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Start Your Own Successful Computer Repair Business

Author: Stuart Palmer

Start Your Own Successful Computer Repair Business

Book Series: Start A Successful Business Series

1. Where There Is a Computer, There Is a Problem

Owning a computer has gone from being a novelty to a necessity in the matter of just a few decades. In fact, it is difficult to find any home or business that does not have a computer in it, and we rely on our computers for a wide variety of tasks that may have been done by other means not all that long ago. Of course, along with having any type of a computer, you are also going to have difficulties, and if you are able to successfully repair a computer and to keep it running, you have an opportunity to start a great business.

Computer Music Video

In this publication, we are going to discuss the computer repair business and why it may be something that you want to consider. Since it is a service that is in high demand, you may find that you are growing your business quickly and that you are quite successful on your own. For some, it is a matter of building on their existing knowledge and simply using their current skill set in order to get the business going. Other people, however, may need some formal education before they can get started, but in either case it is something that can be of great benefit to you.

The subject of benefits is going to be discussed in the following chapter, and it's a good idea for you to review the information that is provided. Most of us who are interested in starting a computer repair business are already going to have some of benefits of that business in mind. When you recognize all of the more obscure benefits and some that you may not have considered before, it is very motivational and can help you to get your business started now rather than procrastinating and perhaps never starting it.

When you decide to start a computer repair business, some of the most difficult times are going to be when you are first getting your business launched. You want to make sure that you have customers available so that you can see a degree of success from the very day that you open your doors. Otherwise, it can be difficult to remain in business and you may end up doing it as a part-time venture, rather than a full-time venture. Admittedly, there is nothing wrong with doing some computer repair on the side but if you want to do it full-time, customers are necessary.

We will discuss some of the factors that will allow you to gain your first customers, but we will go far beyond that initial push. We will discuss a lot of information on how to promote your business and to continue promoting it, so that you can see the greatest degree of success possible. The Internet provides some interesting ways to promote your services, and there are still some old standbys that existed before the Internet came along. We will discuss the possibility of promotional activities, something that should be a regular part of your tasks.

Another important factor to consider when starting any type of a business, including a computer repair business, is getting it started properly. There are many mistakes that can occur at the beginning of your business, and it could cause you to end up losing your business for many different reasons. By doing things right in the first place, you will avoid many of the problems that could occur if you didn’t do things properly. We will discuss some of those factors, such as how to structure your business and how to make sure that you are prepared for tax season.

Have you given any consideration to where you will operate your business? There are a number of options available, some of which are going to be more expensive than others. By understanding the different options that are available, it will be easier for you to make a decision that is right for your needs. You may even consider the possibility of operating your business from a number of locations, and that may be the most convenient choice for you as well.

Like any type of work, there are tools that are associated with computer repair that you will want to have on hand. Fortunately, most of the tools are inexpensive and you may be able to pick up additional tools as you go along. We will list some of the tools of the trade in this publication so that you can prepare to open your doors and to have what is necessary available to get started.

In looking at your skill sets, is it only computer repair that you are able to manage? Most people that are able to repair computers can also do a number of other tasks on computers, including networking or perhaps setting up new computers properly. Although you may be able to build a very solid business on computer repair alone, don't overlook the possibility of adding to what you are doing by offering other services as well. Why is it important for you to consider the possibility?

Many things in life are going to revolve around what is known as the 80/20 principle. According to the laws of this principle, 80% of the benefit is going to come from 20% of the resources. You may see this in any number of different ways, including the income for your business. If you're able to identify the 20% of your customers that pay you 80% of your income, you may actually be able to push that number further by offering additional services.

Have you given any consideration to how much you are worth? It wasn't all that long ago that most computer repair businesses would charge by the job and most people were perfectly willing to pay in that way. Today, however, it is customary for computer repair professionals to charge an hourly rate. Your customers are going to want to know up front what you are charging, so an estimate may be necessary but it is typically best to base your estimate on an hourly rate. Make sure that you are charging what you are worth and do not discount your services, as you may never be able to fully recover from the discount.

There is no doubt that operating a computer repair business is going to have many benefits. There may also be some challenges that are involved with it as well. By being able to identify the challenges in advance of them occurring, it will be much easier for you to continue to grow your business. Throughout the pages of this publication, you will learn about those challenges and how to overcome them successfully.

You will find that operating a computer repair business is one of the best choices that you could make in life. It is an industry that is well accepted yet in many ways, it is still in its infancy. By taking part in it, you are taking the step into a larger world and one that will certainly provide well for you and your family for many years to come.

