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Possible idea

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by AArcher, Sep 13, 2008.

  1. AArcher

    AArcher Nibble Poster

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    As soon as I get all my books delivered from Amazon (if citylink gets it right) im starting to study for my comptia a+ and get that qualification. What I had thought of is has anyone thought about setting up a one man band fixing computers etc. As in going out to peoples homes and setting up wireless networks and fixing slow computers etc. Reason im thinking about this is my parents had someone round to do that a few years ago and he did to it what I had done a week ago! Defrag and virus check and charged them £50!!!

    I wonder after if I get that qualification maybe I could do a bit of that to fund my training ???
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA 2006 A+
  2. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    TBH unless you have some experience as well the cert in itslef is not going to qualify you to do it.

    To be able to deal with the variety of equipment and software even in a home environment does require knowledge and experience.

    A better way would be to try to get a job (or perhaps sub-contract to) a local computer shop.

    As to £50 an hour - depends on your area and customers. In my neck of the woods near Bournemouth that would be viewed as expensive and there are lots of one man bands charging as little as £20 an hour.

    You also have to consider that you will then be in business as self employed so you have to think about things such as insurance (including liability cover), tax etc.

    It's not as simple as saying "ok, I can fix your computer for £x".

    That's not to dismiss it but you do need to think seriously about it before you just jump in.

    Try talking to the local computer shops (not the PCWorld's) - you may do better and gain valuable experience. You could also go thru' Yellow Page sand try the local IT big boys (Microsoft Partners) and see if they have any vacancies for trainees.

    Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of IT ! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  3. AArcher

    AArcher Nibble Poster

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    As soon as I get my books I will push for my qualification as soon as citylink decides to turn up . . . . . I have got lots of experience but sadly not in a job. Im one of those that have dismantled and built pc's all my life I kind of like doing it as a hobby and used software from when it was MS-DOS lol ... Just need to put it into practice I think a little bit more.... Im quite excited about starting my studies as i've already clearded a huge desk and got lots of computer components and a couple of 'dead' PC's !!!! Heres to the next month of my life being spent indoors!
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA 2006 A+
  4. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Consider this. If you needed repairs on your car, would you hand it over to someone who claimed to have plenty of experience messing around on their own car? I wouldnt, not unless I knew the person myself (so thats friends and family). No, you would be much more likely to take it to a professional outfit to get work done on it.

    There are several people here who are, or have been, self-employed doing just that. They pretty much all state that its hard work, for little pay. You also have to consider that you need to pay liability insurance (rough guess, 2-300 quid a year), so you need to be earning higher than that (after you account for taxes, etc) in order make it even slightly worth your while.

    Then there is the fact that people are unlikely to pay if you cant fix it, and may be unhappy if you take too long to fix it.

    I would go down the employment route myself really. Get a company to hire you - then you have colleagues to fall back on.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  5. AArcher

    AArcher Nibble Poster

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    Maybe not a good idea then ....well got my books coming tomorrow ...citylink messed up maybe I should go help them out LOL
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: CompTIA 2006 A+
  6. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Its what I would recommend. At least to start with. Once you have built up some commercial experience, then its certainly a possibility.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It's doable, but it's a hard slog. Doing the tech work is the easy part; finding customers is the hard part. It's quite a bit harder than "offer the service, and they will come". Plus, there are all sorts of other problems that come with it... liability issues, self-employment fees and taxes, billing customers (and collections hassles, if you're not collecting the money on site, as you go), and more.

    Additionally, what the others say about needing experience is somewhat accurate. Customers aren't going to want to pay you by the hour to figure out what's wrong with their computer, then fix it... especially if an experienced tech would have figured it out within minutes. And take it from someone who was a computer enthusiast for 18 years before getting into IT: while your personal IT experience CAN help you learn and advance faster, it is no substitute for real-world IT experience. Messing around with other people's computers is quite a bit different than messing around with your own computer, particularly when money is on the line.

    I don't mean to discourage you. Not at all - I simply want you to go into the situation with your eyes open, knowing what to expect. :)

    Best of luck to you!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. damo101

    damo101 Byte Poster

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    Biggest hassle with this is that of you were to charge £50 for a defrag ideally potential customers would need to drop the pc off at your house, so a job on the side totally intrudes into your personal life (if the person has an unrelated problem, what's to stop them from landing on your door step at 9 am on sunday morning?). The only ways around this are:

    1. Go their house and run the defrag, and watch it churn it's way thru 500 gb of dodgy mp3s (could be legal implications there) - even it this is worth £50, it's not fun having to make hours of chit chat

    2. Use a remote client like "log me in" - draw back here is the customer trusting you, and then you having to explain how to install it and uninstall it.

    Sub-contracting like UKDarkstar said or else a smarter way of billing to ensure you don#'t get bogged down with someone who thinks the tenner they paid you to install a web cam entitles them to hound you day and night relentlessly.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation and Practitioner (S&R)
    WIP: OU Cert in Web Design

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