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How to Start a Computer Repair Business With No Money?

How to Start a Computer Repair Business With No Money?
Donata Tamulionyte

Donata Tamulionyte

Last updated - June 28, 2023

Are you the IT messiah that folks from your community run to whenever their PCs malfunction? If so, you might want to evolve from unofficially meeting clients in your backyard to starting a business as a computer repair person. It won’t cost you as much as you think.

How to Start a Business and Monetize Your Love for Fixing Computers

Computer servicing is a multibillion-dollar industry. Businesses rely on these machines to manage workflow and gain a competitive advantage. That fact makes becoming a certified electronics technician lucrative, but only if approached correctly. Our step-by-step guide will help you kick off your venture like a pro.

#1) Familiarize Yourself With the Ins and Outs of the Field

Before you decide to join the global team of PC physicians, you must first understand the intricacies of this industry. For starters, its growth has led to an explosion in demand for field-related services. That has made repair offices spring up like mushrooms over the recent decades. 

The need for more technicians stimulated the emergence of small businesses in the repair and maintenance sector. However, technology doesn’t stand still. Innovations constantly create room for new services, which, to the dismay of many, helps famous, profitable chains like Best Buy dominate the IT market.

While the affordability of some electronics negatively affects the further expansion of the repair niche, frugal individuals still prefer getting their gadgets fixed to buying new ones. Moreover, the pandemic has changed this declining industry’s faith, with researchers predicting its healthy growth over the following years.

#2) Pinpoint the Challenges of the Profession

You can’t pursue a career in computer repair without knowing the difficulties you’ll most certainly face as you build your brand. While some are easy to tackle, others can threaten your business’s performance. Therefore, analyzing all forthcoming hurdles will make you more competent in dealing with them.

Smooth starts aren’t a thing in the IT industry. During the earliest stages of developing your business, you’ll have you figure out the logistics of successful initiation. That said, you’ll need to make some critical decisions, like the devices to specialize in and your target audience. 

Later in the process, you’ll have to learn how to hire the right people, manage money, or pay taxes. Some entrepreneurs experience certain psychological downsides of the profession, like loneliness and self-doubt. In any case, you must be perseverant and courageous to succeed. 

#3) Tailor the Specifics of Your Business to Relevant Market Research Data

Computers are everywhere! The modernization of society has made these devices mandatory for a comfortable life. It’s safe to say that they’re integral to almost any business structure and mandatory for living in the global village. Therefore, your clientele can be as large as you choose!

But the larger the number of folks who opt for your services, the greater the diversity of orders you’ll come across. And you’ll have to agree that fixing broken keyboards and maintaining servers are not quite the same (unless you like comparing apples to oranges). 

That said, collecting demographic and psychographic data about potential clients is a must. Although that can take a while, the popularization of electronics contributes to the increase in the demand for IT services. Therefore, the info you gather might be ambiguous. Nonetheless, analyzing it will strip its ambiguity. 

#4) Understand the Ways of Your Competitors

Working hard and smart pays off. Major companies in the industry, like Emerald Computers and Direction Software, wouldn’t have been as famous as they are if dedicated entrepreneurs didn’t run them! So, if you want to nail your project, be prepared to invest plenty of time and effort into it. 

Paradoxically, giving the business your all isn’t enough to achieve commercial success. To do that, you’ll also need to do some research about other local computer repair businesses. This move will help you understand what else it takes to be on a roll, apart from blood, sweat, and tears.

In an era when large enterprises are giving weight to the idea that all gadgets are replaceable, tracking the progress of your competitors is vital. This propaganda has put many out of business! If you don’t want that to happen to you, you must learn from the best-in-class repair salons.

#5) Collect the Necessary Funds to Start Off

You can’t even begin to dream about a business before you have the capital to launch and develop it. Many aspiring repairpersons see their ideas quickly dissolve when the question about funding pops up. If your business lacks start-up money, you have a big issue to dwell on.