2. Why Own Your Own Computer Repair Business?

One factor that needs to be considered before starting a business is the benefits of doing so. When you truly understand the benefits of operating a business, it can open the doors wide and allow you to get started without hesitation. Not fully understanding the benefits could lead to procrastination and a bit of self-doubt when it comes to getting started. In this chapter, we will talk about some of the benefits of owning a business and the specific benefits that are associated with a computer repair business.

Coffee Smile

Something else that we are going to consider is the challenge that may be associated with business ownership as well. Closing your eyes to the possibility that problems could occur is a problem in and of itself. You want to be able to identify the potential problems and if you see them occurring, to take quick action to overcome them. We will identify some of the challenges that are specific to the computer repair business and some that could happen in any business.

Before we begin to talk about the benefits and challenges of operating a business, it's important to realize that each situation is different. You will likely have many of the benefits and challenges that are outlined below, but there may also be others that are specific to you. That being said, here are the most common things that can be listed.

Identifying the Benefits

We will start on a positive note, by talking about the benefits that are associated with operating a computer repair business. These are benefits that you will likely experience from very early on in your business and will continue to experience, as the business grows.

Hobby - One of the benefits that you will likely experience when you own a computer repair business is that you are taking something that you love doing as a hobby and turning it into a profitable venture. Many individuals that start a computer repair business do so because they are already familiar with how computers work and how to troubleshoot and fix problems. They may have done so for fun for many years, but when you turn the corner and start your own business, it can be one that is quite enjoyable.

People - When you are repairing the computers for individuals and businesses, you are providing the service that they will appreciate. You are going to be working with people very closely, and you will find that it is enjoyable because they will be very happy to have their computers back up and running again.

Satisfaction - Although there may be a degree of job satisfaction associated with operating any type of business, it can especially be seen when you are repairing computers. It gives you the opportunity to work with your hands and to troubleshoot problems that can span a wide range of issues. When completed, you will be walking away from a computer that is completely clean and operating to the best of its ability. It is also something that people will appreciate, which helps to boost the job satisfaction levels.

Finances - One of the benefits that are typically available for any type of business is that it has financial benefits. Some of the finances that are associated with operating your own business are due to the fact that you will be making all of the profit, rather than getting paid a portion of the profit. In addition, you will find that there may be tax advantages associated with operating a business as well.

Schedule - When you work for an outside service, your time is never your own. Although you may have some flexibility in the hours that you work, there are going to be certain expectations when it comes to the time. When you own your own business, you have a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to scheduling your time. Although you may still have some expectations that come from your clients, and you will need to schedule your services, you will be in charge of when things are done.

Challenging - If there is one thing that is true about working with computers, it is the fact that things are always changing. If you want a career that is challenging, repairing computers is certainly going to fit that description. You will constantly be learning about new problems, new computers and how everything works. It can be challenging but at the same time, it is also very rewarding.

What Benefits Will You Experience?

The benefits that are explained above are some that are possible for anyone to experience. It is likely that you will begin feeling the benefits of owning your own business from the very beginning and they will only get stronger as you continue to work your business regularly. There may also be benefits that you experience because of your circumstances. Examples of those benefits include more family time or perhaps the ability to take more vacations. Continue to look at the benefits that you are experiencing and to recognize that they are possible because you took the first step in starting your own business.

What Are the Challenges of a Computer Repair Business?

In this section, we are going to identify some of the problems that could occur if you own your own business. As is the case with the benefits, some of these are going to be more specific to computer repair businesses than others, but all of them could present challenges to business owners. Identifying these challenges in your own business can help you to meet the potential problems head on and to avoid any disastrous consequences.

Putting Your Eggs in One Basket - One of the big problems that is experienced by many business owners, including those who own a computer repair business, is that too much of your business is dependent on a single client. Although it can be enjoyable to work for a single client, as you are aware of their expectations and they may pay regularly, if they should happen to go away, your business may go away with it. Having a diverse client list is a very important part of being successful for the long-term.

Taxes - Although there are tax benefits to owning a small business, there may also be some issues, especially if you are not prepared for tax season. Many people tend to spend what they earn, and that may be fine if you are putting something aside for taxes but unfortunately, many small business owners find themselves in a precarious situation. Make sure that you are ready for tax season and have the funds set aside to pay this important bill.

Organization - When you own a business, one of the most important skills for you to master is your organizational skills. Without them, you will find it difficult to stay in business and you will find that you are wasting more time than you should. It doesn't matter if the organization is in the form of filing your paperwork properly or if it is organizing your schedule so that everyone is satisfied, it is a skill that you should master before you open your doors.

