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[Strange] PC Repair Shop Setup [Question]

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Revolate, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Revolate

    Revolate Nibble Poster

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    Okay, I know this maybe in the wrong section, so feel free to move it if needed.

    Anyways I have a few questions! :D

    QUESTION
    There's a high chance i've just got funding for my own PC Repair Shop for a year, and I won't be paying the money back! I consider myself quite lucky considering my poor background (My Mum doesn't work and is probley stealing your 40% tax:rolleyes: My Dad is a *insert bad word* left her with three kids and she gets like £100 a week the usual story). Anyways moving on. I've been looking into what a Repair shop would need, and it hurt my head at first for the following reasons, when I repair a computer or build one etc I only use an anti static mat, wrist strap/bench and a nice tool kit, surely that isn't all it needs? I know it will most likely need a phoneline and even an ISP. I will of course need to be planning what i'm aiming to do research prices however I maybe completely stupid and missing HUGE things out here, if i am well i'm sorry all your information will be greatly appriciated.

    Rubbish if you can't be bothered to read it, don't.
    I've researched alot myself, but nothing really came up. However you're probley thinking 17 setting up a shop? Huh?:eek: I have my reasons, First line is boring, and dull. Call centre's have the same problem. If i run a Repair shop on my own for a year or two, i'll learn a hell of alot more than what I would in a call centre, not only that I could work my own hours and I don't really care about making money aslong as I can scrape by paying the bills and gaining the appropriate experience. My friends work in a call centre, they read scripts all day, apparently they can get sacked if they speak out of the bank of questions they've been given.

    I had my own laptop at 7, played games and stuff since about 13, then i built/repaired one, and been a nerd ever since... so you can probley imagine what i've learnt, hopefully. :D

    Anyways thanks all.
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Go for it if thats what you want to do.

    Yep grounding equipment and toolkits are needed but you will need:

    space

    benches for bench testing new builds and repairs.

    equipment, depending on how recongnised you want to be you may stock all makes and model of stuff or you may want to only stock top quality equipment. By this I mean if I was to have have a shop I would only stock the best makes of power supplies like Seasonic,corsair,OCz extreme,CWT and Thermal take (toughpower units). I would not stock power supplies made by Rosewill, Huntkey or Winpower.

    The same would go for ram with me stocking: Corsair,Geil, OCz, and crucial.

    Suppliers (or you can order yourself then sell on)

    You would need internet connection for direct contact with your suppliers and for reasearch if you come across a big issue that you cannot solve on your own.

    Phone

    A few working systems that you have built yourself for display or selling purposes

    advertising and information on your services and prices.

    If you plan on offering any modification services such as overclocking then you need to make customers aware that the warranty is voided and it can cause the system to fail earlier than normal etc etc.

    Also you will need to be competative because the ordinary people wont know about you or may be wary because of the Tech guys in pc world and the geek squad in Best buy. And make sure your advice is honest this will make a difference. Not like the guy in pc world who told my Brother his niece needed a quad core for her homework. She is 7
     
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  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Business plan

    Business Plan

    BUSINESS PLAN

    (not forgetting things like business rates, security etc)

    then :

    Market research for yor area

    Link up with someone else (how are you going to manage and provide support/repairs etc during holidays/illness)

    Insurance - you prob won't be able to get prof indemnity but you must have liability cover

    Business or personal customers only

    Trdae accounts with suppliers (I have wquoted which ones in another post - do a search)

    After all of that - good toolkit, software utils, then start to worry about bench etc (can buy antistatic rubber matting off a rol and just cover whole bench area)
     
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  4. Mr_Cellophane

    Mr_Cellophane Nibble Poster

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    Multimeter to check PSU problems
     
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  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    a good lawyer, just in case...
     
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  6. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Don't miss the obvious one of registering with HMRC.

    If you're not going to be earning much (currently less than £5075) you can go for NIC Low Earnings Exemption; however, you do need to claim it. And you cannot do it retrospectively, so cliam it as soon as you set up in business.

    In addition, you don't need to mess about with VAT if your earnings are below a certain amount as well.

    BusinessLink is a good site to look at.

    Best of luck!
     
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    A couple of things for you and this may be a rather long post.

    With regards to running a repair shop - It's not just about running a repair shop, you need to have a decent amount of rolling stock because it's not just repairs, you will also be selling new items to new and existing customers. You also need to have a decent relationship with various vendors to get competitive pricing, the last thing people will do is come to you if you're not competitive. You need to have enough equipment on hand to replace\repair pretty much anything thrown your way. That ranges from old socket 478\939 upto socket 1156 based hardware. You need various psu's and testing equipment for it. You need a supply of older technology (just in case). All that costs money. You can't expect the customer to pay you before the job is done so that hardware needs to be paid for by you before hand.

