Starting a computer repair business with no money might seem like a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. With determination, resourcefulness, and strategic planning, anyone can launch a successful venture in the tech industry. In this guide, we’ll delve into the step-by-step process of initiating a computer repair business from scratch without a significant financial investment.
Table of Content
- Understanding the Industry
- Crafting a Business Plan
- Developing Skills and Knowledge
- Establishing Your Business Presence
- Launching Operations with No Money
- Scaling and Growth Strategies
Understanding the Industry
Managing a computer repair company requires not just an understanding of electronics and computer software, but also the dexterity to handle specialized equipment on intricate, small components. According to the Entrepreneur website, the growth of computer equipment and the intricacy of their operation have increased demand for computer repair businesses.
Overview of the Computer Repair Industry
The story of the modern personal computer begins in the late 1970s when several companies produced computers for home and business use. Most computers, early on, went to individuals with the knowledge and patience to fix problems. But almost as soon as computers began to be mass produced for regular consumers, the need for experts to repair broken parts and to diagnose software glitches became apparent. Computer repair businesses began to spring up to fill the need and they remain a vibrant part of the economy.
The market for computer repair shops is growing as a result of the increased ubiquity of computer technology. Ibis World reports that the industry brought in $20.3 billion in revenue in 2010. Additionally, computer technology is still in its infancy, thus there is still a need for the repair sector because computers still break down frequently enough. Economic recessions may cause consumers to refocus their attention from purchasing new computers to extending the life of their existing devices, which will benefit the business even more.
Servicing a region larger than the local area can be difficult or impossible for computer repair firms. Opposite to the traditional technology company model that may cover an entire nation from a single office, huge computer repair services, like Geek Squad, grow to a massive scale by opening several shops nationwide.
The computer repair industry is also almost impossible to automate, which drives up labor costs because each service must be done by hand on a case-by-case basis. As a result, achieving economies of scale for operating costs can be challenging for computer repair firms.
Just as past advances provided opportunities to the computer repair industry, new advances in computer technology continue to provide new opportunities for savvy small business entrepreneurs. The rise of tablet PCs and smartphones, for example, creates the potential to serve new markets, increasing the revenue repair shops can receive from existing clients. Cloud computing creates opportunities for small businesses to secure long-term, high-volume repair contracts with cloud service providers who view their service reliability as a major competitive advantage.
Computer technology continues to grow more sophisticated, and major players in the industry continue to gain experience building more reliable machines. As the computer industry matures, it is likely that computer technology will become much more reliable, failing less often and becoming less susceptible to outside threats. The sheer size of the early computer repair market may have been a result of early-stage technology that failed more often than it worked. Late 21st-century computers may become so sturdy and reliable that the computer repair industry shrinks dramatically.
Identifying Your Niche
When you are in the midst of starting a computer repair business, it becomes easy to try to chase down as many people as you see passing you by and tell them of your new business. While the tell-everybody-you-see approach works well in letting people know of your new business, you’ve got to be prepared to answer their probing, number one concern, ‘What, exactly can you fix?’
You should be able to answer this question clearly and succinctly, giving them a really clear picture of the scope of what you do and a feel for who, exactly, your business was built to serve.
If you are a computer repair technician, you might be wondering how to attract more customers and grow your business. One way to do that is to target your computer repair services to specific segments of the market, based on their needs, preferences, and problems.
Before you can target your computer repair services, you need to know who you are targeting. A niche is a subset of the market that has a specific problem, need, or interest that you can solve or satisfy. To find your niche, you need to do some research and analysis.
Assess your skills, expertise, and passion – what kind of computer repair services do you enjoy doing and are good at? Evaluate the market demand and competition – how big is the potential market for your niche?
Validate your niche idea by talking to potential customers and getting feedback. See if there is enough interest and willingness to pay for your niche services. You might specialize in repairing laptops, gaming PCs, Macs, or servers; focus on a certain industry; or cater to a certain demographic. Consider how you can stand out from competitors and offer something unique or better.
Crafting a Business Plan
Your company’s mission statement, competitive strategy, services, funding sources, budget, marketing plans, and other important details are all outlined in your business plan. A business plan serves as both a roadmap for the future expansion of your firm and an overview of its existing situation.
