So, you have decided to open up a new computer repair business but really are not sure how to proceed. If that is the case, below we are going to tell you everything that you need to do in order to not only make an educated business decision. But also, the steps you need to take to create comprehensive business plans that will at the very least, provide you an excellent road map for your new venture.
There are many different kinds of formats used to create a business plan. In this example, we are going to assume that you will not need an outside financing source and that your computer repair business will only be a local operation, at least initially.
The concept behind a business plan is relatively simple to understand and execute. Essentially, you want to make sure that what you are thinking about the opening is financially viable, and if so, then write down everything that you need to accomplish in order to turn your idea into a profitable endeavor. Below we are going to layout a traditional business plan and let you know precisely how to complete each section.
# 1 – Executive Summary – You really do not have to work on this section of the business plan if you do not plan on showing it to anybody, or you are not looking for investors or an outside financing source. That being said, if you are really serious about turning your new enterprise into a profitable going concern that has the ability to not only grow but is also sustainable, you should sit down and spend a few hours writing out the executive summary.
The executive summary which is also sometimes called the management summary goes at the very beginning of the report, but should only be written AFTER you have completed the entire business plan. Its intended purpose is to capture the reader’s attention, get them interested in the business, and briefly explain the concept and everything else that is contained in the report.
# 2 – Business Description – This is where the real work starts when you decide it is time to get serious and begin writing out your business plan. What you want to try and do is to get all of you ideas down on paper so that you can refer back them in the future if you need to.
Please do not be concerned with you writing style at this point, but only the information. Later, after you are sure you have included everything that you want or need, you can go back and clean up the material. Below are some of the things that need to be discussed in this section.
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A) Why you believe this is a good business to start.
B) What do you know about this type of business?
C) What skills are you bringing to the table?
D) What skills do you need to acquire?
E) Who is your market?
F) Why is there a need for the service or product you plan on supplying?
G) Why you believe that your business will be able to serve your market better than any of your competitors.
H) What will make your business standout from the competition.
Okay, you get the idea. Please do not limit yourself to the things we discussed above, but also include anything and everything else that you think could be important.
# 3 – Market Analysis – This might be the most important consideration for anybody that is thinking about opening up a new computer repair business. After all, if there are already 14 other similar companies competing in your neighborhood, it would probably be a good idea to think about doing something else.
In all seriousness, you really have to understand your competition at the highest level, know what their fees are, be familiar with the services they provide and figure out a way to improve on everything that they do. If you are confident you can meet or exceed the stipulations mentioned above, then your new business just might have a chance of succeeding. Below you will find some of the areas you need to research and be familiar with.
A) Write down each and every store or standalone operation that you will be competing against.
B) Note each and every service that they provide.
C) Figure out exactly what they charge for each job.
D) Here is the tough one, ask yourself, now that I know everything about my competition, how am I going to everything they do, better and cheaper?
If you are able to answer that last question, and you are happy with the way you answered it, you just might have a real chance of making it.
# 4 – Organization and Management – More than likely when you first start your computer repair business, you are not going to have any employees. But, there are going to be certain jobs, like setting up a computer network for a large company that could require a little extra manpower. If so, have you thought about who you know that you can bring in at a moment’s notice that would be willing to work part-time?
Next, people that enjoy working on computers are usually very organized and hopefully, you happen to be one of them. If not, it is really going to be very hard for you to run a company that is in an industry that is time sensitive. After all, when you tell somebody that you are going to arrive at their home or business at 4 pm, and you show up three hours later, do you really think that they are going to call you the next time they have a computer problem?
Another thing that you need to take into consideration in this section, is as your company grows and you acquire more and more customers, when do you hire another computer technician and who do you hire? Do your hire somebody that already has a great deal of experience and will demand a very high salary? Or, do you hire a novice that you can train that will be less expensive? Below are some of the things you are going to need to ask yourself in order to complete this section of the business plan.
A) Am I organized, and if not, how do I improve in this area?
B) Am I good at training people?
C) Do I have any friends that will part-time work?
D) Do I know how to delegate, or do I have to do everything myself, so that I know it was done correctly?
E) Can I accept other people’s shortcomings and help them improve in those areas?
F) Should I invest my capital in my staff and how much of an investment can I justify?
And, you thought it was going to be easy to open a small computer repair business. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. If you are not prepared to at the very least to answer some of or all of the question in this section, starting your very own business just might not be a great career choice.
