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Gs Or My Own Business


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#1 Box In A Bag

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 12:36 AM

ok so i got a problem and need some advice...

So heres my scenario, my wife is air force and we are stationed in a horrible little town called san angelo, where I was forced to lose my good job working for AT&T at their central offices because guess what..theres no at&t in west texas, just verizon lol. So I ended up getting a horrible job that pays horrible (10 an hour) and its construction for data cable (cat5/6) and it is extremely stressful since I am the lead tech at a large job for reagan county and I really hate my job, i have been lied to sewveral times about a raise and am yet to get one so, i am quitting. So I got a job offer at the Geek Squad as a DA (yeh...i know... the geek squad...dont hate me, this town is horrible, last resort) So I did research, starts at $16 an hour and up to $22, sounded great, easy, enjoyable alright ill do it. WELL i went in to do my paperwork and they dropped pay to $9 an hour and told me I had to do home theatere installation til I take my test and am fully on the team, than I can get promoted to the actual geek squad...ok the kids there now, are ridiculous...how do i know..well i did computer repair for a local shop when i first moved here, sadly, the manager was in horrible debt and went out of business, but i got to know the geek squad well,a dn how they really dont know what they are talking about (except for a few that also work at the local college as techs, they know their stuff). Well this brings a new problem...not much money at all.

This is a problem since i just went through the most amazing experience of my life and that is the birth of my son, but how am i going to get enough money, I cant do JUST that at 9 an hour, and my current position wants me to leave for a big job 4 hours away for 5 weeks, which is a absolute no.

So i decided I would do my own PC repair business for extra cash, so my questions for you guys are these:

1. Have you heard of a GSI (Geek Squad Installer) be promoted toa DA (double agent) in 3 or so moneths? or am i getting raped?

2. Have any of you done your own pc repair business and is it enjoyable and was the profit good for you, and how did you jump start it?

If this is in the wrong forum please let me know and i will delete it and post it in the correct forum

Edited by Box In A Bag, 12 September 2008 - 12:36 AM.

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#2 Box In A Bag

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:09 PM

anyone?
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#3 garmanma

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 01:44 PM

First thing to do is to check out the market in your town. How many other repair shops are there?
Mark
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#4 Box In A Bag

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:03 PM

Well there were 5 repair shops, not counting geek squad, but one went out of business (way too expensive and a bad rep). I worked at one, and the owner knew what he was doing, had happy customers but at often times offended customers and was very stressed out and was unable to run a business properly, without being angry with the world, very bad experience. His prices were $40 an hour, $60 an hour for in home, and most of the time he would just charge $80 for everything.

The others prices are $50 an hour and $65 for in home, this one has kids working there at the age of 16+ for 7.50 an hour, bad reputation for stealing.

Another one is also $50 for in store but $70 for in home, they have a good rep and are owned and worked with just friends, cool guys.

The last is one that just started, their prices are unknown as I have not gone in there yet to see how they work, but I will find out.

The major problem I noticed at the one that I worked at was repeat customers, they would go come and come back 3 days later with the same problem very angry, wanting a refund, the only problem is, it is malware, they go back to the same sites they were not supposed to, NOW I believe this would ahve been fixed with some simple Q&A, what websites do you spend most your time on, how much email do you get, etc. etc, and explaining to them the problem is the sites and everything so that way, they do not run into the same problem as soon again. The owner however just explained what he did and that is it. So the area has plenty of market, however the majority have known bad reputations.
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#5 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 10:16 PM

You appear to have done quite a deal of Research into the Market Place and can see an opening there for yourself. You also seemed to have learnt a valuable Lesson in Business from your previous Employer that is commendable, regarding "The Customer is always Right". Some times they just need a little gentle teaching.

I would suggest that you start off in a very small way as a sideline, just yourself. That will keep your Overheads down to a minimum. As your Customer Base Grows, slowly put on more Staff.

Many Businesses fail because the Owner loses Contact with the Customers in the Customer Base and you should always be the Front Man in the Business. I worked that out very early in my Business Career.