    Add to that you need the premises, now shop fronts cost money, not just the rent but also any insurances you require. You would also need to ensure that if you played a radio that can be heard by customers you have paid for the license to play music in a public area (silly but true).

    Next you need to think about staff, whilst starting out on your own is a good idea you can't do EVERYTHING, there are times you will be repairing items or dealing with one customer, if you're on your own and other customers come in and are waiting a long time you will soon find that business tails off.

    Then there is the fact that as a business you are required by law to register a trading company with Companies House, you will be required to have a VAT number, ideally you would pay an Accountant to look after your books. You have quarterly and annual returns that need to be paid as well.

    I know a lot of this has been covered before but it's good to have the same things being mentioned.

    Now I would honestly suggest that you think about this carefully, rather than starting out straight away in premises see about starting up in your house, get some business cards made up (Vista Print are decent enough) and walk around putting them through doors. The reason I suggest this is that I run my own PC repair business, it's only a small local business but in the last couple of months I have only had 2 clients. Now that's not such an issue for me because I am now back contracting, however if I was relying on this for my welfare then I would be up **** creek without a paddle if I had gone into premises.

    As an aside, my repair box consists of the following.

    A whole load of different size screws (UNC and UNF), various different TIMs, various different ram (ddr, ddr2, ddr3). Spare HDD's (2.5 and 3.5 sata and ide), various different power cables. A couple of PSU's (500, 750w and flex). Various different CD\DVD writers. A couple of different motherboards (s775), a couple of spare video cards (ISA, PCI, PCI-E) and a case or two. I also have a couple of different screw drivers and a soldering iron.

    Obviously I don't take it all around with me but I have enough spare equipment around the house that I can pretty much rebuild most things.
     
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  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Why not think about going mobile?

    There's a guy round here - I think he calls himself 'PC Doctor' and he's got a car all painted up with logos etc.
    I see him round quite a lot, so he's either busy or he gets lost quite a bit.

    Fixing things in people's homes can save you money, and for those things you can't a collection/return service is always going to be a draw for people who don't fancy carting they PC down the high street.

    That way they also don't know that you're repairing them in your garage.

    I think there are some tax implications for running a business from your home, so you'll need to check that out.
     
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  9. Revolate

    Revolate Nibble Poster

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    Ahh, lucky for me i'm up to date with all the quality equipment, however you mentioned old fashion stuff, how on earth would I get a hold of that stuff. (Currently haven't checked google so i'll find it sooner or later:twisted:) Radio license, eek. Thank you guys for filling in the blanks, anymore information you think I will need feel free to add it! I'm dead set on getting a shop since I should be funded and it would look cool. 8) I have alot of contacts in Newcastle where I live, my friends a graphics designer, got a few mates who know 100000s of people (we all have them). I hope this made sense, i'm to tierd to proof read it sorry if it doesn't! :blink
     
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  10. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Honestly - not the best of reasons to go into business :rolleyes:
     
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  11. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    I agree with this.

    I'll be honest, maturity would appear to be an issue here, you're 17, and going into business because you "dislike 1st line support", you "are not bothered about making money, just enough to break even" and want a shop because it "looks cool".

    By all means, get a shop, hell, you can get funding right? but what about 3 months down the line, your funding has gone, and no one is coming to you because quite frankly, you are a 17 year old with the world ahead of you... It is a big undertaking managing a shop and a business at any age, I know personally several people who have become very rich through their businesses. Richard Yoo being one of them, and he didn't get where he is on his own. He had solid support from friends who had parents and family members that were already running businesses at the time and it was still a slog.

    Going it alone is rarely a fantastic idea. Take heed in what more experienced and mature members of the forum have told you mate. They are not pissing in your pocket and telling you it's raining, they are giving you exceptionally blunt and appropriate advice.
     
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  12. Revolate

    Revolate Nibble Poster

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    I was right, before I posted i had already thought that someone would pick up on the 'looks cool' part. But I don't recall anyone saying 'DON'T DO IT' there actually helping me, I know where I stand and i'm well aware it isn't the best. Anyways I understand what you're saying and appriciate it, I've got what I needed. As you said three months down the line I wont have funding, but I will have. I can't tell you my exact circumstances but it's actually looking really good for most parts. :) I have already came up with several contingency plans and I do have support. I'm not expecting to make this huge, it's more of a substitute for a years experience, i'll benefit it more so than I would First line, that is why I dislike it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
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  13. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    Your business will probably fail to make any profit.

    Do something more intresting than a PC repair shop.
     
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  14. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    How many of them have broken PCs?

    :dry
     
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  15. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Mods - can we ban this troll? I've ignored it for long enough - he's starting to ring my bells now.
     
