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  #1  
Old 07-12-2008, 10:16 PM
jjci_startup
 
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Default Starting A home based busines

Hello, I'm interested in starting a small home business. I am like to work on computers so I want to make a business out of that, what I mean is that I would like to start up a computer building and repair business. I'm new to this, i've never had my own business so I would apreciate alot of help and pointers. Do I need any certification to actually build or fix computers?
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2008, 10:38 PM
vangogh
 
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You shouldn't need any certification, but if potential customers are likely to ask for one it makes sense to have one. Being able to fix the computers is more important, but the certificates can help convince people that they can trust you to do what you say you can. Not necessary, but possibly still something useful to get.

Are you thinking of having a store where people bring their computers to you or more where you go into their homes and offer support. I'm guessing the latter.

One thing you can and should do is let everyone you know that you're doing this as a business. Let your friends and family start to spread the word. Then you have to spread the word too. A website would likely be a good idea as would a listing in the phone book or even a small ad if it's within the budget.

Figure out what you're going to charge as early as you can. Don't undersell yourself. Look at what others in the area charge and then charge accordingly based on your skills and experience.

Definitely get the word out. You'll find the first few clients might be difficult to get, but once you get them they'll call again and also start recommending you to people they know.
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2008, 01:25 PM
cisaac
 
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Your clients might ask for one and the first thing you might want to find out is whether computer techs in your area have specific licenses. For your type of business, referrals will be key for you and if you charge less than your counterparts and offer more convenience to your clients, you might be able to get more customers that way. You can go to my webiste--under business filing requirements, and look up your state and the requirements for filing. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Start by taking little steps while you research your industry and you'll be fine.

-Cheryl Isaac-
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  #4  
Old 07-13-2008, 07:40 PM
Joe Trevison
 
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Default Home business

It is harder doing this at home. Try to get a small office to do this. You don't probably need certification. You don't in my town. But check with the powers to be in your town. Think about marketing that is you big hurdle.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2008, 09:34 PM
sieit
 
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I disagree with Joe Trevison...I do primarily IT consulting, and do 90% of it remotely for local clients. Granted, I've built my business up over a few years by word of mouth, and have worked very hard to have no customer complaints, so your mileage may vary. Also, I have no official certifications, but have worked for several high-profile companies, so that goes a lot further than a certification ever will. I'd recommend starting out in your home and traveling to client sites before getting an office. Just be sure that you're always on time or early, respond to their questions clearly and always be ready to help.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2008, 07:47 AM
jjci_startup
 
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thanks for the information everybody, How much money would ya'll recomend saving/getting a loan for to start up a buisiness like this, or what kinds of tools and equipment would you recomend?
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2008, 08:40 AM
sieit
 
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You'll need a computer, obviously, then I'd recommend:
- an external hard drive that runs off of USB power for transferring files and backing up people's computers
- a USB flash drive for the same purpose
- a multipurpose toolkit with a set of screwdrivers, stardrivers, a flashlight, magnetic screwdriver, etc.
- some open-source software (good for a tight budget) for file encryption, recovery, etc. (PM/email me if you'd like some recommendations)
- loads of other stuff that you'll find out you need once you're on the job

As for a budget, I started out with practically nothing and have worked my way up (and still am!), so I'm a bit biased in that area. I'd recommend saving instead of getting a loan, though, if you want to get some initial capital built up, and I'd suggest that it's about 6-12 months worth of your salary at your job now (if you're planning on quitting your full-time job and doing this full-time). If you have someone else who you can live with or who can support you so you don't have to worry about living expenses, then maybe $5000 to pay for a nice computer and some equipment. You can squeeze by with a lot less than that, but I'd peg $5k as a number that I would have liked to have had available when I quit my job.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2008, 06:15 PM
Paul Elliott
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisaac View Post
Your clients might ask for one and the first thing you might want to find out is whether computer techs in your area have specific licenses. For your type of business, referrals will be key for you and if you charge less than your counterparts and offer more convenience to your clients, you might be able to get more customers that way. You can go to my webiste--under business filing requirements, and look up your state and the requirements for filing. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Start by taking little steps while you research your industry and you'll be fine.

-Cheryl Isaac-
The State of Texas just passed a law that computer techs will be required to have a Private Investigators license! I haven't followed the reasoning, and the law may be overtured by the state courts, as is frequently the case in Texas, but one dare not count on this.

Perhaps this has to do with many personal and business hard drives containing personally identifying information including credit card and bank account information with USR and PWD files that could be used to great damage to the owners besides the effect of identity theft. This way Texas could exert more oversight, control, and enforcement.

Furthermore, if it succeeds in Texas, you can be sure that the trend will be taken up by other states, if they haven't already started this process.
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  #9  
Old 07-19-2008, 08:54 AM
sieit
 
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Ooo, good point, Paul. I missed the fact that the original poster is in Texas. Yeah, that PI law looks like it's going to be very hard on small IT firms/individuals. I've never been more glad to work in VA.
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  #10  
Old 07-19-2008, 11:05 AM
jjci_startup
 
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thanks for the help, I don't know if I should ask it here but whould anyone know where to buy direct computer parts?
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