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  • starting a business

    This may sound like a completely strange topic for me to bring up, but I've been wondering about starting a business some time in the future...

    I am considering making a business plan for a business centered on building, maintaining, and selling computers and their parts. I don't have too many ideas as to how hard of a road I'll be taking, but I have been wondering if anybody who has started their own business might take a minute and tell me part of their story...

    *As a note: this is also brought on by much of the business material I have been taking in during for my business class...*



    Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

    "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

  • #2
    Re: starting a business

    I am a partner for a small fugitive apprehension company, and one of my Captains is also the owner of a tactical firearms instruction LLC. While I have not gone to college for starting a business, I think I've got enough practical know-how.

    The best advice I can give you from a financial standpoint would be to do your initial work in-home and "rough it" until you have enough liquid capital to begin having, say, an "inventory" (e.g. a leased building where you sell computer parts, etc.). There are loads of websites to find wholesale product that the company will sell en masse to "distributors", so you'll need to be in touch with the companies to become a distributor of their product eventually.

    Next, I'd tell you to network, network, network. Get your name out there. Especially as you are starting up, make customer service your 100%. Leave them with a good impression. Get business cards made, make a website, put ads on the radio and in the newspaper, get on Facebook, do everything you can to get your name out there. Tell your family to tell their friends and coworkers that you'll be willing to do better-quality work than the "big guys" for a helluva lot cheaper. Start an LLC, and make your name memorable. For example, my WIFI password is "Pretty Fly for a Wifi". Most people get a kick out of that: do the same with your business. Make it something that people enjoy at face value, and make it stick in their heads through both name and service.

    The biggest thing is don't get discouraged. Work WILL be slow, and that's why I suggest working in-home at first. You don't want to take out 10,000+ USD for a startup loan and then get shut-out and be out that money. Be passionate about what you're doing, and stay that way. Learn all you can, and stay ahead of the game. Keep track of your certifications, schooling, personal experiences, and all of that because it will help you look more credible.

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    • #3
      Re: starting a business

      Small business's are great however like Lord Fuzzywig said don't take out loans to start it. The best advice I can offer is working on who you will be marketing your services to and how you are going to reach them. After that break it down into phases so that as you deploy your new business you can stay focused on certain goals. Beyond that making your business official is important so things like invoicing, contracts, and sales orders should all be apart of the process. On same token keeping records is an absolute must in terms of client management and accounting, you'll be so much happier during tax season. Small operations can usually be handled in something like Excel however as you grow you might want to look a CRM system like SugarCRM CE.

      Best of luck.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Re: starting a business

        I worked for a small computer shop while it was in it's infancy and depending where you live at, you will have to compete with the entire area of computer repair shops. We had to compete with at least three or four other stores, fixing computers faster and providing outstanding customer service to our customers. While I was good at fixing computers, I wasn't nearly as good with my social skills, but what I ended up doing was testing all of the spare parts we had and seeing what worked and what didn't and the owner reimbursed me for my time. Ultimately, I ended up leaving there but from what I remember, the business was in a decent position.

        But yeah, working at home first is better than what my owner did and that was take out loans to work at his computer shop, then struggle to make ends meet for the most part. He made customer service his priority because he knew word of mouth travels faster than advertising.




        "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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        • #5
          Re: starting a business

          Thanks for your info guys. I think currently what could be done at home would be very little beyond the designing and building of products. I actually live around six miles from pavement and almost all of it is spent driving to the top of a 1600ft (~350m to 400m) mountain (hill if you prefer)... I don't think that would lend well, but I will keep that in mind...



          Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

          "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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          • #6
            Re: starting a business

            Originally posted by BeSiege82 View Post
            Thanks for your info guys. I think currently what could be done at home would be very little beyond the designing and building of products. I actually live around six miles from pavement and almost all of it is spent driving to the top of a 1600ft (~350m to 400m) mountain (hill if you prefer)... I don't think that would lend well, but I will keep that in mind...
            That's where customer service comes into play. Don't make them come to you, because you have to go to them. You can't expect a customer to bring their problem to you at first. That comes with establishing your customer base.
            You have to go searching for it. If they want a computer built, you can assemble it in-home and ship it to them, or deliver and install it personally if they desire. If they want repair, go to them, pick up the computer, bring it back to your place and let them know it'll be done in so many days.

            If you still think that is not a reasonable option, then by all means write up a business plan and look for investors. You'll have a rough time guaranteeing any profit though, since you're just a start-up, which will discourage investors especially if you don't have any sort of pending patent/invention/unique product.

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            • #7
              Re: starting a business

              I'm actually looking to get involved with the business incubator program at my school...



              Interested in listening to guitar playing and a good conversation, look for me on TS.

              "Hope is for the weak. I hope for nothing. I work for things. That is the only way for events to unfold." -Cleverbot

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