The ability to configure a motherboard or coax a CPU into place are valuable skills, and those who have the technical chops can become a hot commodity in terms of repairing computers. But what about tech experts who dream of being their own boss? If you have a knack for fixing electronics, starting a computer repair business could be a logical career move.
However, you shouldn’t take that decision lightly. Writing a business plan, securing financing, and taking several other key steps may be needed to put your best foot forward with your new IT company.
If you think you’re ready to open your doors and offer your tech expertise to customers directly, you can follow the helpful steps in this article to successfully launch your computer repair business.
- Can You Make Good Money Fixing Computers?
- What do You Need to Start Fixing Computers From Home?
- How Profitable is a Computer Repair Business?
- How do I Start my Own Computer Repair Business?
- Costs to Start a Computer Repair Business
- What Are The Pros And Cons of a Computer Repair Home Business
- How Much Should I Charge For Fixing a Computer?
- What Are The Most Common Computer Services?
- How to Hire a Computer Services Expert
- How do I Become a Freelance Computer Technician?
- What Are Some Important Skills For Computer Technicians?
- How Can I Make Money Repairing Electronics?
- How do Computer Repair Companies Get Clients?
- Is Laptop Repair a Good Business?
- Is it Worth Fixing a Computer?
- Is it Hard to Start a Computer Repair Business?
Can You Make Good Money Fixing Computers?
Malware, viruses, the dreaded blue screen of death—these threats and more plague computer owners who know enough to use their devices, but not enough to be able to fix them when something goes wrong.
If you have knowledge and experience in keeping computers up and running, you can start a computer repair business quickly and affordably. But growing your computer repair enterprise into full-time work still requires effort, and many beginners start out on a part-time basis.
What do You Need to Start Fixing Computers From Home?
Repair service companies often require that their techs have college degrees in computer science, but someone who wants to fix computers from home can launch a business with knowledge and experience in cleaning, repairing, or replacing hardware and software. Here are the steps to getting started.
- Decide what and how you’ll offer your computer repair service. Will you include computer setup along with repair services? Will you go to clients’ homes?
- Set up a workspace that has the tools and equipment you need to work efficiently.
- Write a business plan and marketing plan, outlining all the details of your business and how you’ll attract customers.
- Decide on your business structure and a business name. Once you have those, you can obtain your business license, if required in your area. You’ll also want to open a business bank account.
- Obtain business insurance.
- Buy or create marketing materials such as business cards, flyers, and brochures.
- Research and build solid relationships with software and hardware vendors for affordable resources needed in providing your service.
- Keep up-to-date on trends in hardware, software, new threats, and other issues related to computer maintenance.
How Profitable is a Computer Repair Business?
The income and profits of a computer repair business will vary according to the business’ location, specializations, services offered, and years in business. According to GlassDoor.com, computer repair technicians make an average salary of $35,240 per year. The low end of reported salaries was just $22,000 per year, with the high end being as much as $62,000.
Computer repair shops price complex services such as setting up networking for a company at an hourly rate, while other services are better at a flat rate, such as setting up a new operating system.
Keep in mind that many factors will affect your success and income. You may choose to start your business on a part-time basis so that you have additional income while you build up your body of customers. Offering specialty services, like business network management and support, can increase demand for your services and lead to higher annual profits.
How do I Start my Own Computer Repair Business?
Step 1: Write your Business Plan
After coming up with the idea, the next step in starting your business should be to write a business plan. Not only will a bank require you to have a business plan, but multiple studies have shown that a business plan helps increase the odds of starting a successful business.
Step 2: Form a Business Entity
A business entity (also called legal entity or business structure) refers to how a business is legally organized to operate. There are four primary business entities to choose from, which include the sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each type of entity has its own pros and cons, such as liability exposure, costs, and administrative requirements.
Step 3: Name the Business
Finding the perfect business name for a computer repair business can be challenging. Not only does the name have to resonate with your customers, but it also has to be available to use.
Step 4: Select your Location
A computer repair business may or may not need a brick-and-mortar storefront, and many businesses can be started out of the home. However, having a business location where customers can drop off their computers can save you valuable time, so it may be worth it to invest in or expand into a brick-and-mortar location.
