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Income estimates: Home Based PC Support

By waybrig ·
I read the entire excellent thread on starting a PC Support Business. The one thing I didn't see covered was what sort of income one could realistically expect from such an operation. I'm trying to convince my wife that this is something worth investigating, but without any idea of how much money I could make, it's an uphill battle.

I know this is extremely dependant on the specific situation, so here goes: We will be living in an area of about 500,000 people within easy driving distance. The population is highly educated, one of the top 5 technical industrial parks in the nation is nearby.

The clientele I would focus on would be home users, home businesses, and small offices.

Assuming I steadily but slowly build a client base over the course of two years, where could I expect to be at that time? I know the first few years will be tough but if the payoff is there it will be worth it.

I would really appreciate any sort of ballpark figures. If anybody would prefer emailing me privately instead of posting this info, you can reach me here: waybrig@yahoo.com

Thanks!
Brad Waybright

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I'll check it out

by waybrig In reply to Read this book

I was hoping there was a good book out there somewhere.

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Don't quit your day job unless you can afford to not make a profit for awhi

by Michael In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

I do this full time and it is isn't easy getting enough clients to make it turn a good profit. You need to invest in advertising and spend time networking in business organizations. Home users are not a good source of business because it is usually a one shot deal and they balk at having to pay for your time. In many cases, they can probably do it themselves for less.

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Step Lightly

by PKA In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

I've been doing this for over 5 years now and it's a pretty iffy. When on a sevice call I never seem to have what I need, there'll be drivers, a drive, and etc. It's also hard to bill at a decent rate while you are setting there waiting for a p133 to format a 60 gig harddrive and stuff like that. It is also hard to find help to answer the phone that has enough knowledge to correctly screen calls. What worked the best for me was a soho shop offering pickup and delivery services. I send a person out to the client, fix it there if it's a 123 job or bring it in if it's not. I bill at $100/hr but also do a lot of freebies for major customers.

At any rate income was slow for a long time until we landed a major company on a retainer plus basis. We landed this after we began building boxes and sold them a few.

Try to start part time and build it up to the point that its income exceeds that of your day job, avoid price chopping. $50/hr sounds good, but you have to compensate for slow times, reworks, and the thousands of other things you can't charge for. Good luck!

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Home user pc support!

by cowboy_jim44 In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

Started a business like that a year and a half ago! On a tiny investment. Got the business fillings, the shop space the phone the connectivity, the suppliers etc.
It started right off, slow. But I have gained a good reputation, I stand behind my work, I try to help them not get into the same problem again.
Its currently paying its own bills but I surely am not Raking in the dough. If you enjoy diagnosing other peoples problems and helping them it does have potential to make money. Access your competion! And be sure to beat them in every area you can. How many machines are you going to work on at one time? Its hardware, software or both, and the software takes the most time. Have fun, and ,make a lot of money. Jim

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Old rule of thumb.

by neilsmorr In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

Try doing this the other way around. Figure out how much you need to get by and multiply by three. This is the gross you will need to survive. So if you can survive on $30,000 pa you will need to bill at least $90,000. If everything was perfect, that's $45 per hour - every hour. If you lose 25% of the billable hours, then you need to bill $60 per hour to net $30,000 pa.

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Rough Game.

I to have considered this as a way to go. I am not even looking for "big bucks". In today's market people and businesses can buy a pretty decent machine for $600-$800 with a three year warranty. If after three years it breaks the machine owes them absolutely nothing. They go buy new. Where is the business. It is indeed a tough road. Been there in the past. May still give it a shot. Who knows. Best of luck in your endeavors.

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Where is the thread?

by f-3879198 In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

Brad or somebody in this thread,

If it is right under my nose, forgive me for being so obtuse. But could you guide me to the thread on starting a PC support business? Thanks!

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Test the water first

by deusbelli In reply to Income estimates: Home Ba ...

I dove into computer consulting with a guy that had been doing it for about 10-15 years (and was very succesful until the recession) in the LA area. He had a good rep, a very nice office, lots of equiptment and software. We even had a very big client to get us going. We tried everything we could think of for about 1 1/2 years. The first year I made $14k. The second year (when the main client was lost) I made $6k. It was VERY hard to get clients. Companies just didn't want to spend money on technology. They wanted to spend a few hundreds bucks a year to limp their existing systems along.

We avoided home users like the plague; we only did house calls for very important business clients. There just wasn't enough money with home users: they want to spend about $50 - $150 per visit reguardless of whether the project takes 1 hour or 12. But companies drop a grand like nothing if they NEED the work done. How much can you make? Guess at about $100 times customers per day. Remember, often you have to drive to their place...

I've known people who do this and they say it is feast and famine; but they do it as a labor of love.

Don't abondon your day job for this stuff, do it in your spare time and go from there. If you do it this way, it should be easy to convince your wife. This way you should be able to make at least a few extra hundred dollars per week which is nice. I get requests once in a while but I just don't like that sort of work.

Go for it, just take it slow and be careful.
Good luck.

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