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  1. #16
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    ^^real good idea.

    I was going to mention to T to get ahold of family and extended family and get the word out. Probably pick up some "insta work" and cash that way.
    Everyone likes a computer guy in the family.
    Almost as good as a Jewish Uncle in the Electronics [wholesale] business.
    Everyone loves Uncle Nate.

  2. #17
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    and unemployment comp coupled with a few juicy builds and repairs is a fair start


    I never said that

  3. #18
    Joined
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,226

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    If times get really hard and you have to quit crunching, let me know. I'll put a quad on the project of your choice in your name.

  4. #19
    Joined
    Jul 2001
    Location
    UK
    Age
    51
    Posts
    20,229

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Sorry to hear that Thelmores

    Quote Originally Posted by Big red View Post
    Time have changed. Now I'm the only one in the shop and it's only open 18 hours a week. It is my experience that nowadays most people won't invest much to repair a computer that is 18 months old or older. As an example: If you have to replace a defictive mainboard on a 2 year old computer, the price of the parts and labor exceeds the value of the system. Keep in mind all the old crunchers that people have just left here because they didn't want to pay a $40 diagnostic fee. Where we do make money is critter removal and recovering data from crashed systems. I used to do inhome help with setting up systems and DSL but I quit because there are just too many wierd people out there.
    I'd pretty much agree with that. I've tried doing it a few times recently when between jobs and it's OK for bringing in a little extra cash, but to make it work full time, well I just don't see the numbers stacking up.

    Unless you can get 40-50 hours work a week, every week, then you've got to charge a high hourly rate, and at that point it's not economical to fix an old PC when you can buy a new one for $300. If you're doing it at mates rates, it doesn't pay the bills. IMHO you need another angle besides just repairing PCs.

  5. #20
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
    Posts
    12,696

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    thanks for all the advice!

    I have figured out that I must have a hybrid system, fixing or repairing computers and doing some of what I used to do for Industry.

    I have contacted a friend who is a salesman for an Industrial repair company to see if they will solicit the work, and send it to me on an outsource basis. The OEM charges at least $125/ hour for these repairs, and the company I just left was charging $165/hr for the same work.

    So if I can get some computer work, and a few gauge repairs..... I might can make it.

    BTW..... I will delete this thread tomorrow.....Don't want to bring people down about my personals!

    But ya'll are just so d@mn smart, and just like family.....

  6. #21
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Age
    49
    Posts
    1,009

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Hey. thelmores. Sorry to hear about this.

    I can offer some advice based upon going through the same experience in 2003. I've worked in the IT field since 1992 and have been laid off by three big companies in that time. After the last layoff in 2003, I decided I was sick of being laid off and started my own company doing home repair work, just as you've mentioned. I laid out a business plan, put up a web site, printed up a bunch of fliers and started pounding the pavement advertising with the fliers everywhere. I posted some ads on craigslist, too. I got some business, but quickly found that home repair is not the business to be in.

    1) you can't make much money based upon the hours you have to put in to get clients.

    2) I found myself making repairs in some very odd homes for some very odd people. Sometimes it was uncomfortable as they looked over your shoulder constantly.

    3) If anything went wrong that was out of your control and they lost data, it was always your fault in their eyes and you had to deal with that. If you repair a machine and a week later they get bogged down with spyware and such, then they blame you and expect it to be repaired for free because certainly they would never load spyware on their machine! Sometimes it became a very bitter circle.

    After a few months of this crap and not making much, I decided to start hitting small to medium sized businesses. I found this to be a great market. The businesses I target are too small to afford a full time IT staff. I handle every one of their IT needs without them having to pay a full time salary. Most of the time I work out contracts for a flat fee for so many hours of work per month ... then they pay a reduced rate for anything I go over. If they don't need all the hours, then they still pay the contract fee ... no complaints because they are saving by not having full time IT. A typical contract might be 5 hours per month for $500. I have lots of those 5 hour contracts. Anything over I typically write in to charge at $85 per hour.

    Four years later I have a staff of 12 people. I rarely have to go out on site anymore except to negotiate stuff or if problems occur. I feel stable in my business ... it's really not been affected by the economy because small businesses need IT and cannot hire full time. It's been perfect. Once things took off and I was able to hire staff, I was able to start spending more time at home with family and it's been wonderful.

    Now, all that said ... it was extremely hard work to get to the point I am in now. I lost money the first two years and sometimes was so discouraged I wanted to quite. But, the payoff in the long run has so far been great and I have no regrets. I no longer answer to the MAN because I am the MAN.

    Hope this helps. I'll be glad to offer any advice you need.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer

  7. #22
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
    Posts
    12,696

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    drb. thanks for the awesome idea!

    The fact that we would never be competitors make your advice even more valuable, as you can't buy whit, you can only gain it. The insight of people that comes through this forum is incredible, and I am much appreciative.

    As for asking for advice, I would be stupid to not ask for yours. If you have some free time whenever, I'd love to ring you up!

    Even if I am going to fail, I would at least feel better if I have a plan to do it!

    Hey drb..... you wanna open a "branch" office in Myrtle Beach?

    I work for beer and rent money!
    Last edited by thelmores; 04-04-2008 at 04:54 PM.