Rent costs will vary depending on the size of the business property and its location. Properties in retail locations will cost more, but they can also generate walk-in business and help to spread awareness of a business.
Step 5: Apply for Business Licenses and Permits
Some states require licensing for businesses that repair electronics. In addition to computer repair licenses, there are also general local, state, and federal business registrations, such as a sales tax permit, Employer Identification Number, and Occupancy Permit, among others.
In addition to registering the business, it may be worth obtaining certification in certain technologies. Some of the more common ones include CompTIA A+ Technician Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), etc. Having certifications tell customers you have the technical expertise and be the factor that gets your company hired over other computer repair shops.
Step 6: Find Financing
Coming up with a good business idea and having the skills to run it are one thing, but getting the funding to start a computer repair business is another. Even though the cost to start a computer repair business is usually low, it can be difficult to get a loan as a majority of the costs are tied up in building renovations and inventory.
The borrower(s) will need to have good credit and personally invest 15-25% towards the total start-up costs to get a small business loan.
Step 7: Open a Business Bank Account
Keeping your business and personal finances in separate business bank and credit card accounts makes it easier to track the business’s income and expenses.
Step 8: Get your Marketing Plan in Place
Marketing is important in promoting a new computer repair business and bringing in new customers. A computer repair business can explore many different types of marketing, including creating a website, handing out flyers, brochures, and business cards, using social media marketing, and advertising in local print publications. Marketing costs will depend on the type of marketing activity used.
To gain a competitive edge over your competition, check to see which certifications your competitors have and see if a new certification will set your business apart. You may also want to look at what type of repairs the competition and look to specializing in a different niche.
Step 9: Get Business Insurance
Plan to purchase multiple types of insurance to fully cover a computer repair business:
- General liability insurance protects the business if customers are ever injured while on the business’ property, and it can cover expenses like medical bills and lawyer fees.
- Bonding is a type of insurance that provides coverage if the damage is done while providing on-site repairs at clients’ homes or their place of business.
- Commercial property insurance can cover expenses resulting from the business property being damaged, like by a fire. The insurance can cover expenses like the cost of the building as well as the equipment that was inside it. A home business will want to look at their insurance policy as a claim made due to the business may not be covered.
- Commercial auto liability insurance will be necessary if a vehicle is used for the business, like when traveling to customers’ homes or businesses. This insurance will cover expenses or lawsuits that could result from a car accident.
- Workers comp insurance will cover expenses like lost wages or medical bills if an employee is ever injured while on the job.
The cost of insurance policies vary and is affected by factors like the value of the business property, the location of the business, and the value of the equipment owned by the business.
To get an accurate idea of what it will cost to insure a business, request policy quotes from multiple companies. Then, compare the quotes while looking at factors like premiums, coverage limits and exclusions, and deductibles.
Step 10: Hire Employees
A business owner may be able to initially handle the entire workload of a computer repair business, but as the business grows, it may be necessary to hire one or more employees. According to Salary.com, computer repair technicians make an average income of $24 to $35 per hour.
Remember to also budget for additional expenses that come with hiring an employee, like workers comp insurance, paid time off, and health insurance contributions.
Step 11: Set up an Accounting System
Setting up an accounting system for your computer repair business is critical to your business’s long-term success.
Staying on top of taxes not only keeps the business out of trouble with the government, but the numbers can be used to track and monitor trends and cash flow in the business and maximize profits.
Costs to Start a Computer Repair Business
The cost of operating a computer repair business will vary depending on the business model. A home-based repair business can cost as little as $2,000 to $3,000 to start up. A repair business with a brick-and-mortar storefront will cost closer to $10,000, but startup costs are still quite manageable.
Common startup costs include:
- Tools and workspace
- Laptop, monitor, USB drive
- Inventory of repair parts like hard drives, ram, power supplies, etc.
- Furniture (for brick-and-mortar businesses)
- Signage (for brick-and-mortar businesses)
- Working capital to provide a three to six month financial cushion for costs like salary, rent, utilities, internet, phone, etc.
What Are The Pros And Cons of a Computer Repair Home Business
If you have the know-how, there are many pros to starting a computer repair business.