Creating a detailed business plan for computer repair aids in persuading lenders and investors to provide you with funding to start your venture. It presents you as a respectable business owner who has carried out the essential preparation and market research.
And since new businesses don’t always launch smoothly, unexpected issues can force you to improvise. With a business plan in place, you will already have made most key decisions and will be better able to manage surprises.
Your business plan’s success will depend on the quality of your research. Whether you use a template or write a business plan from scratch, areas of focus should include:
- Business structure
Your business plan should disclose the legal structure of your company: sole proprietorship, partnership (if you have two or more owners), limited liability company (LLC), or corporation (either S corp or C corp).
Sole proprietorships and partnerships are the easiest and cheapest business structures because they don’t involve setting up a legal entity. But they do expose you to more financial risks if you are sued.
LLCs provide an extra layer of protection at a relatively affordable cost, while S or C corporations are even more secure but come with more administrative complexities and higher expenses. You may want to seek legal and financial advice when choosing a business structure.
- Market analysis
To succeed, your computer repair company must provide high-quality, reliable services that local customers need at competitive prices. Analyzing the local market will help you make these decisions with confidence.
Research other computer repair shops in your area – including both big-box electronics stores and smaller independent repair businesses – to find out what services they provide and how much they charge. Having comprehensive information will help you better identify market gaps and set your service offerings and prices.
- Service offerings
Based on your analysis of the local computer repair market, you will ideally identify customer needs and service gaps that your business can fill. A typical computer repair shop might offer services such as:
- hardware or software error diagnostics
- laptop or desktop tune-ups, including disk defragmentation, registry cleaning, and software removal
- virus and malware removal
- computer wipes and operating system reinstallations
- data recovery
- Funding sources
If you have sufficient savings, you may be able to bootstrap your computer repair company. But if you’re like many entrepreneurs, you’ll need to secure outside small business financing.
The SBA works with banks and business development groups to facilitate small business loans at affordable interest rates. You may also consider:
- venture capitalists and angel investors
- credit cards
- friend and family loans
- crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe
- borrowing against 401(k) plans
No matter your computer repair shop’s funding sources, make sure to balance loans and anticipated cash flow so you don’t fall behind on payments. Never borrow a sum that you can’t comfortably repay.
- Budget and financial statements
Even if you’re comfortable working with spreadsheets, you may lack the expertise to collect and format the financial data that lenders require. To that end, consider hiring a financial adviser or accountant to create the following documents:
- Startup cost exhibit. This includes all the funds you’ll spend to get your business up and running.
- Break-even analysis. This explains when your losses will end – and your profits will begin.
- Income projection statement. This five-year forecast explains how much money your computer repair shop might initially lose before it starts to make a profit.
- Detailed financial plan for the first year. This projects income and expenses for each month of your first year in business. Once you reach your second year in business, you can display financial data quarterly.
You might also include documents such as your personal tax returns, resumé, personal financial statement, reseller certificates, and other documents relevant to investors.
- Business Location
Starting a computer repair shop does not require a spacious office or extensive equipment. You can choose to work out of your home, open a retail store, rent space in an office building, or travel to customer offices.
Your physical location will depend on the scale of your business, your target customers, your projected workload, and your financial resources. Most experts recommend starting small. You can always move to a bigger location if your business expands.
If you lease a commercial office or retail location, you’ll want to purchase commercial property insurance. This coverage protects your tools, computer diagnostic equipment, office furniture, and inventory against fire, theft, or other damage. You may be able to save money by bundling commercial property and general liability insurance as a business owner’s policy.
- Marketing strategy
Your computer repair business plan should include information on marketing assets and programs, including websites, social media profiles, email and direct mail marketing campaigns, print ads, and other promotional strategies.
As a technology services provider, your digital marketing materials must be sophisticated and able to reach prospects on their preferred devices. Consider hiring a search engine optimization (SEO) consultant to help potential clients easily locate your website and social media accounts with Google.
To further raise your business’s visibility, you might also employ a content marketing strategy, in which you share computer repair tips on your websites, social media accounts, and blog.