Just my few Cents worth, I hope it helps you some what?

:thumbsup:

#6 Pr3diction

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 07:35 AM

Hi there :thumbsup:

I think that I ought to tell you that starting your own business is more than hard - You will be under heavy amounts of stress doing everything from advertising, planning, setting up, registering and buying a location for the business.

Your going to need to have plenty of patience, free time and definitely support from family and friends. Do as much research as you can :flowers:

Also, I think that some of the members here would offer to help you out with it - if you needed any thoughts, ideas or even design of things such as business cards, please be sure to ask here - I know myself and others would be glad to help you out :trumpet:

Now I'm no business man, (I am not even an adult), but I can tell you, the experience of watching your own hard-worked business grow is a wonderful experience :inlove:

#7 Nerdful Things

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:38 AM

I hope it is appropriate to discuss this here. If not what forum could this be continued in? And if not on BC at all would love to find a place to continue this.

I have been in business since 1971 either full or part time (formerly in industrial electronics full time), and have only recently looked at doing Windows machines.
I prefer to build or convert people to Linux,
This will be my semi retirement job, and will likely do it in retirement until my wetware expires.
This is due to the demand from friends and family, and the local big boxes don't seem to draw them back for repeat business.

I was wondering if using BC is appropriate to help out a small shop.
Until I found this site, I was led to believe there is no way to be sure a Windows box is cleaned without a re-format and install.
I have been told of the tenacious hidden root kits etc.
Would you ever trust your machine for banking again?
I hope I will hear, yes, and that this online help is the way to go.
I try to find free tools, use a lot of open source based software, and donate to or buy the products I decide to keep using.

As for starting up, BIAB, Put everything in writing, and have the customer and yourself review every detail, then call them right away if there is a change in what you have to do.
As the other guy said, keep in touch at all times with your customers.
Make hay while the sun shines. Think of it: A business that does not need a repair truck, tools, ladders, welding equipment, refrigeration repair equipment, chimney brooms, legal library, etc. etc.
Treat each customer well, and individually.
Nerdful

#8 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:56 AM

:thumbsup: :flowers:

You have got it, Mate!

I have started many Businesses up from the Ground with that Idea at the front of my mind, and boosted a few for my Mates.

The important thing is to get the Customer Base to support you. You will do that by giving spot on Service, no matter what, even if you have to do a few Special Deals to get your nose in the door. Once your Customer Base is large enough you can quite easiky be a bit more expensive then others. People will pay extra for the Reliable Service and Quality Workmanship you give.

As for Online Help for you, we help many people that fix Computers for their Friends and others for some payments, so I couldn't Personally see a Problem here with that.

I am happy to Help out anytime.

#9 Box In A Bag

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 12:45 PM

Well I sure do appreciate all the supportive comments, it sounds like some of you have had a pretty successful and enjoyable time with your own business.

These are my intentions:

I have two choices to make, the first is to work for the geek squad at 9 dollars an hour (since they screwed with me) which is part time, this is good because that opens time to work on my own thing, the only problem with this is that my wife and I just had our son (7 weeks old now) and money is an issue, I know we will be fine with the part time but it will be tight. So my other option is this, a full time position, possibly around 16-17 an hour doing tech support for 911 equipment, they have told me i would work 11-5 and be on call at night, and that i would RARELY go out of town. The good thing for this is the money will be MUCH better, possibly around 6-700 a week, however the fear of having to go out of town bothers me, i told them 2 days at the most, so maybe they will work with me, they seem very interested still, however the problem is i do not have as much time to work on my own business, so from your experience, which do you think is the best route for me?

Once I get that figured out, my next step is advertisement, I have already started advertising on craigslist, but no calls yet, this is expected though. So my next step is flyers at the local wal-mart, ASU dorms, YMCA, newspaper, and the AFB (where i live).