It’s a stable, in-demand service. Personal computers aren’t going anywhere. People of all ages and experience levels have computers they rely on for entertainment, banking, connecting with others, and more. Unfortunately, there is also a constant threat of viruses and other issues, especially for those who use their computer to go online. This creates a steady pool of clients.
You can create a flexible schedule for yourself and work the hours that work for you. While you’ll have to adapt your schedule to meet customers’ needs if you’re making computer repairs at their homes, nothing stops you from rolling up your shirtsleeves at 3:00 a.m. if this is when you hit your stride. You can also start by working part-time as you build your business. Fixing computers can be started around a traditional job or other obligations.
In addition, your overhead should be negligible, particularly if you’re working out of your home. But you’ll want to make sure you have free or low-cost software with the diagnostic capability and that you’re insured or bonded against mishaps.
While there are many advantages to starting a home-based computer repair service, there are a few downsides, too. Attracting customers can be a challenge in the beginning, whether you’re cold-calling potential clients, touting your computer repair skills at tech fairs, or handing out flyers at small businesses and residences.
The competition from big outfits like Best Buy’s Geek Squad can be stiff, particularly at first. The job requires frequent and ongoing marketing, but you can build a strong word-of-mouth following over time.
Expect more success if you market to individual computer owners instead of businesses. They may not pay as much, but they’re usually less hesitant to hire someone who isn’t affiliated with a company since they just want their computer problems solved quickly and competently.
More elaborate and complicated repairs will require an investment in tools, hardware, software, and supplies, but you can subcontract this work out or charge a little more to repair serious issues.
Depending on the computer’s problem, some people opt to buy a new one instead of fixing the one they have. One way to offset this trend is to also offer computer setup, especially salvaging the data from the old computer and moving it to the new one.
How Much Should I Charge For Fixing a Computer?
There are three basic models that computer services experts practice, namely hourly, flat (itemized), and monthly (or yearly) rates.
Hourly charges are not very common in the industry since most computer-related problems are relatively easy to identify. However, if you don’t know which problem to address, your computer services expert may charge you per hour of work. The average cost is $50-$75/hour.
Flat fees are expected for fixing of or working over the particular items, such as the installation of a program, virus removal, etc. However, most companies will also require some preliminary examination fee before they get down to fixing your computer. The primary diagnostic usually costs between $40 and $150 depending on the problem you are suspecting. The flat rates vary significantly depending on a number of factors: from your location to the personal attitude of the repairman.
Monthly and even yearly rates are frequently adopted by the businesses who require computer services on a regular basis. However, as an individual, you can also sign up for a yearly plan and pay a relatively small fee for having an opportunity to fix your computer at any time.
Generally, yearly payment equals about $300-$450/year for an individual. Corporate and business deals are always calculated on a case-by-case basis.
On average, computer repair technicians charge $60 an hour. However, the hourly rate can range from $40 to $90 per hour.
What Are The Most Common Computer Services?
Most common computer services can be divided into the groups of problems that experts are dealing with. Usually, users address computer professionals with hardware failure, software installation, malware or virus removal, physical damages to the units, and usual data or maintenance issues.
Here are the most common services and their cost (based on the flat rates).
|Laptop/computer supply failure + socket/power supply replacement
|Hard drive failure – replacement (for desktop)
|Hard drive failure – maintenance and cleaning
|Hard drive replacement
|Hardware repair (including keyboards, RAM)
|$30-$80 + parts cost
|Virus or malware removal
|Malware removal (laptop)
|Expired antivirus removal and replacement
|Installations and upgrades
|New OS installation
|$60-$80 + software cost
|Desktop set up (home-based)
|$60-$80 + transportation and software costs
|$40-$50 + software cost
|Wireless network installation and configuration
|Laptop liquid damage
|$60-$90 + parts cost
|Broken screen replacement
|Data and maintenance
|Full in-store checking and cleaning
|Data transfer (from one PC to another)
How to Hire a Computer Services Expert
Here are a couple of tips that will help you find the right expert for your computer problem.
1. Get recommendations
There are many computer services existing, yet only some of them get 5-star ratings on forums and in directories. This is related not only to the human factor but to the actual quality of their work.
Unreliable companies may not know how to fix your device, and can even steal a couple of details from the insides of your laptop or computer. Avoid such misfortunes and always verify the company’s ratings.
