On Linux + Open Source Tees that Don't Suck

Patriotic Mucus

Summer Holiday

Kindle Actually 77 Year Old Concept

Kindle Actually 77 Year Old Concept


How to Start A Computer Business – All You Want to Know

When it comes to launching your own business the path is usually unclear, until now. I’ve been doing some computer consulting for a while now with the help of my friend who has taken the time to write a fool proof checklist for people looking at starting a computer repair business.

repair man

Starting A Computer Business – To Do List

  • Think up a catchy yet professional name

  • Create an Interesting and Useful Logo (Make sure it works in print and cannot be confused with other company logos.)

  • Apply for the proper permits from your local County, City, and IRS for a FEIN (Federal Tax Id #) You are advised to make it an LLC at first, as it is cheaper than being incorporated, yet still offers you a great deal of protection. When you grow larger you can get incorporated.

  • Make sure your location is ZONED for a business or at home business if you are running it out of your home

  • Find an Accountant you can trust and ask about Start up Capital (There is some Federal $ for someone as young as you are, and possibly even stimulus $) There are even Start up SBA Loans and Grants.

  • While you wait for your Permits and Articles of Incorporation to come in, work on the look of your Business Cards, and Invoices. (very important)

  • Make a list of 100 local companies who you can walk into and dazzle with your computer brilliance and knowledge. (Think first of small operations that may have 1-4 computers)

  • Start putting together a list of rates you think you can charge. (Research other local companies and try to lowball them without going too low to make yourself look like an amateur)

  • Open business checking account (many free business checking accts are available)

  • Apply for applications to Computer Distributors. (Ingram Micro, ASI Corp, TechData, I.C. Intracom, and others you can think of)

  • Build an outline for a preliminary website

  • Begin an accounting of all finances via Quickbooks or Excel or another spreadsheet program

  • Look into advertising, but if cash strapped, keep everything at word of mouth.

  • Order Business cards, and create a preliminary stationary (might need for some applications.)

  • Start working on appropriate dress for meeting office managers and business owners.

  • Tell all your friends to talk you up to their associates and give them 25 business cards each.

  • Approach your first company from list

  • Don’t get discouraged by rejection

  • Make first sale (No matter how small)

  • Celebrate first sale as cheaply as possible with family and friends.

Approach to getting customers

You have to go into any business with the idea that this may be a good customer. Be calm and act as if you know what you are doing. Look around the office with observant eyes and try to see if there are ways you can improve productivity with your knowledge, advice, and professionalism.

Offer Free Advice

For instance, I went into a auto body shop to have my car repaired after a co-worker (Longhorn Steakhouse) hit my car and caused minor damage. When I saw their computer sitting on the carpet, I immediately told them that this was not a good idea and why ( very important). I gave them a card, and when I came back to pick up my car after it was repaired, I knew that they most likely didn’t pick it off the floor.

I brought with me a clean wooden plank that I had and gave it to them free of charge and put their computer on this plank and told them how it would at least help keep dust from being sucked in through the rug and the heat issue. Incidentally a few days later they had a flood, and the plank I gave them saved the computer. They recently called me and had me come in to work on one of their computers, and also have a job for me to do in the near future. They are going to get another computer and network the 2 of them for their office. So, you see my kindness and observations led to a job and perhaps a good client.

Getting Referrals
Remember, that every client or customer has a home computer, and also have friends whom, if they have a good experience with you will give you more work and more clients and customers. Best advertising is word of mouth and good service.

Communication with Customers
Make sure you write down whom you spoke to, and ALWAYS get back to them promptly so you are fresh in their minds. Don’t bug or annoy them by calling too often but do follow up calls or e-mails maybe once or twice.

Don’t be discouraged by rejection, because you want only clients who believe in you and are willing to stand by you. You will have to bend over backwards for some clients and you might think that some are a pain in the ass to please and work with, but they are all part of your master plan of becoming successful.

Computer Consulting Rules to Live By

Don’t be a snob and too smart for your customers. Teach them as you go. Tell them how things work. Use layman’s terms. Help them understand why things go bad. Give them terms that they would know about. i.e. adapt to each customer differently. They will be much more satisfied by you treating them with respect and as an adult and not as a child. They are also more apt to take your advice.

Photo Sources:
Computers – Kevin Zollman
Handshake – Álvaro Canivell

Whether you like working with a PC, Mac or even Linux.. feel free to input your own advice or ideas below!


  1. Anonymous says:

    Great Advice.

  2. carlquested says:

    nice advise, im just setting up a lil “business” already got 7 jobs to do 😀 just through word of mouth.

  3. BigWhale says:

    I had almost 10 years of experience with this kind of stuff. I’ve gone from supporting small businesses of 1-4 computers to medium sized companies with up to 400 computers.

    Most important things I learned were:

    – Write things down. Everything, even the smallest least important things. If they mention you that something is bugging them but is really not a problem, fix it at some point in the future. They will notice that and appreciate it.

    Forgetting things is something that you need to avoid.

    – Impress them. With your superior knowledge of computers. Most of the people are actually afraid of computers and you are there to help them.

    – Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know”. Nothing wrong with that. Tell them you’ll get back with more information. Nobody knows everything. This is so much better than bullshitting.

    – Give advice, but don’t force it down their throats. It is much better to say “I told’ you so.” later. (Which of course you never do… 🙂 )

  4. Jank Hank says:

    Nice post; this site was starting to grow cobwebs =P

  5. bat4 says:

    This is a good advice:
    “Don’t get discouraged by rejection.”

  6. carlquested says:

    @BigWhale thank you for an experienced view, most helpful.

  7. Yup, these steps are what I did. however technically wasn’t in that order, but each bullet was a point to success.

  8. good idea forlaunching your own business

  9. Audrey says:

    Ah, sorry. I didn’t want to follow the URL at first, figured it was phishing or something…

  10. mulenmar says:

    Megafantasicrifficly helpful! *writes down URL*

  11. Anonymous says:

    Great advice, it would be pretty cool to start my own business. Although I would probably be assimilated by my current employer the second I started to become profitable.

  12. rbeldua says:

    Glad I’ve read this article, thanks for sharing

Leave a Comment