In these days of financial restriction, there is a great way to increase your earnings. By taking on a few students and training them in PC usage, you can not only clean up but you can expand your horizons as well.


These days everybody is getting online at home, but not everyone can get the best from their equipment. In the town where I live, there is a large population of affluent retired people who are trying to use the Internet to do their shopping, keep in touch with remote family and friends, and research hobbies and interests. They are also interested in finding out what else they can do with their PCs.

I’ve had a few inquiries from people wanting help, and I have devised a standard approach to all of them. We look at storage and backing up, the use of menus and keyboard shortcuts, tips for safe surfing and housekeeping. Some people will have a good grasp of some or all of these topics, so I have to be ready to tailor the content on the fly.

The other thing I have discovered is that you need to keep to time. It is so easy to go on at length when you get into the finer points of online shopping, and it is remarkable how quickly the hours pass.

I have produced a written version of my home training so that I can leave it with the students and so that I can keep on track. When we get to chatting about life, the universe, and everything, it is so easy to get off track and waste time. This was based on the visits I have made and on the kind of thing I cover with new users at work; they usually find problems in the same areas.

There’s some great folk out there who genuinely want to get more out of their home PCs and are willing to pay for personal tuition. It is an enjoyable and easy way to put aside a few more dollars to help with those enormous heating bills. The other advantage of working in this way is that you will develop a name as a professional person and the numerous requests for free advice will cease.