Start Your own computer repair business
Computer repair technicians fix hardware and software problems.
computer image by michele goglio from Fotolia.com
Personal and business computers have become commonplace. Knowledge of how to repair computers when things go wrong with them, however, is not as widespread. Starting a computer repair business allows you to make a living while providing a valuable service to businesses and private clients who cannot repair their PC problems on their own. Certification is not explicitly required to start a computer repair business, but it grants you credibility that can be difficult to attain otherwise.
1. Consider the repair services that you plan to provide. Decide whether you will offer general hardware repair and upgrade services, virus removal, data recovery, and other services. You should also consider the operating systems that you will be working with, as there are considerable differences between repairs on a computer running Windows XP or Windows 7 and computers running a Linux distribution or a version of Mac OS X.
2. Take classes or other courses to prepare for certification tests in the areas you will specialize in. Examples of these certifications include the CompTIA A+ certification for computer hardware, Microsoft Certified Professional certification for working with Microsoft operating systems and programs and Certified Data Recovery Professional certification for data recovery work.
3. Choose the type of customers that you would prefer to work with. Some computer repair businesses focus on helping business clients to manage their computers, while others are more focused on residential customers. Knowing your target customers beforehand will help you to target your advertising toward those customers.
4. Research your competition to see how many other computer repair businesses target the same customer base in your area. Find out their rates, the services that they provide and the certifications that their technicians hold. Determine the rate that you will work for, making sure that it is competitive and reasonable for someone with your skill level and certifications.
5. Apply for a business license and file a fictitious name or doing business as registration to allow you to work under the name of your business instead of your own name. Purchase a liability insurance policy to protect yourself from lawsuits in case a customer's computer is damaged while in your care.
6. Advertise your business. Create a website with information on your services, rates, and certifications. Create fliers and take out ads in local newspapers and magazines. Offer discounts for first visits to encourage potential customers to come to you with their computer problems instead of your competition.
7. Create a spreadsheet or database with customer information so that you can easily reference the past computer problems of repeat customers to try to find an underlying cause. Make notes about your customers so that you can more easily remember them if they return.
8. Keep track of all of your income and expenses for tax purposes. File tax payments monthly or quarterly to avoid Internal Revenue Servie fines for underpayment.