Money Idea #4: Fixing Computers

By | April 29, 2005

I have done some tech support before. I used to fix computers on the weekends for people for a measly fee. I guess I was shy about the price, but I’ve learn when you want to run a business, you really can’t be shy about charging people or anything in that matter. Income is the key to your success, so *chuckles* you better bill them or you’ll be out of business.

I’m thinking of bringing this computer hobby back and make some side money. Despite the Internet and computer growth a lot people are still unfamiliar with installing an operating system or even just plain installing MS Office. Therefore, I can become handy.

Also, I live in an apartment complex where people are very well off. I’m talking about 100K/year and up, so I’ll put them into the higher income-earning demographics. Just the kind of people I need to seek business with. Now the question is how do I get the message out?

I don’t want to be knocking on everyone’s door and soliciting them for my business. Instead, I’m thinking of printing business cards and passing them out as I meet the people. That may seem slow though, but since it’s only a hobby/experiment, I’m not going to rush it.

7 thoughts on “Money Idea #4: Fixing Computers

  1. Neville

    Dude, you are being way too modest.

    Knock on every damn door in your apartment with a ONE LINE sales pitch:

    “Does your computer suck? I can make it better”

    …or something similar! Give “free” consultations. Just take a look at their computer, and if you’re computer saavy (which I’m guessing you are) you can diagnose why a computer is going slow in less than 30 seconds.

    I detailed how to run this type of operation in This Post

    Good luck!
    -Nev

    Reply
  2. Smarty

    Haha.. I love your enthusiasm. I need you to come to NYC and do that for me.

    Unfortunately, knocking on my neighbors’ doors would be harassment and that’s the last thing I want for a business reputation. HOWEVER… I’m thinking.. a flyer or something that I can put in front of their doors.

    Reply
  3. Jonathan

    Do you have a bulletin board next to the mailboxes or something? If it’s a locked one, usually a nice request to the building supervisor will get you some space. I just sold some items this way in my building.

    Thanks for entering my giveaway!

    Jonathan@MyMoneyBlog

    Reply
  4. Cap

    I gotta say Nev has the nerve of steel, which is one quality i wish I have. if you can sell anything (or learn to), you’re set.

    the bulletin board idea is a good one.

    one reason why I never went into this, is the fact that I cant bring myself to charge family and friends. PLUS, the free tech support they expect from the FREE service.

    you might want to make sure that you wont get consistent calls later on for free advice. of course, if they pay…

    Reply
  5. Smarty

    Yeah, I don’t charge friends or family either. That’s why I want to send out fliers to neighbors and strangers, so I can actually earn money. Unfortunately, I don’t have the nerve of steel like Neville.

    Reply
  6. Caitlin

    I recently came across an article that implied that many people buy a new computer rather than remove spyware/adware/malware from a perfectly otherwise useful machine. (In fact, I just talked my mother down off this ledge!) This blows my mind.

    You could pick a small niche and flat fee the service like…removing all spyware, etc for $39 or some such thing.

    The trouble I have always had with the general “fix it” model is that you fix problem A, but then a new problem B arises and the less informed immediately assume you caused B when fixing A. It’s an endless cycle.

    4-color postcards might be a good alternative to a flyer if you want to outlay the cash…they can be visually very interesting.

    Good luck!

    Reply
  7. Smarty

    Caitlin,

    I agree with you. When you fix one problem, another one arises and sometimes people blame it on you. Or you clean up the system and two weeks later, they mess it up and they say you didn’t do a good job. Although it has never happened to me, I’d hate those situations. Or they constantly bother you for the same issue like spywares/viruses because they’re too incompentent to avoid clicking on pop-ups. I regularly get phone calls from relatives and spent a lot of time on minor issues and I don’t charge them.

    Those are some of the reasons why I got away from the computer-fix-up business.

    Reply

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