The Business of Computer Repair

Video Class 3 Comments on The Business of Computer Repair 46


  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: Eli the Computer Guy
  • Date Created: May 19, 2010
  • Length of Class: 84 Minutes



  • Interest in starting a Computer Repair Business

Purpose of Class

  • This class teaches students the basic concepts for starting a Computer Repair business, but also warns that this type of business is unlikely to be viable in the future.

Topics Covered

  • What is the Computer Repair Business
  • Where to operate a Computer Repair Business from
  • How the Computer Repair Business makes profit
  • How to Bill Clients
  • Selling Computer and Parts
  • Limiting Liability
  • Common Mistakes

Class Notes

  1. Introduction
    1. The Computer Repair Business includes: Hardware Repair , Configurations, Viruses
    2. Mix this business with Networking Business and Data Recovery
  2. How to do it?
    1. Storefront? – Seems more “legitimate” but costs can far outweigh benefits
    2. At their house? – Going to the clients house is a good option that saves overhead cost, and really isn’t as bad as people imagine it can be
    3. At your house? – People are willing to bring computers to your house.
  3. Efficiency
    1. Computer Repair is a commodity business
    2. Setup your workbench to be as efficient as possible (4 Monitors, Keyboards, Mice)
    3. Sysprep, Slipstream and Disk Imaging increase the speed of installing new operating systems.
  4. Billing
    1. They always pay something
    2. Flat Rates work best
    3. Up sell Parts – Reselling parts easily adds $25-$200 profit to a work order
  5. Selling Computers?
    1. Building custom computers is generally more trouble than it’s worth now.
    2. Easier to “consult” on buying a Dell
  6. Create Partnerships
    1. You can’t do everything.  Approach local tech companies about swapping work.
  7. Limit Your Liability
    1. Use contracts
    2. You are not responsible for data
    3. Time limit for pickup
    4. Payment due at time of delivery
  8. Common Mistakes
    1. Create checklists so you have fail out points (Avoid the “Rabbit Hole to Hell”)
    2. Communication with the client makes everyone’s life better
    3. Under Promise, Over Deliver
  9. Parts
    1. Always buy name brand parts from reliable vendors.
    2. It’s not worth time, money, or frustration dealing with no name manufacturers or vendors.
    3. If a part fails the client will blame you, not the manufacturer
  10. Final Thoughts…
    1. The Computer Repair Business is dying
    2. New Computers can be bought for $200 at Best Buy
    3. Windows 7 is much more stable/ secure then XP and needs fewer repairs.
    4. There still is, and always will be work, but… There are other aspects of Information Technology that will pay much better and be more relevant and interesting.
    5. This is a good place to get your feet wet as a new IT Consultant.  What you learn fixing $200 computers is directly relevant to what you need to know fixing $20,000 systems, but there is a lot less liability WHEN something goes wrong.
    6. Start a Computer Repair Business with the idea of learning the skills required to become a valuable technology consultant. There is a lot or work available, but clients are not willing to pay enough for “real” technicians to deal with them.  By coming in cheap you can easily get this work, and then move on to offering other solutions once you feel comfortable running a small technology business.


Eli the Computer Guy

Eli the Computer Guy has 16 years experience in technology being the guy to fix "it". From the Army, to building out new satellite offices for the enterprise, to running his own shop with 9 full time employees Eli has real world experience with almost all systems that technicians will be working with. Eli has 1600 hours of formal technical beyond his Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice on technologies ranging from Avaya PBX/ Audix to Microsoft, Red Hat Linux, MySQL, Cisco and much more.

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