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 Post subject: Running a PC business
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:53 pm 
Klamath
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After I finish college, I would love to start my own shop were I sell computers I make, sell parts, fix them etc.

I'm not worried about education I just wasant sure were to put this.

I dont have a clue how the process is supposed to work or what to do. But I know it would be awesome. How would working with OEM's work, what parts can and cant I use, how do i get a place and officially start a business, what taxes do I pay. IM LOST.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:41 am 
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I know Michigan has information on their website on what is needed to start a business and recommendations on what you should do when starting a business. Your territory or Canada may have something similar. I would start there first.


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 Post subject: Re: Running a PC business
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:19 am 
Java Junkie
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pepper_roni wrote:
After I finish college, I would love to start my own shop were I sell computers I make, sell parts, fix them etc.

I'm not worried about education I just wasant sure were to put this.

I dont have a clue how the process is supposed to work or what to do. But I know it would be awesome. How would working with OEM's work, what parts can and cant I use, how do i get a place and officially start a business, what taxes do I pay. IM LOST.


Consider studying Small Business Administration in college.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:29 pm 
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What im more interested to no is that is it worth it to start a small business, everything I read is "you'll go bankrupt in a year"


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:37 pm 
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pepper_roni wrote:
What im more interested to no is that is it worth it to start a small business, everything I read is "you'll go bankrupt in a year"


Starting a small business is fine, but a PC business when you get out of college is a bad idea IMO.

There are so many computer companies it would be hard to even make a profit. Most of these corporations deal in such large volume that you won't even be able to compete. Intel has volume licensing for example, but they like to sell in trays of 1000.

Not to mention, you need some type of insurance on you as well or you will be sued. Trust me. People love to sue.

Think of it as like a pizza company. There are literally tons of them. Notice how they all advertise cheap prices on TV? There isn't much of a profit margin there from what I've read.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:47 pm 
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pepper_roni wrote:
What im more interested to no is that is it worth it to start a small business, everything I read is "you'll go bankrupt in a year"


If you study Small Business Administration, you'll find out
a) how to start and run a business
b) what your odds are of being successful
c) how to maximise your odds of being successful

If you don't, and you limit your research to asking questions on an internet forum, then the answer is 'yes, you'll go bankrupt in less than a year.'

Success requires effort.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:36 pm 
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There's no profit in hardware sales, with Dell, eMachines, and Wally World offering sub-$500 systems - unless you want to put the crappy motherboards, power supplies and memory in them. But if you offer full support, you'll lose money on that scheme, since you certainly will be replacing components more often.

Networking (installation and support), server deployment, software development, and Web hosting are pretty decent, provided you can get a foot in the door.

But as has been suggested, check your state's, county's and local government's requirements for small businesses. Many times, you can't run it from your home - depending on zoning laws.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:34 am 
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Jipstyle wrote:
pepper_roni wrote:
What im more interested to no is that is it worth it to start a small business, everything I read is "you'll go bankrupt in a year"


If you study Small Business Administration, you'll find out
a) how to start and run a business
b) what your odds are of being successful
c) how to maximise your odds of being successful

If you don't, and you limit your research to asking questions on an internet forum, then the answer is 'yes, you'll go bankrupt in less than a year.'

Success requires effort.


well duh, but im not going to college and throwing away money to have them tell me your fucked, thats why im starting to ask questions here.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:39 am 
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SuperChip64 wrote:

Networking (installation and support), server deployment, software development, and Web hosting are pretty decent, provided you can get a foot in the door.


That is one of the things I want to do (IT) amoung many other possible things, its way im taking this course at NAIT:

http://www.nait.ca/54253.htm

I can take more then 2 years and take everything in that course and since everything there is what I might want to do im covered, and if i go the IT route I can get the Bachelor in Information Technology


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:02 am 
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As someone who actually tried to run a computer-centered business many years ago, the first things that come to my mind are:

1. Thoroughly research your market. You won't make money doing what you really like doing if there are hundreds of other similar businesses who can do it cheaper/better/faster than you can. What can you offer that no one else can?

2. You've got to check local laws before you even spend a dime. Taxes, fees, registration, tax exemption certificates, business permits, home-occupancy permits, zoning laws, town inspections, Social Security obligations, insurance requirements, etc. And that's just for self-employment. Hire even one person, and you're talking about workers compensation insurance, unemployment contributions, taxation, health insurance, etc. Info on this stuff is available at your town hall, state or provincial department of revenue, and the IRS (or in your case, Revenue Canada).

