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Good Idea - Bad Idea
Excelent Idea 46%  46%  [ 21 ]
What? 4%  4%  [ 2 ]
Bad Idea 28%  28%  [ 13 ]
What The Hell Are You Thinking? 22%  22%  [ 10 ]
Total votes : 46
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 7:57 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:17 am
Posts: 96
Location: Ohio
My wife owns a company and you better be ready to pay taxes through your nose.
Dont rent a store front. work outta your home(Cheaper).
Write a business plan. do a google search for "Business Plan"
Dont go into business with friends.
Good Luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:14 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:15 am
Posts: 8
You'd be competing against outfits like Falcon Northwest & Dell; I'd hate to go up against that level of organization.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 2:41 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:20 pm
Posts: 9
Location: The Icy North
the largest problem of all when starting a buisness in this area is the growing compitition from larger companies. Not only that, you can't convince people that easily as for most a 500$ computer is just as good as a 2000$ because they'll c no difference. I wouls say about 60-75% nowadays are bought for buisness or e-mial/word documnets not to play on. So they'll c no point and there is really no getting to them. And most people just want to get it over with and it to be care free something that they can find at dell, future shop or best buy among many other places where they can find 3 year waranties.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 4:16 pm 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 432
Location: I got a better job at the Mythical City of the Hill. I still live Southwest of Hell.
Take the_river's advice and if I were you, I would first be like a tech support guy and solve computer problems, then hardware wise upgrade and fix up people's computers, and when you prove yourself to the people, you can actually build so that when you do open your business, if you be nice and cool with people, you can win them over those dumb professionals with years of experience and PhDs at those dumb major companies. Reminds me of my first tech support experience about two months after you first posted this. It was at my friend's house and we were wasting visit time (only had an hour) and I wasn't finished. We were setting up his new Toshiba laptop. He's a total stupid guy with computers. In fact, he's Dr. Cheese on this forum. The one post under his name was a post I made from his computer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:54 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
I must agree with most of these posts.

I have being in this business for a few years now, repairing customers systems and its mostly repeating customers and mouth to ear kinda thing that spreads around the town.

The problem is exatly that, people dont want to spend much money, they dont know the difference between an onboard video or a GeForce 7800, only an experienced gamer will enjoy a high end video card.

The money is in repair, upgrades, fixing issues, and of course software issues like viruses, spyware, etc.

I do have a full time job, besides IT.

In order to stay alive, you need a lot of customers to buy \ require services. When you pay 1600$ a month of rent (rent, hydro, heating, insurance etc) you can imagine how much products and services you need to sale a month :)

You havent given yourself a salary yet and bought the inventory.

Anyhow, thats my grain of salt.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:11 pm 
Willamette
Willamette
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Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 6:19 am
Posts: 1420
Location: Malware Removal GOD
Take this with a grain of salt. I encourage opening the business but I would not concentrate on just Hi Powered stuff as you won't get as much business as you think.

Second, most business fail in the first year or two. There are really 4 things that are needed:

1) The need. (Is there are need for this business in your area)
2) The location. (Without the proper location no matter how good an idea is the business will not succeed.
3) Capital to open the business
4) Capital to keep the business opened till you break even.

The first year or two you prob won't break even. In fact you may loose money so you'll need $$$ to fun your business. By year 3 if still in operation you should start to turn a profit.

My father has several business you I know the rules. If you were planning on having employees...watch out they steal.