Employees - Not every small business is going to need employees, but as you grow, you may find that it is something necessary for your venture. Having to deal with hiring, maintaining and motivating your employees can be very frustrating, and there are specific actions that are necessary so that you can hire somebody legally. When you're ready to take the leap and hire an employee, make sure that you prepare yourself in advance to do so.

Financing - Many computer repair businesses are started on a shoestring budget, but there may come a time when it is necessary for you to get some financing. In some instances, you may be able to finance your business with the use of a credit card, but if more financing is necessary you will need to take some appropriate steps to be able to secure it.

Burnout - One of the problems that occur for many new business owners is that they experience a degree of burnout. It can be difficult if you have a lot of work, and although it is good to have work, spending long nights working on computers and trying to get up early in the morning to satisfy the schedule of other clients can take its toll. In order to get past this potential problem, it is necessary to take breaks frequently throughout the day, and from time to time take a few days off.

Each individual is going to experience his or her own potential problems when it comes to operating the business. Are you able to identify any difficulties that may be specific to your circumstances? Being able to identify the problems before they occur is one of the best ways to make sure that they don't affect your business and your life negatively.

3. Getting Your Business Started the Right Way

When it comes to opening a business, you need to consider everything about the business in advance. In doing so, you give yourself a better opportunity of seeing the success that you desire. In this chapter, we are going to discuss some of the factors that may make a difference in your business, especially if you give them the attention that they deserve before they cause any type of a problem.

Taking Notes

Determining Your Company Structure

One of the more important things that will need to be considered when you are starting a business is the structure of the business. Although it may be tempting to start your new business on a shoestring budget and to ignore any legality for the structure of your business, doing so is often putting you on shaky ground, to say the very least. If you do things properly, you can legally organize your business and have things set up properly for a small price in comparison with any difficulties that you may face for not setting your business up properly.

Sole Proprietorship – This is one of the more common choices when it comes to starting a business, mainly because of the simplicity of starting it in this way. A sole proprietorship ties your business and your personal life together and there is not a real separation between the two. It is sometimes known as a DBA, or doing business as, and it is typically attached to your name. You can run a sole proprietorship under a fictitious name, but it will cost additional money for the fictitious name search.

One of the difficulties of owning a sole proprietorship is that it ties your business into your personal life directly. In any matter of liability, it is likely that your personal life is also going to be affected, along with your business life. Although it is a good idea for you to have liability insurance, and we will discuss that further in this chapter, it is still a better idea to separate the two.

Corporations – Another option that you have available is to form a corporation. This can typically be done inexpensively and quickly, as most states allow you to fill out the necessary paperwork from your home computer online. There is going to be a larger fee for forming a corporation, but it is still relatively inexpensive. There are a number of different types of corporations, including a C Corp., S Corp. and a limited liability company (LLC). You should talk to your CPA as to which would be the best choice for you.

The primary benefit of owning a corporation is the fact that the business is now its own entity. Although it may still be tied to your personal life in some ways, it is unlikely that you are going to be affected on a personal level when something occurs within your business. In addition, there may be some tax benefits to owning a corporation but you should discuss this with your accountant.

Partnerships – Another option for forming a business structure is to form a partnership. This is similar to a corporation, but it is going to be established with more than one individual as a member of the business. Forming a partnership does have benefits, and it is sometimes easier to get a business started when you have multiple people running it from the inside. As long as you are sure you have everything down in writing in advance so that there are not any questions as to what takes place within the business, a partnership can be a real benefit.

What Type of Insurance Is Necessary?

As a small business owner, you want to make sure that you are keeping your expenses as low as possible, but there are still some expenses that would be considered necessary. One of those expenses is insurance, and you should make sure that you have insurance on your business before you open your doors. The primary type of insurance that is necessary is liability insurance, because it helps to cover you in case anything occurs that would otherwise come directly out of your pocket.

The amount of liability insurance that you need may differ, depending upon the specific circumstances of your business. It is best if you talk with your insurance agent about what type of insurance you need and how much you should carry. When all is said and done, liability insurance is a relatively inexpensive price to pay and it can really cover you when something goes wrong.

Writing up Your Business Plan

Most small businesses overlook the benefits that are available when a business plan is written properly. They may feel as if they have a general idea of what is going to take place within the business, but unless you have it written down, it is difficult to review and to follow regularly. While most people look at a business plan as being a way to get financing, it is also a way to keep your business on track with both your short-term and your long-term goals.

A business plan does not need to be overly complicated and most people are able to write one in under a day. It is well worth the effort and, if you have everything down in writing properly, it is something that can help to keep your business stable and moving forward for the long term. The following are some of the basic sections that you will likely need to include in your business plan.

