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DJSickWithIt

Anybody build or repair PC's for a living?

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If so what advice would you give to somebody who is planning to startup their own.

 

Any advice would be VERY much appreciated. :)

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well i dont do it for a living but i do build some pcs for friends

 

so always have legit software, expect competition, have some deals once in a while, and make sure you can provide tech support ...all i gota say really, good luck, plan to have a website ?

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Add another part onto your business such as web development, hosting,off site backups, or networking. Its always better to have more than one source of customers and income. I'm actually starting a business of my own doing all the things I've listed. And being able to offer combo deals at competitive rates has landed me some clients already.

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I'm not saying it's impossible and don't follow your dreams but here is the harsh reality...

(This is coming from a 17 year old, so my view may be, and probably is, convuluded. Take it for what it's worth)

 

From my perspective, there is no money to be made in computer repair. The market is simply too bloated. With Best Buy's Geek Squad, Staples' EasyTech, and many many other small PC repair shops, money is scarce. Also, the market for those people willing to fork over thousands of dollars for a PC is infinitesimally small. I understand that my age may lead me to believe that a good job is one that is high paying. I've always been told that this isn't what you should look for in a job, that you should love your job. Well, to be honest, from personal observation I think that's mostly a bunch of BS. (I say mostly because Travis, our administrator, has an awesome job. I'm sure he makes OK money but it's not $100,000 a year). Of course, I'm not saying you should hate your job, but there's got to be a happy medium. Working for yourself my not incur a lot of overhead, but you're going to make sure you have good insurance and an excellent lawyer. No matter how good a guy you probably are, invariably, someone will be dissatisfied. That's the kind of world we live in (like people suing for spilling hot coffee on them, or suing *ehm* because NVIDIA does not have DX10 drivers for Windows Vista). I guess my point is that it's not as easy as a lot of people think (my Dad and step Dad both own their own businesses, for 29 and 10 years, respectively). You may be good at what you do at home, but the real world is WAY different (like me working in IS this summer at a large medical center).

 

Probably not what you wanted to hear (and maybe my points are completely irrational) but that's my 2 cents.

 

Good luck in whatever you choose!

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i used to do that.

but guess what. building a pc doesnt earn much.

at most.. the most you can earn from locals is about 10% of parts cost. so a 100$ HDD. you can charge 110$ then tax it.

 

the only thing is SERVICE.

for the love of OC, service makes money

reinstallations of windows. 50$ ,antivirus spyware clean up. 50$. data backup?? shittttt 100$. custom pc? want watercooling? ++ on top of pc cost.

 

lil addon things. made in china goods. 1-5$ fan controllers, drive bays, external boxs. get em for like 5$ a piece. you can sell for like 20$ a pop. 300% profit.

 

you can get cases for 15$ with PSUs. sell for 30-40$.

 

all these prices are just examples of what i used to do. fyi . adjust them to your area.

 

ALWAYS USE LEGIT SOFTWARE. microshit. does track down and threaten to sue vendors. oem windozes doesnt cost much. since you sell them at cost. or a buck or two more.

 

dont use places like newegg as your distro. use ingram, malabs, d&h, etc etc.

unless newegg or other vendors actually beats a distro price.

 

cctv equipment always makes money.

 

as what uncledavid said. having a geeksquad around ya isnt bad for your business. have you seen the prices those fuggers charge?

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I'm not saying it's impossible and don't follow your dreams but here is the harsh reality...

(This is coming from a 17 year old, so my view may be, and probably is, convuluded. Take it for what it's worth)

 

From my perspective, there is no money to be made in computer repair. The market is simply too bloated. With Best Buy's Geek Squad, Staples' EasyTech, and many many other small PC repair shops, money is scarce. Also, the market for those people willing to fork over thousands of dollars for a PC is infinitesimally small. I understand that my age may lead me to believe that a good job is one that is high paying. I've always been told that this isn't what you should look for in a job, that you should love your job. Well, to be honest, from personal observation I think that's mostly a bunch of BS. (I say mostly because Travis, our administrator, has an awesome job. I'm sure he makes OK money but it's not $100,000 a year). Of course, I'm not saying you should hate your job, but there's got to be a happy medium. Working for yourself my not incur a lot of overhead, but you're going to make sure you have good insurance and an excellent lawyer. No matter how good a guy you probably are, invariably, someone will be dissatisfied. That's the kind of world we live in (like people suing for spilling hot coffee on them, or suing *ehm* because NVIDIA does not have DX10 drivers for Windows Vista). I guess my point is that it's not as easy as a lot of people think (my Dad and step Dad both own their own businesses, for 29 and 10 years, respectively). You may be good at what you do at home, but the real world is WAY different (like me working in IS this summer at a large medical center).