P.S. Take a business class it can only help


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:38 pm 
Sharptooth
Sharptooth
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Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 432
Location: I got a better job at the Mythical City of the Hill. I still live Southwest of Hell.
Or you could always read The Complete Idiot's Guide To Starting Your Own Business.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:52 am 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:41 am
Posts: 322
I've been running a Mom and Pop shop for about 4 years now. It did very well until about a year ago. Walmart opened up behind us and hurt the retail sales something awful. Plus, as sales slid a bit, the owner quit advertising. The owner and I have has some philosophical differences of opinion so I looked for a partner, found a suitable candidate and started the ball rolling.
I have an advantage because I already have an established customer base. I have 5000 names and addresses. I'm mailing letters to 500 people a week letting them know that I am leaving my current employer and starting my own.
I've learned an awful lot while running the business for the owner but most importantly, I've learned from his mistakes.
Number one job is getting visibility. Advertising costs money, lots of it. It's absolutely vital though. The first venue should be the Yellow Pages. Time opening your business with the publication of the Yellow Pages. Don't scrimp. Look at the section where your ad will be. Look at the colors. Make your ad stand out. Red works for me. Upper right hand corner is good. Make it simple. That is, make your ad say immediately what it is you do.
Second, newspaper. Three times a week, every other week. Again, don't scrimp.
A website is good if it is cheap enough. People with broken computers don't go online looking for a repair shop. They go to the Yellow Pages.
Location. If you are going to have a storefront (which I'm not...strictly mobile) pick a location that will give you walk-ins and traffic. In my area, that means about $2500 a month for 700 sq. feet.
Don't stock a lot of inventory. Pick a supplier who can give you next day shipping and let him warehouse your inventory. Obviously, you need basic stuff on hand for repairs but don't carry wierd stuff on hand. Look at the Walmart shelf and see what they carry.
No way can small time shops compete with Tigerdirect, Dell and Walmart building machines. The problem most guys have is shopping around for the cheapest components so they can make money off the machine. WRONG! Pick one good distributor. I use a guy named Jeff Dibella at AOpen. I've dealt with him for 4 years now. I get the stuff the next day and he backs EVERYTHING up he sells. RMAing a product is easy and it's important that you build a quality machine for a fair profit.
I make $150 off a machine build and tell the customer that. I let them see the AOpen invoice. I tell them what I make off of the machine and tell them that if the machine comes in for a warranty repair, my profit is shot, so I'm damn careful of what I use because I don't want to work on it again.
I use the 1 year support, the fact that I speak English and they know where they can find me to sell my machines.
It's a long post, I apologize, but it's important you don't fall into the same trap most guys do. Building machines is not where the money is at. Labor makes you money.
Be prepared to lose your ass off for the first year or three. Beg, borrow or steal from family, as much as you can. After you establish a track record and decent credit, come up with a good business plan and go to a commercial lender for enough to pay everyone back and finance the business.
Don't expect to pay yourself for a LONG time.
I wish you good luck. You're going to need it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:06 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Long Post but very very interesting, read every word.

Being the hero every now and then is my paycheck when a business pc go down and I fix it at night before its required for rush hours on early morning. Priceless.


That feeling of accomplishment is worth more then money.


Thanks for the post.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:20 am 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:41 am
Posts: 322
Yeah, it was long, sorry. I shortened it up as much as I could. It's not a definitive guide and I should have stated so. I guess not all areas are the same and what works for some, won't work for others.
I agree that being the hero is extremely rewarding. On more than one occasion, a business customer has called me in a panic. A customer's machine died and they are out of business, or they lost all their data. When you get them back in business, retrieve their data, they think you can walk on water. Very cool.
That doesn't pay the bills though. It's tough to deposit a feeling of accomplishment.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 10:22 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
True, I like it when they say, can you make me the invoice & oh, can you repair my computer at home too, its not working properly :)

I personally dont mind if its long.
All I ask is to be interesting and it was very much so.

Not many share there experience like you did.