  8. #23
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Quote Originally Posted by drboogie View Post
    Hey. thelmores. Sorry to hear about this.

    I can offer some advice based upon going through the same experience in 2003. I've worked in the IT field since 1992 and have been laid off by three big companies in that time. After the last layoff in 2003, I decided I was sick of being laid off and started my own company doing home repair work, just as you've mentioned. I laid out a business plan, put up a web site, printed up a bunch of fliers and started pounding the pavement advertising with the fliers everywhere. I posted some ads on craigslist, too. I got some business, but quickly found that home repair is not the business to be in.

    1) you can't make much money based upon the hours you have to put in to get clients.

    2) I found myself making repairs in some very odd homes for some very odd people. Sometimes it was uncomfortable as they looked over your shoulder constantly.

    3) If anything went wrong that was out of your control and they lost data, it was always your fault in their eyes and you had to deal with that. If you repair a machine and a week later they get bogged down with spyware and such, then they blame you and expect it to be repaired for free because certainly they would never load spyware on their machine! Sometimes it became a very bitter circle.

    After a few months of this crap and not making much, I decided to start hitting small to medium sized businesses. I found this to be a great market. The businesses I target are too small to afford a full time IT staff. I handle every one of their IT needs without them having to pay a full time salary. Most of the time I work out contracts for a flat fee for so many hours of work per month ... then they pay a reduced rate for anything I go over. If they don't need all the hours, then they still pay the contract fee ... no complaints because they are saving by not having full time IT. A typical contract might be 5 hours per month for $500. I have lots of those 5 hour contracts. Anything over I typically write in to charge at $85 per hour.

    Four years later I have a staff of 12 people. I rarely have to go out on site anymore except to negotiate stuff or if problems occur. I feel stable in my business ... it's really not been affected by the economy because small businesses need IT and cannot hire full time. It's been perfect. Once things took off and I was able to hire staff, I was able to start spending more time at home with family and it's been wonderful.

    Now, all that said ... it was extremely hard work to get to the point I am in now. I lost money the first two years and sometimes was so discouraged I wanted to quite. But, the payoff in the long run has so far been great and I have no regrets. I no longer answer to the MAN because I am the MAN.

    Hope this helps. I'll be glad to offer any advice you need.
    What a thoughtful and great reply.^^

    Expand your staff to 13 and take in the South Carolina area.
    I know a good guy!! His name begins with T

    [just messin]

  9. #24
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
    Posts
    12,696

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Yea..... you could take business trips to the beach!

  10. #25
    Joined
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Jersey,USA
    Age
    47
    Posts
    2,226

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Well, here's my 2 cents... Having owned and operated my own business for many years now, I'll say this. If you have the clients then go for it, do your research in your area and make SURE there's a market for what you are offering. Building and repairing pc's/laptop's is a rough business. If I hadn't gotten in well with some importers I'd be up shits creek. I have had to expand from just the repairing into websites,networking,surveillence camera systems etc to compete with the "other guy".Then I expanded a bit more and scored a gentlmans agreement of sorts with the one of Newarks police squad's, (when they civilianize that sector I'll go for the bid for the contract) and have been steadily building a huge client base...Just a matter of meeting the right people.... Just some random thoughts about your venture.

    WC
    Last edited by Wild Child; 04-04-2008 at 07:37 PM.

    Knowledge is SCARY,Stupidity is REALLY frightening.

  11. #26
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
    Posts
    12,696

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Thanks Wild....

    I may have 5 business's rolled into one by the time I get finished!

    maybe I can open a bar next door!

    nah..... I'd surely drink all the profits!

  12. #27
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Age
    49
    Posts
    1,009

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Child View Post
    Building and repairing pc's/laptop's is a rough business.
    That's no joke. I got out of hardware very early on because you can't make money and keep prices down. I refer all my clients to buy straight from Dell and get the 3 year in service warranty. If they don't want to do it themselves, I gladly order it for them and have it shipped directly to them. The money is really in the network / server support ... and I have recently expanded to include software and DB development.
    You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer

  13. #28
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    5,942

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    I`m really sorry to hear that T. Keep positive bro.

  14. #29
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
    Posts
    12,696

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Thanks Scruff!

    If it was just me and the pigmobile, wouldn't be so bad..... but with a wife, kids, and mortgage, makes it harder!

    but I'll make it somehow!

  15. #30
    Joined
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Southern Ontario
    Age
    45
    Posts
    13,194

    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Keep your chin up there bud. Hopefully this will be just another small speed-bump on the pigmobile's road of life. With some luck your next turn may lead you down a new prosperous road.

    As for that non-competitiveness agreement, they are mainly to protect the employer from employees who jump ship to to work for the local competitors. I don't know how much pull it has if the employer fires you or lays you off.

    Also, there should be a range stated as to how far away you have to be before you can work for the competition. This has to be a reasonable number. My old employer tried to use 125km range (~70 miles). This would not hold up in court as this is unreasonable. So my old employer basically used it as a scare tactic to try to prevent another company split like we had nearly a decade ago. Back then, one of the supervisors quit, and then started his own company and incised almost 1/2 the employees to come with him.

    The best thing, since I was already working at the company before these things were put in place, I decided not to sign mine even though the employer was very instant to say we need to sign them.

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