If you’re technically inclined and looking to start your own business, a computer repair company can be a great option. With so many people and businesses relying on computers and other devices, there is ample demand for quality computer repair services. Here is a guide to starting your own computer repair company.
Learn the Skills One of the first steps is to learn the ins and outs of computer repair. Even if you’re already tech savvy, take time to thoroughly learn skills like:
- Troubleshooting common computer problems like blue screens, freezing, slow performance, etc. Sites like ifixit.com offer step-by-step repair guides for many common issues.
- Learning how to do things like wipe drives, reinstall operating systems, remove viruses/malware, recover data, etc. YouTube has endless tutorial videos covering all these topics and more.
- Learning how to do hardware repairs and upgrades. This includes skills like replacing damaged ports, swapping out hard drives, adding RAM, updating graphics cards, etc. Again, sites like ifixit and YouTube are invaluable resources.
As the owner of a new computer repair shop, customers will expect you to be able to address nearly any issue they have. Take time upfront to learn so you can confidently work on all kinds of computers and problems.
Get the Right Equipment You’ll need some basic equipment to get started:
- Screwdriver sets, tweezers, pliers, etc. for hardware work
- Canned air to clean out dust
- Thermal paste for re-applying to CPUs
- External drives for data backup
- Software tools for diagnostics, repair, wiping drives, etc.
Purchasing all brand-new equipment can get expensive. Check classified ads, thrift stores, and Facebook Marketplace for good deals on used tools and components. Buy old non-working computers to practice repairs on before you work on a customer’s machine.
Focus on commonly needed parts and tools. For specialty items, you can always rent or borrow equipment as needed in the early stages. Join tech/repair forums to connect with others who may lend or rent equipment.
Set Up Your Workspace To begin working on client repairs, you’ll need an appropriate workspace. The space doesn’t need to be large, but should have at least:
- A clean, organized workbench or desk
- Good lighting
- Secure storage for parts/tools
- Space for computers during the repair process
- Electrical outlets and internet access
A spare bedroom, garage, basement, or warehouse space can all work well. Make sure it is neat, well-lit, and professionally presentable for any clients that may drop off or pick up machines. Keep tools and spare parts organized so you can easily find what you need while repairing a computer.
Determine Your Services There are a wide variety of computer services and repairs businesses offer today, including:
- Operating system installation/reinstallation
- Driver installation
- Hardware diagnostics and troubleshooting
- Hardware upgrades – RAM, hard drives, graphics cards
- Data backup and recovery
- Virus, malware, and spyware removal
- Computer cleaning and maintenance
- Software troubleshooting and reinstallation
- Password recovery
- Data migration from old to new machines
- Home network setup and support
Take some time to determine which services you will offer, based on your expertise, available equipment, etc. You may want to focus on the most common services like OS and software issues, data recovery, cleaning, etc. before expanding into more complex hardware repairs.
Register Your Business To operate legally, register your computer repair business with the state. You’ll need to choose a business name (and file a DBA if desired), register the business, and get any necessary licenses or tax IDs. If you plan to operate from home, check local regulations as some areas restrict home businesses.
It can also be helpful to form an LLC or corporation to separate your business and personal assets for liability purposes. Speak with an attorney or accountant to determine the best business structure for tax purposes.
Get Wholesale Parts Accounts Once you begin actively repairing computers, you’ll go through parts quickly. Sign up for wholesale accounts with suppliers like:
- ifixit.com – Sells repair parts & tools for mobile devices, consoles & computers
- Newegg.com – PC components, storage, memory, etc.
- Ingram Micro – IT parts, accessories, hardware & more
Opening a wholesale account provides big discounts on bulk orders. This increases your profit margins and saves money restocking your inventory of commonly used repair parts.
Build Your Skill Set with Practice Repairs Before actively advertising your services, build up your skills and confidence by doing practice repairs. Some ideas for getting practice include:
- Ask friends and family if you can try fixing any non-working computers or devices they have.
- Check classifieds and Facebook Marketplace for people giving away old, broken computers. Offer to haul them away for free so you can tinker with them.
- Approach local computer repair shops about observing for a day or shadowing one of their technicians to learn. Offer to do this in exchange for a product credit at their parts supplier.
- Volunteer at a community center or nonprofit computer refurbishing project. This gives you hands-on experience while benefiting the community.
Take detailed notes on the issues you encounter and how you troubleshoot and repair them. This will build up your internal knowledge bank and help cement new skills.
Create A Business Website To market your services and build credibility, create a website for your computer repair business. Some key things to include on the site:
- A list of all services clearly outlined
- Steps for how customers can bring in devices or get repairs (do you offer pickup/drop-off?)
- Your experience, credentials & certifications
- Customer testimonials and reviews, if possible
- Payment options and other logistic details
- Company contact info & scheduling system
Ideally, get a professional to design the site and make sure it conveys professionalism and builds trust. This will give customers confidence in using your repair services.
Market and Advertise Your Business With a brand, workspace, and website in place – it’s time to get the word out! Some marketing tactics to try:
- Ask existing personal/professional contacts to try your services and provide referrals
- Create flyers and business cards to hand out in the community
- Run Google and Facebook ads targeted locally for relevant keywords like “computer repair”
- See if small computer shops or other businesses will allow you to leave business cards or flyers
- Ask to put up flyers at nearby colleges/universities where students need tech help
- Attend local business networking events to make connections
- Offer a promotional deal for new customers, like 10% off or free diagnostics
Focus on getting some customers and positive reviews early on. This will organically attract more local business over time as your reputation builds.
Continue Learning and Improving As technology changes, continue learning new skills and improving your offerings. Some ideas:
- Take advanced certification courses related to repair specialties like data recovery, OS configuration, etc.
- Regularly study new software, hardware, and repair techniques.
- Attend conferences and events to connect with others in computer repair industries.
- Expand into business IT support, custom PC building, home smart device installation, etc.
Striving to always improve your technical skills and offerings will ensure continued success. This helps build a reputation as the most knowledgeable, capable computer service in town.
Starting a computer repair company allows you to help people fix frustrations and lost productivity while building an exciting entrepreneurial venture. With a dedication to honing your expertise in both customer service and technical work, you can build a computer repair business that benefits both clients and your own career ambitions. Use the steps outlined above to get started and grow a successful, trusted local tech support company.