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Any money in the computer repair businesses?

Discussion in 'Business Advice for Start-ups' started by RentalTablets, Oct 30, 2012.

  1.  
    Lesley@CleanBytes

    Lesley@CleanBytes Freshman

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    I set my business up 6 months ago - it mainly specialises in virus removal, system security, PC optimisation etc... but I also do PC repair.

    I've had quite a few customers in those 6 months but at the moment it's pretty quiet - I wouldn't rely on it as a main source of income, but definitely a good thing to do on the side :)
     
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    JamesClarke

    JamesClarke Graduate

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    In short: no. People can go on Youtube and find everything they need today about computer repairs.

    It's not just cheaper, but faster. In some countries it's even cheaper to buy a new computer than to fix your old one. Put your money on app development.

    That's the future. Or fund startups.

    Cheers,


    James Clarke, durhamlane
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2013
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    pchealer

    pchealer Applicant

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    I have been running a PC Repair company part time for about the last 10 years, this year is my worst on record.

    Think about it Windows 7 is about 100% more secure than Windows XP what will the next generations of Windows be like?

    I think in the last year I have had about 1 virus removal to do that shows how much better it is.

    More people are buying IPADS or tablets than are buying laptops these days lets alone desktops (what they are?).

    Luckly I have a day job the PC Repairs was just a sideline I would not waiste your time and money on this mate. I am spending more money on my telephone bill and accounts package then I do make on my profits this year.

    I will see how things progress but life is too short I will likely shut down in December.

    I dont agree with that statement above that MCSE's are pointless you just sound like a very bitter IT person. You just need to enter MCSE into jobserve to see how much in demand it is, and surely if you have one you more likly to get the job over someone who does not?
     
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    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    Its not only the fact the operating systems and software is getting better, they are also getting more user friendly which requires less maintenance compared to back in the day.

    You also have to take into consideration that in the past 10 years the dynamics of technology has changed drastically, people in general are more tech savvy with even the older ones that swore they wouldnt get involved find them selves with smart phones, ipads and laptops.

    Those everyday people that arnt tech savvy are finding that google and alike give them a guiding light which anyone with a bit of common sense can follow to solve minor issues.

    I think the although Software is getting better, people are also adapting to these technologies more than ever and that is only going to increase as the younger generation grow old.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2013
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    leverage

    leverage Applicant

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    I think it always depends on where you look and what exactly you mean by computer repair... i think a lot of people, especially the "older generation" are looking for personal contact to people that cant work/fix/whatever their computers...
    Do i think there is a gigantic amount of money in the business - no way... times are over... but if u love computers and fixing them - go for it!
     
  6.  
    james murphy

    james murphy Sarcasm in bucketloads - Say hi though!

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    With the price of repairs and time without a PC vs just getting a new one I would definitely say there is nothing in it.

    I treat our IT equipment as consumable but it simply isn't time effective to mess about trying to repair one to save a few quid.
     
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    lotteryguy

    lotteryguy Freshman

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    I have an Apple iMac and if anything goes wrong I take it back to the Apple store, free repair or replacement - why would i need a tech guy?
     
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    Conker

    Conker Applicant

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    I find these responses amazing.

    There is money in computer repairs, lots of money, but there is no money in being a "family expert"

    I started at 16, 7 years on and the company repairs over 100 computers a month with an average profit of £135.

    We do very little business services which also has thounsands worth, the retail sale side of things is slow, maybe a grand a month, but repairs are certainly valuable and 98% of customers go ahead.

    Actually know what you're doing, be honest, fair, and of you are good you can up sell and keep your prices high, our prices go up one or twice a year and everybody still goes ahead.

    Space and time scale has always been an issue.

    For example:

    Workshop can hold say 50 repairs

    Week 1: 25 come in 15 need part from abroad, 5 waiting on customers
    Week 2: 20 still in plus 25, some parts arrice, some customers pay, so now 20 awaiting parts, plus the other computers in, you can see how things can clog up.

    Other than that, it's high profits
     
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  9.  
    ISS

    ISS Son of Victor Meldrew Premium Member

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    Welcome to the forum. Can you help me out here though because I'm struggling to see how an average of £135 profit can be gained from repairing standard PCs?

    What kind of units are you repairing?

    Jon
     
  10.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    I was wondering the same thing to be honest, your making 13k a month margin on your services yet you say :

    Which im assuming your talking about the general public kind of £30 - £50 a time call out type thing.

    You then go on to say

    So where exactly are you getting 13k "margin/profit" from a month, you must cover an extremely big area or be a national company maybe via remote or mail order ?. Not saying you don't do it but would love to see some kind of break down.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2014
  11.  
    Duncan

    Duncan Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I read it as £1.35 per repair.?
     
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    Conker

    Conker Applicant

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    The way this company works is say you bring it in with a cracked LCD or virus etc,

    What most people do is fix it, charge £30 and off you go, I scan for every possible fault, I don't know the number, but a lot of repairs seem to have the following problems, most windows computers have nearly all of them.

    Virus removal £19.99-£34.99
    Spyware £29.99-34.99
    System corruptions £19.99-39.99
    Temporary data £14.99
    Registry issues £14.99
    Windows updates £14.99
    Anti virus needed £30
    A lot upgrade memory £30ish

    Etc.

    With Apple Macs there's less of the software type of issues but people pay more for the repairs.

