Your own computer maintenance and repair business

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There is a computer in almost every home, and often users are faced with a breakdown of one or another part of their computer equipment. A distinctive feature of the computer sphere is that it can be divided into two components: hardware and software. Problems can arise with both, and most owners of home computers still perceive them as a complex unit, the repair of which is only possible for a professional. 

The profession of a programmer, or colloquially a computer engineer, is chosen by many people today, but even a more or less experienced user is able to solve a lot of problems that arise with a computer. After reading relatively little information and trying to test the knowledge gained on their computer, some people begin to help their friends in elementary computer maintenance. Sometimes it develops into a small business that is built by one person, even more rarely it becomes a professional activity. And all because today it is not enough for the user to reinstall the operating system, he also needs to solve more complex issues, and non-specialists do not have enough knowledge and experience for this.

An important point of entrepreneurship in the field of computer maintenance and repair is a very high level of competition. Having long understood that the average user is an absolute amateur and does not understand the principles of operation of computers, many programmers and computer specialists have occupied this niche, sometimes even doing work at home. Or with departure on the house to the client. However, not every company offers a complete list of services, and the level of professionalism leaves much to be desired. 

But at first you should not count on the illiteracy of competitors, it is better to study the market, evaluate what services are offered and at what prices. Very often you can come across the fact that such firms charge unreasonably large amounts of money for their work, although, of course, there are exceptions. In order to work as efficiently as possible and build up a client base as quickly as possible, it is better to start from everything at once, that is, to offer absolutely the entire possible range of services, this will allow you to win against a large number of competitors.

To start an activity, you need to register as a business entity, it is better to become an individual entrepreneur than to register a legal entity – there are fewer difficulties. The activity code is fully covered by (OKPD 2) 95.11 Repair services for computers and peripheral equipment. No licenses, certificates or permits are required either. Such an undertaking rather refers to the field of small business, which is still developing, although it has existed for a relatively long time. Difficulties at the registration stage should not arise, and it is better to set aside 20 thousand rubles for it.

When the bureaucratic issue is resolved, you can look for a place for a future workshop. As mentioned above, some companies work at home, but then there will be no trust in the company as a professional, in the minds of consumers it is unlikely that the thoughts that the company is both good and at the same time works in someone’s apartment can coexist . An office is needed – this is a representative office of the company. At the same time, it is not necessary to rent huge areas, 20-30 m 2 is enough , although in the case of a large number of clients it will be necessary to expand, but this will be necessary for additional employees, not equipment.

Some entrepreneurs even work on the principle of house calls, this is a good practice, but it is not always possible to solve the problem on the spot at the client. Therefore, calling the master at home can be a good additional service or service improvement, but by no means the only activity. In small cities, the cost of renting such a small room is unlikely to exceed 10 thousand rubles, but in large cities it will cost at least 20, especially if located in the center. The location itself is not so important, the main thing is not to be located on the outskirts or in industrial areas where it is difficult for customers to get to. In residential areas, the location will also be relevant (suitable for individuals), as well as in business areas (here the emphasis will be on office maintenance). But it’s not always possible to make good money on servicing enterprises,

If the entrepreneur himself understands the computer field, then he will need two employees, if he does, then three. Three employees are enough to provide service to all customers at first. The division of duties will take place as follows – two people are engaged in software, one – in hardware (the so-called “iron”). It is best if one specialist is equally well versed in both software and hardware. The distribution of responsibilities is as follows: one person is engaged in field work, and the other two are sitting in the service center. If there are no orders for the house, then all three do office work. Of the specialists who deal with software, one can be a real professional, the second can be taken less experienced. He will follow the work of the master and learn the difficult works, doing light jobs. The list of computer maintenance services can be as follows:

Software. This includes the simplest work that even a novice user can do, but many people are afraid to set up a computer on their own, entrusting this matter to professionals. This is the installation / reinstallation of the operating system, the installation of antiviruses, the configuration and installation of any kind of software. More complex work is the removal of viruses “manually”, the restoration of a damaged system, setting up to work on the Internet, resetting the administrator password, cleaning and editing the registry. This also includes setting up the local network of the enterprise and delimiting access rights.

Mixed work.Necessary in the case when you need to properly install and configure the hardware and software. For example, in the case of installing new computer elements, which must not only be inserted into their slots, but also drivers must be installed on them. This category also includes almost all work with peripheral equipment: installing printers, scanners, copiers, custom sound and graphics systems, projectors and much more. Recovery of data from damaged media can be called a separate category. This often requires the availability of both special equipment and special programs. Data recovery work (most often you can find offers to restore a flash drive, although it is also important to work with other media, especially with HDD) are one of the most expensive in this area,

Hardware repair. Only a professional who can deal with both data recovery and direct repair should be hired for the position of a hardware specialist. His duties also include the replacement of components in netbooks and laptops, although this cannot be called a repair. It is on these issues that they will be contacted most often, because the elements of such a PC are easier and cheaper to replace than to repair. An exception is a hard drive, which is important for stored information, but a person, as a rule, does not need the device itself, but the data itself is needed. However, you can provide yourself with additional income if you buy for a pittance or even accept broken computer parts free of charge. A specialist can restore them in order to later sell them at a low price to a new user.