- Hiring employees
Depending on how quickly your business grows, you may eventually need to hire one or more computer repair technicians. Your business plan should include details about:
- how you will advertise job openings
- the interview process
- computer repair tests you will give candidates
- checking references
- disciplinary and termination policies
Most states require businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which pays for medical bills or lost wages if an employee suffers a job-related injury. Workers’ comp policies also help cover court costs in the event of a lawsuit.
Creating a Business Model Canvas
The business model canvas is a strategic planning tool used by managers to illustrate and develop their business model. The business model canvas template clearly identifies the key elements that make up a business. Additionally, it simplifies a business plan into a condensed form. In this way, the business model canvas template acts like an executive summary for the business plan.
The business model canvas template was originally introduced by Alexander Osterwalder in his 2004 thesis, “The Business Model Ontology – A Proposition in a Design Science Approach”. Since then, the business model canvas template has been taught at business schools and iterated upon to fit more niche businesses.
There are nine main building blocks in the business model canvas template:
- Key Partners
- Key Activities
- Key Resources
- Value Propositions
- Customer Relationships
- Customer Segments
- Cost Structure
- Revenue Streams
Here are a few things that are important to make sure the Canvas works as intended.
Don’t write directly on the Canvas. This concerns your BMC on paper or whiteboard. Instead, place sticky notes. Ideas should be easy to add, move, remove, or simply change in order.
One idea per note. Don’t create bullet lists on your sticky notes. If you don’t have enough space, be less expansive with your ideas or find a larger surface.
Color code. If you have several very different target audiences, it will help to separate them by color and then use corresponding colors when describing their Value Propositions, Channels, Relationships, and so on.
Use images. If you’re feeling creative, enrich your words with emojis, simple illustrations, or photos. We process things faster when there’s a visual attached, and it may give your teammates a better idea of what you mean.
Stay minimalist. Remember, this is the place to create the strategic overview, not operational tasks. You may go into detail in one of the following workshops but start with the big picture.
Developing Skills and Knowledge
You could be interested in pursuing a career in computer repair if you enjoy troubleshooting and fixing computers. Computer repair specialists diagnose problems, carry out maintenance and updates, and work with a variety of hardware and software components. What abilities, though, are necessary for success in this field? These are some of the fundamental abilities for computer repair that you should acquire and hone.
One of the most basic computer repair skills is knowing how to identify, install, and troubleshoot different types of hardware. This includes components such as motherboards, CPUs, RAM, hard drives, power supplies, fans, keyboards, mice, monitors, printers, and more.
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You should be familiar with the functions, specifications, and compatibility of each hardware device, as well as how to use tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and multimeters to assemble and disassemble them. You should also know how to handle hardware safely and prevent damage from static electricity, dust, or liquids.
Another fundamental computer repair skill is knowing how to work with various software applications and operating systems. This includes programs such as Windows, Linux, MacOS, Microsoft Office, antivirus, backup, and recovery software.
You should be able to install, update, configure, and troubleshoot software issues, as well as perform tasks such as formatting, partitioning, cloning, and restoring hard drives. You should also know how to use software tools such as Task Manager, Device Manager, Registry Editor, Disk Management, and Command Prompt to monitor and manage system performance and resources.
A computer repair technician also needs to have some networking knowledge, as many computer problems involve connectivity and communication issues. This includes understanding the basics of network topology, protocols, devices, and security. You should be able to set up, configure, and troubleshoot wired and wireless networks, as well as use tools such as ping, traceroute, ipconfig, and netstat to test and diagnose network problems. You should also know how to share files and printers, access remote desktops, and use VPNs and firewalls.
Customer Service Skills
Besides technical skills, a computer repair technician also needs to have good customer service skills, as you will often interact with clients who have computer problems. This means you should be able to communicate clearly, listen attentively, explain technical terms in simple language, and provide helpful and friendly service.
You should also be able to handle complaints, resolve conflicts, and follow up with customers to ensure their satisfaction. Additionally, you should be able to work independently, manage your time efficiently, and keep track of your tasks and records.
Finally, one of the most important computer repair skills is having a strong problem-solving ability. This means you should be able to analyze computer problems, identify the root causes, and apply the appropriate solutions. You should also be able to research information, learn new skills, and adapt to changing technologies. Moreover, you should be able to think creatively, logically, and critically, as well as troubleshoot errors and test outcomes.