Executive Summary – In this important part of the business plan, the entire outlay of the business is going to be put down on paper in an easy-to-understand format. It can give you an overview of your business at a glance, so that both you and anyone else who happens to look at the business plan can understand the structure and inner workings of your business.

Description – Although a basic description of your business is included in the executive summary, you can expand on it in the description section. If you are operating the business on your own, you should write down the information necessary to describe the business structure. If anyone else is working in the business with you, it should also be included in this section. Another important factor to include in the description section is how your business plans on operating, including what sets you apart from the competition.

Market Analysis – One of the most important things that you can do before starting a business is to analyze the competition and the overall possibilities for starting a business in your area. This type of essential research can really help you to get your business started successfully and can define the niche that is going to work the best for you. Write down all of your findings from the market analysis in this section, paying careful attention to detail the competition and what they are doing to stay in business.

Management – This section is going to build on the company description and will include further information about the management structure of your business. It is not always going to be necessary for you to provide an in-depth overview of the management, but if there is some type of management structure, it is best to write down the details. In doing so, you are providing a protection for yourself and for anyone else who works in your business so that there are no questions at a future date.

Services – Although you could keep this section rather simplistic by stating that you are doing computer repair, it is a much better idea for you to be detailed in the services that you are going to provide. For example, general computer repair may be something that you are doing regularly but will you also clean viruses and spyware or will you build custom computers? Write down all of the services that you plan on providing and how you are going to get any products that are necessary for those services to be delivered.

Marketing – It is vitally important that you market your business regularly because it can help you to stay in business for the long-term. There are many ways for you to successfully market and promote your new business, many of which are going to be discussed in a further chapter of this publication. After reviewing that information, you can choose the type of marketing that you plan on doing and add it to this section.

Projections – One of the most important parts of writing a business plan is coming up with the projections for what can be accomplished in the short term and in the long term. Most people focus on financial projections for six months, one year and five years into the future. This information can be reviewed regularly and you can see when any milestones have been reached. Reviewing your financial projections helps you to stay on track with your company.

Funding – Finally, it may be necessary for you to have information that would be of interest to a bank or anyone else that is thinking about lending money to your business. The information in this part of the business plan should be professionally written, easy to understand and very persuasive. It should work along with the other parts of your business plan to give you the best opportunity of getting financing for your business.

These are some of the factors that need to be considered before opening your doors to your first customers. You may also want to look into any legal issues for operating a business in your local area, including permits and licensing that may be needed. When you prepare properly to operate a business, you will find that it is much easier to open your doors and to keep them open.

4. Where Will Your Business Reside?

Some businesses are limited as to where they can operate but others give you options. When it comes to operating the computer repair business, you are operating a business that provides those options for you. By looking into the different possibilities for running your business in different locations, it can help to expand the possibilities of what your business can do for you and your family. In this chapter, we are going to look at a few possibilities for operating your business and why you may want to consider those possibilities more carefully.

Businessman In Front Of The Office

Working from Home

Most people would appreciate the possibility of being able to operate a business from home. There are many successful computer repair technicians that do so and if you have things set up properly, you might be surprised with how convenient this choice is. In this section, we are going to look into the benefits and the potential problems that can go along with operating your business out of your house.

Family - One of the benefits and potential problems of operating a business from home comes from your family. Many people want to run a business from home because they want to have the opportunity to care for their children and further household responsibilities. It may certainly be possible for you to do so, but it is also important for you to have some degree of separation when it comes to your family and your work. It is often necessary to give yourself the time needed to dedicate to your business and to get things done.

Time - If you are well organized and you are dedicated to getting your work completed, you may find that working out of your home is the best choice available. When you work from home, the commute time is shrunk to nothing, and you can often work at odd hours, which may not be the case if you are working elsewhere. At the same time, you may find it difficult to get things done when you're at home because there are many distractions that could cause you to get off track easily. If you can limit distractions, working from home is the best choice for saving time.

Space - Another consideration for working out of your home is how much space you have available. At times, it may be necessary for you to spread out when you are working with a computer, but that may not be possible if you are trying to do your work from the kitchen table. If you have the space available to dedicate to your business it is a good option to work from home, but if your space is limited you may want to consider other options.

Working in an outside Facility

Another option that you may want to consider is opening your computer repair business with a storefront or working at an outside facility where you have the space to spread out and do the work that you need to do. It can be beneficial to work at another location such as this, but you will see that there are also problems associated with it as well.

Price - One of the most important considerations for working in a storefront or at a similar location is the price that may be associated with it. Working from home can often be done for free, but you may pay hundreds of dollars per month for another location, depending on where it is. It can be difficult to afford such a location when you're first getting started.