Every aspect of your journey as a professional computer technician depends on the funds you need. From purchasing tools, paying employees, renting utilities, and shaping your corporate identity, you need cash to back you up at every turn. Luckily, there are many ways to finance your project, and they include the following: 

  • Using your savings
  • Asking friends and family for loans
  • Requesting a small business loan
  • Applying for a bank overdraft
  • Initiating partnerships
  • Attracting investors
  • Starting a crowdfunding campaign
  • Enrolling in community grant programs
  • Taking advantage of community schemes 

#6) Launch a Startup or Explore Franchises for Sale

Before the grand opening, you must decide whether to start from scratch or buy an existing franchise. Although this is entirely up to you, the experience of veteran PC gurus points to a simple fact: looking for franchises on sale doesn’t have many advantages to starting from zero.

While not having to build your office sounds appealing, that’s the only benefit of acquiring someone else’s firm. The company’s name won’t bring you an avalanche of new clients because most customers are simply residents in the area the business is located in. 

On that same note, cleaning up a company’s bad reputation isn’t easy. Building a brand takes longer than destroying it, and you don’t want to inherit any client loyalty issues. Therefore, starting fresh and putting your idea into effect without a franchise’s past haunting you is best. 

#7) Stick to a Profitable Niche

Being particularly interested in a specific niche is entirely normal. Moreover, aligning your preferences with the demands of your target audience is challenging. Still, it is the wisest thing to do, especially if you’re pinning all your hopes for solid income on your future business.

Not all IT services are in equal demand. Hence, some of them are more profitable than others. To optimize your potential earnings, we suggest you try a hand at one of the following industry branches: 

  • Troubleshooting and general repair
  • Data recovery
  • Network support and maintenance
  • Software upgrades and installation
  • Hardware upgrading
  • Custom computer building
  • Scanner and printer installation and setup 

Whichever niche you decide to contribute to, know that plenty of companies will target the same clientele as you. However, ensuring your offerings are top-notch will make you the go-to technician of many.

#8) Open a Business Bank Account

Unless you intend to keep your startup’s income under your pillow, you should have a trustworthy bank handle your profits. It’s also best to separate your business from your personal finances right from the start. That way, you’ll have an easier time filing taxes and staying on top of revenue-related corporate matters.

The account creation procedure is quite simple. Many banks allow entrepreneurs to climb the ladder of financial victory by meeting their needs with tailored accounts. Moreover, they offer reasonable rates and feature packages to facilitate the expansion and advancement of different businesses.

Still, you might find some offerings more attractive than others, and that’s fine. As long as you’re committed to exploring all your options in-depth, your final decision will likely be informed. And once you make up your mind and prove your corporate identity, you’ll have an active account.

#9) Choose the Right Legal Structure for Your Business

The legal structure of your business determines your corporate obligations. All organizational setups have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, understanding the differences between the most common of them is essential for choosing the one that best supports your entrepreneurial goals.

In the realm of business structures, only four legal entities deserve your undivided attention. You can be a sole proprietor or have partners. Alternatively, you can also form a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC), the latter of which is the favorite of many business owners. 

Registering your startup as an LLC allows you to pay taxes on your profits. You can even reduce your tax liability by listing your firm as an S-Corporation! If your monthly salary is small, you can convert part of your quarterly profits into distribution, avoiding certain operational costs.

#10) Compare Appealing Insurance Policies  

PC repairers should be aware of the high level of responsibility this demanding profession requires. After all, you’re fiddling with valuable data, most of which is confidential. Any violation of a client’s rights or privacy could result in a lawsuit.

Accidentally damaging a customer’s gadget in the mids of the maintenance process can also kick your startup in the gut. If such an unfortunate scenario ever plays out, you’ll have to cover the expenses related to the unintentional malpractice, which could even harm your corporation’s reputation.

Having suitable insurance to pull your startup out of the fire during inconvenient situations is helpful. However, note that you need a solution that can match the everyday operational oscillations of your business. Here are a few essential insurances to consider: 

  • General liability insurance
  • Technology errors and omissions insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Business owner’s insurance (BOP)
  • Bailee coverage
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Worker’s compensation insurance
  • Fidelity bonds 

#11) Get the Necessary Permits and Licenses

To legally own a company, you must first sign some documents proving your ownership eligibility. Filling in a bunch of paperwork might not fit into your entrepreneurial vision. But why risk your repair office closing due to registration problems and legal issues during your business’s inception?

