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Going into bussiness for myself. Looking for Advice

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Going into bussiness for myself. Looking for Advice

Postby MonteLDS on Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:11 pm

I am doing IT work currently on the side and about to make it full time..

I don't have my A+ or N+ or CCNA etc... But i simply know how to do a lot of the stuff that just normal people can't do themself.

My clients are all 'i don't know much about a computer' people. Who just need a tweak like me to fix things up. Help them with virus, cleaning out their msconfig, updating their virus and windows ( i still don't know why people can't seem to do that by themself). As well as Networking and upgrading.

Currently i charge $25 an hour. But i am tax free. no 1099 currently. And I am ready to go all legit and what not. Any advice on prices. I am also going to use Best Buy and other PC repair stores to show the diffrences in prices to use me vs. a major company

thanks for the advice in advance

Mr. Joanthan Monte
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Postby UALOneKPlus on Wed Jan 28, 2004 6:35 pm

Great thoughts! I too love working on PC's, and have had the same thoughts myself.

Since you have experience doing it on the side, transitioning to a full time gig won't be that hard.

On the business side, be sure to have a snazzy logo & professional looking business cards & paper. Also have a cool website to refer people to. I once looked at an IT guy's website and it looked really unprofessional.

Hire a bookkeeper if you are too busy to do the accounting, otherwise just use Quickbooks to handle the accounting.

Do speak to a financial advisor, so you can set up a retirement fund for yourself, as well as other benefits. It may help to talk to a CPA to make sure you maximize your tax deductions and minimize overpaying on taxes.

Oh, form a LLC or an S-Corp if it makes sense to shield yourself from liability. But I doubt there is high liability in what you're doing.
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Postby NoSmartz on Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:36 pm

UALOneKPlus brings up a the most important point about your own business and that's your ACCOUNTING.You already know how to do the most important stuff like the IT work but the hard stuff comes after the work when you go home,TAXES,ACCOUNTING etc....Bookeeping is a pain.For the time either Quickbooks or if your makin' a few bux to start try an accountant.There is a reason they are in business,no-one will put up with doing the numbers except them.Worth the $$$$$$
You will within' a short period of time know how much to charge just by lookin' around the area or makin' a few phone calls to get an idea what the business next door will charge.Go 5% above or below what they charge and waa-laa.
If you can do a website,do it.Always helps.If you've got decent internet access it should already come with 10 or 20 mb so no extra cost there.
Man you would really make some dough if you could extract info from busted or non-functioing HD's.People will pay anything,call Best-Buy and ask what they charge,BLOW YOUR MIND!!!
BTW,your right,I can't figure out why people can't do these simple things either.I help people all the time and they're blown away by how much better the PC runs after a run through msconfig and services.msc.So simple to learn.

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Postby CowboySlim on Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:54 pm


Absolutely, don't do your own taxes. And that includes TurboTax and TaxCut. Go to a professional, year around tax man first. He'll tell which records to keep and which things are deductible. Like is it cheaper to own your own car and deduct business mileage or lease a car and deduct the whole deal. If you don't have an office, how much of your home is deductible.

A repair shop in my neighborhood, and I think it is the same for many shops, have a minimum charge of $80. It is usually disguised as a "diagnosis" fee. They won't fix anything while you wait even if they immediately suspect the problem and the fix is only 30 min. When you walk out, they'll fix it, wait 3 - 4hours and then call. Now the service may absolutley be worth that much, considering overhead and all. However, many customers will misinterpret the charge and feel as they are getting ripped off by being charged $80 for 1/2hour work. If everybody else charges that and they can't do it themselves, let them take it elsewhere. Like a lawyer, then they'll really find out what a reaming is. He'll charge $200 - $300 an hour with no money back guarantee when you end up in the slam!

Good luck, MonteLDS
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Postby TheWizard on Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:37 am

Definitely raise your hourly charge to at least double what you are charging now. I do some computer consulting on the side too, the same thing you do, and I charge $50/hour. Professional firms, as Slim pointed out, can charge more. Since I do most of the work for friends of the family, I don't feel comfortable charging them much more than $50/hour. Truth be told, I sometimes feel bad charging them the full $50, but I have come across more clients that think $50/hour is a bargain than the other way around.

Oh, and I wouldn't worry too much about becoming certified (A+, CCNA, etc.) unless you plan on working for or helping an IT firm. For your little business, which I compare to mine, all you have to do is show you are savvy with computers and people will trust you. If you plan on having the majority of your clientele be those "I don't know anything about computers, could you help me?" people, then you don't need any sort of fancy certifications.
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