    Most common issues are slowness on windows and LCD or logic board issues on apple.

    The shop is in a biggish town, 11,000 people but only about 60 shops but I have people all over devon coming because honestly most computer shops are shit.

    Main types of repairs are laptops, about a few a month desktops and about 10 apple desktops
     
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    Conker

    Conker Applicant

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    Also, yes people can get new computers cheap, but let's say repair is £135, that's it and done.

    A new laptop would cost £250-300, be very similar spec to their old one, then they have to pay someone £50-90 to transfer all the data.
     
  14.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    What your describing is basic upsell, Personally cant see it happening 100 times a month , every month giving you £135 profit in the current climate and decline of the computer repair business in the last 10 years ( for personal end user anyway ) . Your catchment area would have to be significant to dominate that much.

    I would imagine you would be out performing some of the larger catchment PCworld stores for repairs/upgrades ( walk in upgrade and repairs not their phone and pickup ).

    I know the PCworld near us covers 7 large towns and about 40 mile radius of each with mostly business computer services and tiny little stores being competition , yet that PCworld store doesn't do the figures your quoting from walk in repairs and it never has done.

    I know this because i was a network engineer years ago and a couple of my mates worked there, although PCworld technical department are poor the amount of people that go there instead of small computer shops is still massively out weighed.

    Dont get me wrong, if your doing that kind of business then prop's to you , but i just cant imagine it especially if you say Retail is that slow, if you were converting that many people through the door for repairs and upselling your retail should be booming in comparison to most.

    Just My opinion . Maybe you could link us to your business ? would probably give us a good idea of the catchment etc, im genuinely interested.
     
  15.  
    Duncan

    Duncan Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    ....but retail is slow because repairs cannibalise the sales. On the other hand I guess margin on repairs is better than on sales. At risk of being a pedant is £135 the sales per customer or gross profit per customer or net profit per customer?

    Either way sounds like you are successful so keep up the good work.
     
  16.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    Peripherals generally are the biggest margins in any store, repairs are off set by wages unless your doing it all your self which i would assume he's not on 100 units a month as not every unit will be pushed out in just a couple of hours. 3 units at least a day, customer interaction between that and assuming 9 - 5 with breaks doesnt leave you with alot of time :p

    Very Little margin on most large consumable good like base units and laptops, peripherals like cables , Ink and other add-ons if sold in quantity is where the money is in upselling.
     
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  17.  
    Duncan

    Duncan Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    ......tell me about it! HP Printers for less than £100 and replacement ink cartridges £25 per thimbleful!!!!
     
  18.  
    Adam H

    Adam H Have a Break, Have a KitKat

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    haha yeah our Espon all in one printer your better off buying a new printer every time for £49 or something than you are paying £60 for a the full set of inks.

    Back in the day i know the printers used to come with "starter cartridges" which were smaller or not as full as the shelf ink to make people think twice about buying new printers every time but not sure if they do it anymore. The ones i got in the last printer were just as big as the spares i brought. :wtf:
     
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    Conker

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    You're right, it is basic up sell, that, combined with great service and offering ALL services not just the basics creates a good business structure, I know of a fair few which are on a similar level to me, one their turnover was half a million, but they have around 7-8 stuff.


    That £135 is the average worked out over the total gross profit divided by the number of repairs, it does change and also we offer free diagnostics so occasionally people don't pay anything, but that is very rare as most, 98% go ahead with something.

    As for how many people actually pay £135 or more, I'd say most, from recalling, it is nearly always between £100-170, sometimes £30 and sometimes £300 but most people like to get it all fixed at once when somebody has actually pointed it out.

    As for the sales, I'm not sure why it's so slow but if I just did says I'd be broke within a month. Repairs don't actually take that long to do, the time taken is scanning so a lot of space is needed, 3 full time employees and myself, one does call outs, one does sales, admin, repairs and the other just does part sales (sell all our crap online) I also do a range of everything.

    I often find myself not leaving till 10-11 as I want to make sure every computer is doing something over night, but by the time I've got them all doing it the first one needs another scan, if you get what I mean.

    As for actual time scales, most diagnostics can be completed on a day if started in the morning, scans only take about 20-30 mins combined to actually do, repairs don't usually take longer than 30-60 mins.

    As for how long we have a computer for it's usually 7-10 days as there is ALWAYS a cue, need enough room and as I mentioned before, a lot wait for parts and it's difficult to move when in parts and screws layed out, especially when a part could arrow as soon as moved.

    We offer an emergency clearance service which means they jump the cue and diagnostics is started straight away, this costs £35, not sure on exactly how many people want this but it seems like a reasonable amount so I'd guess 5-10 a month, that alone is £200-300 up sell.

    If you want to start a computer business, actually know your way around the registry, how to really remove difficult spyware, how to resolver dc sockets and reball graphics chips, know all that, get good with marketing and be customer orientated and you will do great. Also a high street location in a town is the best place, industrial estate for me was a bit of a struggle.

    Also, I put very little markup on retail stock, I tend to match prices as much as I can, simply because there's almost no sales, I only really have it for decoration to get people to have a look
     
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    Conker

    Conker Applicant

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    Also that printer thing, most printers are sold at a loss and the profits on the ink, they also don't fully fill the ink you get with the printer.

    But if you want an economic printer, get a laser printer
     
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