Setting Up a Computer Store/Workshop

When you first had the dream of setting up your own computer store or workshop, you may have dreamt about some nice leather swivel chairs, big oak tables, lines of filing cabinets and having the whole place nicely wired for your LAN.
Sorry, but this is definitely the wrong sort of thinking for any new computer business.

When you are first starting out you only need the essentials which is a cheap folding table from a hardware store or an office supplies store like Staples, whatever chair you are sitting on now, a phone line, a fax machine (for faxing RMA’s/Orders) and an internet connected computer. Some cardboard boxes are a good place to start up a filing system as any.

For your LAN, some cheap switches and some cabling is a good enough, don’t go getting your LAN professionally installed with wiring looms in the roof and wall sockets every few meters in a rented space. If you must have your cabling nice and neat, purchase some cheap stick-on mounding to hide the cables.

As for the workspace out back, some of those simple foldable tables are great. However, you may want to prop them up or find some with longer legs to make them above waist height because it’s no fun bending over a low table all day working on computers. I personally like to have an old CRT monitor mounted up high on a shelf or a wall bracket for testing PCs as it keeps it from taking up valuable table space. Also, should a clients PC surge and damage my screen while testing, the old CRT is cheap to replace.

Other than having a few power boards, an internet connected switch and a few basic tools that should be all you need for the technician workspace. If you have the parts or can get it done cheaply, a test PC that you can easily swap parts in and out of is also a nice addition.

You are trying to start a computer business and you will need as much money as you can available for more important things like rent, insurance, wages and unforeseen events. Not tied up in some pretty furniture or spent on installing permanent fittings, you may not even survive that long to make permanent fittings worth while. Do it on the cheap for the first few years.

Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
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Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

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