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Thread: What would you want from a PC business?




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Hey guys,
    This is my first time.. so be gentle:snip: Well anywayz, I wasn't quite to sure where to post this.. but here is my question. Just like you guys, I like to build kick ass systems, troubleshoot, and tweak systems. So I'm considering starting a small home based business.... troubleshooting PCs .. tweaking them.. setting up small networks.. building custom PCs.. a little bit of everything I guess. But the thing is I don't wanna be one of those pricks that don't do a good job. So I wanna know what you guys would want and expect from a good business like that. Also, I am fairly new to case modding.. but am very interested.. what are a few good sites that have a wide range of kick ass modding accesories. Thanks in Advance :)

    Here's the specs of my first custom PC:

    P4 1.6Ghz .. OCed to 1.9GhZ
    Soyo P4SI2 400mhz FSB
    512MB SDRAM PC133
    Western Digital IDE 60GB 7200rpm
    Creative DVD 16x
    Plextor CD-ROM 48x16x48?
    Sound Blaster Audigy
    Antec Full Tower case

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    offer fair and competitive prices. Have a good range of hardware selection. AND do not be stingy on tech support. I tried doing my own business while in my sophmore year of college...it was way to time consuming.... Once you build a computer for someone you become their personal question answerer (if that makes any sense)

    Lay out ground rules, like
    1) Will trouble shoot problems that have to do with the computer not working, ie hardware problems, or o/s dieing.
    2) Give them a limited number (like 20) of how-to question, ie How do I burn a cd? Or how do I install this new software I bought? Once they have go over the number of questions start charging.

    I did not do this with my first couple of customers and they were calling my sometimes 3 times a day (for free) and asking the most annying questions.


    Modding places to go to:
    www.frozencpu.com
    www.pcmods.com

    hope this helps:thumb:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    New England Highlands, Australia
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    That's pretty much what I do now and it doesn't require a great deal of equipment or any stock. I work from my home building, repairing, trouble shooting, upgrading, etc, etc,.. and have several very good suppliers close at hand.

    Don't use the "Customer knows better" rule as 99% won't.
    Always explain in as much detail simply to ppl all the "why's", "what's"and "how's" assciated with the work that they're paying you for.

    For ppl that I build systems for I require a 25% deposit on the agreed quote before starting (full payment on collection) and I'll run them for 24/5 under a variety benchmarks and testing programs (many at the same time) for 100% stability before delivery (to some of you this may seem a bit extreme but then I really don't want to see it back again with a problem).

    But then main thing is to listen to what ppl want and find out what they use them for plus the budget that they're working to so you can supply the proper service.

    When giving quotes for upgrades (depending on how extensive) or new PC's I'll make up a couple of quotes using various hardware combo's to suit the persons budget so that the person can ask why and you can explain the pro's and con's of individual parts to get the person's feedback and tailor it better for their needs (they have to live with it and I don't want them makin' voodoo dolls of me because what they got was unsuitable).

    The biggest rule not to break though is "not to rush things" as this is where problems will start if you do.

    As for the case modding, Virtual Hideout would be a good start but this article has an interview with a professional case modder at the start then that person does a "how to" guide on doing a window mod.

    I hope that helps ya out a bit. ;)
    <center>:cheers:</center>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    I appreciate the quick and very very helpful responses. I honestly didn't expect that much information back.. The more the better!!! I personally want to target middle to upper class individuals and small businesses. I figure they may not be as picky about getting the cheapest job, etc. So from your experiences.. which types of customers do you typically get? What advertisements have seemed to work best against fighting the competition? What computer tasks.. do you find yourselves performing mostly? Personally, I don't want to be the value company so to speak. I want to target those individuals that want the absolute best job.. not the quickest and cheapest. I want people to say .. "their prices are reasonable and they are damn good at what they do.." Give me some input. Thanks in advance!!!!

  5. #5
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    All my business has been by word of mouth and caters mostly for the home and SOHO market whichs keeps me busy enough with on average 3 new PC's and 15-20 upgrade/fixes p/m (though due to family matters the last few months I havn't been taking orders for new systems till the situation here improves again). I spose that my main start was from working in a company (Public Transport) with several hundred ppl (just at the location I was at) and it was these ppl that were my first customers. Word just spread from there and I see no need to advertise for the small comfortable business that I have (but that's just me and maybe due to my advanced age).

    The missus probably wishes that I had a proper workshop though. :laugh:
    <center>:cheers:</center>

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    I used to build a lot of boxes for people but I don't build as much any more. I got tired of training new people on software. When something doesn't work like they want it to, they never assume that it is because of their ignorance, so they always think it's a hardware problem. Since I too depend on word of mouth advertising, I have to try to keep them happy. Now I probably only build about one box a month, and they are mostly for small businesses (where the people should already know how to use their software). I still do a lot of upgrades and repairs though. One of the best things I can suggest though is accurate record keeping. When someone has a cd burner go out, you don't want to have to guess that it is out of warranty, you need to know. I also make a backup on cd of all the drivers for a particular machine. Whenever someone cant't find a drivers disk they suggest that you must have forgotten to give them one. So I just make them a copy of the one in the file. And if a mobo drivers cd has several different sound drivers on it, I only copy the correct one. Don't have to figure out a year later which sound chip is in it. The work can be a lot of fun and it can be a pain in the ass too.

  7. #7
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    access to an A+ (CompTia) book is always nice, always a dependable resource when your brain farts when troubleshooting.
    And always assume you are trying to communicate with a 2 year old, i.e. use small words, be articulate, and give the most direct answer to a question as possible. Most of my experience in the field has tought me that people dont 'really' want to know why the computer broke, they just want it to work again, so they can feed their internet addiction. And if they do want to know, 99% of the time they are too pissed, or too incompetent to understand even a general explanation, (note: im 19 y/o and ive already dealt with 2 people that wanted to know why the mouse moved backwards...... (they assumed that the cord was a the mouse's tail and the buttons were the eyes and pointed the tail 'toward the back so the eyes could see the screen too)
    Also, customers like reciepts, it might not be bad to consider writing a terms of agreement or something of the like
    oh, another good thing to do.. if communicating through email, ask that they have previous messages included in the email so you dont have to try to remember "what was wrong with person #452,325's computer" good luck!

  8. #8
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    oh, um heres a story...
    when i was setting up my pc, i had ordered a few parts from an e-tailer and they sent it in a discarded frozen chicken box, probably to cut costs to save money. Well i wasnt home to recieve it and My landlord ended up sticking the box containing all of my parts in the freezer. Luckily nothing was damaged (as there isnt much danger of damage to most parts and cold temps) but just to be safe........ if you recycle....... scribble out the old information or include a disclaimer in their form of a reciept. I know its off the wall and quite strange, but if sometihng did happen, a freezer could count as an 'extreme temperature' and cause some problems.

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