Your new home based business as a computer repair technician can be a very lucrative opportunity, if you spend a little time organizing yourself, finding good customers and treating them with respect. If you do these things, you’ll find that you have repeat customers who refer you to help their friends and family. The trust that you
build with your customers can turn into anything from a few dollars on the side to a complete business that you can work from home.
Starting the business can be as simple as finding some customers willing to pay you for your time. In many states, only a simple sales tax license is required, and in some places, that’s not even necessary. You’d be surprised how many places you can set up your business and simply report your earnings on a Schedule C as sole proprietorship. Some municipalities require business licenses, but that’s fewer than you might expect. Of course, if you want to have a d.b.a company name, you might have to register that with your state to make sure that your name doesn’t conflict with someone elses.
Once your business is set up with the proper licenses and such, you’ll need to get the tools of the trade to be a computer repair technician. Having a fully-stocked tool kit with screwdrivers, wrenches, sockets might be useful, but some simple tools in a small toolbox is just as effective. A set of jeweler’s screwdrivers is a great idea, especially for laptop repairs. A static mat and wrist band is helpful if you’re doing repair work on hardware. Network professionals might need punch down and crimping tools. Having several USB sticks and external hard drives for transferring data from one computer to the other is important. Of course, your own laptop and cellular high speed internet connection would be useful as well. Truthfully, you may not need much more than an USB stick, a #2 phillips screwdriver and access to your favorite search engine to address most problems.
You’ll want to start to build up a stockpile of parts and consumables, like network jacks and cables, case screws, power cords, USB cables and video cables in addition to various replacement components.
Specific computer repair software is an essential part of your toolkit. Many of these tools are available online for free. You will want a portable library of CDs and other media to be able to bring these programs to address your customer’s needs. First, some kind of disk imaging program is essential. In many cases, you’ll want to make an image of your customer’s drive before re-formatting. Other tools like password reset, offline registry editors, driver re-installers, disk error repair and similar tools can be run from a bootable CD. This allows you to boot the computer from your media to get around startup problems. Build up your library of materials as you go from call to call and identify the kinds of tools you’ll need to address the problems you encounter.
Finding jobs can be either the hardest or easiest part of being a home based computer repair technician. You should make sure that you’re spending enough time on marketing yourself every week to ensure that you get enough continued business to keep things going. As you first start out, you might have friends and family who need your help, but expanding to new clients is the next big step. Flyers on community bulletin boards with tear-off tabs at the bottom allow your new customers to find you easily. Check out online systems like Craig’s List, but be wary of scammers. You might consider offering your services through community organizations. Giving free seminars on computer topics at the local senior center might be a great way to get new clients whether you go to them or they bring their computers to your home shop. Also, check out options for doing on-site warranty work for the major computer manufacturers.
As an work from home computer technician, you can set your hourly rate at whatever you see fit. If your customers are happy with your work and are willing to pay that rate, you’ll get business and repeat business. That being said, you will have competition. Check the local computer stores and big box stores for their hourly rates for computer repair. Generally, they run between $35 and $100 per hour. You’ll set your rates based on your experience, services and clientele. Don’t be afraid to ask for more if you are providing service in your customer’s home, if you are providing a service that no one else does, or if you have specialize skills beyond simple computer repair.
Being a home based computer repair technician can be a fun way to earn a living. It can be more than simply money on the side. It can quickly turn into a whole business that will pay you good wages. You don’t need to spend a lot of capital to start up this kind of business, just a few tools and the desire to solve problems for people, experience with computers and extensive working knowledge of various types of software.
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