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Viability of Computer Support Business?

By ReginaldJPriest ·
I've read some "net propaganda" lately about guys doing low end tech support successfully. Sample article:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/958885/posts

This guy is making it sound like his business took off like wildfire by simple osmosis - but he's in NYC so maybe social and business conditions there permit this to happen.

In a more average part of the country (US) - say in flyover country in a medium sized city - what does anyone think that it would it take to get something like this rolling - time, money, and commitment-wise? Assuming that the person had sufficient skills and professionalism to run the business, that is.

IE: I see postings on the bulletin boards in local groceries for home user tech support. These guys state that they are charging like $25/hr. I couldn't keep the lights on for that. But I don't see that business users would take someone that cheap very seriously, either.

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Knowledge is the key

by razz2 In reply to Viability of Computer Sup ...

I run this type of business. I deal with small to medium
business', but do not work with home users. Most the
people I compete with are around $75 to $150 per
hour. I fall in there somewhere too. I have never
advertised but do not lack clients. One client I had
refered me and they refered me ad so on

I chose not to do resale. I will consult, design,
implement and/or administer a client network. I will
recommend hardware and and assist them in
purchasing it. I am an HP refferal partner which works
much the same way. The client makes the purchase
from HP through me. I also have a deal with a local
computer shop. I send them my home users and they
let me carry drives and supplies with me so I do not
have to maintain an inventory of common parts. When
those parts are needed they are billed seperate from
my labor by the computer shop. The number of
business', even of medium size, where the IT staff is
one person that used to be an office mgr. is amazing.
They have no idea of IT, they inherited it.

It is a very doable business BUT, you have to know
your stuff. Working on the same network everyday is
great in that the suprises are minimized. In my case
many clients do not want regular visits as there budget
does not support it. I try to sell a maintenance contrct
but they prefer to call me when / after something fails.
because of that, the issues I come across are very
different every time. It is fun though.

razz

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Can Work, Depends on You

by willcomp In reply to Viability of Computer Sup ...

I am in a very small town and do OK by servicing home users and small businesses. As Razz2 stated, success depends on your depth of knowledge. In a small town word of mouth can make or break you quickly.

Know what you're doing, charge reasonable rates, treat customers well, and you'll probably get plenty of business. I would also recommend a storefront if dealing with general public. Also gives business customers a favorable impression.

Dalton

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Check out some previous advice

by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Viability of Computer Sup ...

This topic has come up before. This discussion in particular had a lot of good advice from an aspiring home tech support business owner:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=6&threadID=152948&messageID=1609151

This might shed some light on the subject.

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Thanks!

by ReginaldJPriest In reply to Check out some previous a ...

That's a great thread, I intend to read it through.

Also thanks to willcomp and razz2 for the encouragement.

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It's pretty good.

by www.BienTek.com In reply to Viability of Computer Sup ...

I started advertising my own business at $25 / hr like you've seen, and have since raised it to about $85 / billable hour. www.VirusRemovalBusiness.com has some good forums from other small computer / IT support businesses. You could ask some of the users there what they make.

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