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Old 02-17-2004, 04:40 PM   #1
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Starting a pc repair/network installation/web-design company

Ok either this summer I am starting this buisness "Ricks Computing Solutions" here in town.

I talked with people over at a non-based mustang site and they pretty much gave me awsome tips and tricks to get me going and what to charge

So what kinds of software do you think would greatly bennifit me in my buisness?

My buisness is going to have the following services:

Pc repair/upgrade
network installation
web-design
disk clean-up/optimization
virus scan/removal
setup new PC
24 hour emergency service
web-design tutoring
photoshop tutuoring
service contracts

Of course I already have photoshop to make the web-sites.
I also just downloaded:
Norton Antivirus 2004
adaware
quickbooks (to keep track of the money)

I'm just seeing if their is any other cool software out their or if you guys think of anything else to add to my company just post in here!
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Old 02-17-2004, 04:46 PM   #2
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Norton Ghost
and if you're doing network installs, a crimper, some RJ-45s and a good cable tester & induction wand. A lot of people mess up connectors.
Adhesive labels so you know where cable are/go help too.
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:10 PM   #3
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get adobe imageready if it didnt come with photoshop
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Old 02-17-2004, 05:58 PM   #4
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Spybot will catch stuff that Norton AnitVirus wont. They work well together :yes:
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Old 02-17-2004, 06:17 PM   #5
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I do this now.

Forget the whole upgrade/pc repair ****. It's not worth it. UNLESS you do it for businesses. You will get sick of it so quick. Home users will not fork over the kind of money required to update 4-5 year old Win98 boxes. And -- they can go to Best Buy and get a new PC for $399. It's not economical for either of you. In addition to that, after you "repair" their box... EVERY LITTLE ****ING THING that breaks they will call you and blame it on you. And expect you to fix it. Home computers suck. I would stick completely to small/medium-sized businesses if possible.
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Old 02-17-2004, 07:09 PM   #6
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I do this now.

Forget the whole upgrade/pc repair ****. It's not worth it. UNLESS you do it for businesses. You will get sick of it so quick. Home users will not fork over the kind of money required to update 4-5 year old Win98 boxes. And -- they can go to Best Buy and get a new PC for $399. It's not economical for either of you. In addition to that, after you "repair" their box... EVERY LITTLE ****ING THING that breaks they will call you and blame it on you. And expect you to fix it. Home computers suck. I would stick completely to small/medium-sized businesses if possible.

Well I'm doing it for whoever, home users and buisnesses alike. I know a lot of people wont want to upgrade, but their are a lot and I mean alot of people out their that don't have a clue on how to fix PC's. It can be the easiest problem to fix, yet they don't know how. Some companys and other buisnesses around here charge around 100 bucks/hour to fix this kinda stuff. LOL. This stuff is second nature to me. Most of it requirs special training and stuff. When fixing a PC to me it feels I'm not doing enough for the money, while to your client its priceless.

My rates to fix/upgrade a PC are around $40.00/hour. However, thats for shop service and on-site service. I won't charge any extra to come to them because I know a lot of older people don' t have the time or don't know how to hook up their computer. For senior citizens I'll charge $25 per hour. I have more rates for like the virus removal, disk clean up, tutoring, web-design, buisness cards, and others

When I usually do upgrades for people its not nothing expensive. Just stuff like adding a single harddrive to adding a single stick of memory. When people buy a pc for 399 bucks their getting integrated this integrated that with a celeron or something. I mean most people that want to upgrade have stuff like a 300-400 dollar video card, P4, all the good stuff, but their running out of HD space or need more ram to run more programs. A majority of them have harddrive failers, their CD-roms go bad, want to upgrade to a DVD rom, and just small stuff. All I'm trying to say is I've never had someone that wanted to spend 400 bucks to upgrade when they could get a new one. I've been doing computer work for friends, family, and co-workers for free now for probably 4 years. During that time I'd say at least 85% just had problems that needed to be fixed and I'd say the other 15% wanted upgrades.

LOL, I've had them type of people that call you up shortly and say this isn't working and this is wrong. : Oh well, I mean it does happen. I don't care I'll charge them some more LOL (it all pays the same!)

So whats your computer shop name and like what all do you do and stuff? Do you have a site? Also man, how much buisness did you get when you first started and how did you first start? Any tips would be great for a newbie to the buisness!
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Old 02-17-2004, 07:21 PM   #7
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On another note, I enjoy working with people and their PC's. Some people do slip me a 50 every once in a grey while which is nice, but I just like it when I fix older peoples machines, their always like "Wow, how did you do that?" and they get all excited and start thanking you.