# 5 – Services and Products – This is an area that you really should not have too much trouble with. If you do, then you definitely should not be thinking about starting a computer repair business. In this section, you need to use the information you gathered about your competition and write down all the services or products you plan on promoting, as well as the fees you plan on charging for your services.
# 6 – Marketing, Advertising, and Sales – Computer geeks by their very nature are usually not outgoing people that make the good salesman. That being said, your business needs customers and to get them you are going to have to think out of the box and come up with some creative ideas. We are going to provide you a few proven marketing and advertising techniques below, but you really need to figure out what your competition is doing in this area, and then either copies them or come up with better schemes.
A – Website – Of course you are going to have to build a website, after all, you are in the computer business. Hopefully, you know how to properly SEO your new site, if not, find somebody that does before you waste your time, effort, and money by creating a site that nobody is ever going to see.
The good thing about a computer repair businesses is that virtually every one of them is a local operation. That means that your competition on the internet for highly targeted traffic will not be that fierce. In other words, if you correctly onsite and offsite SEO your new website, there is a very good chance that it will move up the search engine rankings extremely quickly and you will get to Google’s first page, and just maybe, the top spot on that page in only a couple of months.
TIP # 1 – Remember this is a local business, and when you select your URL it is critical that you choose a local name. What we mean by that is, if the name of your new business is “Joe’s Computer Repairs”, that is not what you want to use for its URL. Instead, you want to use your town’s name in the URL.
That means if you live in Dallas for example, you want your URL to be “DallasComputerRepair.com”. The reason you want to do this is very simple to understand, all of the search engines will move your site up their rankings whenever somebody in Dallas types in the search term “Computer Repair”.
TIP # 2 – For any new business, it is absolutely critical that when somebody does find your website, you get them to either give you a call or send you an email. To do this, you really have to offer a great deal that everybody who visits your site, is sure to see. A few examples you could use are the following.
I – Second repair visit FREE.
II – Half price on service calls for all new customers.
III – Free antivirus and malware software for all new customers on the first service call.
B – Low Cost or Free Advertising – All new businesses have the same problem, which is they are not generating any cash. Thus, they cannot afford to spend too much on marketing or advertising. So, you have to find ways to promote your business that is either totally free or cost very little. Below we are going to provide a few suggestions, but you know your local market far better than we ever could, and you need to come up with your own marketing ideas.
I – Craigslist’s – If you are not familiar with this site, it allows you to place classified ads for free, so use it. In addition, there are quite a few other sites that provide the same free service, so please find them, and use them.
II – Social Media – Almost everybody has heard of the following websites Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These types of sites are called social media and they allow their users to interact with one another. If you were able to build up a strong local following on anyone of these sites, almost assuredly, your business would eventually turn into a huge success story.
III– Flyers – Printing out 10,000 flyers is not that expensive and they can be a fantastic marketing tool. Not only can you hand them out in your neighborhood, you can also distribute them to the local businesses and put them up on bulletin boards at grocery stores.
IV – Neighborhood Newspapers – If you are fortunate enough to live in an area that receives a free neighborhood newspaper delivered to your door each week, you might want to think about advertising in it. Their advertising fees are very reasonable, and your ads just might be able to generate enough leads to get your new business off the ground.
It really does not matter if you are the very best computer repair engineer in the world, if nobody knows about you, your business will surely fail. In reality, this might be the most important section in your business plan, because if you do not develop a marketing and advertising program that is going to work in your local market, almost assuredly your new business will not be around for more than a year, if that long.
# 7 – Financial Projections – The great thing about starting a computer repair business, is that in most cases, you will not have to spend a great deal of money to get it up and running. You do not have to rent a store, more than likely you already have a car, computer, and some, if not most of the software that you need. In addition, you do not have to put anybody on the payroll right away. So, other than your advertising expense, you really do not have any cash flowing out of the business.
The most important thing for you to note in the financial projection section of your business plan are the capital expenditures you need to make to open the business. These could include but are not limited to a new laptop computer, more software, a better cell phone plan, and your advertising expenses.
As for your income projections, you should definitely set goals for yourself using realistic figures. After all, you do not want to set your goals so high, that you later become discouraged when you don’t achieve them, and you do not want to set them so low, so as to not challenged yourself.
For the most part, the people that do well in business not only had a great idea to start with but were also committed to their company and were willing to put in the time and effort that was required to make their firm a success. Working for yourself requires far more determination and discipline than just about anything else you can do in life.