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Thread: Good time to get into the computer business

  1. #1
    I am Jack's smirking revenge. 985323's Avatar
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    Default Good time to get into the computer business

    Ive always loved computers, and am thinking of opening a small shop in Edmonton Ab, but im not sure if its a good idea.
    What do you think?
    Will

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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    What is there for competition? What services will you offer? Is there a good location available? What about customers, is there a local LAN league or a large group of enthusiasts that you can appeal to? Advertising? Employees? Full time job? Where will you get your merchandise?

    I think that if you think it's plausible that you can do well, then you should go for it. If there is already a locally owned computer shop, or a close by large retailer, then it could be a pretty serious challenge. Give us some info on your business model.
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  3. #3
    I am Jack's smirking revenge. 985323's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    I would like to be selling laptops and pre-made computers as well as a selection of parts and custom built computers, i would also like to do computer repair

    Edit: there is some small competetors as well as a few memory express locations
    Will

  4. #4

    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    my mom lives in bean town, i would tell her to buy from you

  5. #5

    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    I always thought of opening a computer shop in the far future.
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    Windows 7 Fanboy Datech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    Same here. I'm trying to start a little part time repair/modding/building/AV install company that will do pretty much anything Consumer Electronics related.

    You can be successful almost instantly in computer repair, you just have to know where to advertise. The two suggestions I have are:

    1. Get a permanent location. Even if its just a desk in your mom's basement, or a store front in the new strip mall, get a location that someone can bring a computer to you in an emergency without having to call you first.

    2. Make use of the many free flier services online, and tack them up at local universities, town home residences, and anywhere the 50-70 year old demographic might live. A bunch of printing and ad agencies online offer to print 150-500 fliers or business cards for free, and send it to you free of charge. Get a snazzy but understandable flier and tack it up on the doors at apartment buildings close to a university, or some neighborhood typically owned by older people. I like to think of this as reverse demographic targeting, because instead of marketing to someone's children you are marketing to someone's parent.

    My brother and I have set up most of our family, including two grandmothers and three great-uncles, with Skype and a host of other products to keep the family connected. If you market to the older generation you can gain their trust by fixing their computer and showing them how to use the software that their kids and grandkids use all the time. In turn, when Grandfather impresses Grandson with his knowledge of Skype Video Conferencing, Grandson turns to you for his next repair job.

    Whammo, you have yourself a business.
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  7. #7
    I am Jack's smirking revenge. 985323's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    thanks Datech, good advice there
    Will

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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    location location location... u needa be seen... not gunna go to a comp shop if i dont know there is one...
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  9. #9
    Religiously tolerant. Luke122's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    Edmonton has some good shops, and some BAD ones.

    I've always had good luck buying parts from Memory Express, but BCom and HCS have let me down tons of times.

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  10. #10
    Custom Title Honors chaksq's Avatar
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    Default Re: Good time to get into the computer business

    Sounds like a cool idea, I'll share a few thoughts I had on the idea. Location is important, to get customers they need to find you. Your best bet is a location within a shipping district and one that is clearly visible from a main road. Offering both in house walk in service, and travel to home services will help you get the most diverse customer base however you really need to be prepared properly for both. If you do offer to house service put graphics on the vehicle you use, it is like a traveling billboard, make sure to clearly post your services, location, phone, etc if you do.

    If it were my company I'd have after hours lan parties or casemod competitions within the store too as long as it is something you are into (like how hobby shops host magic or D&D tournaments and such), cant hurt business and gives local enthusists opportunity to network and a place to refer friends to.

    Also I saw this one in a book I sell at work (advice for woodworker's like cabinet makers but I think this applies to computers too) setup your work area in the front window so passer-bys and customers can see you working on computers, it gives people a more secure feeling. Like: "these people must know what they are doing if they are confident in doing it in front of everyone."

    I think you plan on selling built computers, this is good but I think you will get most buisness from computer repair, assistance, and upgrades. Especially with the economy people are more likely to spend money to repair or upgrade their current machine rather than drop more money for a whole new machine. Also be prepared for those who refuse to get new hardware/software, I garuntee someone will bring in PI machines with windows 98 and expect you to make it run like a Core2 with Vista.

    Also I am sure you are worried about starting a buisness in this economy. I have heard from career entrepreneurs that an economic slump like this can actually be a good time to start a buisness especially when looking for employees. With companies downsizing more experienced individuals who would be better and more useful are unemployed and looking for a job and might be willing to settle for a slightly lower salary that comes with a start up.

    Best of luck, let us know how it goes.
    Last edited by chaksq; 01-20-2009 at 07:45 PM. Reason: More ideas
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