2. Ask questions
Before you hand over your device to the computer services, ensure that you learn everything you need about their offer, namely:
- Do they charge a diagnostic fee even if you already know what kind of service is required?
- What is their charging method? Ask also for the estimate of your case to know the tentative cost of the service.
- How long will it take? Most problems can be fixed within a day yet the time when you get your computer back heavily depends on a load of a particular service. If you are in need of the urgent repair, make sure to air it.
- Ask about call-out fees because they may not differ from the regular charges.
- What will happen to your data? Will they back up your data in case of OS reinstallation? Or do you have to do it beforehand?
- What if the problem persists? Should the problem reoccur at home, will you have to pay for the repeated service or not.
3. Tech training
Be ready that experts with tech training will have higher rates. This is a beneficial point, yet not obligatory. A lot in this business depends on the experience. So it’s better to ask whether a particular computer expert had any cases similar to yours rather than inquiring about any certificates.
Don’t agree to the first service you see, shop around. Take your time and find the right professional for your problem. Also, do not leave any upfront payments. Never! In the computer services business, all payments are made only after your problem is fixed.
5. Replacement hardware or software
Always ask if the service will involve replacement of any physical or programming parts on your computer. Most hardware failures will involve replacement while software cases are rarer. This is an essential point for those using licensed and expensive programs since some of them don’t allow reinstallation.
How do I Become a Freelance Computer Technician?
To become a computer technician, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, you’ll likely stand out from your competitors by earning an associate’s degree in information technology or a bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field.
You might also consider earning a certificate by completing a computer technician training course from a community college, vocational school, or industry organization. Some of these institutions offer training programs that prepare you for the certification exams. In these courses, you’ll learn the basics of computer software and hardware and gain the skills you’ll need to succeed as a freelance computer technician.
Certification exams test your knowledge of hardware, software, operating systems, peripheral hardware components, and networking protocols. These exams also test how well you execute installations, troubleshoot problems, and perform maintenance tasks.
Since technology is continually evolving, obtaining professional certifications could show potential clients that you possess the up-to-date skills and knowledge that meet industry standards.
What Are Some Important Skills For Computer Technicians?
As a computer technician, you’ll need the technical skills that enable you to perform the following functions:
Part of your responsibilities may include installing new computer hardware, servers, networking components, and integrating other peripheral equipment. You’ll also have to uninstall old applications and configure your clients’ computer networks as well as install anti-virus solutions and other tools your customers use.
You should be able to use diagnostic tools to discover and resolve any hardware or software problems. You’ll also have to know how to respond to malware and virus issues in personal workstations and your clients’ networks.
You’ll have to repair and maintain servers, personal computers, and other equipment and work with your customers to resolve complex and routine computer issues.
When new software upgrades are released, it will likely be your job to update your clients’ systems, ensuring all the computers are working on the same software. You’ll probably be responsible for evaluating and providing suggestions for hardware and software standardization as well as maintaining an inventory for upgrades and software licensing.
You’ll have to address the needs of your customers’ employees who are having technical issues during any updates. You may also have to coordinate with your customers’ hardware and software vendors to ensure that any new equipment is ready to operate according to schedule.
In addition to the technical skills, you should possess these nontechnical skills:
Customer service skills
You have to be patient and sympathetic as you’ll often be helping people who are frustrated with the software or hardware they’re trying to use.
It’s important to understand the problems your customers are describing and know the questions to ask to clarify the situation.
A key part of your job is to identify, analyze, and solve simple and complex computer problems.
You have to be able to describe solutions to computer issues in ways that nontechnical people can understand.
You’ll need good writing skills to prepare instructions and email responses to your customers and their employees.
How Can I Make Money Repairing Electronics?
You’ll be glad to know that there are many great ways to make money after learning about electronic repair techniques. But, how do you get started? You’ll want to continue reading as we have plenty of awesome tips. Here are four awesome steps to help you start making money by repairing electronics.
1. Repair Other People’s Phones
You might be saying “I don’t know how to repair electronics,” which is fine. We won’t get too technical here but there are many ways to obtain the type of training you need. You can gain knowledge about repairing electronic devices by going to workshops, taking courses at a vocational school or community college, and gaining apprenticeships.
