Some tips on starting a computer repair business
You need to market your business by sending mailers or distributing flyers. You can also promote your business on the Internet, through SEO (search engine optimization) or email marketing. You need to establish trust with the client because they are giving a computer that may have a Social Security number, credit card numbers, and so on. The technician should supply his credentials, so that the client is assured that the techie can do the job.
You also need to keep the technical skills up-to-date. You should train your workers, maybe even encourage them to take certifications, such as the CompTIA A+. You should have employees that have good social skills. Before interviewing candidates for your job, make them fill an application form, in which they can list their technology-related skills, so that you know what questions to ask. If you cannot solve a particular problem, you can find help online by posting the question on one of the message boards.
You can run your business from the garage in your house, so you will save money since you don't have to lease space for your business. Operating a home-based business may be quite a change, if you are used to working in a large company. You will need space to keep a few desktop computers, and you will also need cabinets to store away stuff.
You can charge a diagnostics fee to test all the hardware and software. If you cannot figure out the problem, you can refund the diagnostics fee. After you have determined what the problem, you can give a written estimate so that you can agree on the cost first. You can repair your client's computers by remote access over the Internet. You can connect to the client's computer and control its mouse, while the client watches you solve his problem. Computer repair can be done on-site, so the client doesn't have to go through the trouble of disconnecting the computer and leaving it at your shop. In case of an off-site computer repair, which is cheaper, the client has to drop off and pick up the computer.
You are competing with the likes of Best Buy's Geek Squad, and Circuit City's Firedog (which is now closed). You are also competing with companies such as RadioShack and CompUSA. However, you have an advantage over these national stores because you are focused on the local level. Some small businesses also outsource their PC repair services and maintenance to offshore companies such as iYogi.net. You can get started in computer repair by getting a franchise from Fast-teks or Computer Troubleshooters. You can buy computer parts from an online retailer such as Newegg or an auction site such as eBay.