Location - There is an old saying that location is the most important factor for operating a business. Choosing the right location for your business, therefore, should be at the forefront when you are working in an outside area. If you have the right location, you may get some walk-in traffic. If you have the wrong location, walk-in traffic will be minimal and you may even be in the bad part of town.

Distractions - Depending on where you set up your business, distractions are likely to be to a minimum. Most productivity experts would agree that distractions kill forward momentum, so it is important for you to work free of distractions when possible. Working in an outside location may provide you with the opportunity to get the peace and quiet that you need so that you can get some work done.

Working at Your Clients Location

One other option that you may want to consider is working on computers where your clients are located. This is an option that has many benefits and it can certainly assist you in getting things done, provided everything is set up properly. Here are a few positive and negative possibilities of operating such a business.

Clients - One of the biggest benefits of operating your business at your client’s location is the convenience that it provides for your client. If you want some word-of-mouth advertising and to have people to speak highly of your business offering this type of the service is something that you should consider.

Versatility - There is also a considerable amount of versatility when it comes to operating this type of business. Although you could certainly do all of your work at your client’s location, you may also be able to do some of your work at home or at a secondary location. This type of versatility as a convenience for you and is a convenience for your clients.

Time - There are both positive and negative aspects to the time associated with working at your client’s location. Some of the positive benefits include the possibility of saving time because you do not need to tear down the equipment and move it to a second location. It is possible, however, that it could limit your time because you might have to work on the computers at a time that is convenient to your clients. As long as you schedule properly, this may be the option you want to consider.

5. The Tools of the Trade

Any type of business is going to require that you have certain tools available in order to get started. The same is also true when you open up a computer repair business and having the right tool for the job can make operating the business much easier and more convenient. In this chapter, we are going to look at the possible tools that you could own when starting this type business for yourself. It is not an exhaustive list, but it is one that can get your toolbox started on the right foot.

Pending Mice

Laptop - It would stand to reason that one of the most important tools that you have available is a laptop. Having a computer that can easily be transported is something that can help you to do your diagnosis and to check things from a system that you know is up and running properly.

There are many options available for laptops when it comes to this purpose, and you want to make sure that you get one that is both durable and up to current standards. It is not necessary for you to have an absolute powerhouse of a computer for your work laptop, but having one that can manage almost anything that you throw at it is always of benefit. Be aware of the possibility that the computer could get beat up as you move from one area to the next, so you should consider price as well.

Backup Drives - Invariably, one of the tools that is going to come in handy more than any other are the backup drives that you will carry with you. It can be as simple as a high-volume USB stick or it can be a standalone backup drive but in either case, you need to have something to store data while you are working on an ailing system.

Be aware of the fact that working on a problem computer often means that you are going to have problems with software and files. That is why it is important for you to back up the drives to a secondary device but not to use any single device on multiple jobs. Doing so could contaminate the files and cause you more problems than what you started with. Backup drives and USB devices are very inexpensive, so have plenty of them on hand.

General Toolkit - This should go without saying, but it is one that can be expanded on in any number of different ways. If you have been working with computers for quite some time, it is likely that you have most of the tools on hand that would be used in such a toolkit. As long as you have all the tools that you could possibly need and a convenient way to transport them from one job to another, you have a great beginning for your general toolkit.

Software - There are many different diagnostic programs that will easily and conveniently fit on a CD so that you can carry them with you. The type of programs that you need can be anything from diagnostics for checking networks all the way to a boot disk that would allow you to get a computer up and running that has stalled somehow.

Many of the programs that you would carry with you are available online, and you may want to keep extra copies of them on your work computer that you carry with you. It is also convenient to already have the majority of those programs burned on CDs, because they can easily be used with most computers.

Reliable Car - One other consideration for opening a computer repair business is that you have a means of transportation that would practically guarantee that you are able to get to the job site. In some cases, you may run into situations that are somewhat of an emergency so the last thing you would want to have happen is to be stuck with a car that will not start. In addition, some parts of the country may experience bad weather, such as snow, and you want to ensure that you have a car that would get you from point A to point B in those conditions.

These are only a few of the options that you may want to consider when opening your computer repair business. There are also a variety of other tools and you can purchase, but unless you are doing those specific tasks, they are not typically going to be necessary. As your business continues to grow, you can build on your computer toolkit and the other tools that you are carrying with you. You will find that having the right tool is always the best and most convenient option.

6. Advertising and Promotion Basics

An important factor for operating any type of a business is to know how to do the proper marketing and promotion. This is true when you're first starting the business and trying to gain your first customers, and it is also true as you are trying to grow your business and keep your doors open. This chapter will focus on the types of promotional activities that you should be doing from the very start. We will also talk about some expanded techniques they can be used to harvest what the Internet has to offer.

