Start & Run a Computer Repair Service

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Overview

As technology becomes increasingly commonplace, there is a huge opportunity for computer repair and tech support businesses in every neighborhood, small town, and big city. The demand for knowledgeable technical people is on the rise as more and more areas of our lives require the use of technology. There is a huge opportunity here for entrepreneurs to open computer repair services, whether mobile/onsite or in a storefront!
If you are an amateur hobbyist with an interest in IT, ...
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Overview

As technology becomes increasingly commonplace, there is a huge opportunity for computer repair and tech support businesses in every neighborhood, small town, and big city. The demand for knowledgeable technical people is on the rise as more and more areas of our lives require the use of technology. There is a huge opportunity here for entrepreneurs to open computer repair services, whether mobile/onsite or in a storefront!
If you are an amateur hobbyist with an interest in IT, a graduate of a computer science program, or a budding entrepreneur, it is possible to turn the technology wave into a profitable business.
Start & Run a Computer Repair Service is ideal for those who want to know more about how to start and run a store or onsite or mobile computer repair business. Whether you are new to the industry and just starting to research, or are a professional looking to branch out on your own, this book will guide you through the nuts and bolts of starting a successful business, as well as the specifics of computer repair shop ownership and operation; it's everything you need to help you make a plan and follow through to create a successful operation.
Within the book and the enclosed CD-ROM, you will find resources and sound advice from the authors who started their own computer shop (and managed to keep it open and thriving through good and bad economic times).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770400894
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/16/2011
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 143
  • Sales rank: 1,432,138
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Introduction xiii
1 Computer Repair: An Opportunity in Any Economy 1
1. The Computer Business during a Boom 4
2. The Computer Business during a Bust 5
3. A Business That Grows in Any Economy 5
4. How Much Can You Make? 5
4.1 Part time: Owner-only business 5
4.2 Full time: Owner-only business 6
4.3 Full time: Business has employees 6
5. Are You Qualified? 7
6. Why You Don’t “Need” Technology Certifications 9
7. There Are Easy Ways to Solve New Problems 9
8. Getting Paid to Practice 10
9. Working at Home versus Retail Storefront 12
9.1 Finding a location for a retail storefront 12
9.2 Working from home 15
10. How Much Will It Cost to Start Your Business? 16
2 Starting Your Business 19
1. Create a Business Plan 21
1.1 Executive summary 22
1.2 Business description and vision 22
1.3 Financial data 23
1.4 Supporting documents 24
2. Choose Your Business Structure 25
2.1 An important note about partnerships 26
3. Apply for an Employee Identification Number or a Business Number 27
4. Separate Your Business and Personal Assets 27
5. Insurance 28
3 Building Credibility 31
1. Design a Logo 33
vi Start & run a computer repair service
2. Create a Professional Website 33
2.1 Building your website 34
2.2 Critical information to include on your website 34
3. Vehicle Wrapping 35
4. Professional Forms and Documents 36
5. Professional Business Cards 36
5.1 Critical information to include on a business card 36
4 Free (or Almost Free) Advertising 39
1. Creating Craigslist Ads 42
2. Investing in Happy Customers 42
3. Writing an Internet Blog 43
4. Social Media 43
5. Networking with Complementary Businesses 44
6. Paid Advertising 45
5 Tools of the Trade 47
1. Software You Should Own 49
1.1 Microsoft TechNet and Microsoft Action Pack 50
1.2 LogMeIn Rescue 50
1.3 Accounting software 50
1.4 OpenOffice 51
1.5 Norton Ghost 51
2. Necessary Websites 51
3. Your Work Area 51
3.1 Inexpensive tech benches 51
3.2 The necessities 52
4. Payment Options 53
4.1 Checks 53
4.2 Money orders and cashier’s checks 54
4.3 Credit card machines 54
4.4 PayPal 54
4.5 Barter 54
6 Services 55
1. The Diagnostic 57
Contents vii
1.1 Custom estimate for laptop hardware repair 58
1.2 Full diagnostic after multiple problems have been identified 58
