Starting a home computer repair business not only allows you to work for yourself without a formal "boss," but also makes you more self-sufficient when going up against tough computer problems. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of thriving as a self-employed computer repair person is competing against big-box retailer operations like Best Buy's Geek Squad or Circuit City's FireDog services. However, being confident in your work and knowledgeable about many types of computer problems may help you undercut your competition and achieve success in the process.
Determine the services that you want to offer clients. Make a list of the knowledge and expertise you have in the area of computer repair. Decide if you want to offer both hardware and software services. Examples of possible computer repair services include hardware component upgrades, operating system re-installs, and virus and spyware removal services. Decide if you want to offer house calls or simply want people to bring their systems to you.
Create a space in your home devoted to your computer repair services. Turn a spare bedroom, office or den into your computer repair space. Place an office desk and computer system in your office to help stay organized with paperwork and invoices. Place a work bench or other sturdy frame to hold clients' computer systems and towers.
Purchase supplies for your computer repair business. Powering multiple systems requires electrical surge protectors. Other supplies you may need include screwdrivers, anti-static wristbands and other tools for opening computers as well as additional computer monitors.
Set prices for your services. Call or research local competitors to determine the current market rate for various computer repairs. Determine an hourly rate for labor as most clients will be paying for your "time" to fix computer problems. Or, set a flat-rate for performing certain jobs, such as virus removal or simple computer troubleshooting, which may only take ten to twenty minutes.
Make a list of vendors and suppliers which you'll use for fixing computers. Find places to buy computer repair parts, such as random access memory (RAM), and vendors for software programs you may need to use in situations for virus removal services. Examples of computer component retailers include Newegg.com and Tiger Direct. Virus removal software programs and vendors include Malwarebytes, Norton and McAfee.
Acquire the appropriate licenses and permits for your business. Register a business name with your state and pay any fees for setting up as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company (LLC). Call local city or county departments to determine if any specific permits are needed for computer repair businesses and acquire them as needed.
Matthew Schieltz has been a freelance web writer since August 2006, and has experience writing a variety of informational articles, how-to guides, website and e-book content for organizations such as Demand Studios. Schieltz holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. He plans to pursue graduate school in clinical psychology.