Newspaper Boy

Don't Ignore Local Promotions

Although the primary focus of this chapter is going to be on Internet promotions, there are also a number of things that you can do in your local area that will also help you to get noticed. When you first start your business, one of the best things that you can do is some local advertising that could be anything from a billboard to having a magnetic sign on the side of your car. Anything that you can do to get the word out about your business and what you offer will be of benefit. You would be surprised with how many times you get a phone call because someone saw your number in one of those locations.

Although most people do not read newspapers anymore, they are still an important part of promoting your business. You can often buy inexpensive advertising through a local newspaper, purchasing remnant ads at a low price. Even local radio stations could give a boost to your business, and there may be remnant advertising available at a low price on your local radio station as well.

You Should Have a Website

One of the first considerations for promoting a computer repair business is having a website. It will present a professional appearance for your business and help you to promote it in a number of different ways. Most people who are looking for a computer repair service will use the Internet to find it, regardless of whether they are looking on their computers, or if they are searching on their smartphone. When you have a website and you promote it properly, it can give you the edge that you need.

Be sure that you skip all of the free services available for opening a website, including some of the free blogging services online. It is very inexpensive to start your own website; buy a domain name, and find some cheap hosting. When you own your website, it is yours to do with as you please and it is much more professional looking.

Update Your Website Regularly

One of the mistakes that many new website owners make is that they simply allow the site to remain stagnant. They spend a lot of time designing the right website for them and adding all of the pertinent information but unless they are updating it regularly, it may end up getting ignored for the most part by Google. You want to make sure that your website is recognized by the search engine giant, because they can send you traffic that is according to what you need.

Although there are a number of different ways to update your website, the easiest way is to add a blog. With most hosting services, including all hosts that use cPanel, there is an option for setting up a blog by clicking on a few buttons and filling out some information. You can usually have your blog up and running within a matter of a few minutes by using this automated feature.

Take some time to adjust the settings of your blog so that it ties in well with your overall website. At that point, it is simply a matter of blogging on a regular basis. What type of information can you include on your blog? Since you are operating a computer repair business, you can blog about computer problems and what may be necessary to fix them. In addition, you can talk about some particularly difficult repairs that you have recently done, provided you have the permission of your client.

Updating your blog regularly will help you to get recognized. It can pull a significant amount of traffic to your website and also offers a way to keep your readers engaged.

Using Facebook the Right Way

Another opportunity for marketing your business is through Facebook advertising and promotions. Having the proper mix between paid and free on Facebook is the best choice for making sure that your message is getting to the masses.

The first step in the process is to set up a free Facebook page, and they will walk you through the process of doing so. In fact, you could probably have a basic Facebook page set up within a matter of minutes. Don't worry too much about the specifics of the page at this point, just get the basics right and then continue to work on the page and how it looks.

Promoting your business through Facebook is a delicate situation, especially when you are promoting it through their free services. Although it is important for you to get the word out about your business, you first want to engage your visitors and potential visitors, because it helps to build trust and makes it easier to convert them into a customer. Keep in mind that a social network is social; it is not an advertising network. If you constantly talk about your business and make offers, your business may suffer as a result.

The overall goal of having a Facebook page for your business is to get people to like it and to follow what you have to say. At that point, you can begin to jump in on the conversation and to add meaningful content. Use your current network of Facebook friends to set the first seeds in motion on your Facebook page. As you continue to jump in on the conversation and add meaningful content, you will find that more and more people are following your Facebook page.

Spending Money with Facebook

It wasn't all that long ago that everything you said on Facebook was automatically broadcasted to all of your fans and anyone that followed you on the social media giant. Today, fewer and fewer of your posts are getting out to the masses and you may find that a significant drop in your numbers has taken place. That is due to the fact that you are being restricted. It is not because you have done anything wrong; Facebook just wants you to buy some traffic instead of getting it all for free.

When you post something on your Facebook page that sees some success, you may want to build on that success by boosting the post. The option to do so is located directly on the Facebook post and you can boost it for as little as five dollars. It can certainly boost your numbers, and get a lot more attention for the post that you made. If you do it properly, it can really help your business.

You can also purchase other forms of Facebook advertising and you can target people in your local area. Doing so can certainly help to get the word out about your business and it is very helpful for seeing your business grow.

Buying Advertising from Google

The best traffic that comes from Google is free but it is also possible to buy traffic and to see instantaneous satisfaction from it. This is done through their advertising program known as Adwords. Essentially, you are bidding on keywords that people use in the search engine and if you bid properly on the right keywords, it can drive a lot of targeted traffic to your website.