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  16. steve_f

    steve_f Byte Poster

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    I wouldn't bother. I worked in a PC repair shop for a few years. I was 1 of 2 technicians, building and repairing PCs. It was fine, but eventually went bust. Wasn't very well managed, because everyone involved was more interested in IT than business.
    We only made 14% gross profit on each PC sold. At least in 1997 PCs cost £1200 -£2100. Nowadays you will only be making £50-£100 on each PC built. And after bills, taxes etc, about £10 of that will go into your pocket.

    With no experience, and just a bit of money to get started, you would be like those comically awful people on X factor. No reall skills or experience but your friends and family haven't the bottle to give you a proper criticism so you think you can conquer the world despite no evidence that you are capable of doing so.

    A bank would never lend you the money for such a business.

    There are huge gaps in your (lack of a) business plan, which people have been filling in for you here.

    You will have to buy a cash register, take card payments (and pay the associated fees), get an alarm, advertise in local papers.

    You will need disclaimers written by a professional so you don't get sued if you mess up.
    you will be constantly plagued by "My computer was fine until you upgraded the RAM/installed Firefox/sold me Norton. 2 weeks later it crashed and it's your fault and you need to fix it for free"

    You will need to get a line of credit from a few suppliers. What if someone wants you to build them 50 PCs, but won't pay you in full until they are delivered and set up? You won't have the cash reserves to buy the parts up front.

    You will not be able to compete with online prices. Do you have any idea that your prices will be 10-30% higher than the big online stores? Cos they will be.

    You will have to be equally comfortable with 13 year old gamers and 65 year old accountants running their own business and know the IT needs of both.
     
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  17. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It's worth mentioning that the town where I live used to have two PC repair shops on the high street.
    Now it has none.

    As has been mentioned before, new PCs are so cheap these days that you can't undersell them by building your own.
    Many manufacturers, such as Dell, allow you to customise your own builds so you won't get the market for people who want a souped up graphics card.
    Many of them also offer a fairly painless returns or repair policy. Dell sent an engineer out to my house to fix a dodgy graphics chip under warranty.
    You can't sell games or accessories cheaper than eBay, Play.com or Amazon - and they all get delivered to your door for free.

    It was painful to see the two businesses go under, as it was a drawn out and painful process - selling re-vamped laptops for more money than you could buy a new one, desperately trying anything that would work such as offering to sell your stuff on eBay for you. Becoming cyber cafes etc. It was like watching a tramp drop his trousers for cash.

    Seriously, in the news for the last year there has been nothing but bad news for shops and small businesses. Woolworth's didn't make it, and they had stuff that people actually wanted.

    I don't think I can think of a worse business venture in the present climate, with the possible exception of a shop that gives free hand-jobs to martians.

    Please don't do it.

    Just because you might get funding isn't a reason.
    Can you use the funding for anything else?

    The only way you will succeed is:
    1. Offer something that lots of people want or need.
    2. Offer something that nobody else does.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Unfortunately, I don't see this going well for you... and I doubt I could tell you anything that would dissuade you from your current plan. From your responses, you seem to be looking for "yes men" to tell you what you want to hear.

    I think you'll find that the oversimplified mantra of "If you build it, they will come" doesn't really work, particularly in this economy, and especially in an oversaturated field. If you want to "have your own business", I would recommend printing some biz cards with your cell phone number and do hourly PC support jobs for customers. **IF** it takes off like gangbusters, **THEN** consider getting a storefront (which is, in my opinion, an unnecessary expense).

    I wish you well, and I hope you take this advice to heart.
     
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  19. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    Want my advice:

    1: Thick skin,
    2: determination,
    3: never listen to the static that have never setup their own businesses
    4: never let any one tell you it can't be done
    5: Never admit you're defeated
    6: Treat your customers like you want to be treated
    7: Never ever be afraid of failing
    8: Just get on with it

    And the rule I always follow is "the worse thing you can do is nothing, so do something, anything, everything.

    Good luck and go for it, I remember setting up my first business at 17, it was a mobile car valeting business, made fricking loadsa money, more than a 17 year old should, but I worked like an animal in all weather, I even cleaned cars in the pouring rain and snow!!! People said it would fail and that I was wasting my time, I made tons of cash when I sold the business a couple of years later!!! So much for listening to the static!!!


    Yeah Baby!!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
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  20. ericrollo

    ericrollo Megabyte Poster

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    Okay lets give some "Constructive Criticism"

    A bog standard PC repair company will not work.

    Think of something more interesting, provide technical support to small businesses (Really competitive)

    Training for a specific technology or software running courses like programming for the IPhone and things.

    Get some shop front space and a couple of rooms in the back, get some cheap refurbished PCs (10 - 20) and buy a new case, monitor and keyboard and mouse so it all looks good.

    I would estimate you will probably need at minimum 10k to start up

    Oh and being 17 will make it unbelievably difficult, i suggest bringing a older friend in to support you make the company 50/50 split, the more people the better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
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