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 Post subject: Independent IT work
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:38 am 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 134
I'm not sure if this is the correct board for this inquiry or not, but I could not think of any other board where it would fit better. if any Mod can think of a better place for this, by all means, move it please.

I am thinking about doing a bit of "free-lance" IT work. basically, I am very bored for the summer and I have absolutely no interest in Flipping burgers. I have been the "family/friends IT department" since I was 16 and have never run into a problem that I could not fix, whether it be hardware, spyware/adware infestations, or the occasion "turn off Caps Lock", so I can"t imagine it would be too . I was thinking of simply putting a small add in our local indie newspaper (Louisville KY) and possibly on Craigslist, but who knows at this point.

My question to you all is, What will I need? I assume I will need a few security apps and other software, which I can simply throw on a flash drive, but other than that I am not really sure. Should I bring tools? if so, which? what about training? What about paperwork? do I need to apply for some sort of business license?

finally, what about Pricing? I have been thinking of a few different options, my favorite of which being a flat rate per job. something like 50$ and I fix whatever problem you have. Is that even a good idea? or would it be smarter to simply charge by the hour?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:00 am 
Java Junkie
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I read through your ideas and I'm happy to see that you've given it some thought. You're missing the crucial step, though: what you are going to do? What are people going to pay you to do?


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 Post subject: Re: Independent IT work
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:17 am 
Team Member Top 50
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Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:04 am
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As far as tools, I'd say bring some software apps, screwdriver(s), spare hardware you have laying around,etc. If you want a more detailed list, maxpc did an article on suggested tools a while back ago (you won't need everything there, but it will give you a good starting point), and there have been some threads about what tools people use.

As far as training goes, I'd say if you feel like you know enough, go out and give it a try, but if you don't, get some training, and/or see if you can get work at a local computer store. Also, getting some certifications, like A+, may make your customers feel better, since you are officially certified.

I don't think you need a business lisence, since I think you'd be an independent contractor (or something like that), but check with your local or state government about that.

One final thing, you may want to look into some sort of insurance, incase you really mess up someone's computer/data.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:58 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:35 pm
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as far as services, I was initially thinking just PC repair, but after a bit of research and thought I decided I could also do Setup for PC, networks, television, and game consoles. would be an easy paycheck to go into someone house and plug in their new Xbox or wifi router...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 4:34 pm 
Malware specialist
Malware specialist
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 12:49 pm
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Location: Kansas City, KS
About a year or two ago, I placed an ad on our local classifieds section (online only) and I got a few hits.

The biggest thing people wanted help with was malware removal. Most did not have removal tools and have never known anything but McAfee or Norton. Expect to explain A LOT about why they should switch to one that fully updates. Make sure you also have a large amount of anti-malware tools because they may not have Internet.

Also make sure you bring something like the Ultimate Boot CD to check for hard drive problems, memory problems, cpu problems, etc.

Good luck.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:16 am 
Klamath
Klamath

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:27 am
Posts: 202
Location: Canada
a laptop is good to have..

and a external Hard driver is good to have incase you need to do backups..

windows xp and vista OEM disks...
you could even buy some anti viruse programs at like staples


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:41 am 
Java Junkie
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The problem with buying AV is that you can't put it on your client's PC without using up the license. Ie., you'd have to have them pay you for the software because you'll have to replace it.


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 Post subject: Get the business license
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:38 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:05 am
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Location: sunnyvale
It will be a good ideal to get a business license. It is required to business. There are usally not very expencive for a one person operation. This will also allow you to claim everything you buy for the business as a tax write off. Also who is going to hire someone that does not even have a business license. Also open a bank account in your business name. This will add a great deal of credability when your costumors write a check to the business. You will need some accounting software, not just to keep track of the books but to give invoices and recipts to your costomers. Keep good notes on all your customers. You will need them when you work on their computers the next time. The faster you fix the system the better. Time is now money for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:40 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:05 am
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Location: sunnyvale
Jipstyle wrote:
The problem with buying AV is that you can't put it on your client's PC without using up the license. Ie., you'd have to have them pay you for the software because you'll have to replace it.


You can get AVG free. That is what I use for my home and for people that do not have anti-virus software or are too cheap to replace their temp software.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 5:43 am 
Java Junkie
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guyvii wrote:
Jipstyle wrote:
The problem with buying AV is that you can't put it on your client's PC without using up the license. Ie., you'd have to have them pay you for the software because you'll have to replace it.


You can get AVG free. That is what I use for my home and for people that do not have anti-virus software or are too cheap to replace their temp software.


Good point! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Get the business license
PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:30 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 134
guyvii wrote:
It will be a good ideal to get a business license. It is required to business. There are usally not very expencive for a one person operation. This will also allow you to claim everything you buy for the business as a tax write off. Also who is going to hire someone that does not even have a business license. Also open a bank account in your business name. This will add a great deal of credability when your costumors write a check to the business. You will need some accounting software, not just to keep track of the books but to give invoices and recipts to your costomers. Keep good notes on all your customers. You will need them when you work on their computers the next time. The faster you fix the system the better. Time is now money for you.

On that note, I was simply thinking of using a Receipt book. I have seen them used and figured it would be a much simpler method, especially since I am just testing the waters for right now. If it turns out that the market is BOOMING for college students doing tech work during summer, I might invest a bit more into it...


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 Post subject: Re: Get the business license
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:01 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 45
Location: sunnyvale
Cool. They are all just ideals and you get to pick the ones on like.
Good luck and have fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 2:36 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:35 pm
Posts: 134
ok, I've got the initial setup going.
for right now, I'm just going to do drop-off repairs (my car isn't looking too hot...)
the business license was the easiest part, it was free and the city has a very easy online registration process.
put a small ad up on Craigslist, if I get a few hits from that, I'll put a small ad in the classifieds next week. wish me luck!

Edit: Here's my Craigslist ad. anyone got any ideas on how to make it better?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:15 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:05 am
Posts: 45
Location: sunnyvale
very nice posting. looks great - although I would have put $50 instead of 50$, I am sure it is an american thing we do to throw people off, LOL]. Good luck and have fun. Keep good records becuase we expect you to make good money and you will want to use the tax breaks. Your cell phone for the business and training for example.


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