It’s understandable if you’re a little uncomfortable starting this type of business by working on other people’s property right away. Before doing this, you can practice by ordering broken or otherwise damaged phones. Also, don’t feel dejected if it takes time to master your repair skills. Many people who start in this industry need to spend lots of time and effort getting better.
After gaining knowledge and a little practice repairing electronics, there are many great ways to get started making extra money with these skills. One of these ways is by repairing other people’s damaged phones. You don’t have to rent a giant billboard or spend tens of thousands of dollars on TV advertising space to accomplish this goal.
If you’re strapped for business funds, start by repairing other people’s phones including those belonging to your friends and family. You would be amazed at what a little positive word of mouth and a social media page can do to help get your new repair business off the ground.
To set yourself apart from the competition, make sure that you focus on the importance of effective branding. It’s also wise to take a look and see what your competitors are offering. If there are services you can do that they can’t, make sure your target audience knows about this. It might only take offering one or two new services to start bringing in waves of customers.
Also, make sure you try and get your customers to leave reviews of their respective experiences. After you get even more comfortable with your repair skills, you can easily start the process of opening your own online repair business.
2. Buy Broken Phones / Repair & Resell Online
An important part of being able to make money repairing electronics involves having access to inventory. Without any inventory, it’s almost impossible for most companies to remain successful. But, what type of inventory does someone need that’s working in the electronics repair industry?
Understandably, you’re going to need a decent collection of phone repair tools and access to important spare replacement parts. But, if you want to watch your repair business grow even faster, you might want to consider purchasing broken phones.
When you purchase broken smartphones and similar types of electronics, you won’t have to worry about spending lots of money. After you receive your broken phones, you can start repairing these items to get them ready to resale.
What’s great about this type of purchase is that you get a great return on investment (ROI). Because you’re purchasing items at a low price due to their condition, there’s plenty of room to make a profit after you make these devices fully functional again.
Another way to start ramping up your electronic repair business is to bring it online. Don’t worry, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of computers to accomplish this goal.
If you don’t want to spend lots of time and effort learning about website design, many companies create website builders to help people create their respective online businesses including Squarespace & Wix. These are just a select few website builders. If these don’t offer the right experience, there are many other popular types of website building programs.
Managing a Successful Online Electronics Repair Business
Once you have a website, you can begin working to further increase the popularity of your new electronics repair business. One great way to do this is by taking advantage of the power of social media.
On these websites, make sure to always share posts from your website. Also, engage with people in your industry. You’ll be surprised how far making a few industry friendships can get you, especially if you’re just starting in the electronic repair industry.
You’ll also want to make sure that you connect your website with Google Search Console, a powerful way to learn what keywords or queries are bringing people to your website.
If you have a little extra left in your advertising budget, consider paid advertising on social media or Google. Pay-per-click or PPC advertising is a way to your company’s website at the top of search engines without having to wait months to see organic results.
You’ll also gain lots of potential online traction by either learning about or paying someone else to take of search engine optimization or SEO for you. Search engine optimization is the process of making sure that a website will perform well in search engines like Google and Bing.
In the SEO world, a website that’s performing well is one that’s getting lots of rankings and web traffic or new visitors. If you can find someone who truly knows what they’re doing, SEO help is worth its weight in gold.
Lastly, make sure you have someone preparing content for your website. This can be anything from video to text-based content. Without a healthy stream of content, it’s hard to have a way to engage website visitors. Like SEO, you can do this by yourself, with the help of a team, or by hiring an external writer to take care of this situation.
3. Teach People How To Repair Phones
You don’t have to fix smartphones yourself to make money repairing electronics. Another great way to profit with this type of skill is by teaching others how to repair broken electronics. The Miami Herald recently reported that 20 smartphone screens are broken every 10 seconds throughout the United States alone.
When it comes to teaching others how to repair broken electronics, you have all of the freedom in the world. You can teach others how to repair different types of smartphone problems. It’s also possible to begin teaching classes that focus on allowing others to start their own repair businesses.
Fortunately, you’ll also have many ways to reach this type of audience. If you want to teach people how to repair electronics in-person, you don’t have to worry about renting or purchasing business space. Some people enjoy teaching others out of their homes. If you’re comfortable enough repairing electronics, you might be able to find work teaching repair courses at local educational facilities.