1.3 Reproduction of intermittent errors 58
2. Other Common Services 58
2.1 Tune-up 59
2.2 Virus removal 59
2.2a Antivirus programs 59
2.2b Virus removals are not included in the regular service warranty 60
2.2c Answering the “porn” question 63
2.3 Wipe and reload 63
2.3a Find the operating system key 63
2.3b Be clear 64
2.3c Up sell a better OS 64
2.4 Data transfers versus data recoveries 64
2.4a What qualifies as a data transfer? 65
2.4b What qualifies as a data recovery? 66
2.4c Validate the data recovery or data transfer 67
3. Laptop Repairs 67
3.1 Ordering custom laptop parts 69
3.2 Motherboard replacements 70
3.3 Power jack repairs 71
4. Research What Your Competitors Offer 71
5. Know Your Customers 72
6. Determining Your Service Policy 72
7 Pricing Your Services 75
1. Calculating What Your Time Costs 77
2. Calculating Flat-Rate Services 78
3. Estimating Custom Work 79
4. Check Your Pricing 79
8 Diagnosing a Computer 83
1. Designing Your Check-in Form 86
2. How to Complete a Diagnostic and Make a Sale 87
2.1 Step 1: Ask the customer to complete the form 89
viii Start & run a computer repair service
2.2 Step 2: Read the customer your policies 89
2.3 Step 3: Have the customer sign the disclaimer 89
2.4 Step 4: Have the customer explain the problem 89
2.5 Step 5: Reproduce the problem 89
2.6 Step 6: Identify the cause of the problem but do not fix it 90
2.7 Step 7: Obtain customer approval to complete the work 90
2.8 Step 8: Complete the work and check the computer 91
2.9 Step 9: Have the customer verify that the work is complete 91
2.10 Step 10: Collect your payment 92
9 Choosing Your Stock 93
1. What Type of Stock Do You Need? 95
2. Parts You Probably Shouldn’t Stock 96
3. Carrying New Computers 96
4. Carrying Notebook Parts 97
5. Finding Used Computer Equipment 97
10 Vendors 99
1. Finding Vendors 102
1.1 Industry wholesalers 102
1.2 Vendor terms 103
2. Building Your Own Computers 103
3. Auctions 103
4. What to Do If You Are Taken Advantage of by a Vendor 103
11 On-Site Service Calls 105
1. Discuss Payment Terms 107
2. Whether or Not You Should Go On-site 108
3. Tools to Bring to Every On-Site 108
3.1 Up selling with additional items 109
4. Special Order Items 111
12 Warranties 113
1. Warranty Seals 115
2. Keeping Warranty Costs Reduced 117
2.1 Make sure that the computer is under warranty 117
Contents ix
2.2 Software problems are almost never under warranty 118
2.3 Abuse should not be covered 118
2.4 Parts can be replaced at little or no cost to you 118
3. Look for Up Selling Opportunities 119
4. Don’t Let the Warranty Scope Creep 119
13 Provide Great Customer Service 121
1. Tips to Provide Great Customer Service 123
1.1 Plain language works best 124
1.2 Answer the phone politely 124
1.3 Empathize with your customer 124
1.4 Providing solutions, not just problems 124
1.5 Keeping the customer in the loop 124
2. When Something Goes Wrong 125
3. Handling Returns 125
4. Customer Lessons You Need to Learn 126
4.1 People lie! 126
4.2 Customers don’t always know what they need 126
4.3 Almost all customers care about their data 127
4.4 Do-it-yourselfers can be costly 127
4.5 People are willing to pay before the problem is fixed 128
4.6 People will want custom work done for free 128
14 Extra Sources of Income 131
1. Maintenance Plans 133
2. Computer Recycling 133
2.1 Repair and sell 133
2.2 Keep the computer for parts 134
2.3 Sell the parts on eBay or Craigslist 134
2.4 Scrap it 134
3. Website Sales 135
4. Inventory 135
5. Drop Shipping 135
6. Website Development and Domain Reseller 135
x Start & run a computer repair service
15 Expanding Your Business 137
1. Hiring Employees 139
1.1 Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork 139
1.2 Training new employees 140
1.3 Transitioning your existing clients to new employees 140
2. Opening a Retail Location 140
2.1 Find a great location 141
2.2 Buying an existing store 142
2.3 Buying into a franchise 143
3. You Can Make It Work! 143
Tables
1 Working from Home versus Retail Storefront 13
2 Where to Locate a Retail Storefront 15
3 Where to Complete Work 109
Samples
1 Virus Removal Agreement 62
2 Wipe and Reload Agreement 65
3 Data Transfer Agreement 68
4 Laptop Hardware Repair Agreement 70
5 Expenses per Hour 78
6 Computer Business Services Flat Rates 79
7 Common In-Store Services 81
8 Check-in Form 88
9 Computer Limited Warranty 116
10 Warranty Seal 117
Checklists
1 Tune-Up 60
2 Virus Removal 63
3 Wipe and Reload 66
4 On-Site Toolbox 110
Worksheets
1 Expenses per Hour 78
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