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Setting up an IT Business

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by d_mcgrail, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. d_mcgrail

    d_mcgrail Nibble Poster

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    I am in the process of setting up a Home and Small business IT support company and wondered if anyone else on here has experiance of this. Just looking to see if any lessons/tips can be passed onto me.

    Cheers guys
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Taking a xmas break
  2. beaumontdvd

    beaumontdvd Kilobyte Poster

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    Hiya, I too am starting to think about this more and more. When you say setting up a business what kind of business wil you be setting up?

    Will it be like desktop support for your local area, or like selling hardware and contracting to setup servers for local business's. Hope it all goes well for you mate, I suggest taking time and planning everything slowly. Also im not aware on the insurance you may need before touching customers computers.

    Regards,
    Dave
     
    Certifications: 070-271, 070-272, (MCDST)Level 1,2,3 NVQ
    WIP: 070-270, A+, N+, S+,MCDST 7 Upgrade
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    See my other posts.

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, went bust (after 12 years)

    It's a tough market :eek:
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    If you're going to do it, do it as a side line rather than a full blown business, don't rely on it bringing in loads of money or business and you will be fine.

    I run a small website for home pc help, it's been running a few weeks, I have business cards (and put a couple of hundred thru doors) but I have only had two clients. Admittedly that got me the cost of the cards, www site and hosting paid for but it certainly hasn't put food on the table.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  5. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Yep... good advice. I have a small business as a side line too. It pays for study books, and a bit of software, and allows me to see and deal with issues hands-on. But it won't make me a millionaire.
     
  6. d_mcgrail

    d_mcgrail Nibble Poster

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    thanks guys. Im looking to home and small business support at the moment.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Taking a xmas break
  7. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    You'll have to make sure you are happy charging people for time. Can you really charge Mr and Mrs Pensioner the full 3 hours it took to fix their computer, when they have said they cant afford a new pc.

    How much you thinking of charging by the way?
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  8. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Would you expect Mr and Mrs Pensioner not to pay the plumber or electrician if they called them out for a problem? One thing you have to realise, they are paying for your experience and professionalism.

    I thought long and hard about my charges, settled for what's on my website and people have paid those prices.

    Of course you do the whole common sense thing, if it only takes 5 minutes to fix then you don't charge them full rates.

    From my perspective I charge £40 for the first hour, then £15 every 30 minutes. I also have fixed charges for specific jobs. Again the feedback I have received is that people would pay for other professional services, my IT services are not exempt from that.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  9. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    It's always a difficult one: repair versus new, but give them the option.

    Most people are grateful to have someone to call in - saves taking the bedroom apart and lugging it to a repair place.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  10. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    To be honest, I would have a minimum charge of an hour to secure against travelling just to receive 30 minutes pay. And after the first hour you have .25 hour increments (15 minutes in case you don't understand)
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    For my business area I only put cards through the doors of local properties, the idea being that it was all very local to me (ie walking distance). It is just pocket money after all (and not something I rely on to live).
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  12. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    I was mearly pointing out that you dont want to find that you cannot bring yourself to charge people the full amount if you go to their house and feel sorry (or whatever) for them. I agree that its no different to a plumber or sparky (not cf sparky), but you gotta make sure you are comfortable with that.

    Personally I charge people £100 an hour if they want work done for my experience and the fact that I dont have much time out of work and would prefer to spend it with kids, that normally either sends them packing or actually makes the job worth doing.
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  13. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    That is very true. You have to be harder when in business for yuorself. It's potentially your living you're talking about.
     
  14. jamin100

    jamin100 Byte Poster

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    Just wondering, do you pay tax on what you earn? I know legally you should but if its just pocket money?
    Also, did you register as a business etc ??

    Interested as I may start looking into this myself, like you as just a little bit on the side and nothing to live off.
     
    WIP: 70-680
  15. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    Well as far as the inland revenue are concerned: when you receive payment for something (outside your usual job), you are self employed and you need to register within 12 weeks of trading. As for registering as a business, that is something you can do although a totally (bigger) ball game to completing a self assesment form every year.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  16. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I already own a limited company that I trade through (I am an IT Contractor), and bearing in mind that this is a public forum I can't condone ripping off the government, therefore of course I do!!!!!
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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