As you become a professional computer technician, others may come to you for information or advice on technical issues. You may be providing IT assistance to clients, and internal employees or providing consultation for managers who rely on your expertise. For this reason, you should hone your skills in providing consultation and advice to others. Practice both giving consult presentations and being patient with those who are troubleshooting at a distance.
You may be asked to advise management on the best course of action. In this endeavor, apply all your knowledge and experience to help them foresee the IT strategy options along with each potential set of outcomes and effects.
Establishing Your Business Presence
If you operate a computer repair company or are a computer repair professional, you understand how critical it is to differentiate yourself from the competition and earn your client’s trust. Gaining more customers, raising prices, and expanding your business are all possible with a well-established computer repair brand and reputation. However, how can one create and preserve a favorable reputation in the computer repair sector?
Here are some helpful hints for you.
Know your niche
The first step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to define your niche and target market. What kind of computer repair services do you offer? What kind of customers do you serve? What are their needs, pain points, and expectations? By knowing your niche, you can position yourself as an expert, differentiate yourself from other computer repair technicians, and tailor your marketing and communication strategies to your ideal clients.
Deliver quality service
The second step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to deliver quality service to your customers. This means not only fixing their computer problems, but also providing excellent customer service, communication, and follow-up. You should be friendly, professional, courteous, and transparent with your customers. You should also be reliable, punctual, and efficient with your work. You should also offer guarantees, warranties, or refunds if your customers are not satisfied with your service. By delivering quality service, you can build loyalty, referrals, and positive reviews from your customers.
Showcase your credentials
The third step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to showcase your credentials and achievements. This means highlighting your qualifications, certifications, awards, or recognition in the computer repair industry. You can display your credentials on your website, social media, business cards, or flyers. You can also mention them in your marketing materials, proposals, or pitches. By showcasing your credentials, you can demonstrate your credibility, authority, and professionalism in the computer repair industry.
Build your online presence
The fourth step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to build your online presence and visibility. This means having a website, social media accounts, online directories, or blogs that showcase your computer repair services, portfolio, testimonials, or tips. You should also optimize your online presence for search engines, keywords, and local SEO. You should also engage with your online audience, answer their questions, provide value, and solicit feedback. By building your online presence, you can increase your exposure, reach, and reputation in the computer repair industry.
Network with others
The fifth step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to network with others in the computer repair industry or related fields. This means joining associations, groups, forums, or events that connect you with other computer repair technicians, suppliers, vendors, or partners. You should also seek opportunities to collaborate, refer, or learn from others. You should also be respectful, supportive, and helpful to your peers. By networking with others, you can expand your knowledge, skills, contacts, and opportunities in the computer repair industry.
Outsource your training
The sixth step to creating a strong computer repair brand and reputation is to outsource your training and development needs. This means hiring external experts, coaches, or mentors to help you improve your computer repair skills, knowledge, or techniques. You can also enroll in online courses, webinars, or workshops that teach you the latest trends, tools, or best practices in the computer repair industry. By outsourcing your training, you can save time, money, and resources, while enhancing your computer repair brand and reputation.
Launching Operations with No Money
Computers are used by almost all home offices and small businesses, and their effective operation is essential. Computer physician finds themselves in the midst of one of the fastest-growing industries in the world because they lack the knowledge, the time, or the motivation to perform their own computer care, repairs, and upgrades.
Businesses in the computer repair sector work on fixing and maintaining a variety of products, including computers, office equipment, communication devices, consumer electronics, and other precision and electrical equipment that isn’t offered brand new.
Establishments in this industry repair items including microscopes, radar and sonar equipment, televisions, stereos, video recorders, computers, photocopying machines, communications equipment, scientific instruments and medical equipment.
1. Understand the Industry
Computers have exploded throughout America and the world over the past 30 years – from 2,000 units shipped in 1960 to 900,000 in 1980 to 7 million in 1990 to over 15 million per year by 2003 to over 65 million per quarter in 2015. With this rapid growth there has been a corresponding increase in the need for computer services.
Before you decide to join the global team of PC physicians, you must first understand the intricacies of this industry. For starters, its growth has led to an explosion in demand for field-related services. That has made repair offices spring up like mushrooms over the recent decades.
