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  1. #31
    Joined
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    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Thanks Spankin....

    I am 500 miles away from the main office, and most of my customers were at least a couple hundred miles away from either office.

    We'll see how it goes. Hopefully well..... hate being on the outside looking in!

  2. #32
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Twin Cities
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    1,041

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

    Hey T,

    There has been lots of great advice and I doubt that my feeble brain can add anything except to say that things will get better and that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Scott

    Team Swordfish


  3. #33
    Fluff n Stuff's Avatar
    Fluff n Stuff is offline ♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪♪
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    South Seattle, Wa
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    12,389

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

    Dang, I missed this one! I'm glad you didn't delete the thread...

    I've got a buddy in Idaho that is doing what Drboogie is; Independant Network Admin for a string of small businesses. You'd be amazed at the computer networks that are needed to run even medium sized hotels... and having to pay $500/hour with a 3 hour minimum for PHONE SUPPORT tends to really tick 'em off... but that's what the 'big boys' are pullin' these days.

    If you need another 'been there' guy to write to, I could ask him if he'd lay out the basics of what he does. He doesn't have a shop, and rides to his jobs on a motorcycle, if that gives you any idea.

    Let me know, man. It can work, even in small town Idaho... it can work for you 'nStuff.



  4. #34
    Joined
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Australia
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    14,223

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Slider View Post
    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.
    It depends on the market. You're right that "mates rates" doesn't cut it, but low rates can be sustainable if you can get enough jobs in each week. In some areas, customers would rather pay $150 to fix an old machine rather than upgrade. In other cases, they'd rather drop a grand on a new PC than fix an old one. I'd rather fix an old PC than build a new one. More $$$ for me. I still give them all available options. Before decisions are made on what type of work is viable or not, market research is required to find out what people want and what the market can offer. That's why I suggested doing a business plan and trial runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by drboogie View Post
    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.
    1. I've found that there's a direct correlation between growth of customer base and a reduction of time spent on each PC. It's time consuming to work on one or two PC's at a time, but but once you can get four to six machines on the bench simultaneously, productivity increases significantly - provided that you can multitask on the fly. I hate working on less than three PC's at a time.
    2. Yeah same. I get frustrated when every en minutes they start saying "hey check this program out, it can do this and that..". I just politely remind them how much they're paying
    3. If ever there's chance of losing data, I image the drive. Only takes a few minutes and can save you time and headaches. As for spyware, it's worth constantly talking about it, drumming the basic facts into them, explaining how they got it (or can get it) and how they can minimise the risk. By doing that, people don't question my work.
    My customer base comprises mixture of businesses and households, mostly computer illiterate folks who have been burnt by one of the many incompetent shops in this area, which means they're easy to impress. They bring back repeat business and tell their mates. Contrary to what a few people have said, I could easily make a solid income with less than a full time loading and with charging low rates. I operate out of home, so I don't have excess rent and utility fees. Again, it depends on the market and how you manage your time.

  5. #35
    Joined
    Dec 2000
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    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Thanks guys for the wonderful information......

    I am still sorting through my options, and hopefully by this time next month, I will have a better idea what direction I will be heading in.

    I have been making whatever money I can make on the side, even made $225 replacing a blown up motor control in a small roofing company. The guy was quoted at least $1200 from the OEM since they had to fly in a tech, expenses, etc.... did the same job for $550, and we were both thrilled!

    I will be honest though, the pressure is intense, and I feel as if I have the weight of the world on my shoulder. I just have to have faith that things will work out!

  6. #36
    Fluff n Stuff's Avatar
    Fluff n Stuff is offline ♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♫♪♫♪♪♫♪♫♪♪
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    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    No problem, dude. If you need anything, just ask... you'd be amazed at how helpful some of us smart-asses can be at crunch time.



  7. #37
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

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

    My bad. I forgot to come back to this

    Under COBRA, you can leave your job and keep your current coverage for up to 18 months at group rates, so long as the company you’re leaving employs 20 or more people and you weren’t fired for gross negligence or incompetence. For more information about COBRA coverage, check with the U.S. Department of Labor

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 04-14-2008 at 11:16 AM.