Make sure that you read up on the system and know how to use it before you get started. Although you can use Google Adwords to generate a lot of traffic to your website, it can also end up costing you a lot of money with very little in return if you don't do it properly. Understand what you are doing and set your daily limits.

Get Your List Started

There is an old saying among Internet professionals that "the money is in the list” and nothing could be truer when it comes to making money through your online efforts. Many of the people to come to your website are going to be there and gone and once they are gone, they may never come back again. You can turn the tide, however, by building a list of those who come to your website through permission-based email marketing.

You can use a service for gathering email addresses, such as Aweber, and make a compelling offer for a free report or video series in exchange for an email address. Once somebody opts into your list and gets your free report, you can continue to email them regularly with additional information.

The type of information that you could send to your subscribers may include industry information or general information on computer repairs. If you make the information that you send to them helpful, it will build trust between you and them, and when they do have a need of computer repairs, you will be at the top of their list of people to call.

7. Going Beyond Repairs - What Is Possible?

As we discussed in the opening chapter of this publication, the 80/20 principle can be seen in almost any type of business. It states that 80% of the benefits of operating the business are going to come from 20% of the resources. In order for you to grow your business and to do so in some rather unique ways, it is necessary to capitalize on the 20% in order to make the 80% an even larger number. When it comes to operating a computer repair business, this can be done by offering additional services to your clients.

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Although it certainly is possible to operate a computer repair business that does nothing but repair computers, it is really shortsighted when it comes to the growth of your business. By offering additional services that are associated with the repair of computers and in some cases, run parallel to that service, you will find that your business is growing regularly and quickly. There are almost an endless number of options available to offer to your clients, but here are a few that you may want to consider incorporating as a regular part of your business.

Spyware and Virus Removal - One of the problems that many computer users face is a difficulty with viruses and spyware. Not only can it slow the computer down, it is also a problem that can lead to serious issues, including the theft of your identity. Spyware and virus removal is a huge business, and you may find that many of your clients who need general computer repair may need this service as well. In addition, it is something that frequently happens to computers, so you may find that it provides repeat business.

Networking - This is also a service that is very popular among computer users, and it is especially of benefit to businesses. It is not only necessary to set up a network initially, you also need to make sure that it is running properly and to troubleshoot any difficulties that may occur with it. If you offer networking services along with your computer repair, you may find that you are landing some larger clients that give you regular work on a weekly basis. This can be a real boost to your business and can help you to grow in unique ways.

Custom-Built Computers - Another option that is popular and can really help your business to grow is to offer custom-built computers to your clients. You may find that some of your personal clients are taking advantage of the service but it is also something that is of great help too many businesses. After all, they can design the computers exactly according to their needs and will know that the components inside the computer are top-of-the-line. Although there certainly are computers that can be picked up off of the shelf already assembled, many businesses and individuals appreciate the speed and reliability of a custom crafted computer.

Computer Lessons - Just because somebody owns a computer does not necessarily mean that they know how to operate it. If you offer computer lessons to your clients, you might be surprised with how many of them are going to take you up on the offer. Those computer lessons can be the hallmark of your business and it can really help to make you a success. After all, you are not only fixing their computers and keeping them operating at peak efficiency, you are also helping to fix the person that is sitting behind the computer and running it.

Computer Checkups - This option is one that can help you to get your foot in the door and can keep your clients happy for the long-term. Along with fixing any problems that are on the computer, you can also offer routine checkups of the computer to ensure that they are operating at peak efficiency. You can even have a checklist of items that are reviewed each time you do the computer check up and provide the checklist to your clients. If something has showed up as a problem since the last check up, you can offer to fix it for them while you are there.

These are just a few of the many options that are available for offering additional services to your clients. You will find that offering additional services has many benefits, including increasing your bottom line and keeping your customers very happy. Although it is not necessary for you to add anything to your list of available options, by adding it, you can reap the rewards.

8. How Much Are You worth?

Although there are many things that need to be considered for operating a successful business, one of the most common considerations is how much you are going to charge for your services. Although there are no hard and fast rules as to how much you should charge your clients, there certainly are some considerations and general guidelines that can help to point you in the right direction. In this chapter, we will review some of those considerations and how you can make more money than you ever thought possible, if you position yourself properly.

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First of all, we are going to discuss one of the potential traps that many new business owners fall into. In an effort to get new business up and running quickly, many business owners will offer their services at a deeply discounted rate. It can work well at getting new business but eventually, it is going to backfire and you will be known as an inexpensive computer repair technician, rather than a professional computer repair technician. From time to time, you may offer a break to one of your better clients but don't position yourself as a discount service or you may never lose that reputation.

