How to start Computer Repair and Upgrade business to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Fix or replace failed components of personal computers.
• Perform upgrades of memory, microprocessor, and drives.
• Salvage data from functioning hard drives in failed computers.
• Work with data recovery companies to salvage data from failed hard drives.
There are very few of us whose lives and businesses are not inextricably bound
up with computers. We balance our checkbooks, research our homework, send
e-mail, play games, and work on our Great American Novel on our PCs at home.
In businesses, sometimes the entire enterprise exists within the memory banks of
the computer; companies also depend on their machines for communication,
accounting, human resources, inventory, sales, and research.
Here’s something that every computer owner should know: Hard drives, CDROMs,
fans, memory, and just about every other part of a computer will eventually
fail. It’s not a question of if, just when.
The bottom line: When something breaks, it needs to be fixed. Sometimes,
when the computer itself fails, a capable technician needs to perform a transplant
of vital data from one machine to another.
The other element here is the need to keep up-to-date with improvements in
hardware: faster and larger hard drives, faster and larger memory, and new and
improved CD and DVD drives. In most cases, it is not necessary to throw away
an otherwise functioning PC. Instead, it can be upgraded piece by piece.
We recommend that you avoid mixing hardware apples and software oranges.
Your clients should have support agreements with the providers of their software
or with a consultant.
When you are called in to make a repair, your first diagnosis should be to
determine whether you are dealing with a corruption of the software, an improper
setting for the application, a problem with the operating system, or a failure
of the hardware. You should be able to make basic adjustments to the
operating system, but be very careful about offering to make fixes to application
software unless you are fully capable of doing so.
Know the Territory
The good news about modern computers is that they are highly modular. Think
of them as a series of independent components linked together by an electronic
superhighway called a bus. Within various classes of machines, sealed boxes
holding hard drives, CD-ROMs, DVD players, and memory can be plugged in or
taken out to replace failed units or upgrade them.
You can move a functioning hard drive from one machine to another to keep
the data, or arrange for a transfer of the data over a network or by direct connection
by a cable that links the new and old machine.
If a hard drive fails, though, there is the issue of finding a way to retrieve
the information that has been stored on it. You can remove the drive and send it
to a company that specializes in emergency recovery of data; sometimes the
experts have to physically disassemble the drive in an operating room–like
sterile environment, remove the magnetic platters, and install them in special
The vast majority of personal computers are based on the PC design pioneered
by IBM; a small percentage use the Apple Macintosh design. The two
systems have more in common than they have differences, but you should make
certain you understand their peculiarities if you plan to offer repairs on both
How to Get Started
Post flyers and ads in community centers, business supply stores, and schools.
Place ads in newspapers and shopping guides.
Ask satisfied customers to recommend your services, and offer them a bonus
or a discount for business they refer to you.
You should build up a library of technical reference books about PCs and their
components. There is a great deal of information available on the Internet from
support groups and from manufacturers.
You’ll need a basic tool kit, including screwdrivers of various sizes. Other
valuable tools include a simple voltage tester and an antistatic strap.
How Much to Charge
Charge by the hour for your time, plus the cost of any parts you install. As a professional,
you should be able to buy components at discounted or wholesale
prices and resell them to your clients at a marked-up retail rate.
For regular customers you might offer to sell a block of hours at a discounted
rate. You can add a premium to your rates for after-hours and weekend work.
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