Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter mobile phone number.
Start Your Own Computer Business: Building a Successful PC Repair and Service Business by Supporting Customers and Managing Money Updated , Kindle Edition
|Length: 161 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||Language: English|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have been dabbling at the edges of computer consulting for quite some time, while holding down a full-time job. I have been building PC's from scratch for family and friends, putting together small networks here and there, and servicing PC's for friends of friends for years now. But it wasn't until I entered into a formalized agreement with a client, who agreed to a fixed monthly retainer in return for my services did I apply for a shingle with the county and make it official. That was some two years ago; I still have my client and his business, and I have garnered more, but I really didn't have a strategy in place to grow the business.
Did I want to open a storefront, or continue to operate out of my home office? How would I or should I advertise, and if so through what outlets? Should I bother with building PC's for clients from scratch, and if so how cost effective would it be given the warranty considerations? How much capital should I accumulate before advertising my services? Should I keep inventory on-hand, and if so how much? Should I open a separate business account and how would I keep track of expenses? Questions, questions, questions and very few answers presented themselves readily, so turned to advise from someone who had been in the business for a while and could provide answers I sought. That someone was Morris Rosenthal and his stellar book "Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide."
Whether you are planning to start your own computer service and repair shop, have already hung out your shingle, or you have doubts and or concerns about how to best run your business, this book will get you started in the right direction. Most of the questions I needed answered were presented by Rosenthal in well though out prose, written from the perspective of a person who has lived the life of a computer service and repair professional.
As good as "Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide" is though, it is relatively small book, checking in at only 160 pages. And while Morris does not embellish the truth, such as his views on spending money and time on the much ballyhooed computer industry credentials, stating: "You're going to need all the cash you can get your hands on. Don't waste it on pieces of paper nobody will read to frame and stick on the wall. That's a game for people who want to be somebody else's employee..." I would have appreciated more in-depth information then he chose to deliver on some subjects.
More information on marketing the business would have been useful for instance; as it is, the book only skims the surface, not offering any concrete strategy for how to market a computer services and repair business. Here, his real-world experience would have proved invaluable; as it is very little outside of how to sell yourself and your services to customers, is touched upon. Marketing in my estimation involves a lot more then that.
I did however find Rosenthal's advice and insights on working from the home very useful. He starts out the chapter (Infrastructure), thusly: "Looking back over a lifetime of handing out unsolicited advise, I think the worse steer I ever gave somebody was pushing a friend with whom I'd built a successful small computer company (over a million dollars a year sales) to move out of his house and into commercial space...[T]he biggest single expanse a computer business is likely to generate, after employee salaries, is renting commercial space."
That opening sentence had me hooked. Why? Because I had bee giving serious consideration to opening a commercial storefront not too far from my home--walking distance really--with visions of hiring a full-time employee to run the shop while I continued to work for someone else full-time. This chapter along with the chapter on money management gave me a sobering does of reality, and ultimately persuaded me to change my mind about the commercial space; my business will continue to operate out of my home thank you very much.
Rosenthal goes on to explain the subtle nuances of renting commercial space and the hidden cost associated with such an undertaking. Costs such as telephone, and DSL, I had anticipated, but hidden costs, such as garbage removal, property taxes, landscaping, snow removal, insurance, and even association fees is some cases. "Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide" goes into a rather involved and appreciated explanation how rental space is calculated for lease, and the difference between triple net, and double net leases and the costs that can be associated with both.
As it turns out--after further investigation--the commercial space I was dreaming of hanging my shingle on would, on the surface, have been inexpensive, but hidden in the fine print was a host of add-on's including a mandatory $0.75/sf increase a year, and a hefty per month cost for the maintenance of the common grounds. These costs would have made my desire to work the business only half a day, untenable.
At the end of the book, Rosenthal offers a handful of useful websites that any aspirating person might use as a resource to start a new business, or expand an existing one. These include The Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), Small Business Administration, IRS, National Business Incubation Association, as well as his own Computer Business support group located at Yahoo.com.
"Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide" is a general outline for how you might want to conduct your business; the fine minute details are left to other more involved books on the same subject. Rosenthal tents to paint in broad stokes designed to speak to a diverse group of individuals. But these generalities work for those--like me--who are looking for information about the business we are looking to expand or break into. Overall I found "Start Your Own Computer Business: The Unembellished Guide" a good starting point from which to gather information about the computer service and repair business. The book offers practical first person advice from a well seasoned veteran of the business.
It's good at breaking down things like sales and accounting that most purely IT guys dont think about much, and does so in a clear way. It's very easy to skip from chapter to chapter to just key in on the areas you need to learn, you don't have to read this book chronologically.
I kinda wish there was some illustrations or charts used. Theres a few short comics to break up the monotony a little but that's it. But I guess, it's not such a bad thing, and the sub title does read "the unembellished guide." Highly recommended for IT entrepreneurs regardless of specialty.
The very first story, of how the budding computer consultant can loose money with the best of intentions,is an eye opener, and awakens the reader to the often harsh realties associated with the business of providing tech help or selling computers.
If one pays attention, the benefit of Mr.Rosenthal's experience will guide the reader to make critical decisions,define the parameters of a successful business,(versus a hobby) and invaluable ways to avoid common pitfalls.
You may be surprised to learn that well guarded industry "secrets" are laid bare (certifications,OME vendors) and that the most important aspect of surviving the trade is honesty and reliability.