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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:56 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:49 am
Posts: 52
Location: Chicago, IL
A computer store isn't easy. I mean if you get a few people that want to do it, that helps because the first hard part is staffing a store enough hours.

Basically the problems in no particular order are:

Storefront. I mean figure that you're gonna pay at least 1200 a month just for a decent store with ok parking. Add another 150 a month for Internet, phone, and electricity. Granted you can get around this by doing a home service thing. That idea I'll go into below.

You need to have at least one person that knows his shit in and out. The strangest, most obscure problems are the norm for him.

You need a bunch of diagnostic equipment, because if you're gonna be in business to tell a person their motherboard is bad, you have to be 100% sure its the motherboard. Then stuff like Antivirus scanners you can run from CD in case a computer won't even boot its so dirty.

You need insurance definitely. At Best Buy, it wasn't the loss of a computer that people would get mad at, it was the loss of data.

Advertising is hard, esp. cause Geek Squad is so well entrenched and you got places like Com Capital and Tiger Direct that does repairs too

Profit margins are a funny thing too. Thankfully most of the people are still stupid. But even Best Buy these days you can get an ok new computer for about 400, with cheap ones about 300. And even the cheap one is better than anything over a year old. So if people don't care about the data on their computer, any repairs have to cost them less than 400 otherwise its not worth it.

Basically there's only two ways I could think to get it to work. Combine the computer repair with something else. Like 80% of the store is one thing, and then you have a clean room to do computer repairs and people can work on things in their downtime.

The other way is to do a home based service. Like you make a house call, but you also do a cheaper option where you pick up the computer from a person, take it to whoever's house that has all the equipment and then you return it and charge like a travelling fee (but that its still less than you stayin there the whole time)

The nice thing about the pickup service is that you can then work on multiple computers at a time. Your biggest time waste is virus-scans. But its also the best money maker. Geek squad posts their prices online. You'll get an idea there. But you gotta undercut everything they do.

Just a few ideas, but this is quite an undertaking.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:24 am 
Northwood
Northwood

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:13 pm
Posts: 2383
Location: Gutting an imp with my bare hands.
Yep, thought of all that. There are 5 of us, 4 partners, and 1 employee. I'll be handling 1/3 of the tech work, ordering parts, logistics, custom building and modding (later) etc., my wife will be a secretary, sales rep, greeter, etc., my friend Bill will be a tech, do our accounting, be in charge of all the legal crap, etc., Bill's wife will do the same stuff as my wife, and our friend David will be a repair/upgrade/build tech. I'm currently in the process of bringing Dave and Bill up to speed on some of the newer tech, but they've really got their stuff down. We're also doing a gaming center in the same unit, console, PC, and table-top gaming. All of this is something that our local area needs badly, I here it from my customers, literally, all the time. We've got some locales scouted as well, and one that looks very promising, we can actually buy, and not have to lease/rent. Nice little place, too, like 1600 sq. ft. or so., basement also. We're still working all the bugs out, but it's finally coming together, and my 2 years working at that shop in AZ, was also training for this, by my manager there. He was training me to know how to run a place like that. It's coming together, nonetheless. That's my trade, so to speak.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:02 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:49 am
Posts: 52
Location: Chicago, IL
Sounds like you have it all figured out. Good Luck


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:23 am 
[Team Member]
[Team Member]

Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:31 am
Posts: 11090
Location: Home Sweet Home
I agree with Ron, take a good look at Trades; Carpenter, Plummer, Tool and Die Making, CNC Machine operator...there are many trades you can make a good buck at. I am a Tool and Die Maker by trade and make 27.70 an hour and my work day is 10 hours a day five days a week...they don't want us to work less... I do...why...because I can :wink:

All the trades I mentioned have state approved apprenticeships, look into it, it is well worth the effort! I went to the state employment office and talked with an adviser, took a test and he got me interviews, I nailed the first one and haven't looked back since...I was 18 at the time and after the 4 year apprenticeship was over, you will never guess where I went...ask Ron, it was a lush green paradise!...in 1969 :lol: Got out of the service and went back to work.

Nasty


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:16 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:00 am
Posts: 102
A bit of advice.
1. recrunch those numbers real well a few times more. projected expenses vs projected customer flow and profits. Cause if you run short and try to get a loan, the bank will re-crunch the numbers for you, and if they don't like them, no dough. It's credit crunch out there, it'll be tough.

2. whoever presently owns the place you 'think' of buying is likely doing the jig. Market is flooded with insolvent housing. Do you really want to leverage yourself that much? If you rent and something doesn't wok out, you are off the hook, and the place is owner's headache. You buy, and if something goes wrong, you got a place you can't sell, a mortgage you can't pay, so on top of losing both the place and the money you put into it, you get a foreclosure slapped on your record. Those take 11 years to wash off, by the way. Go through a few small businesses NOT operating out of owners priimary rresidence and ask how many of them own the place. With rent, if the 'hood goes to the dogs or you find a good rental deal at a more lucrative spot, you can just move. In any case, banks know this stuff too, and will likely look at you funny when you show up to get mortgage for a place to run business from. Did you already run the preliminary credit checks to see what chances and rates you are looking at?

3. Those clients claiming "they'll follow you" and from whom you "hear all the time" about need for a game center - better start taking down names and phone numbers/emails so you "can call them when you open up". See how many stay interested. Cause if a shopper stops to chat at your desk, and you divulge your game center plans, and he says "that would be awesome" - it does not necessarily mean that this particular guy is ready to drop his $$$ at your joint.

4. The business model of all those 'Geek Squads' - far as I know, the repairs fees they pull in barely if at all cover the expense of keeping them. The real revenue comes from using them to drive sales of parts and new PCs. A post a few above mine outlined it pretty well.

Good luck with all that. A friend of mine runs a small business, can't say I'd swap places with him.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:39 am 
Million Club 2+ [PC]*
Million Club 2+ [PC]*
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:55 pm
Posts: 7891
Ectoplasm wrote:
A bit of advice.


Here's mine. It's typically seen as bad form to post in a thread that's over 30 days old. Especially one like this one. Not to mention this thread is over 100 days old. :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:01 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2007 11:00 am
Posts: 102
oops, no checkie the date. Figured it being at top of page 2 and all, must be recent. Guess there ain't much dog pounding going on here...


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 10:19 am 
Java Junkie
Java Junkie
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:23 am
Posts: 24224
Location: Granite Heaven
Ectoplasm wrote:
Guess there ain't much dog pounding going on here...


:shock:

Where the hell are YOU from?


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