Failing to obtain the licensing needed to run a repair store might also be a criminal offense in your country. But even if it isn’t, you’ll most likely get a fine for not complying with local business laws. Therefore, if you want to be a proud and certified PC physician, we suggest you spend some time acquiring the following documentation:  

  • Business license
  • VAT registration
  • Employment agreement
  • Insurance
  • Federal tax identification number 

#12) Become a Professionally Certified Computer Repairperson

When becoming a computer repairperson, you must show your customers that you’re a knowledgeable professional. No one likes entrusting their high-value gadgets to someone with no qualifications! The best way to demonstrate your competencies in troubleshooting and maintaining different electronics is to get professionally certified.

Certificates can help you build customer trust and loyalty. The more you have, the better, so don’t be afraid to add some pizzazz to your store by hanging diplomas and awards on the walls. Here are some of the certificates that will keep the clients coming: 

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Server+
  • BICSI ITS Technician
  • Certified Wireless Technology Specialist (CWTS)
  • Apple Certified Macintosh Technician (ACMT) 

#13) Create a Business Plan

Outlining the future objectives of your business will aid its evolution and attract potential investors. If you’re confident enough, you can dot down a business plan yourself. However, you can also ask for expert advice and work on finalizing the document alongside an agent. 

Once you come up with a detailed plan, you’ll be in a position to analyze and tweak the set milestones and the aspects of your mission leading to them. The goal list will also help you gain a better perspective on market trends, discover new and creative ways of funding your startup, and more. 

Preparing for upcoming challenges is, furthermore, excellent for hitting your income targets and tracking your growth. You must foresee your financial triumphs and the traps you might fall into should you run your company recklessly. Planning can save you from financial disasters and keep your business afloat in the vast sea of competitors.

#14) Perform a Meticulous Evaluation of All Operational Expenses

Opening a computer repair firm comes with many different expenses, which you must calculate to avoid making costly business decisions. You can get a highly accurate gist of the expenses of your business model by performing regular cost analyses. Before launching your startup, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for the following things: 

  • Essential legal and business documents and forms
  • Rent
  • Equipment
  • Tools
  • Business cards
  • Inventory
  • Web hosting
  • Reserve funds 

Another thing to remember is never to pursue business ideas that do not fit into your financial reality. In other words, committing to opening a large-scale enterprise while pinching pennies is as unfavorable as playing too small but hoarding big bucks. You need to draw a clear line between frugality and stinginess.

#15) Invest in the Protection of Your Intellectual Property

Intellectual property theft is a pressing challenge in any business sector. Essentially, it’s deeply rooted in flawed data transfer policies. While employees fiddle with corporate information daily, they’re not legally obliged to delete info from the removable media they use to complete tasks. 

Some workers go even further and intentionally refrain from removing company data from their personal devices. They think that giving up on the information, which is often the basis of their creative work, is like negating the fruits of their efforts. This logic continues to sour the relationships between employees and employers worldwide.

To avoid unfortunate situations of this caliber, you should trademark, patent, and copyright your work and enforce non-disclosure and non-compete agreements. You can also monitor your network with forensic techniques and make copies of data and utensils you’re planning to reallocate. Forbidding the use of personal USBs is also a wise choice.

#16) Pick an Attractive Business Name

A company’s name might not be its most valuable asset, but it does provide character. It plays a vital role in people’s first impression of your brand and differentiates you from other repair salons. As such, choosing a name that folks find inviting is super important.

However, brainstorming name ideas is not that easy. Many find it to be the most complex component of branding! That’s because the marketplace is super crowded as is, so entering it with a brand-new service can be a complete failure unless the name you’ve come up with is catchy.

Generally, it’s best to use short, easy-to-pronounce, and memorable names. If you want to break the entrepreneurial ice like a rebel, you can also try misspelling some words. But no matter how you get things rolling, you must check whether your proposed name is available for trademark.

