Monday, September 3, 2007

Computer Maintenance Service

  • Start-up cost: RM5,000-RM10,000
  • Potential earnings: RM50,000-RM70,000
  • Typical fees: RM50 per hour on cleaning or repairs; RM25-RM40 per student (if teaching classes)
  • Advertising: Word of mouth, Yellow Pages, flyers, business card, opportunities to teach classes
  • Qualifications: Knowledge of computer hardware and interfaces, ability to deal with upset clients diplomatically and sympathetically
  • Equipment needed: PC with modem, printer, and fax, tools, cleaning supplies, and diagnostic software, spare parts, office furniture, business card, reference books
  • Staff required: No
  • Handicapped opportunity: No
  • Hidden costs: Staying abreast of new technology
  • Lowdown: Computers and dust don’t mix. That seems like a simple idea, but many people have little understanding of that concept. They don’t understand why computers tend to crash without regular maintenance, and they need much reassurance before they will trust you to remove a cover and begin cleaning the drives. Once you gain trust and develop your clientele, though, you’ll be able to negotiate ongoing service contracts that will give you a steady flow of work, and income. Twice a year you can service each client on your list, cleaning the vital components of the machines that keep their businesses running. You may also develop connections to possible add-on services you could offer, such as training, software installation, file backups, and other types of computer-related services.
  • Start-Up: The computer for your own office is the largest expense because the actual computer cleaning tools are quite simple and not very costly. Fees are usually in the RM50 per hour range. Your biggest challenge is to make potential clients aware of the benefit of maintaining their systems—all too often they’ll wait until something catastrophic happens before they call you. Consequently, advertising and sending reminder cards will cost you at least RM1,000-RM2,000 per year.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: If you have the ability to clean computers and peripheral equipment, you can provide a service needed by almost all businesses and many individuals as well. Satisfied customers will probably provide you with plenty of referrals, but you will occasionally be working with distraught clients. You might need to work at your customers’ sites, so careful planning is necessary to make best use of travel time.

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