Parental Computing ?
i want to build computers for people in my spare time and i want to sell them.....i need to know how much money i should have in the bank before i start, and what software to use for money management. i do not plan on having a large scale operation, so mobye ill only be building a few computers a week. also, i could use help finding a name...any ideas?
Parental Computing ?
Doh ! ;D
I thought the responses you received for this question over at LNO were quite informative. Give them some serious thought before you proceed into this venture.
Whoa...be very careful. First of all, you will need to register your business name. In some states (WA is one, I believe), you will need to establish a business license in order to register a business name. Since you are still a minor, your parents will have to co-sign (they might not be too happy about that, considering their past behavior) or possibly establish it in your name. This gets expensive, quick.
In order to get hardware and software wholesale, you will need a business license. So, if you do it part time and don't plan on getting a license, you will find it hard to get cheap parts (http://www.pricewatch.com will go a long way toward getting you the cheapest price, but it will take a longer time to get the stuff). If your customers don't mind the delay, that won't be a problem. Some wholesalers require a large deposit in order to use them. They might require you to buy in bulk (4 or 5 parts at a time, maybe more).
It is okay to start a small, garage-based business. Just be careful, or it could cost you a lot of money with very little return on your investment (E-machines ring a bell? Very low profit margins). I would do it on a case by case basis, with very little stock on hand.
Also, unfortionatly, with they way the PC market is right now, it's extremely difficult for people like us to offer PC's cheaper and with better warrenties than other companies are at teh moment.
I used to build and sell custom setups for family and friends, a year or 2 ago, but now, it's far cheaper for them to just buy the PC direct from the store. OF course, I consult with them and help them custom design a setup at the store (and take a small fee for that) but other than that, it's just not a good market.
Now, doing repair work, that's still fair game. The money in repair is in the labor costs. Just set your labor cost slightly lower than that of any local repair shop, and you are pretty much golden. Of course, you have to get your reputation established, so start with family and friends....
(BTW repair work can include upgrades)
Been there, done that. STAY AWAY! Warranties and customer support will eat you alive.
Try to come up with a better idea (maybe custom programming, or graphics design, I don't) but don't get into computer hardware.