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Is there any money in self-employed computer repair?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Juelz, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    I saw a video on YouTube where this guy was discouraging people from setting up repair shops/mobile repair due to his own experience. His main argument was that computers have become so inexpensive that people just go out and buy a new one. Do you agree with this? I'm not sure as I have no knowledge of the industry but I'd imagine there is abit of truth in it? I often wonder how my local repair shop is still around as they are never busy and only offer computer repair no phones or tablets. I do know one guy who went into mobile repair and said he was barely surviving, I think it's probably down to stiff competition and what the man in the video said about people just buying new machines.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    A few years ago I was out of work for over 6 months, things were getting tough and I decided to start my own PC Repair Business.
    I spent out money on a new number, website and business cards, I posted about 1000 cards through doors over a couple of weekends, that was a lot of walking and time and effort.

    My fees (which were posted back in 2009) were on par with other businesses of the same type and were less than PC World was charging for the same services (I know, I checked).

    With all that time\effort and hard work I managed to get a total of two clients, I in no way broke even with how much I paid out in various fees and in fact even with the site still running now (although not the mobile) I still haven't had any callers requesting services.

    I can tell you that I certainly wouldn't advise people to try doing this as their only means of income because they would soon starve to death.
    It's just not worth it these days.
     
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  3. zxspectrum

    zxspectrum Gigabyte Poster Premium Member

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    I do the occasional foreigner from time to time and I think the most I have been paid is £40. I don't go out of my way to get the work as an issue often seems to pan into one or 2 extra issues and if your spending time investigating you will find that in real terms you could charge more than a system is worth, so then the client will not want to pay that, so a waste of time in total.

    Ed
     
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  4. Apexes

    Apexes Gigabyte Poster

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    I did it about 7 years back. i used to work 3 day shifts in my job, and on days off i used to do my own work. I wouldn't say it was enough to keep me going full time by any standard, but maybe just enough to get by.

    I had 8 small businesses on my books, along with individual clients, majority of my work was from word of mouth and recommendations.

    This was 7 years back, and i used to charge £40 for the first hour, and £25 there after for every other hour. i sometimes wish i had the capital behind me to really invest in it, and expand it - but it was very, very difficult to do so.
     
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  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    There is no money in it.

    Good for beer money though.
     
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    Apexes likes this.
  6. Juelz

    Juelz Gigabyte Poster

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    Would you say the reason for failure was the fact computers are pretty cheap now? I know if I couldn't fix my laptop I'd just buy a new one tbh.. my actual computer cost me £60 lol its a refurb windows 7 and runs beautifully, wouldn't get it fixed if it failed tbh, most likely I'd repair it myself anyway which could also be another possible cause as to why PC repair is a hard part of the industry to succeed in, every Tom, Dick and Harry can fix a PC these days.
     
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  7. eitjobsuk

    eitjobsuk New Member

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    There still users out there that have zero IT knowledge and some would like to just pay someone to get things working. Every day a new technology is being released and developed not every one will have the time to stay current. I when I use to work on the service desk at a MSP I remember the stressful calls from users with zero IT knowledge, setting up exchange account on IPhone would take forever. But there are so many IT shops and IT companies the competition is crazy.

    Just do a google map search for IT services in the Uk !
     
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  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Exactly. There is usually someone that can help or repair a PC.

    If you were to pay £60 an hour it can get expensive very quickly.
     
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  9. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Whilst there are some PC's that are cheap there are some people who do spend a lot of money on expensive gaming rigs (me being one of them). I am about to build up a water cooled rig that has so far cost me close to £3000 although tbf £800 of it was the CPU :o

    Trouble is that everyone knows someone now days and that's why it's not as easy.
     
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  10. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I agree with Simon, not everyone is capable of fixing their own computers but they are likely to know someone that will have a go at it and if they cant fix it they will buy a new one. So the potential client base has decreased over the years while the competition has gone through the roof and the fees people are charging has sucked all the profit out of the venture. My own computer is like Simon's an i7 water cooled gaming rig, however kit like that is not all that common 8)
     
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  11. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    I'd dare add that cowboys put people off from using this kind of thing. PC World might be rip off but people feel comfortable knowing a corporation is tinkering with their kit, they break it they replace it. I personally wouldn't take my kit to a small independent shop unless I personally knew the owner and trusted him/her. There's also your data on the thing....
     
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  12. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yes cowboys are the real problem and that has always been the problem, if you actually put a lot of effort into learning how to do something properly they undercut your sensible rates and put you out of business.
     
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  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Cowboys and Indians, Its the Wild West out there ! :D
     
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  14. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yeah well us indians only possess arrows, even if they are of outrageous fortune.
     
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  15. Vince Polston

    Vince Polston Nibble Poster

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    Hey @Juelz! Are you talking about Eli's videos? He has had several videos along those lines. I agree and disagree. My family owns one of those "local computer shops". We've been at it since 1998 and have 5 employees (including myself). We're not making bank; but we don't take advantage of people like the large corporate stores.

    We charge $95 USD for a virus repair and tune up and $125 USD for a wipe and reload; and don't charge anything extra for saving customers data. We're in a small town of about 20,000 people in the county. For service calls we charge $95 per hour. I average 10-15 service calls a month. Computer repair as a business isn't dead.. but you HAVE to be willing to adapt. The unfortunate problem with a break and fix computer business is if you do your job right.. you put yourself out of business. You are 100% relying on computers being broken. Because of that we're shifting our business customers to managed services.
     
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  16. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Hi Vince, I enjoyed reading your post there, good on you. I think if you provide a good service and guarantee your work I'd use a small company like yours. It's interesting that you should mention the move into managed services. I work for an IT outsourcing company and I don't doubt it's how some places start out. Start by offering remote support, before you know it a company pays you to have a guy onsite five days a week. I wish you and your family all the best. I like hearing about family businesses :)
     
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  17. Vince Polston

    Vince Polston Nibble Poster

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    @jk2447, Thanks for all the kind words! :)

    You're spot on. It's all about providing good service and standing behind what you do. The MSP model is so intriguing! My favorite part has got to be the predictable income. It's easy to grow and manage a company when you know for a fact what's coming in money~wise. If I were to start all over fresh again; I'd start that route from the get go :)
     
  18. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Definitely mate, I know a guy, friend of a friend who does that. He goes around small businesses offering IT support. He'll do a bit of design and put in something like SBS, or at least, that's what he used to do. A lucrative career where you can build up your customers trust and impress going the extra mile. You should defintely have a meeting about this kind of thing I think. You guys could be the next CSC :)
     
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