According to recent statistics published by the Daily Mail, residents in the UK spend about 9 hours in front of a computer screen per day. Increase in use for both work and entertainment means more opportunity for computer failure, virus infection, and performance decrease - which could spell dollar signs for those looking to get into the computer maintenance and repair business. If you are computer savvy and have a knack for keeping your computer equipment and network performing its best, here’s how you can start a profitable computer maintenance and repair business...
Developing Your Business Plan
Back in the 90s, computer maintenance and repair businesses focused on selling product. This does not ring true today, most computer maintenance and repair businesses rely on logged hours of labour as their bread and butter. This is mostly due to the fact that most programs and equipment components are easily accessible for purchase online at more than reasonable prices. This means your business model should be centered on cash sales resulting from services rendered rather than products sold.
Work Out the Details
Fortunately, the computer repair and maintenance business is extremely versatile. Begin working out the details while researching market need in your area, this will help you decide your niche of expertise. In addition, determine whether your business will be mobile or brick and mortar. Either way you will need special tools and a dedicated workspace to perform repairs.
Legalities & Filing Paperwork
The government requires you file certain paperwork before beginning to do business. Being legal will register your company as an entity, allow you to set up taxes and provide you with information on proper sales/employee tax reporting, and provide you with the information you need to do business with vendors. Once your business is set up, you will also have to consider insurance. Liability insurance will protect you from possible claims or lawsuits filed by customers. If you are self-employed, you may also have to get National Insurance or VAT, depending on your yearly earnings. If you are unsure about how to work out the logistics of registering your business, you may want to contact a lawyer to help with this process.
Market Research & Advertising
"Knowing your street" is vitally important, especially when determining prices, service rates, and your customer need. Get to know your demographic by performing market research online, call potential competitors and find out their rates, as well as what the top needs of your customers may be. Being competitive from the get-go is imperative, so know your stuff before opening your doors. Your market research will also help you decide where to best target for advertising, which areas should be saturated, and also help you determine what type of advertising is most effective for your niche.
Building Vendor Relationships
Establishing a relationship with your vendors will allow you to work out vendor credit agreements, set up bill payments, and price agreements before you begin placing orders. Trying to set up vendors while taking customer orders can become cumbersome and may add to part or product wait times; be sure to take care of the details with vendors before heading out on your first repair job.
Building Your Brand
It is necessary to begin building your brand and evangelizing to your potential clients prior to doing business. Set up social network accounts, use digital media to develop marketing tools such as video or audio ads, and start friending vendors. Get your business out there, but do not bombard your potential clients with ads. After you have got the word out, remember to continue to maintain your website and social media accounts; if these fall to the wayside, your business could lose its validity among its followers.
Establishing trust and maintaining your good reputation will not only help you survive, it will allow you to grow. Providing your customers with the very best service and products is key; in some cases, it is even more important than pricing. Take into consideration your niche, if you offer a specialty product, such as Mac OS, or service, such as network infrastruture, this could help you stand out amongst the competition.
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