At my job right now its you do this, you do that, and I don't get any apriciation whatsoever. I've always had problems with all of my bosses at all of my job. Face it every one hates the upper bosses.

This is why I wanted to start my own, high quality, yet very affordable computer repair shop. To have freedom from those 3pm-11pm jobs at min wage.
I'm not sure how much buisness I will get, but if I fixed one PC a day and charged them for 2 hours and I did that 5 days a week, I would make almost double of what I'm currently making.
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Old 02-17-2004, 07:50 PM   #8
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Some companys and other buisnesses around here charge around 100 bucks/hour to fix this kinda stuff. LOL.
I charge $90. WestCoast Networking charges $130. MCW Networking charges $115. You can go ahead and devalue yourself and charge $40. But you will be working 3-4x as hard as me and making half the money. Home users are way way more work than businesses.

We do everything. We repair/upgrade (90% of the time for businesses). We run wires. Configure routers/switches and generally set up the physical network. We deploy $5000-8000+ servers regularly. Win2k/2k3 domains. VPNs. Workstation installs. Remote network monitoring. Tape backup services. Fax servers. Basically anything they will pay for. I do mean anything. The other day we installed $4000 in keyboard trays on all the workstations at a medical office.

I'd get to know some wholesale retailers so you can get parts cheap and make a profit. Become a Microsoft partner/reseller etc. Read a whole lot. Especially about Win2k/2k3 Server and Active Directory. You will need to know it in and out if you ever plan on going big.
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Old 02-17-2004, 08:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Laser02
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Some companys and other buisnesses around here charge around 100 bucks/hour to fix this kinda stuff. LOL.
I charge $90. WestCoast Networking charges $130. MCW Networking charges $115. You can go ahead and devalue yourself and charge $40. But you will be working 3-4x as hard as me and making half the money. Home users are way way more work than businesses.

We do everything. We repair/upgrade (90% of the time for businesses). We run wires. Configure routers/switches and generally set up the physical network. We deploy $5000-8000+ servers regularly. Win2k/2k3 domains. VPNs. Workstation installs. Remote network monitoring. Tape backup services. Fax servers. Basically anything they will pay for. I do mean anything. The other day we installed $4000 in keyboard trays on all the workstations at a medical office.

I'd get to know some wholesale retailers so you can get parts cheap and make a profit. Become a Microsoft partner/reseller etc. Read a whole lot. Especially about Win2k/2k3 Server and Active Directory. You will need to know it in and out if you ever plan on going big.
Wow are you saying I should go up in prices? I make 6.35/hour now at my job 40 bucks seems like a lot to me. I'm thinking of going higher now! But honestly, I don't want to go in and setup a network from scratch or reconfigure a network that has 500+ workstations. I wan't to keep my networking part to like small body-shops, medical offices, homes, just places with really small networks. I mainly want to focus on the Pc repair/mainance and web-design though.

Buy yeah, after I start, if it goes more towards home users thats cool or if it goes more towards buisnesses thats cool.

BTW: I'm not starting off with a staff. Its going to be just myself at first. When I see buisness starting to pick up, I would love to hire some people. Maybe a hot secretary and more if I can afford it! I am going to start the buisness off in my backyard 2 1/2 car garage I just had built a couple months ago. The only thing in it is my mustang and lots and lots of open space for my gear, tables, and pc's. And its not like a normal backyard garage either. hehe. Its nice, I don't do oil changes in their, heck I don' even wash my car in their. This won't be a problem will it? I figured its better than paying a grand a month for a shop downtown when I'll be doing the samething in it.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:45 AM   #10
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Do you have a portfolio of websites and artwork you've designed?

Do you plan on offering any kind of web programming as well?
What languages?

What operating systems will you be supporting? Are MCSE certified for any?

Just curious. I know as a customer, these would be some of the first questions I asked.
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Old 02-19-2004, 05:17 AM   #11
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Do you have a portfolio of websites and artwork you've designed?

Do you plan on offering any kind of web programming as well?
What languages?

What operating systems will you be supporting? Are MCSE certified for any?

