If you are thinking about starting a home business, you may be interested to look into becoming a computer repair technician. Since the computer generally goes to the technician, it is possible to have the office at any location - even at home, though there may be times when a technician has to go to fix the computer.
For most computer work, you do need to have a good amount of either education or experience. Though there are programs and degrees to train new computer technicians, most education comes from hand-on experience, so find someone who is "street smart" in computer technology to help tutor you. You do need to have a certificate of recognition to enter into most fields of work.
If you become a computer repair technician, you may include building new hardware or updating software to fix internal issues (and creating or maintaining networks involving the computer). Sometimes, you may not be needed for repair, but needed to maintain the quality of computer work. Some more experienced technicians may work in system administration or to recover data.
You will also be expected to provide valid technical support. There may be times when a customer wants to call you outside of business hours because of ongoing issues they are experiencing. You will need to know what your plan of action will be at this time. Will you take the call? Will you outsource it? Will you let the machine pick up? Make sure your customer knows their options as they work with you to avoid frustration later. Keep up to date with computer upgrades so that you will be able to easily discern what needs to be done.
Issues that you may face could include everything from huge projects replacing hardware and operating systems to small repairs caused by viruses.
Some hardware that you may work with includes laptops, scanners, desktops, printers and routers. When you are working on any part of a computer, it is important to back up the customer's information to the best of your ability to ensure no content is lost.
When you are working with software issues, you may deal with simple settings changes or completely reinstall the software. You must be aware that reinstalling software may cause some information to have some settings changed, or worse, information lost if not properly backed up
To freelance as an at-home computer repair technician, make sure you have office space available to spread out your work. You must remain very organized as to not mix up customer information. If possible, only work on one customer's computer at a time.
Make a business plan, and decide how much work you will need to meet financial goals. Know your products and information, and be able to give both price and time estimates to your clients to help ensure customer satisfaction. Figure out your prices and polices and stick to them. You will need to get a business license from your local courthouse.
Market yourself by advertising locally and having a website. Since, in most cases you will need to work with physical machinery, you will probably want to keep your business local. Let your friends know that you are opening your own business so that they will be able to refer customers to you as well. Contact local businesses and let them know that you are a computer repair technician, and they will most likely come to you rather than to a corporate location.
Be honest with your customer about their computer problems and show them that you respect them. To a lot of people, their computers contain all their information for work and life, and it is hard when it is not working (and they have to entrust it to a stranger). Give them excellent customer service, and they will refer you to their friends when their friends need computer assistance.
It may be possible to become subcontracted by some smaller companies and work as a consultant for them. In those cases, make sure you can be available to them by giving other customers a little longer of a time estimate. This way, other customers will not become upset, and they may be pleased if you finish early.