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    4 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2012 1:26 PM by Moderator Cath

    Starting a computer service Business. Need Tips

    hanehane Newbie

      Hi i am currently a high school student working on my busienss plan for my project but i like to turn this project into reality but i need some help from experienced people in this kind of business.I am thinking of starting a computer service/Assembling custom computers. I have some questions on finding out my cost of materials and labor. Who should be my suppliers. Should i buy directly from manufacturers? Thank you and really appreciate for your help.

        • Re: Starting a computer service Business. Need Tips
          bizconsultant Scout

          Yes you should buy from the manufacturer directly. i used to build custom computers years ago and i bought from Tigerdirect because you can get small quantities.

          • Re: Starting a computer service Business. Need Tips
            imdomi Wayfarer

            You should definately work towards buying directly from manufacturers, but while you are small scale it might not be an option for many parts.

             

            To buy parts from manufacturers you will often need to make somewhat large purchases.  This may be a problem since you might not have enough cash to pay for large orders, and also because the parts might get outdated before you use them.  Even if you get a good price by buying hundreds of motherboards, if it takes you years to use them you will likely be left with outdated overpriced parts you no longer need.

             

            On the other hand, things like cases and power cords and packaging won't be outdated quickly and ordering in bulk from manufacturers will be the best option for price.  Depending on your interests you could design custom cases and have them made by a local machine shop.  This would also require large orders, but may result in more unique and less expensive cases.

             

            As far as electronic components, by shopping around you can get usually get good prices from retailers, sometimes for close to wholesale prices (for example Amazon.com, Newegg.com, etc.).  This may be a good way to go.  Occasionally some manufacturers and retailers may have rules against resale of items bought at retail, so you may want to read through some of the fine print.

            • Re: Starting a computer service Business. Need Tips
              Victor Adventurer

              Cost of labor is arbitrary unless you're hiring temp workers/part-timers/full-time employees to help you out. A good place to start for starting a new business is to figure out how much people are willing to pay first - then think about how much more you have to profit from cost. After all, if you just charge a margin above your cost, you'll be a self-absorbed business, and not a customer facing one.

               

              Small businesses need to be close to their customers.

                • Re: Starting a computer service Business. Need Tips
                  Moderator Cath Guide

                  As a person who has shopped arournd for computer assistance, I appreciate the people/businesses who go a step farther and answer questions.  Listening is an IMPORTANT factor in my opinion. 

                   

                  Treat your customers with fairness and remember you are hoping for return business.

                   

                  Once, while standing in line, the gal ahead of me had brought her computer in because she 'couldn't get it to run'.  She admitted she was a newbie.  The snicker that she got made the hairs on my arm stand up!  Perhaps a word or two of how she could find tutorials or nearby classes might have helped her more.

                   

                  You are viewed as the expert and your advice is 'gold' to many.  Just remember you are doing more than fixing the problem that was brought to you.

                   

                  Charge a fair price for your work and you will find your happy customers giving your name and phone number to their friends.  If you don't have any business cards yet, get some.

                   

                  Good luck!!

                   

                  Cath