  8. #38
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    12,696

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

    Jimz,

    Thanks for the heads up..... unfortunately, my choice is as follows.....

    1)pay mortgage
    2)pay cobra

    one or the other..... looks like my family will have to forgo medical insurance!

    Not a pleasant choice, but I just don't have enough cash onhand for both......

  9. #39
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

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

    I hear you. Thats a choice nobody likes to make.
    I assume UC has kicked in and that is some relief.

  10. #40
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    12,696

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

    Well, my layoff date is actually 4/24/08, So it will will probably be May 2nd for my last check.

    I think I may go ahead and try to solicit some of the business I was doing, and if I get sued..... what are they gonna get from me? LOL

    potential loses low, potential gains high! I'll see if I can scan my non-compete stuff, and let you sea lawyers get a look!

  11. #41
    Joined
    Aug 2001
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    74,682

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

    Here is a good spot to begin learning

    http://library.findlaw.com/2006/Jul/13/246734.html

  12. #42
    Joined
    Dec 2000
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    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    Re: Bad news, need advice............

    Jimz, thanks for looking out for me!

    There are a lot of similarities between that case and mine, and I would expect a similar outcome. But when lawyers and judges are involved, one can never really obtain that warm and fuzzy feeling! LOL

    I just keep trying to look at this as an opportunity!

  13. #43
    Joined
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Blaine, WA
    Age
    66
    Posts
    30,989

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

    Sorry I missed this, T! Man, you have my sincerest sympathy...that's rough indeed. I really think drboogie has something to consider. I've done repairs and custom builds for 4+ years now to supplement/write off my "habit" and it's hardly a money maker. Yes, the costs to startup and keep running are nil, but unless you aggressively beat the brush, so are the jobs. The real money for me has been in custom home theater systems. I've made almost $5k on several builds each. The repairs can be very troublesome and filled with 'free time' as you become the 'go to guy'. Working for individual small businesses sounds like a much more lucrative idea. My suggestion would be to investigate medical fields (offices, etc) as they are always in need of reliable 24/7 local support. I know a manger of a large Dr. consortium who has begged me to help on occasion ("Bob, we'd pay anything to get the billing server to boot!") I have such a lame work schedule I can't do that stuff but the real money can be made in customer service. Builds are always a bust, IMHO, unless they are true custom builds. My little company is called Custom Computer Services. So far it's been a decent write off!

    Keep your head up, your attitude sounds great and that alone will enable you to find the next right thing you are supposed to be doing to provide for your family. (Oh, and to keep away from Budweiser and stay on Guinness!)
    Main Rig: EVGA 141-BL-E769-A1 LGA 1366 Intel X58 CLASSIFIED/WATERCOOLED ED. cooled by the Monster Water Cooling Setup
    HTPC One BIG Case Asus 8 CORE Monster
    ASUS: 5 * BIOSTAR: 1 * CHAINTECH: 1 * EVGA: 3 * GIGABYTE: 5 * SUPER MICRO: 1 *TYAN: 2
    180+ GHZ total power for PC Perspective Killer Frogs Rosetta @ Home Team as The Uncle B's!!




    Spoiler!

    I'm the Uncle your Aunt won't talk about. Go ahead and pull my finger!

  14. #44
    Joined
    Dec 2000
    Location
    myrtle beach,south carolina, U. S. of A.!
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    12,696

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

    Thanks Lubby....... I treasure your opinions..... no really!

    I may be doing "all of above"....... It will really hit when I get my "last" paycheck may 2nd..... but then I'll just go on the Dole for a while!

  15. #45
    Joined
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    74,682

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

    Quote Originally Posted by thelmores View Post
    Jimz, thanks for looking out for me!

    There are a lot of similarities between that case and mine, and I would expect a similar outcome. But when lawyers and judges are involved, one can never really obtain that warm and fuzzy feeling! LOL

    I just keep trying to look at this as an opportunity!
    You are welcome. I picked that one because it seemed to most closely resemble[in form] what I gather about your situation.
    Glad it helped.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 04-16-2008 at 05:20 PM.

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