The need for more technicians stimulated the emergence of small businesses in the repair and maintenance sector. However, technology doesn’t stand still. Innovations constantly create room for new services, which, to the dismay of many, helps famous, profitable chains like Best Buy dominate the IT market.
While the affordability of some electronics negatively affects the further expansion of the repair niche, frugal individuals still prefer getting their gadgets fixed to buying new ones. Moreover, the pandemic has changed this declining industry’s faith, with researchers predicting its healthy growth over the following years.
Identify the Challenges of the Profession
You can’t pursue a career in computer repair without knowing the difficulties you’ll most certainly face as you build your brand. While some are easy to tackle, others can threaten your business’s performance. Therefore, analyzing all forthcoming hurdles will make you more competent in dealing with them.
Smooth starts aren’t a thing in the IT industry. During the earliest stages of developing your business, you’ll have you figure out the logistics of successful initiation. That said, you’ll need to make some critical decisions, like the devices to specialize in and your target audience.
Later in the process, you’ll have to learn how to hire the right people, manage money, or pay taxes. Some entrepreneurs experience certain psychological downsides of the profession, like loneliness and self-doubt. In any case, you must be perseverant and courageous to succeed.
Relevant Market Research Data
Computers are everywhere! The modernization of society has made these devices mandatory for a comfortable life. It’s safe to say that they’re integral to almost any business structure and mandatory for living in the global village. Therefore, your clientele can be as large as you choose!
But the larger the number of folks who opt for your services, the greater the diversity of orders you’ll come across. And you’ll have to agree that fixing broken keyboards and maintaining servers are not quite the same (unless you like comparing apples to oranges).
That said, collecting demographic and psychographic data about potential clients is a must. Although that can take a while, the popularization of electronics contributes to the increase in the demand for IT services. Therefore, the info you gather might be ambiguous. Nonetheless, analyzing it will strip its ambiguity.
Understand Your Competitors
Working hard and smart pays off. Major companies in the industry, like Emerald Computers and Direction Software, wouldn’t have been as famous as they are if dedicated entrepreneurs didn’t run them! So, if you want to nail your project, be prepared to invest plenty of time and effort into it.
Paradoxically, giving the business your all isn’t enough to achieve commercial success. To do that, you’ll also need to do some research about other local computer repair businesses. This move will help you understand what else it takes to be on a roll, apart from blood, sweat, and tears.
In an era when large enterprises are giving weight to the idea that all gadgets are replaceable, tracking the progress of your competitors is vital. This propaganda has put many out of business! If you don’t want that to happen to you, you must learn from the best-in-class repair salons.
Explore Franchises for Sale
Before the grand opening, you must decide whether to start from scratch or buy an existing franchise. Although this is entirely up to you, the experience of veteran PC gurus points to a simple fact: looking for franchises on sale doesn’t have many advantages to starting from zero.
While not having to build your office sounds appealing, that’s the only benefit of acquiring someone else’s firm. The company’s name won’t bring you an avalanche of new clients because most customers are simply residents in the area the business is located in.
On that same note, cleaning up a company’s bad reputation isn’t easy. Building a brand takes longer than destroying it, and you don’t want to inherit any client loyalty issues. Therefore, starting fresh and putting your idea into effect without a franchise’s past haunting you is best.
Promote your business
Advertising your services is an excellent way to boost revenue, so we highly recommend it. Here are some things you can do to spread the word about your firm successfully:
- Promote your offerings to customers living in your geographical area
- Encourage clients to review your services on Google or Yelp
- Use retargeting ads, and advertise on social media
- Create an SEO-friendly company website
- Design a spectacular logo
- Ensure photo galleries for clients are engaging and easy to access
- Email your customers about promotions, updates, new services, price drops, highlights, and more
Getting your new business to an excellent start while staying thrifty is definitely possible. Apart from solidifying your initial success with the tips in this article, you could also try doing the following:
- Use automation programs to streamline critical operations
- Invest in your technology, and keep it up to date
- Adopt a learning mindset, and teach yourself and your team new techniques regularly
Scaling and Growth Strategies
The idea of leveraging technological know-how and creativity to launch a successful repair company sounds quite appealing. It can even be a simple setup at first. However, what happens to the circumstances when you start growing your company?
