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intense

your thoughts and ideas.......

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Hello all. Considering starting a very small business. After lots of thought and of course there will be more I wanted your opinion on it. In my area I am hearing allot of complaints how the Internet seems so darn slow. Seems like more and more people are getting on-line without so much as a clue what virus and spy ware and such can do to a connection. My idea. Get myself a laptop. Keep it clean and up to date. Run a few ads in the local paper and offer a free no obligation check of there internet connection. With the computer user there, run a speed check on there computer. Hook up my laptop and run a speed check again. To see what if any difference there may be. If no issue found. I leave. Going to be honest and fair. Word of mouth can make or brake ya. If their is an issue Give them a set price and clean it up. Of course if its something simple like resetting the modem or something. No charge. If it is something charge a fair price to fix it. No 50 bucks an hour garbage. I will set the price fair. Need lots of input and things I may not think of. Sorry this is so long. Thank you

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intense welcome to the forum this is a pertty good idea. 50 bucks an hour is a very fair price, have you seen what some of these people charge for cumputer support.

One thing you have to think about is, if your laptop is tweaked for a 1.5mbps dsl internet connection and you go to a house that has a 10mbps cable connection your not going to get a accurate result so your going to have to sit there and tweak your laptop to get a realistic result.

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For different connection tweaking just use CableNut & have several .css files.

On advertising I doubt if the news paper is the best way.How many computer users are going to read the newspaper to find computer service.Few would be my guess.So you need a business phone number & at least one yellow pages listing under the approiate topic.More topics if you can afford it  & an actual ad.Most of these can contain your website as well.If you don't have one you need one for this type of business especially.Or how do you explain that you service computers but don't have a web site.

Don't mind charging for a service call.Everyone you make takes your time,fuel, & wear on the vehicle you use.All your other expenses figure into this as well.

So a minimum service call fee.

My dad was in business for himself for several years as an appliance repairman.He didn't mind charging his minimum even if the problem was something had just gotten unplugged .

You can't stay in business if you don't make money.Especially at first.If you get it going well & want to do something pro bono  go ahead.

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and remember, if this is going to ne your primary source of income keep in mind tat most businesses take about 2 years to break even after startup. so you will eed plenty of savings. if it is going to be something on the side then you will still have startup costs. figure those into your budget.

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I dont know if this is going to work..  There are too many veriable in my opinion..  You are going to have to know what type of NIC is in the computer, not too hard, the most up todate drivers, then on top of all of that you are going to have to clean up computer like no other..  Some things you cant fix with just simple program.. or it will take you for ever to do it.. 

I did a aim virus removal, spy scan, and installed a different anti-virus/firewall app in about 2.5 hours last night.  If some one give you a 550mhz computer it is going to take longer for that system to complete the spyware scan... which means that you are just sitting there.. 

Do you have any certifications or schooling when it comes to computers?  That would help your rep and justify the price..

I also thought about this a few summers ago.. but the overhead of planning your day.. then finishing everything on time just becomes a pain.  At the end of the day I decided to just do it for friend..

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I do something like this on occasion... just odd computer jobs, setting up networks, etc.  All my advertising is word of mouth though. Also, there's not really enough around to make a decent amount of money just doing computer repair jobs (at least in my area)

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Guest philp

Instead of residential, try small businesses that rely on computers. Little "mom and pop" type places that may not know to maintain their systems.

I would certainly start something like this as a part time job instead of diving straight into it as my only source of income.

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In my experience in the UK  I tried this a year back, as Swimmer said there are to many variables involved, also it is a steep learning curve, yeah I had some customers on dial up, with slow puters , I spent many hours that I didn't charge for, I gave out loan puters, while I sorted out their's, in the end it was easier to get a regular job, and do this part time, that worked fine until I got busy , and was suffering from the lack of sleep , Try doing a clean install on a 500MHz, fully loaded , finding the drivers etc. it was cheaper for the customer to buy a new superstore puter , my big problem is I am too honest and told the customer just that ,  so all I have now is a lot of gratefull ex customers, that E-mail me for free, and say"how do I " 

:lol: but that I wouldn't change ,      

I have been told that web site design for small Mom & dad biz. is where the money is,

Just wish I knew more about that , 

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Hi Reso...... I wish , they get me to phone Dell, or whoever , I then spend hours talking to some numbskull, then finally get home at 2 am , and have to get up for work at 6am , I now find it easier to say I dunno, take it back to the store,  but then I get hours of, you will never guess what the store said , bloody rip off merchants etc, one of my "friends" ( free support ) took her HP puter back, and came back with it, and a new one , the original was 18 months old :lol:

well done PC world  :angry5:

 

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Thank you all so much for your imput. No it will be just done as a way to pick up a bit of cash here and there. Nothing to hardcore as it were. Gives me a great excuse to get myself a new laptop. Maybey learn a bunch allong the way. What I have generally planed out. Is run a speed test on the net with there computer. Unhook the connection and put it on my lap top and run the same speed test. If its only a small diffrence then I leave it be. If its a huge diffrence then I will trouble shoot it. The customer will be standing in the room the whole time. I scam no one.

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Being fair is fun, but as Roco has stated it never ends. And they will call all hours. And they will be dumb calls. And if you charge less than $50 an hour, you will lose money, not actually pay for the laptop. Ever.

Like FallowEarth said, intense. I was an honest roofer, and damned good at it, and after a while I found pro-bono is worse on the pocket book than just quitting.

Newspapers are really a good idea, if it is a small paper and inexpensive. No big city paper as it will run too high a bill. No yellow pages as they want their $$ whether you make any or not. For the full 12 months.

You would end up opening a comp shop, and need schooling. And liscensing, and insurance, and city liscense, and business insurance, and bigger tax account, and a bigger fuel card, start paying self employment tax (SS), etc...

Self employment bites.

Try business cards at local barbers, laundromats, small bars, luncheonettes, or just word of mouth like php.

Wow, too long again.  :coffee:

To enjoy, stay small.  ;)

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