#17) Open Your Company in a Prominent Area

Certain areas are more business-friendly than others. While some streets are well-traveled day and night, others give off the uncomfortable vibes of deserted islands. There is no reason to own a store in a lonely alley. 

Your firm’s location can raise or lower your operational expenses, so you can’t make your choice by flipping a coin! You can have the nimblest of fingers, but your revenue will suffer if no customer can spot your office from afar. Moreover, undoing poor decisions of this kind can cost an arm and a leg.

To avoid location-related pitfalls, open your store in a zone where you can legally run your business and be near similar stores. This will allow you to work without the burden of legal restrictions while constantly getting an influx of customers requesting IT services. Also, if you’re renting the space, ensure the cost isn’t too high. 

#18) Build Your Team of Employees Smartly

Once your brand starts gaining momentum, expanding your team might be a good idea. The decision about how many new workers to hire depends on the size of your company. Still, you should remain a wise recruiter even if you’re ready to welcome a whole group of repairers. 

The main thing you should focus on when screening candidates should be their tech competencies. To ensure customer satisfaction, you must have certified computer experts to support your cause. The more services you offer, the more diverse your team will be.

However, you should never forget to factor in the fact that, if accepted, these people will be the face of your business. As they bring malfunctioning devices from the dead, they’ll chit-chat with clients, sort of buttering them up to generate leads. Therefore, give the green light to IT prodigies with excellent soft skills.

#19) Develop an Effective Marketing Plan

Your offerings should benefit your target market, which you can identify only after creating a marketing plan. This document should be detailed yet easily scannable. It must thoroughly describe all the aspects of your promotional agenda. These include the following:  

  • Executive summary
  • SMART advertising goals
  • Long-term marketing objectives
  • Project deadlines
  • Target audience
  • Advertising budget
  • Situation analysis
  • Marketing tactics 

With a solid marketing plan, your business will be in the spotlight, getting the attention of audiences demanding services like the ones you offer. And since the computer repair sector is highly congested, you should attentively penetrate the right markets, strategically planning how to approach prospects and incentivize them to choose you over other repair companies.

#20) Ensure Your Services Bring Bang for the Buck

It’s only natural to have expectations about growing your wealth when getting a foot in the door as a PC repairer. But even if you’re not making outstanding earnings, you should still see healthy returns at the end of each year. Any disbalance between the quality of your offerings and your company’s revenue is a symptom of inadequate service pricing.

While you shouldn’t be ripping clients off, you must adequately monetize your efforts. To do that, you need to analyze the peculiarities of a client’s demands and calculate the time and resources necessary to meet them. Furthermore, include every service cost in your billings to help customers know where their money goes.

People will continue hitting your office as long as you deliver on your promises and aren’t pulling anyone by the nose. Remember, no one likes paying for stuff that brings little value.

#21) Make Customer Satisfaction a Priority

Mastering the craft of retaining clients takes time. You’ll likely alternate between several strategies to maintain customer satisfaction before understanding what works and what doesn’t. However, no matter what you do, you should always reward loyalty (thank you parties are excellent for that) and pay attention to clients’ suggestions. 

Once you establish an excellent reputation as a reliable service provider, you’ll see a gradual increase in client confidence. Your impeccable ratings will allow you to further invest in your services. You’ll be able to offer discounts, free deliveries, giveaways, and more without experiencing a reduction in profits! 

Fantastic outsourcing deals will also come your way, which is excellent for keeping up with the high influx of customers. And if anything goes wrong and you receive some complaints, your credibility will help you dodge a bullet and not lose clients as long as you address these remarks promptly.

#22) Avoid Some Traditional Computer Repair Practices

While following the herd is often a good thing, as an electronics technician, you need to integrate your idiosyncratic approach into your work. For instance, some industry veterans might say that giving your full attention to every client is counterproductive and time-consuming. However, repairpersons who go the extra mile to meet customers’ needs are often more successful.

On that same note, PC physicians who regularly perform on-site repairs are usually the first choice of many. Folks dislike leaving their devices at repair offices for too long, but they don’t mind witnessing the maintenance process in real-time. Moreover, you get to show your expertise by doing this, so it’s a win-win.