You need to seek methods to increase revenue in addition to analyzing sales figures and assisting staff members who are having particular difficulties.
Contrary to popular belief, relying on customers’ judgment can make repair shop operations overly complex. At first, the statistics might show a high level of customer satisfaction, but as your business grows over time, you might not be able to control the situation.
As your cell phone repair business expands, you’ll face new obstacles, have to make crucial choices, and allocate vital tasks to people. What are the tried-and-true methods for overseeing and expanding the operations of your repair company?
Let’s begin by addressing one of today’s hottest buzzwords – Automation, the ultimate key to streamlining and accelerating business processes and saving valuable time.
Automating your repair shop operations using a cloud-based technology partner is the way to save time. The time you save can be spent on improving the quality of work and enhancing your customer support services, a value proposition no technology can replace
Once you have laid the groundwork for automation and defined the key supporting elements, consider the following strategies to take your repair shop further.
Implementing Systems and SOPs
SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are powerful tools that give you the liberty to define the way everything should be done in your repair business. These seemingly simple rules also allow your business to run smoothly even when managerial personnel are not present.
Firstly, repair businesses should not rely on and act upon a client’s discernment unless they have defined a game plan.
For instance, if your process is dependent solely on what the customer says, you will be running as many different processes as the number of orders. This is the first thing you want to avoid if the aim is to scale your repair business.
Starting from simple processes like disposing of trash, all the way to completing a complicated repair, the absence of SOPs can make everything very difficult.
The target is to plan ahead and ensure that your repair shop’s infrastructure is designed in a way that all necessary resources are available at all times. This means none of the operations should be dependent on singular entities, especially on the presence of a specific employee in the shop.
Invoicing and Ticketing Through POS Software
One of the most important steps is to automate your job tracking, ticketing, and invoicing process. This is a great way to add a layer of professionalism to your service, reduce the time taken to complete administrative tasks and improve the shop’s daily financial management. Your employees can channel this saved up time to improve the quality of repairs and answer the queries of customers.
With RepairDesk’s automated ticketing and invoicing system for example, your business can track finances and minimize the risks of errors. Allow your customers to place orders conveniently through a streamlined ticketing system, monitor repair jobs internally and create a win-win situation for both your business and your customers.
Marketing for Brand Awareness
Reach out to a larger audience by designing and executing effective marketing campaigns. Having an online presence allows businesses to increase their customer base and improve engagement.
Nothing helps your business communicate with customers like social media. As you scale your business, your operations change accordingly – so let your audience know that. Scaling can mean hiring new technicians, offering a new kind of service, or opening stores in new locations.
Improve Customer Services
No business grows without loyal customers. Taking that into account, the way your repair business connects with its customers says a lot about its future orientation.
When you create strategies to scale your business, it’s important not to compromise the quality of customer service. With changing times, the nature and requirements of your customers keep changing,
Train your customer support personnel for new changes, so they are prepared to deliver excellence. The easiest way to do this is by keeping customer support teams in the loop while planning and executing your next strategy. Also, like every other department, customer services should have SOPs.
Spare Parts and their Usage
While we are on it, another important aspect to consider is carefully selecting your parts and accessories suppliers. Although your business might initially find it more suitable to go for parts that come at a lower price, this strategy will not help.
When these parts are not of great quality, they reduce the quality or your repair services. Also, inexpensive repair equipment is not manufactured with an ergonomic design, meaning your technicians will not have a good time doing the repairs.
Even if the price margin is considerably high, go for quality products. According to technicians, repair shops that buy the best tools and spare parts available are more likely to cut down on costs in the long run.
For instance, technicians should always grab the farthest left screen and the top small part from the stock to ensure the inventory cycles.
What to do with parts that are removed from inventory during repair?
- Only take the spare parts that are required for the job
- Use bins, organizers, and bubble bags where necessary, and keep them in designated places
- Implement RepairDesk to update the status of the spare parts once it’s removed from the inventory
- Place boxes and bubble bags containing cell phones in a clean space
- Test spare parts and follow the defined procedures to report malfunctioning spare parts
- Place small parts in the same bags or sections they are taken from
- Apply tape over the battery terminal and place it in the battery bin after it is used
With RepairDesk’s inventory management system, you can keep track of items in stock and never run out of spare parts and tools to complete repairs.