Just curious. I know as a customer, these would be some of the first questions I asked.
Actually by the time I'm out of school this semester I will have my Network+ and A+ certifications. Next year I'll also have my Associates Degree. As for a profolio for my web-design, I will have one very soon. I built my site "Ricks Computing Solutions" and I'm builind my other site "Mustang-Network" Then I'm also in the process of designing a new web-site for the company I work for right now. So thats a total of 3 I will have. I'll attach a pic of my web-site I've been working on for myself. You guys can tell me what you think. What is different about my company is that When it opens the customers will have the option to bring their PC to me at my shop or to have myself come to them. However, I won't charge them any additional fee's to come to them. I know a lot of shops charge like 30-50 bucks extra to come to the customer.
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:18 AM   #12
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For being into a pc repair and maintenance, I think spyware should be your first interest since you seem to have some in your browser from what I can see from your web sample picture there... " MY Search Bar " is 1 of the worst you could have installed, may aswell install HotBar aswell to help with some pretty pictures to help boost the advertisers ratings....
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:33 AM   #13
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For being into a pc repair and maintenance, I think spyware should be your first interest since you seem to have some in your browser from what I can see from your web sample picture there... " MY Search Bar " is 1 of the worst you could have installed, may aswell install HotBar aswell to help with some pretty pictures to help boost the advertisers ratings....
I know I've been buisy lately trying to get the company set up, certification testing, and my finals. Not to mention my freakin cable modem is somewhat slow. It took like 2 hours to download Norton Antivirus 2004. I downloaded some spyware removal programs already. I just have to run them to get rid of all of that junk.
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Old 02-19-2004, 09:33 AM   #14
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I perosnally think the site needs to look a tad more professional, reminds me a commercial you can tell is done from 1 of your local retailers, compared to a proffessional commercial...

Very good concept there and all, but I think the Ricks Computing Solutions should be more of a PC Computing Solutions ( more of a company name, not individual ). Then it will make it easier when you bring on more people if at all in the future...

remove the personal tags to your self, approach it as a company not a individual, you have some good points and values there... are you gonna make it as a forum type thing so the various users can interact with you the customer, as a online tech support forum?

your heading in the right direction here, promoting yourself/the business is so hard to do, since everybody and there brother knows sumthing about PC's these days!
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by KrazyPony
I perosnally think the site needs to look a tad more professional, reminds me a commercial you can tell is done from 1 of your local retailers, compared to a proffessional commercial...

Very good concept there and all, but I think the Ricks Computing Solutions should be more of a PC Computing Solutions ( more of a company name, not individual ). Then it will make it easier when you bring on more people if at all in the future...

remove the personal tags to your self, approach it as a company not a individual, you have some good points and values there... are you gonna make it as a forum type thing so the various users can interact with you the customer, as a online tech support forum?

your heading in the right direction here, promoting yourself/the business is so hard to do, since everybody and there brother knows sumthing about PC's these days!
Yeah, thats a good point about the name. How about something like NorthEast Computing Solutions (NE Computing Solutions). Because I'm located here in NorthEast Ohio and thats where I want the buisness to be focused on.

I am going to have a forum type thing on that site with headings for all of my services so they can get price quotes or ask any questions. I don't know, I wouldn't say everyone and their brother know stuff about PC's these days. I mean they know stuff like how to save stuff to a floppy or how to load a program, but very few know about web-design, network installation, format a HD, Install CD-rom drives, and so on.

like last year my moms friend had this profesional tech person come to her house to install a cable modem so she can get on the internet. While they were installing the modem it kept saying "This computer needs a NIC" or something similar. So she was told me the problem and she was about to go out and by a NIC. I was like common sence, "If you have one PC why would you need a NIC" I went out their and hooked it up threw the USB ports. I mean some techs around here are stupid. LOL. Lets just say the town I am in, well their are not a lot of smart people LOL. (I'll use that to my advantage though.)

There is a computer shop downtown, http://www.pcrepairsandupgrades.com/ If their prices are cheap, I'll use them as my parts supplier for a while until I can carry a stock pile. They specialize in web-design and personally I don't think their site is at all that nice. Do you guys?

I'll have to show you some more screen shots when I get home tonight. I got. I got all the sub-pages set up really nice with the prices at the bottom and everything. The page is nicely organized. You can't tell with the screenshot I took their.
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Old 02-19-2004, 12:40 PM   #16
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looks like they used a simple template from dreamweaver or sumthing like that...
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:29 PM   #17
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Ok I just got home from school and took some more screen shots. I haven't had time to change the name though, but it will be NE Computing Solutions.

ScreenShot 1 and 2: See how I have it somewhat divided. The top half tells stuff about Networking, Pc repair, or whatever page the customer is on. The bottom lists the prices of everything.

ScreenShot 3 is just what the very bottom of the page looks like.

ScreenShot 4 is what it looks like if someone views it at 1024*768 screen resolution.


*EDIT******Screenshot 1 starts from the bottom. For somereason it uploaded them backwords.
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Old 02-19-2004, 06:45 PM   #18
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Looks very proffessional!
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