We all know that college can be extremely expensive, and there’s no guarantee of landing a job in your desired field after qualifying.
The question being, can you start a computer repair business without a degree and we will address that below:
The answer is a resounding yes, working in IT support, you are constantly learning. Quite a bit of the stuff you learn in college regarding this is often out of date or not applicable in a computer repair business. A lot of what is taught in college tends to be theoretical and generally doesn’t relate to the real world where people want their computers fixed.
Below, we’ll go through the steps involved in creating your PC repair business.
You may be a hobbyist or possibly already working in the field of IT support and want to go it alone. It may sound obvious but you’ll want to do some planning before jumping in with both feet.
Do some research on local businesses already providing the same service. To get an idea of what they’re charging for services you could phone them and see how much they will charge for hard drive upgrade, virus removal, etc. If you’re doing this you’re not going to tell them, just play along as if you were a regular customer.
While it’s understandable that you’d want to get an edge over the competition, I wouldn’t recommend undercutting their prices by a huge amount. The issue here is that yes, you may attract more business early but once you begin to raise your prices, you’ll have customers either complaining or else switching provider.
A workaround for this may be to charge the same prices or slightly lower than the competition but to also provide better-percieved value for the price.
For example, you could offer to clone the customers’ hard drive for free if they purchase an SSD. Or do a free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 (time is running out on this one).
Home or office?
This is something you’ll need to think about, are you going to rent an office space or will you work from home?
When you’re just starting it makes more sense to keep the costs down, so working from a home-based office would be a better option. However, if you are going to be meeting new clients then it looks better to do so in a more professional location.
Search in your locality for meeting spaces or boardrooms that you can rent for a few hours. These are becoming more commonplace now.
Working from home can also have the disadvantage of distractions, if you find that this is the case then it may be worth looking into renting a shared workspace.
The advent of remote desktop support has been a blessing for those of us in the IT support sector. You no longer need to try and explain various commands to be input to people who are non-tech minded.
There are a lot of options for remote support out there, although some of them can be pretty expensive. One I’ve found which is reasonably priced and pretty good is Solar Winds Take Control.
AnyDesk is also a very good free alternative, it can be a great replacement for TeamViewer to help with one time connections.
If you’re already working then you’ll need to try and save money each month to help with the setup costs.
You may already have the required tools to do the work but there are often unexpected costs when running a business.
Do some research to see if there are any grants or low-interest loans available for new startups in your area.
Also, check to see if you can join any local business networking groups or the chamber of commerce, these can provide a lot of leads for new business.
There are also costs involved in getting a business license and forming a company, these can vary from location to location.
I would recommend that you consult with a legal expert on this as they would be able to give you solid advice on the pros and cons of your choices.
This is something that you will need to get put together, some of the topics it should cover are:
- Which types of service(s) will you provide? (repairs, server maintenance, retail sales, etc.)
- Which types of customers will you be catering to? (individuals, businesses, or both)
- What is the business structure? (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.)
- Where will you perform the work? (retail location, coworking space, client sites, etc.)
- Where will the funding for your business come from?
- What is your projected budget and income for the first five years?
- What is your marketing strategy?
- Are you planning on hiring more staff in the future?
You could have a look on sites like Fiverr to get a Business Plan done up for you.
This is one that you will need to get, again I’d recommend broaching the subject with a legal expert as the requirements will vary in different locales.
As a business owner, this is a must, the basic one that you’ll need is General liability insurance but you will certainly need to check the requirements for your area.
Certification & Partner Status
While you may not have a degree, getting certified with various bodies can have very nice benefits.
Besides providing you with the knowledge, when you are certified in some systems then you are entitled to apply for partner status or even get some discounts.
This can be very useful, especially with Microsoft as they will provide you with a free Azure license along with various versions of Office and their OS’ which you can download.
It also looks better if you can include the different partner badges on your business website.
Website & Marketing
Having a website is vital for a business, you could pay a company to build one for you but when you’re just starting funds can be tight. To get around this you can just buy some hosting, a domain name and install WordPress yourself. It requires a tiny bit of tinerking but in general, it’s very easy to do.
For domain name purchases, I go with NameSilo as they charge $8.99 per year for a .com domain but included in the price is free WHOIS privacy!
And for hosting, I’ve found BlueHost to be pretty good, the prices are low too which is a bonus.
I’m hoping this will be of some help to you if you do decide to start your own computer repair business, I know it can all seem a little daunting at first but the rewards are worth it in the end.