Over time, you might be surprised at how big of a clientele you begin building up. With enough time and patience, you might end up teaching electronic repair techniques to professionals all over the country or world!
4. Buy & Resell Parts To Repair Stores
It’s also important to mention that, as an electronics repair professional, you’re likely to start building up a decent collection of parts. However, certain types of fluctuations in demand might mean that you’re the one who’s dealing with overstock problems. With that said, there are several ways to solve this situation.
If you’re dealing with overstock issues or simply want to make a bit of extra money, you can resell the parts you have to repair stores. These can be repair stores in your area or eCommerce companies that sell parts online. Either way, making these types of partnerships is a great way to get rid of parts that you have no plans on using.
Another advantage associated with striking up these types of partnerships is that you’ll also be able to take advantage of situations when they have things to get rid of. When this happens, it can end up being an excellent way to purchase important parts at a fraction of their normal price.
How do Computer Repair Companies Get Clients?
The success of a computer repair shop depends on the pool of loyal customers. And how to get those clients? The answer is simple. Tell the world about what you do. How you do it. How good you are at what you do, and how can you help them.
Don’t Block the Road to Communication
One of the best ways to let people know about your computer repair business is to be friendly and open to discussions. The more courteously you communicate your workflow to the people, the more they will feel attracted to you. Don’t just focus on sales. Concentrate on knowing your audience.
When a customer visits your repair shop or is waiting in the queue for checkout, initiate an open and friendly conversation with them. Look for opportunities where you can help them in more incredible ways, and that’ll be the most powerful tool to market your repair business.
Declare Your Repair Specialization
Remember the good old proverb ‘jack of all trades and master of none?’ Well, that holds true for repair stores as well.
It is undoubtedly true that your team and computer repair business should excel in a particular field. There must be a goal or motive that you follow. It can be a specialization in some area of cellphone or computer repair. The reason is that people always prefer experts.
From medical staff to technical repairmen, you need to show off your specialty. You can offer even fewer repair services. Data recovery, tackling malware issues, or upgrading hardware can be good options for your business to gain expertise.
Increase Your Local Visibility
It would be best if you have local visibility. It is the simplest but most effective way of promotion. People living around need to know that you exist in your service area. No matter which marketing channel you use; digital, traditional, old school, new school, social media, community forums, flyer distributions, or anything. You have to promote yourself.
If you have allotted some budget for your computer repair business marketing, you can use classified ads in the local newspaper. Another way is to give out leaflets. A few flyers left on the counter of a friendly shopkeeper can go a long way. You can also add special offers to your brochures or for people who mention your ad to make them more attractive.
Go an Extra Mile in Customer Experience
The best advertising is advertising that comes from the mouths of satisfied customers. Personalize their visit to your repair shop and take the time to make them feel welcome. Most importantly, offer them a fast service. Here’s how to do a little extra to make your service special.
If you can give their damaged device a noticeable improvement in five minutes, go for it. Let’s say, for instance, clean up their system after adding a new hardware device.
Sell Pre-Paid Service Packages
The most acceptable avenues to capture customers’ love are not very hard to construct these days. Selling the correct pre-paid service packs can be a direct promoter of customer loyalty and love. RepairDesk can help you with this. You can offer mobile top-ups, bill payments services, etc. using our computer repair shop POS software. Get started with a FREE trial right now and stand out from the crowd.
Repair store owners can also offer inventory and repair bundles, and you will see a surge in your day-to-day sales. Customers will know in advance what they are paying for, which keeps them free of worries.
Participate in Local Events
If you are new in the computer repair market, events are the right spots for leaving back some magic. Take out time and divide your team members to attend tech events or locally-hosted sessions of technology.
Use them brilliantly to engage reputed people in business and interested people from all walks of life. Besides providing quality services, meeting people, and convincing them to go with you for their repair needs. If fate may serve you, you may get a deal in the same setting.
Other than the events, you can reach out to vendors and other reputed businesses in the repair industry. Do not think of this plan as something absurd. Continue with this great thought process and look around in the market for some reliable business partners. Inventory vendors, payment solution providers, repair parts businesses, etc. can be suitable for your promotional intentions.
