 PM
paulw paulw is offline
 
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Sorry to *bump*, but I'd love opinions from some of you.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:04 AM
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Default

Here is the flier I'm currently using. I'm also using this with tear offs. I haven't had a chance to get the fliers out. I have posted the tear offs and have had 2 jobs from them.


Here are some more ideas I have come up with but haven't used for fliers.
[IMG][/IMG]







Here is one I came up with for a poster.


Sorry for the large post.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:26 AM
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also note $80 AUD is quite a reasonable charge thats the std rate for in shop repairs we charge at the place i work.

rember to only charge for time a pc keeps u occupied tho not having a pc on ur desk scanning for bad hdd sectors for like 4 hours etc.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:52 AM
paulw paulw is offline
 
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Thanks for the replies. I was thinking of something similar for my fliers

I'm pretty much offering the same stuff as you except for PC Builds, I used to do a fair few of those but found it more trouble than it was worth. Things are better now as most people are just buying laptops, but if they want a desktop PC I just help them choose a Dell. I used to have a really poor opinion of Dell PCs but they're great quality now.

And yeah, I was thinking of doing that AUD$80 an hour, or if it's a bigger job, a $150 overnight charge, ie I take their laptop home with me and run all the scans etc and have it delivered back to them the next evening when they get home from work. I wouldn't charge someone 4-5 hours work for a bad sector scan!
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:06 AM
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Someone on here hadda good idea of a door hanger for advertisement. Print off 1000 of those, and go for a walk round the complex with ya wife, and hang one on each door! I'm sure if your design and prices are inviting enough, you'll be swarmed with useless people and there viruses =)
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:46 AM
paulw paulw is offline
 
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Haha that is a good idea except that there are 20 separate buildings and I only have the key to the lobby door for my one! There's a shared mailbox room though so I could do a drop there in about 15 mins!
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