Here is an article discussing 10 tips on making it in the PC repair business.
Most important tips (#2 and #5)…
#2. Determine who your ideal customer is. If youâ€™re looking to sell and service computers within your local community and remain a one-person operation, residential clients may suit you best….If you decide to target the non-residential market, think small. â€œNiching is one way to go,â€ says Reaves.
- My comment: If you are going to put any serious time into this business, you need to understand what strategy will give you the most return on your time. Are you going to offer an innovative service in a growing market segment that meets an otherwise unmet need? You better!
- Do you have the people skills to sell your consulting services through networking and intelligent promotions? If not, either take in a partner who can sell or stick with your day job.
#5. Market your business everyday…. â€œI easily put in five to 10 hours a week of promotion,â€ says Jason Kaufman, owner of Computer Troubleshooters of Mamaroneck, New York. â€œThis doesnâ€™t mean just sitting at a desk, punching out press releases. Youâ€™ve got to get your face out there, go door to door if you have to, to let people know you exist. If youâ€™re bashful–not comfortable putting yourself out there or handling rejection–you might find this business isnâ€™t for you.â€
- My comment: Contrary to popular belief, a franchisee has to work just about as hard to make a their franchise profitable as an entrepreneur going the non-franchise route.Â Generating (1) sufficient free cash flow and (2) within a few years generating a 12%+ return on invested capital are two metrics partly dependent upon sales.Â Inability to generate enough sales to justify continued investment in a business is the leading reason why small businesses close their doors.
I disagree somewhat with #1. Know your street (and hourly) value.
- My comment: Why do I disagree? Because by nature people prefer predictable, flat-fee pricing as opposed to hourly pricing, especially for individual and small business clients who are much more price sensitive. And when you are starting a new business, you want customer to make a quick decision and remove hesitation that an hourly pricing model will generate (Will this guy screw me? What if he works 1.5 hours, will he be honest?) My father recently went to a computer repair shop to get his laptop keyboard fixed. If the guy said, “I’ll charge you $100/hour and it may take me 1-2 hours.” That is way too open ended and would have walked out with that response. Instead, the computer repair guy said, “I’ll order the part and install it all for $100.” That appeared fair, and my father accepted the offer.
- Calculating how much personal income you’ll need to pull out of the business is a different consideration.