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Advice on setting up repair service.

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by bmurray2005, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. bmurray2005

    bmurray2005 Bit Poster

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    i am currently toying with the idea of putting out a few business cards for domestic pc users, i know from the A+ course i have a long way to go before i could consider myself a professional,however, i know from personal experience that a good majority of problems are easily dealt with.
    my reason for this is mainly to try and gain experience of repairs in different locations, i have no interest or desire to rip people off and pull the wool over their eyes in respect of whatever problem they may have but if anyone else has taken this route are there any pointers u can give me.

    i know about that side of things, i already run a business for someone else. i was thinking along the lines of if someone here had done the same thing, do u need to invest a lot in buying several operating systems if people are calling for an upgrade.
     
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    There are any number of things to be looked at when you start doing this.

    Some of them are not obvious - like "Public Liability Insurance". :biggrin

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Well said.

    Actually I don’t think good majority of problems are easily dealt with. Some tiny problems could take hours.

    Example: Install a new broadband router to replace a crappy free USB one.

    User doesn’t know username and password. You spend hours trying to find the username and password, the user eventually phones the ISP and gets the username and password.

    You put the username and password in the router and it won’t connect. It may be an issue with the phone line as you notice this is the ‘second’ phone line and the splitter may be in the wrong place. That’s not the problem so you flash the routers firmware and then you are online – joy!

    After reconfiguring IE not to dial a connection and remove all traces of the old connection you think the job is done but the PC blue screens, arrrgh! The user says ‘its never done that before’ so you Google the error message and patch Windows and hope that fixes the problem.

    While you are there you add another laptop onto the network and then asked how you share documents between the two machines and also how to share a printer. This should take 5 mins but both machines have Norton Internet Security installed so you have to create rules\profiles for each machine to allow inbound connections.

    Job done, you have been there for 5 hours.

    Hourly rate: £30

    30x5 = £150

    The customer laughs and offers £30, you accept and leave to go to the pub!



    Also expect to be constantly harassed for the rest of your life, I built a few computers when I graduated for a small business (this was 4 years ago) and I still get phone calls about it!

    It’s a good idea if you want to pick up some hands on experience but personally I didn’t think it was viable as a business when I tried it.

    Best of luck though! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. bmurray2005

    bmurray2005 Bit Poster

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    thats kind of what im on about. firstly, there is no chance in hell i would charge anywhere near £30 an hour.
    secondly, if i had to spend 5 hours fixing a problem (incidentally, i have spent days trying to figure problems out on my own pc's and saw it as nothing but a learning experience) then id be grateful for the experience, providing the customer kept me going with plenty coffee.

    im not on the look out to make money just now,its getting the experience im after and if someone called me to describe a problem i hadnt heard of i would research it first before going and hopefully be able to fix it for them. i am also more than aware of the dangers of forgetting passwords so id be on the look out for that one straight away.
    having sais that,i know for every problem i can fix there are a thousand i cant and would'nt charge any fee for anything i couldnt fix.
     
  5. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    This is very true - i left my prev job 2 years ago, and they still call me up...
     
  6. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Actually, I've considered doing this just to see how viable it would be in building up some local business clients to flesh out my private work. I do loads of local private work for non-business clients, but got sick of all the business clients I had a couple of years back and punted them on to a consultancy.

    I've now decided I want to do more consulting for businesses as I miss it quite a bit (never thought I would!) due to the variety of stuff involved. I really enjoyed sticking WLANs in so would like to expand this area of my portfolio and put it down as a speciality - there are literally hundreds of local businesses with unsecured WAPs - a 20 minute wardrive round town the other day discovered 185, 123 of which didn't even have WEP enabled. Of these, I estimated that about 40 of them were businesses. There's lots of money to be made here and I can't see why it shouldn't be me making it :biggrin

    Has anybody had any experience of getting a leaflet drop done for them? It seems the royal mail are doing this more and more lately - I get all sorts of crap dumped through my letterbox by them and getting someone else to do the trek would certainly be my preferred method!
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    i have been running my own company for about four years now and although it is enjoyable, I would never be able to support myself and my wife on the income. There are many pitfalls which you will encounter, for a start there is cash-flow, then there is the competition, then advertising costs, selling yourself, car costs, a place to work and an understanding wife!

    This is a typical scenario..

    You get a call from a nice lady that says her start button is up in the top right of her screen and she has lost the picture for her email.

    You try to help her over the phone but quickly realise it ain't gonna happen, so you drive out there.

    On arrival, it takes you 10 seconds to drag her task bar back to the bottom and re-size it properly, another minute to go into control panel > add remove progs > windows components and re-tick outlook express. Alls good, well not really, she is 85, has made you a cuppa and 4 cakes. You check out the AV app whilst you are drinking tea and realise the sigs are out of date. You decide that it's a good idea to show them how to update but they are on dial up. You click the update button and a download begins, it transpires that this isn't just a definition update but it's a program update which is 11MB - 45 minutes later and 3 time outs later it's half way through.

    Then your mobile rings, you have a customer that is running a business that needs Internet and email access, they tell you that their ADSL modem is dead, they have tried re-booting it but all the LEDs are off. You spend 10 minutes on the phone trying to help them and say you will get to them next.

    In the mean time two hours have passed and the AV program has finally updated. You say goodbye to the senior folks and say thanks that will be $30 +VAT because you realise they are pensioners. Drive to the other customer and notice that their model of ADSL router has a cut-out button which has popped out, press it in and all is good. No charge as it only took 10 seconds and it is something which you should have known and said on the phone, being an expert and all :rolleyes:

    No more calls that day so you go home and wait. You still have to do the books, enter the amount in your accounting program, send the VAT man their portion. Raise an invoice and post it out.

    This is the life I lead and some days are very complicated and very time consuming and others are easy but money is not something which people part with easily. Running you own PC/Network support business is not going to be profitable for many years. You need a lot of money behind you already to be able to even consider it.

    Why do you think I have so much time to post on CF :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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