All these works can be performed by one universal wizard that can do everything from laying an Internet cable to recovering long-deleted files from a media. However, the work of several people will help to avoid long lead times, which will positively affect the reputation. At the same time, it must be remembered that the field specialist must have with him not only special programs, but also a large package of all drivers, common software (because not everyone has the Internet to download something) and universal utilities. 

You need to be able to work under different operating systems, because among the users there are both MAC OS and Windows adherents, and many enterprises today install Linux due to its free distribution. But it is not recommended to install commercial software from your media (forbidden by law), and you need to be more careful with proprietary software and find out the status of their licenses. But you also need to buy some programs for work for your own use, and if the drivers are always freely available, then a large number of software require purchase before legal use. However, for almost every paid program there is a free analogue, sometimes no worse or even better. Employees will help the entrepreneur in this matter if he himself does not understand this.

The office cannot be empty; furniture and equipment, as well as components and electrical tools, must be purchased there. Sometimes you even have to use a soldering iron. There should be at least two computers, while buying better powerful machines; not gaming, but computing. This is necessary when working with a large amount of data or when the process is heavily loaded with operations. An old Pentium on Windows Millennium will not be able to, for example, process customer media in the shortest possible time, and time delays in such a business often force the consumer to change the service. Furniture, shelves and simple equipment will cost from 50 thousand rubles, the same amount should be spent at least on two computers. As for consumables, they are needed for repair work, and this includes everything from rosin to thermal paste. Together with the tools, this is unlikely to require more than 10 thousand rubles. Thus, the total amount of equipment purchase will be 110 thousand rubles.

An important aspect of this business is advertising. You can conduct an advertising campaign through the media (local radio and television), and limit yourself to simply distributing leaflets on the street. It would be very good to create your own website so that people can stumble upon information on the Internet, and in this case they will already be potential customers interested in the services. To save money, you can make a business card site, its development will cost 10-20 thousand rubles, but you can give the task to employees to make it, they must have sufficient knowledge for this. In such a business, advertising will need to be constantly supported, because new players are constantly appearing on the market. 

You can significantly increase the number of orders if you establish cooperation with computer and peripheral equipment stores, that is, become a service center. Large stores are unlikely to agree to become partners, as they have their own repair shops, but small retail outlets that have recently opened do not have such capacities. Only if you have to work with equipment under warranty, then you should not count on large sums, but the store itself can send its customers to its partner or simply advertise it. Such an opportunity should be seriously considered and evaluated all the conditions that the store has to offer. 

The most important thing is to reach the constant demand for your services as quickly as possible, and it needs to be stimulated not only by simple advertising, but also by offers that competitors do not have. For example, you can deal not only and exclusively with computers and laptops, but also diagnose and repair mobile devices and tablets. To do this, employees will have to gain additional knowledge, but the possible costs of their training will quickly pay off.

The amount of starting capital is:

  • Registration – 20 thousand rubles.
  • Office rent – 20 thousand rubles.
  • Equipment and programs for work – from 120 thousand rubles.
  • Advertising campaign and website creation – 50 thousand rubles.
  • Outsourcing of accounting and utilities – 10 thousand rubles.
  • Salary (at the rate of 10 thousand per employee, who also receive a percentage) – 30 thousand rubles.

Total: 230 thousand rubles, monthly payments – 60 thousand rubles. The most frequent orders will be requests to install or reinstall the operating system and all similar simple operations. However, the demand for such services is gradually declining, the population is gradually learning to do it on their own, even though the need for specialist assistance in this matter is still far away. As a rule, the order consists not only of solving the issue with the OS, but also of the need to install additional software. The average user is not able to install drivers or all related software on a clean system, he also needs to set up the Internet, and for some even create shortcuts on the desktop. If the client has an operating system disk available, then only its installation will cost him from 500 rubles (depending on the version and the OS itself). All additional software is installed for an additional fee, so the income from such clients will be 1-1.5 thousand rubles. 

Repair, as mentioned above, is often impractical, so you will have to repair mainly products under warranty (if there is cooperation with the store), restore non-working hardware for subsequent sale (there will be no serious profit), as well as install and modify laptops and netbooks. This is what has become a fairly popular service, because buying a new laptop due to a lack of RAM or an outdated video card is expensive, and it’s easier to buy a new component. It is much more difficult to independently install it than in a conventional computer. Here the price tags start from one thousand rubles and can reach 6-8. In offers of this kind, it is best to periodically arrange promotions and discounts in order to attract customers. 

Data recovery costs the client the most. If the necessary file was accidentally deleted from the flash drive, but the device itself was not damaged, then it is unlikely to cost more than 500 rubles (because, in fact, this issue is solved by free programs that are easy to find on the Internet). Another thing, if it is a hard drive, it will take a little longer to deal with it. 

But if the device is physically defective, then the master will have to restore the damaged media for a long time and carefully in order to remove the data stored on it. In this case, the client is provided with free diagnostics, but repairs and restoration (although either only repair or only restoration is usually possible) cost from 3 thousand rubles and can reach 40 thousand, depending on the complexity. If we take an average price tag of 5 thousand rubles, then only 12 clients per month will fully cover all expenses. Therefore, if you conduct a good advertising campaign, then in the first month you can get, albeit small, but profit, which will subsequently grow. Under favorable conditions, such a project can be recouped in no more than six months.

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