Make Time for Marketing
It’s important to make marketing a part of your regular schedule. Set aside a few hours each week to connect with current and potential clients, post on your social media accounts, and otherwise promote your business.
Is Laptop Repair a Good Business?
Everybody with a computer knows that moment of panic when the hard drive crashes–and for businesspeople, it usually happens when they’re staring into the eye of a deadline. But if you’re a computer physician capable of diagnosing virtual ills and then repairing them, you can take on the appearance of an angel of mercy as a computer repair specialist.
You’ll drive out to clients’ homes or offices with your briefcase of tools and equipment and heal those sickly computers and printers. You can also earn tidy revenues with preventive maintenance–dusting or vacuuming innards and cleaning disk drives on a quarterly or semiannual basis.
The advantages to this business are that it’s recession-proof–businesses need computers to operate, and home-computer buffs can’t live without their virtual pals, either. And since the computer industry is one of exponential growth, peripheral industries like computer maintenance and repair are here to stay.
As a final plus, this business is satisfying–people are always appreciative when you bring an acutely ill hard drive or printer back to health. You’ll need to have the knowledge and skills of a good computer physician, including how to change motherboards, repair and replace hard drives, and add memory chips.
And you should have a good computer-side manner so you can soothe panicky owners and tactfully instill the benefits of good preventive maintenance.
Is it Worth Fixing a Computer?
When you’re deciding whether to fix or replace your computer, you should always start by getting a free repair quote. Any reputable computer repair store will offer free quotes and will diagnose your problem for you.
If you’re trying to make a decision about repairing vs. replacing your computer without getting a free repair quote, you’re probably just being lazy (we say that with kindness). Without knowing how much a computer repair will cost, you’re flying blind.
If you don’t know of a computer repair store nearby – google it! Choose a store with good reviews that looks trustworthy and make sure they offer free estimates (there are still some dinosaurs that don’t offer free quotes – ridiculous).
Once you know how much a repair will cost, it’s time to ask yourself a few more questions. You might not know the answer to all these questions, so its often helpful to talk them out with a professional. Again – someone you can trust to give you honest answers!
Read Also: Make Money As A Computer Technician
There are a lot of factors that can affect your decision to get your computer repaired vs. buying a new computer. Always get a free repair quote, consider the age and condition of your device, factor in the cost savings of a repair, and ultimately – do whatever you prefer!
Is it Hard to Start a Computer Repair Business?
Although the pros are significant, there still are some potential challenges you may face when starting a computer repair and maintenance business. They are not too difficult to overcome:
- It’s not enough just to have the technical knowledge and skills.You’ll need good communication skills.You have to be able to translate your actions in nontechnical terms for those that are not as technically inclined.
- Marketing your business is always expensive.In order to acquire clients, you need to let them know you are out there. You might want to network with business owners in your community and establish a presence online with a website, social media campaign, and advertising.
- You will need to purchase and maintain your own tools and testing equipment. Basic computer repair tools—such as screwdrivers, power supply testers and grounding straps—are not that expensive, depending on the services you want to provide. Some equipment, such as an oscilloscope if you are wanting to test and fix individual components, can be costly.
- You may need to be a business license to perform repair services. Check with your state to determine exactly what you’ll need. If nothing else, registering as a limited liability company will keep your business and personal assets separated, in case of legal issues.
- You also may need insurance and to be bonded since you may be entering clients’ homes.Again, check with your state to determine exactly what is required.
- Some clients may want you to be certified to work on their systems. Some common industry certifications are ACMT and CompTIA A+. It is helpful to have some networking certifications as well if you’d like to work on business networks. CompTIA Network+ and CCNP from Cisco are a few of the more common certifications.
It may be worthwhile for you to brush up on some business practices, such as keeping records for accounting purposes and taxes and creating a plan. As the saying goes, a business failing to plan is a business planning to fail.
You might consider creating an initial plan for getting started, with some goals to work towards, and deadlines to meet. Work to establish awareness of your services through a marketing campaign, and plan some actions to build up your client base.
You might also consider looking over the local market and finding out what your future competitors are offering and providing. This can help you to develop a competitive advantage—something that makes you stand out from the competition. A unique competitive advantage will offer you a much-needed boost for your new computer repair business.