In order to scale your repair business, inventory cycling is also important. In this case, the simplest of SOPs can significantly improve your internal processes and ultimately accelerate repair orders.
Expanding your current set of services, serving a bigger customer base, opening a new repair shop and other opportunities for scaling require careful planning and execution. Once you know how to get your head around that, it’s important to keep moving forward.
Implement the useful guidelines above and see your repair business prosper.
Protect your computer repair business
Lawsuits and other catastrophic events can cost you a lot of money – and could even bankrupt your business. Fortunately, small business insurance for computer repair shops will help protect all your hard work. Here’s a breakdown of all the policies you should consider purchasing for your new business.
- General liability insurance
General liability insurance is typically the first insurance policy any small business purchases. It covers many common issues that you might face, including:
- Third-party bodily injuries
- Third-party property damage
- Advertising injuries like libel, slander, and copyright infringement
If you rent an office space, your landlord will likely require you to carry this insurance policy as part of your lease agreement.
- Commercial property insurance
Commercial property insurance pays to repair or replace stolen, lost, or damaged business property. It covers both your office space (whether you rent or own) and any property that you use for business purposes. You can also add to your commercial property insurance to cover things like:
- Natural disasters
- Forced closures due to property damage
- Damage to mobile property
Even freelance computer repair technicians, home-based computer repair companies, and mobile repair services should consider commercial property insurance since most homeowners’ policies exclude business property from their coverage.
- Business owner’s policy
Another policy that could benefit your computer repair business is a business owner’s policy (BOP). This insurance coverage combines general liability insurance and commercial property insurance in one package, making it an ideal option for most computer repair companies – especially those who rent a storefront.
You can also add bailee coverage to your business owner’s or general liability policies to cover your customers’ property when they leave it in your care.
- Errors and omissions insurance
Errors and omissions insurance (also called E&O or professional liability insurance) covers lawsuits over the quality of your work. If a customer believes you either didn’t provide the services you agreed to, or made mistakes that cost them money, they could file a lawsuit against you. Errors and omissions coverage pays for your legal fees, settlements, and other costs arising from the lawsuit.
- Cyber liability insurance
Another critical policy for someone in your line of work is cyber liability insurance. This policy covers the cost of a data breach on your servers, or lawsuits when a customer blames you for failing to prevent a data breach on their computer. It pays for things like:
- Cyber extortion payments
- Data recovery
- Regulatory investigation and compliance
- Notifying affected customers
- Credit monitoring
- Business interruption expenses
- Commercial auto insurance
If you travel to client sites, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover an accident if you’re on company business. Most personal vehicle policies exclude business-related driving. Vehicles owned by a business must be covered by commercial auto insurance.
Or, you could invest in hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA), which covers accidents in personal, leased, and rented vehicles used for work purposes.
For example, if you or an employee gets into an accident while driving a personal car to drop off a laptop for work, your HNOA coverage would help pay for any claims or lawsuits against your business. It’s worth noting that this would not cover damage to the vehicle used by your business.
- Fidelity bonds
Computer repair specialists who take on jobs with banks or other financial institutions may be asked by their clients to purchase a fidelity bond. Also known as an employee dishonesty bond, it functions as a voucher to ensure that you or your employees won’t use your behind-the-scenes access to steal money. If a theft does occur, the bond can repay the stolen funds.
- Workers’ compensation insurance
If you have employees, it might be necessary to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which can pay for medical expenses and partial lost wages if an employee is hurt on the job. Whether or not you are required to buy it depends on where the business is based, since the laws covering workers’ comp requirements are governed at the state level.
If you’re curious how much insurance might cost to protect your computer repair business, you can review Insureon’s estimates for IT businesses.
Starting a computer repair business without money is undoubtedly a challenge, but it’s feasible with a combination of resourcefulness, dedication, and strategic planning. By following the steps outlined in this guide, aspiring entrepreneurs can pave the way for a successful venture in the lucrative tech repair industry.