I have a small business (very small) that's not getting any business right now. I dunno what i'm doing wrong. I have a lot of good ideas and i don't charge ppl much money for the small stuff i do. I'd like to get into building more PCs for ppl to suit their needs/desires, and help them to do things on their own. Maybe Y'all can help me with some ideas? Thanks in Advance to those who do and if you need any more info, i'll answer any question.
Like you, I too run a small computer repair business. I live in a small town, not very close to any major computer chains. I also have very little business. But I do have some thoughts on the matter:
First, a friend of mine who had been in the computer business said something about the need for a storefront. True, it makes a big difference in exposure. But in addition to the cost of maintaining and protecting a store, computer businesses are often subject to competition. You open one, the guy down the street opens one, your business is cut drastically.
I really never worked very hard on the building side of the business, though I enjoy building computers. One reason is that, no matter how cheaply I get my stuff, I cannot compete with Wal-Mart. (Which we do have.) Nor can I compete with Tiger Direct, for instance, which sells a Sempron computer complete except for monitor for about $300. Not a lot of money in building computers unless you already have a store with a lot of stock and cheap help. (My friend used high-school kids - the school's work program paid half their minimum wage.) And unless you have a lot of customers, one of the worst things you can do is invest in a lot of stock - like JE said, tomorrow's price may be far different than today's. If a major Asian factory burns down, the price of memory or something may go up, but don't bet the farm on it.
If you're doing enough work that you can buy in bulk, you might get a better discount from a company like Tech Data, though I don't know if they're better than Newegg or Tiger. Newegg's prices seem to be better than Tiger's, BTW. And keep in mind that some of the companies that tried to build custom high-end computers went bankrupt because people would order them and not pay for them after they were custom-built.
And don't forget to KISS it. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) If you have display computers, have about three levels - bottom end, medium quality, and gamer, and then put in what the customer wants. Too many choices are just confusing to the customer. I used to hang out in a local computer shop and help out now and then, and customers really like to see how it works. Pointing to a picture of the thing isn't very much of a sales aid. But beware - they'll check yours out to get an idea of what they want, then go to the big-box stores and call you for free advice when they have their first problem, which is annoying when you've spent perhaps hours demonstrating your stock.