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Starting a side job computer business, need help! - Page 3

post #21 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by gis View Post
youre going to be the next craigslist killer
lol.
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post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sodalink View Post
I'm interested in knowing all this stuff too.

I only have a part time job at my college as a stuent assistant and I fix computers and do a whole buch of IT related stuff, but 20 hours of work per week is not enough when you have a wife and a kid and pay isn't good since I'm a student getting experience.

At least once or twice per month I fix computers for family members, or family's friends.
Most of the times it's just viruses or needing to reformat and change bad HDDs though I would like to see what other tools/software would be nice to do other stuff.

I use Malwarebytes and then free Anti viruses to do the job and so far has worked.

So far I haven't had any problem with clients, but it's probably because they are my family's friends. But I want to start advertising myself and know more about how you guys handle angry clients.

Also the most complicated thing for me is knowing how much to charge, any tips?
Nice thread jack there slick.
post #23 of 91
Best advice I can give you is to expand your services beyond just computers and target the baby boomers. Make yourself a technology consultant for them, and do everything tech related that they need but may not know they need. I use to do this for one of my mom's friend, she always told me I could make a killing doing this for other people but I wasn't interested. Here's some of the things I would do...

1) Re-negotiate her phone/internet/cable package. You'd be amazed at how many people (especially boomers and older) are unaware that you can renegotiate every now and then, and are overpaying by A LOT. Once you save them money with this, they get excited and want more.
2) Fix their printer issues. They always have printer issues lol.
3) Introduce them to the world of smart phones. They have a huge fear of them, but once you show them the basics they usually want one.
4) Give them a fresh install of Windows, a flash drive, and be on your way haha.

As for advertising, you'd be amazed at how effective a well written Craigslist ad is. Treat it as the job interview that it is. Convince them in the ad to choose you. So many people just say what they do and give a number, and plan on convincing the person on the phone. 9/10 C-list users looking for a service make their decision before they even call. I work as a private math tutor and advertise solely with Craigslist. When people call, it's to set up a first session not to ask questions because my ad sells my services.
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post #24 of 91
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbudden View Post
Nice thread jack there slick.
I don't think so considering he pretty much wants to know the stuff I'm asking haha...


A lot of valuable information in this thread so far! Thanks so much guys this is going to make the entire process much easier and much less stressful than it could have been.
Edited by Madman340 - 1/10/11 at 9:04pm
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
You need to register and operate as a limited liability company (LLC). Keep your accounts separate and pay yourself from the account. Do NOT mix the account with personal or you might weaken the LLC.
LLC isn't the only option. Sole Proprietorship can also be used. Heres a link to all the business licenses - http://www.business.gov/register/incorporation/

You need to purchase a business license and if you plan on operating out of your home, you will need a document for that as well. I have no idea whats its called unfortunately.

The best things you need to work on is customer service. ALWAYS get everything in written form and signed by both parties. If you are selling any systems, make sure to write down serial numbers. Believe me, this can save you thousands on fraud and theft.

You will also need to consult a business lawyer to make sure you are taking everything legally.

Customers always need a guarantee of some sorts. If you are operating at a shop or a single location. I would charge the customers money if you determine the problem and offer them a solution. If you cannot fix the problem don't charge them any money, they will always appreciate your services more, considering geek squad and most other places will charge money for everything.

Also a way to get customers to come back for more is to do the little things for free or cheap, such as a hard drive comes unplugged, or they need to boot from CD on BIOS.
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post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
You need to register and operate as a limited liability company (LLC). Keep your accounts separate and pay yourself from the account. Do NOT mix the account with personal or you might weaken the LLC.
That's basically what I was going to say. LLC is the best choice for someone in your situation. There are laws to protect you.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Limes View Post
LLC isn't the only option. Sole Proprietorship can also be used. Heres a link to all the business licenses - http://www.business.gov/register/incorporation/
No, he should definitely NOT operate as a sole proprietorship. There is no legal separation so his personal accounts can attacked. With data, there is virtually unlimited costs so he could be sued for a LOT. i.e. Artist has him fix a computer and data is lost... he could be sued for $100K. With a LLC, the business would be sued for a $100K. The business would go under but he would be safe.

Sole proprietorship are for low-risk small businesses like selling crafted products (custom hats, sweaters, jewelry, etc).
Edited by DuckieHo - 1/10/11 at 9:10pm
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post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbudden View Post
Nice thread jack there slick.
I'm not thread jacking at leasnt I didn't mean to if it looks like it. I want to know the same stuff as the OP. Like he said this thread could be made into a guide for other people that are looking for these same answers because I'm pretty sure we are not the only ones that would love to start our own business or just do this kind of stuff as a side job. Getting a job during this times it's harder and there is more competition.

If the OP feels I'm thread jacking I can get rid of my other post
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post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
No, he should definitely NOT operate as a sole proprietorship. There is no legal separation so his personal accounts can attacked. With data, there is virtually unlimited costs so he could be sued for a LOT. i.e. Artist has him fix a computer and data is lost... he could be sued for $100K. With a LLC, the business would be sued for a $100K.

The business would go under but he would be safe.
He can setup as sole proprietorship, and change to LLC later, you don't have to choose one and stay with it. There are many benefits I highly doubt hes going to be sued for $100k for repairing and building computers, but he will still need to contact a lawyer. There are some benefits that would probably work for him as he will be starting out alone most likely.

http://hubpages.com/hub/Sole_Proprie...the_Difference
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post #30 of 91
What part of Florida are you in? You'd be in competition with me if you're around here I'm pretty much doing the same as you. I previously worked for a huge newspaper publisher and I got a nice advertising deal with them. We're not an LLC yet but we're working on it. We're selling a few custom builds and doing other PC services for a couple of hundred bucks profit here and there. It's very profitable if you're good at what you do. We (my friends and I) have great ambition and good work ethic so it's taking off well so far. We're expecting to start getting more business very soon.
Edited by Stealth Pyros - 1/10/11 at 9:21pm
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