 

Probably not what you wanted to hear (and maybe my points are completely irrational) but that's my 2 cents.

 

Good luck in whatever you choose!

 

Have you analysed the market in your area? Do you know this to be true for your immediate area? What about MN in general?

 

How about Michigan? Have you studied DJSickWithIt's area to see what the demand is like? Have you studied the Michigan market in general to see what the demand for this type of service is?

 

If you haven't done the research, then you are just imagining everything you said and have no idea of the ACTUAL market demand.

 

 

 

In my area, Central & North Central Ohio (the areas that I have done actual research), The market is ripe for PC service & repair businesses. Many of the Best Buy's in Ohio Have a rediculous wait time & turn around time for service & repairs, BECAUSE THE DEMAND IS HUGE. You can't get an OS reinstall in less then 2-3 months. Many other services have a similar waiting period.

 

Currently all over the states the market is still growing. More people have computers then ever before. And most of them buy the computers & have no idea how to maintain them, and frankly, have no desire to do so. I mean, when you go buy a car, do you want to do most or all of the maintainence & repairs, or would you rather take it to a mechanic & pay him? People are the same way with their computers.

 

I build & repair/service pc's on the side, & if I really wanted to push it, I could have more business then I know what to do with. It is something that I have been seriously considering & researching. I am not ready to do it yet, and haven't decided if it is the direction that I actually want to go.

 

My advice DJSWI, is to do some market research on your own in the area you want to service. Start with friends & family, are you already doing a bunch of service/repair on the side or as favors?

 

Call all the local repair/service shops & find out what kind of wait times they have & how much they charge for their services. Pretend to be a potential client, play dumb & ask questions about their services. This will tell you alot about the current market conditions in your area & will help you evaluate if the market can support an additional business.

 

If it is something you are really interested in doing then go for it & don't listen to negativity from the people around you.

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I agree with ooeric...your best bet is to focus on service and not actually selling components as your main point. I used to work at a PC repair shop and we charged 79$ for the first hour and $50 for every hour after that with a minimum charge of $39 just to look at your stuff. It's very easy to beat the repair shop prices...especially around here. We have a geek squad and they have outrageous pricing for the crappy work they do. Cleaning up viruses/spyware will get you A LOT of business...say if you charge $60 to clean up any spyware/virus problems...half of those are going to need a windows reinstall so you charge $50 for a reinstall and another $50 for A/V software and $30 or $40 for some spyware software. You can get $100-$150 for most clean up jobs. Good thing about people with spyware is that they never learn so they get reinfected and come back again :) You'll also find a pretty decent market if you can build some cheap decent computers. Like some Athlon/Sempron systems with a gig of value RAM, cheap video card, 160 gig HDD and a DVD-RW drive...sell it for around $600 and you'll sell em. Just make sure to get some good advertising...we never advertised where I used to work..then 1 week we advertised to do spyware cleanups for $75 and got a TON of business.

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Have you analysed the market in your area? Do you know this to be true for your immediate area? What about MN in general?

 

How about Michigan? Have you studied DJSickWithIt's area to see what the demand is like? Have you studied the Michigan market in general to see what the demand for this type of service is?

 

If you haven't done the research, then you are just imagining everything you said and have no idea of the ACTUAL market demand.

Did I NOT say that he should take my post for what it's worth?

 

He didn't ask for me to do a feasibility study complete with charts and graphs, he asked for an opinion.

 

It is a fact that the IT industry is bloated. Everyone and their brother is in IT.

 

And analyzed is spelled with a z

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It is a fact that the IT industry is bloated. Everyone and their brother is in IT.

 

Hardware in general is bloated, the IT industry is far from it. If the IT industry was truly bloated then colleges and tech schools wouldn't have the highest placement rates in those majors.

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What I meant by bloated is that it's not like it used to be.

 

Now any idiot can be a PC tech, it doesn't take any special knowledge or wisdom to be able to install an operating system

 

There's a lot of less-than-knowledgeable people in the field, which I suppose can be both good and bad

 

I am reconsidering my major in college (in the future) from Electrical Engineering to something else.

 

My grandpa was a Nuclear Physicist (well, still is actually) so he can point me in the right direction if that is what it comes down to.

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cctv equipment always makes money.

 

 

 

 

Hey good point! We do that here. Its really pretty easy to do, and large companies pay a TON. I've seen some of the bigger cctv installers charge 800% on components!!!! :eek2: Thats 8g for a 1g dvr. Bang, you just made 7k. We don't mark up like that, but we still make money. It might be worth checking into.

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