Thats very much appreciated here it was like reading a short story & dont be sorry.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:04 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Canada
Well I would like to thank everyone who posted here, I have read and considered all the advice given. Its gonna be long time before this little dream gets off the ground. First school, Computer Engineering at Conestoga College, start in september :D

Thanks again everyone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:17 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:52 am
Posts: 110
There is a big market for people wanting to learn how to fix/upgrade computers. Maybe a couple nights a week you could offer A+ and/or Net+ classes if your shop is big enough. I know the local BOCES is always booked for the computer classes they offer. You could get a lot of people just wanting to learn Windows basic stuff.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:38 pm 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500

Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:39 pm
Posts: 825
Location: A place that many fear
starting your own business is a bad idea, its too easy to fail especially with the economy as it is. This country is in shambles and with costs of living and expenses going up people are not spending money anymore. My family lost a pizza shop months ago that we had for 5 years. We owe like 150k but declared bankruptcy so won't pay really any of it. It also is EXTREMELY stressful and trust me I'm not lieing a single damn bit! Be careful if you do anything start out as small as possible, dont go off taking out loans like you said if you can't build yourself up from out of your home doing house to house PC repair/builds then you won't make it with a PC shop anyway. Proceed with CAUTION if you do and my advice is to NOT PROCEED AT ALL! Also beware of stress of business affecting you and your friends relationship, it ripped my family into shreds.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:13 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your advice.
I started up my company in 2001, doing it on part time and during my college it was on hold, just registed.

The thing is, if you rent for your personal and professional life, thats where you can fail if you cant meet both ends. I do home runs therefore dont need a place to work other then my parrents basement, yes, I dont pay rent at all for myself or my business thats how I work, I order products I sale online and of course locally, home\corporate repairs works for me.

The problem most companies face are basicly going too big too fast and then the staff gets tired and mistakes happend and then you lose customers and bam, not enough to support everything you go then it goes from bad to worse.


Takes time to get use to all this paper work, and get something going that doesnt require a lot of attention in which a sacretary would be required for, involves reading about regulations and things you might get in trouble with. Those taxes can get you bankrupt if you dont pay attention to details.


My 10 cents.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:08 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for your advice.
I started up my company in 2001, doing it on part time and during my college it was on hold, just registed.

The thing is, if you rent for your personal and professional life, thats where you can fail if you cant meet both ends. I do home runs therefore dont need a place to work other then my parrents basement, yes, I dont pay rent at all for myself or my business thats how I work, I order products I sale online and of course locally, home\corporate repairs works for me.

The problem most companies face are basicly going too big too fast and then the staff gets tired and mistakes happend and then you lose customers and bam, not enough to support everything you go then it goes from bad to worse.


Takes time to get use to all this paper work, and get something going that doesnt require a lot of attention in which a sacretary would be required for, involves reading about regulations and things you might get in trouble with. Those taxes can get you bankrupt if you dont pay attention to details.


My 10 cents.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 6:48 am 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:41 am
Posts: 322
Flipper wrote:
Take this with a grain of salt. I encourage opening the business but I would not concentrate on just Hi Powered stuff as you won't get as much business as you think.

Second, most business fail in the first year or two. There are really 4 things that are needed:

1) The need. (Is there are need for this business in your area)
2) The location. (Without the proper location no matter how good an idea is the business will not succeed.
3) Capital to open the business
4) Capital to keep the business opened till you break even.

The first year or two you prob won't break even. In fact you may loose money so you'll need $$$ to fun your business. By year 3 if still in operation you should start to turn a profit.

My father has several business you I know the rules. If you were planning on having employees...watch out they steal.

P.S. Take a business class it can only help

Excellent advice. The number one cause of a failed business is under capitalization. You must have enough behind you to support the business for three years minimum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:16 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:39 pm
Posts: 825
Location: A place that many fear
And to add to the meaning of rule #2, it don't matter how much capitalization you have behind you, if the location and economy cannot support you. If all the sudden everything decides to go the other direction on you, you'll go down guaranteed.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:09 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Even if you had a million dollars, If you are competing against 2 other stores that have being in business next to you in a small town of 10 000 people, you will have a hard time breaking even with a visible store open.

Got money, not to lose money.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:09 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 8:40 pm
Posts: 125
Location: Canada
I was speaking with a friend of mine and we got talking about this idea of mine. She gave me pretty much the same advice that you all have been. Don't go into buisness with a friend. One interesting point that she did bring up was consulting. This I really know nothing about. What do you guys/girls know about consulting?


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