You also need to consider that you are going to be worth more per hour then you were when you may have been repairing computers for an outside service. After all, it is not only your time that is involved while you are on the job; you also need to cover every other aspect of your business, including taxes, insurance, travel expenses and equipment expenses. Avoid the trap of feeling that you need to charge a low price in order to keep your hourly rate within reason. It is not out of the question for computer repair technicians to make $50 or more per hour, and sometimes much more, depending on the circumstances.

If you really want to improve your bottom line and to make a considerable amount of money for your efforts, you need to position yourself as an expert. Rather than just considering that you are a computer repair technician, you need to consider yourself and position yourself in the right way. When people look at you as an expert, the perceived value of what they are receiving is instantly increased. You may find that you are able to charge a significant amount more for your services, just because people trust what you are offering and they know that you are going to provide them with the best services possible.

For a general indication as to how much you should charge for your computer repair services, you can check with local companies that offer the same service. You may find some variation from one company to another, but you will be able to get a general feel for what is charged. You may also need to do this if you move into a new area, as the economic situation may be quite different than the area where you were before. Some online research can also be done to determine what people are charging for computer repair and similar services in your area.

Another factor that needs to be considered is how you are going to charge for the work that you do. This is also something that can be determined by looking to your competition, but you may want to consider your own needs as well. Although some established businesses are able to wait for 30 days or more before they receive payment, you may have a need for the money immediately. Don't be afraid to ask for the money up front or at the very least, for a retainer in order to cover your travel expenses.

The bottom line is that you should be charging what you're worth. Never be apologetic for how much you're charging, and don't be afraid to request part of the money up front as we discussed in the previous paragraph. By charging what you're worth and getting it, you will find that it is easier to grow your business consistently.

9. Maintaining Your Business from the Inside

As your business continues to grow and see an increased amount of success, it is important for you to make sure that your business is being maintained from the inside properly. There are a number of different factors that can allow you to do this successfully, and you may find that it is something that allows your business to grow quickly and with the fewest problems associated with it. Here are a few things that you can do to keep your business running smoothly from the inside.

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Prepare for Taxes - One of the biggest problems that many new business owners face is that they do not prepare properly to pay their taxes. Perhaps they worked for an outside service for a number of years and this factor was generally considered by deductions from their paycheck. When all the money is going directly into your pocket, it takes discipline to set some money aside and to make sure that you are not spending all of it. It can be a very frustrating and frightening prospect to end up facing tax day and not to have the money necessary to pay your taxes.

Organize - Do you have the organizational skills necessary to run a successful business? If you feel as if you are falling short in this area, it is time to brush up on your organization and to make sure that you are doing things properly. Of course, as a professional computer user, it is likely that you are familiar with some of the programs that can allow you to stay organized digitally. Those are not always the best option, however, when it comes to organizing your business and your life.

Come up with some sort of efficient filing system that will allow you to keep track of everything and find any paperwork that you need at a moment’s notice. It is also a good idea to print out copies of your invoices and have them available for review at the end of each quarter. Receipts for any business expenses should be kept in a special location, either filed away neatly or even just thrown in a shoebox for now until it is time to sort them at the end of the quarter for tax purposes.

Schedule - If there is one thing that you will need to do with your new business, it is to schedule yourself properly. Without the proper scheduling, you may find that you are missing jobs and not getting everything done that needs to be done.

There are plenty of scheduling programs available that will allow you to keep track of everything that is coming up in the near future. You can even incorporate some of those programs so that they operate both on your computer and on your smartphone. Setting alerts for any important upcoming events is also a priority, and it is something that can help to keep you on track for a wide variety of items.

Work on Your Business - When you begin to see some significant success and clients are demanding the majority of your time, you may find that you are not paying attention to your most important client, your own business. It is vitally necessary that you continue to pay attention to your own business and to give it what it deserves on a weekly basis.

The easiest way for you to organize to work on your business is simply to include it right in with your schedule. Set aside plenty of time so that you can work on your website, do some promotions and catch up on any paperwork that needs to be done. Admittedly, it can be difficult to set aside the time to do these other tasks when you feel as if your clients are knocking your door down, but it is important for keeping your door open.

Learning - Above all else, make sure that you continue to learn your profession and to look into new ways that you can provide services for people in your area. You can learn in a number of different ways, including keeping up with industry journals or taking some outside courses. The more that you learn about computer repair, the more likely it is going to be that you will provide the competent services that your clients deserve.