3. Have plenty of seed money. Don't think you're going to start a business with a couple of hundred dollars. We're talking tens of thousands, bluntly. Four out of five businesses fail with in the first five years because they are underfunded.

When I did this 30 years ago in New Brunswick, the business landscape was far simpler. A few papers signed and I was on my way (ha!). Now, if anyone tries to start a business without a lawyer at their elbow, they'll be tripped up by some obscure legal requirement where ignorance of the law is not recognized.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:09 am 
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pepper_roni wrote:
well duh, but im not going to college and throwing away money to have them tell me your fucked, thats why im starting to ask questions here.


Have you answered your question yet?

After all, you're putting some effort in, right? And .. 'duh' .. that means doing more than starting a post on a forum and waiting for your answers.

So .. what have you found out?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:15 pm 
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As a few others have said, there's no money in hardware.

I did the same thing you're looking at in my late high school years right through College.

The keys for me to make any money were:

1) Offer 24 hour support to local small businesses... there were 3-4 times I got a call at 11pm stating "our network is down - please come fix it!" These guys were willing to pay $50 - $100/hour for overnight support depending on the business.

2) Run the business out of my house.. MUCH cheaper...

3) Concentrate on virus/spyware removal or stuff that requires very little work on your part.. I would line up 5 computers on my work bench and run my normal batch of tools to fix them up. By starting/stopping all computers at the same time, I could have all 5 done usually within 2-3 hours. I would normally charge $25/job which is considered dirt cheap in my area so many people brought me their virus ladden computers instead of the competition. I quite often averaged around $125 in 3 hours.

4) Have other people making money FOR you. 3 of my buddies and myself all had our own small businesses registered with the Gov. as a sole proprietorship... My business go the most calls as I was the most well known so I would contract out the jobs ot my buddies for $20/hour while the client was still being charged $25/hour, so for each of my buddies out working I was making an extra $5/hour. Each person was responsible for ensuring their taxes and paperwork were completed correctly.

This is not meant to be advice - it's more of a "it worked for me"

I likely could have made a good living doing this for the next few years and maybe upped it into a brick and mortar store but I decided to take a job as a senior technician/consultant to ensure I have a STEADY paycheque and full benefits for when I have a family.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:40 am 
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Ya, IT is looking like the better job right now XD, would rather work with alot of people anyway


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 12:47 pm 
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First let me start by saying my parents have had a number of business throughout the years. One is still in operation after close to 40-years. Opening a business is a great idea but also comes with a ton of stress so know this going in. You will not be working 9 to 5 or 8 to 6 like normal people. You might be there until midnight sometimes.

There are two objectives you need to worry about the first is whom you are competing with? For example in Canada, I know there are two heavy competitors Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Geeks on the Way (GOTW). How will you be better then they are?

The second thing is advertising. I can guarantee you will not get any business unless you are in the phone book. That is VERY $$$. I ad in say the Yellow Pages the size of a business card is $500 a month. That is $6000 a year for those who do not want to add; a regular size ad is about a $1000 a month. Any smaller than the business card size and no one will see you.

Rent is a killer so factor that in. You’ll need help at some point if you get busy enough and that won’t be too cheap. Just know that you will need to be really busy if you want to make any money going into this.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:57 am 
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hackman2007 wrote:
Think of it as like a pizza company. There are literally tons of them. Notice how they all advertise cheap prices on TV? There isn't much of a profit margin there from what I've read.


Sorry, this one caught my eye and i know it may seem a bit off subject but it's really not when you consider other posts that include the proper suggestions of bulk purchases.

The ex restaurant manager in me wants to float this reality by all: Pizzas in my restaurant cost us less than a dollar to make - this is inclusive of those uber meaty super supreme ones. Take into consideration the business size: that this was a place on a private resort with only 3 outlets to eat at so we're not ordering a huge amount of product. We sold these pizza's for about 7-12 bucks a pop. Profit? Yes. Huge. Sure business admin will teach you how to calculate labor v cost v loss v profit v etc to tell you if the ship is sinking, treading water or blowing down the Miami Intercoastal @120mph so that's something you want to learn as well.

What i'm saying is you need to find a way to buy low & sell competitively. It's possible, just not easy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:07 am 
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Please don't post to threads that have been dormant for over 30 days. Thanks.


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