Hopefully I start to recieve calls and am able to work with them, so i plan on cleaning out my shed completely, building my benchs, and taking my two diagnostic computers out there and use that as my workshop for now.

Customers will have to sign a release for their computers and if there are hardware issues than they will need to pay for the hardware before i order it(cant afford to buy a power supply then them not want it, atleast not until i get more money in the saving for the business lol).

I am doing pickup and delivery, and in home services, so i think that will catch alot of eyes.

So what all do you think about my current situation with work and my future intentions?

Edited by Box In A Bag, 15 September 2008 - 12:47 PM.

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#10 Box In A Bag

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:28 PM

bump
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#11 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 10:47 PM

Start in a small way is the Best.

Using the Shed as a Temporary Workshop is a great Idea to keep the Overheads down. More so if you are doing Pick up and Delivery and Onsite Service. You don't need a Fancy Office or Store, just yet.

Most people understand that hardware needs to be paid for up front. I would make it one of your first Rules of your Business.

Advertising is necessary to get started, but keep it within a very tight Budget and ALWAYS Remember that the absolute Best Advertisements are "Word of Mouth." You get that if you give Top Service and Consideration always with a Smile.

#12 Box In A Bag

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 08:52 AM

well that sounds great, I am going in to speak with 911 company and if all goes well I plan to start there monday, and use the rest of this week to advertise and get something started and do it on the side until I get enough in a savings account to where I can stock the business comfortably, and expand a little bit and then posibly make that my source of income.

May i ask, do you all know of any licenses that must be acquired to do computer repair? My certifications have expired and I need to retest on them to get them updated, but do I needa business license now? or until I make a reasonable profit?
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#13 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 09:13 AM

As can be seen I am not from America so can not really advise you on Requirements in your Country. I believe they vary greatly from State to State?

A small Investment by running it past a Lawyer before you start would seem to be in order to me?

Some of the Members that repair Computers for their friends would have a lot more knowledge than me of your Requirements. If it was here, that would be totally different, Mate.

The idea of starting it small is the best as it minimises the Risk and enables you to Build a Base whilst still having an income, even though it will take longer and will stress you a bit. At least you will be close to your Family.

On Advertising? Maybe if you get Business Cards Printed up and pay a young person to put a card in the mail Boxes around your neighbourhood? Business Cards work out quite cheaply by the 1,000 units against the 100 units.

Edited by Abacus 7, 16 September 2008 - 09:28 AM.


#14 Box In A Bag

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:06 PM

well heres the good news, I got both jobs now, best buy and wsc (the 911 position) which the 911 position pays more and is a computer related job, I could be part of the technical support team to identify and solve problems with 911 equipment and I would also be working with AutoCAD.

The bad news is my current employer caught wind of me looking for another job so...they fired me. So that leaves me a week and a half of unemployment.

So heres what I think, this week and a half is a good oppurtunity for me to get my flyers up, and get cards made (sounds like a great idea Abacus!) and distribute them around and get my name out there, and see how that works out! so this may be an oppurtunity for me, even though the dinners will be small this week, i think we can see some good out of this.
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#15 Guest_Abacus 7_*

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 01:18 PM

well heres the good news, I got both jobs now, best buy and wsc (the 911 position) which the 911 position pays more and is a computer related job, I could be part of the technical support team to identify and solve problems with 911 equipment and I would also be working with AutoCAD.

The bad news is my current employer caught wind of me looking for another job so...they fired me. So that leaves me a week and a half of unemployment.

So heres what I think, this week and a half is a good oppurtunity for me to get my flyers up, and get cards made (sounds like a great idea Abacus!) and distribute them around and get my name out there, and see how that works out! so this may be an oppurtunity for me, even though the dinners will be small this week, i think we can see some good out of this.


Good on you, Mate!

Just remember a Golden Rule of Business and also of Life?

Every time a door closes on you two more open! Think positively.

Think of the ParaOlympicians? Then go out there and Win, Mate.

Any Help I can give, just ask. Either here or by PM.

:thumbsup:




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