Repairing the computers of your customers in front of them also gives you a chance to talk to them. This is great for building goodwill and getting better insight into the common issues they face. 

#23) Stay on Top of IT Trends to Outsmart Competitors

You cannot gain a competitive advantage if you routinely disregard technological progress. If you fail to keep up with the latest trends in the computer repair industry and work with dated equipment, you won’t see your business flourish but wither. On the other hand, investing in first-class tools could make you a trendsetter in the field!

If you find it hard to manage between everyday work tasks and staying tech-forward, you should consider hiring a chief information officer (CIO). Having someone oversee the technology within your firm will help you realize which tech systems benefit your company’s vision and which don’t. 

Nonetheless, being informed about and implementing the latest IT inventions will allow you to run with the big dogs only in the present. The future is much harder to predict, so you’ll also need to optimize your business strategy in that regard. Preparing for the worst possible obstacles is how you’ll keep to your original objectives in times of trouble. 

#24) Help Your Business Rise to Fame

Once many people hear about your great startup, its success will be almost inevitable. Of course, for that to happen, you must build an impeccable brand awareness strategy that will positively affect your total gains. Such a plan, however, requires plenty of effort and a multifaceted approach.

Nevertheless, improving engagement is more than possible, and so is creating a corporate identity. Both of these objectives are closely linked to advertising your offerings and promoting services at a micro level. The following practices will help you popularize your firm and hit a home run when it comes to running a successful business: 

  • Leaving informative sticky notes and branded pens in bars, coffee shops, banks, and random venues
  • Writing about your promotions on sidewalks with chalk and markers
  • Donating branded bookmarks to libraries
  • Taping sticky notes on buildings and cars
  • Offering business cards
  • Rewarding customers with coupons and gifts
  • Hosting, sponsoring, and speaking at events 

Dedicated Technicians Can Go a Long Way!

Not everyone makes it in the computer repair sector, and there’s a good reason for that. Getting from start to finish can be a long, exacting process that some aren’t willing or capable of enduring. But that’s okay; success is for perseverent individuals who aren’t afraid of the challenges of executing and funding their ideas.

If you need to make a little more cash to start living your dream as a businessperson, we recommend you check out Pawns.app. This interesting passive income application lets you earn by sharing your unused bandwidth and completing surveys. Fiddle with it in your spare time and reap the benefits. Happy business-ing!

FAQs

What skills do I need to start a computer repair business?

Apart from having the technical skills this profession requires, you must also have strong inter and intrapersonal skills. You must be an excellent communicator and a dedicated problem solver willing to use critical thinking to adapt to unavoidable changes. You should be well-organized, disciplined, and pay great attention to detail. Finally, patience should also be one of your strengths.

How can I promote my computer repair business?

Advertising your services is an excellent way to boost revenue, so we highly recommend it. Here are some things you can do to spread the word about your firm successfully: 

  • Promote your offerings to customers living in your geographical area
  • Encourage clients to review your services on Google or Yelp
  • Use retargeting ads, and advertise on social media
  • Create an SEO-friendly company website
  • Design a spectacular logo
  • Ensure photo galleries for clients are engaging and easy to access
  • Email your customers about promotions, updates, new services, price drops, highlights, and more

What are some tips for starting a computer repair business with no money?

Getting your new business to an excellent start while staying thrifty is definitely possible. Apart from solidifying your initial success with the tips in this article, you could also try doing the following: 

  • Use automation programs to streamline critical operations
  • Invest in your technology, and keep it up to date
  • Adopt a learning mindset, and teach yourself and your team new techniques regularly
Donata Tamulionyte

Donata Tamulionyte

Community Manager, Pawns.app

Donata is the heart and soul behind the Pawns.app community. As a communication wizard, she brings an exceptional blend of specificity, gentleness, and patience to her role. Donata has a remarkable ability to "read" people just from a few sentences, making her the perfect conversational partner for our users worldwide. When she's not building community connections, you'll find her singing, crafting melodies, and writing. Donata also loves animals and enjoys spending time analyzing their behavior and engaging in training.

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