Top Ten Things A New Computer Tech Should Not Do

Starting a computer repair business is a major and serious endeavor. There’s more to having a business than simply fixing computers or laptops out of your garage. The way you speak, conduct business and accept payment will determine if you are ever called back again. While you don’t need to project yourself as being part of a huge corporate entity, you do need to be professional. The following is a list of our top ten things a new computer tech should not do.

Don’t Use The Word “Geek” In Your Name

Yes, you may be a geek. Yes, big black glasses with white tape on the bridge is hilarious. Short pants are humorous. But the whole “Geek (insert silly name here)” has been used and abused so many times, it’s time to break from that and create a professional name for your business going forward. The word “Geek” just isn’t funny anymore and there are a lot of negative connections with that name and other computer repair companies. A unique business name is essential. With that said, try to avoid names like Dave’s Computer Repair, as the name seems unprofessional. Consider branding your business name and carve a niche in your community that projects trust and dependability.

Don’t Print Your Own Business Cards

People can tell when you print your own business cards, so don’t. The fuzzy perforations around the outside of the card, along with the smudged type tell your clients you’re cheap and unprofessional. You certainly do not need business cards printed on the hides of imported baby seal butts embossed with gold leaf, but you should invest in a box of 500 business cards from your local print shop.

Don’t Use Your Home Phone As Your Business Phone

When a client calls, they want to speak to you or your receptionist–not your eight year old daughter. Nor will they ever leave a voice mail after hearing the family voice recording. Invest in a dedicated land-line or cell phone for your business. It’s a small, but necessary expense.

Don’t Show Up In A Metallica Shirt

Just because you do work out of your garage and you do like Metallica, wearing a Metallica T-shirt to your computer job may not be appropriate. While you’re at it, take out the nose ring and wear a shirt that covers your tats. Even better, you should invest in your own uniform and wear it in the field.

Don’t Install Pirated Software

While it may seem like a great way to save either yourself or your client a few bucks, don’t install software or Operating System upgrades on more than one computer. The customer may not like having to spend $129.00 on Windows, but they will certainly understand when you charge them for a new copy and open it right in front of their eyes.

Don’t Give Discounts On The Fly

It’s easy for a computer repair tech to go to a house and feel sorry for charging someone for parts or labor. Make sure you present all of your charges up front and never give discounts based on personal feelings. With that said, never overcharge a client because they have a new Corvette in the driveway.

Don’t Have A 1990’s Website

All businesses need to be on the Internet. A website will not only help you attract more business, but it is an opportunity for you to list your services, rates and contact information. With that said, a good website speaks volumes. Scrolling text marquees, animated “Email Us” icons and background MIDI music is not a good design choice. Get a domain name, a paid hosting company and design a simply, conservative website with a nice logo. And no, Facebook does not count.

Don’t Bill Clients

New technicians without a staff will have little time to bill and follow-up on payments from clients. Whether you take cash, check or credit card, try and arrange for payment when the work is completed. Prepare an invoice when the job is complete and present it to the client. Most people have checking accounts, so getting a check before you leave should not be an issue.

Don’t Forget Follow-Up Support

You must provide some type of follow-up support. Forming relationships with clients will set you apart from more popular businesses and your business will gain popularity through word of mouth. You should not, however, provide unlimited free tech support. If the conversation shifts to other computer topics, arrange for another visit to help them sort the new problem out.

Don’t Waste Advertising Money

If you don’t advertise, you won’t succeed. Advertising is a necessary cog in the wheel of success for your new tech business. Make sure you focus your advertising correctly, however. Community newsletters, local coupon books and weekly newspapers are a great place to start. You will want to keep the travel time to a minimum and these local advertising options are a great way to build your client base without spending a lot of time on the road.

You’ll no doubt compile your own “don’t” list as your business grows. If you’re an experienced computer repair company that has tips for newcomers, be sure to let us know.

Category: Troubleshooting

About the Author ()

David is a tech professional with over fifteen years of experience in the IT fields of hardware, software and system administration.

Comments (11)

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  1. Technotch says:

    its been 7 months now since I started, It seems I’m on the right track except that I’m still using my home phone as the main contact number. nice article, big thanks!

  2. Pctechbytes says:

    Do you have anything else to add to the list? I’m sure you have some stories to tell.

  3. Augustapcrepair says:

    Don’t try and guess the possible cause, and extimate for repair to the computer problem by customers description over the phone. Fo rmany times it’s not even close to “over the phone” description. For example guy calls, asks how much to replace cracked laptop screen, I take info call him back with approx cost,, but tell the customer I must check the laptop to be sure, when he drops off the laptop is in 3 pieces!

  4. Dan says:

    Buy a Domain. Dont be part of that large consulting group Yahoo.com.

    Your Domain name says it all.

  5. Tips4pc says:

    Hey I have one!!

    Do not presume that people are stupid and try to rip them off. I have people tell me stories and the best one is a guy charged $90 for a simple restart while the customer was standing there. Of course he was pretending to do other things but unfortunately this happens all the time…

    I used to get computers in all the time that just needed a restart. I would let them take the computer away with no charge and most of the time they would give me a gift because they were so happy that someone was honest with them.

    The other side of the coin is to under quote. Always investigate the error before you end up spending hours to fix what was meant to be simple. Never quote on the fly. Always go away and think about it.

    • Paul says:

      As a computer tech, I’ve never seen a computer that needed a simple restart as a fix. Unless a floppy disc or boot cd was left in one of the drives. Is that your terminology for reformat, or restore? Lol. I’m pretty sure most people that run into computer problems will restart the computer before calling for help.

      • gln says:

        Paul,

        Everyone knows that the first question to ask is if they have restarted it or not. At least that is my first. Restarts clear 85-90% of the problems that I have come across. And I am surprised at the number of people with haven’t tried to restart their computers before calling for help.

      • AlanM says:

        You’d be amazed at how many people use computers and would NEVER think of just turning it off and back on. Experience is the best teacher. My wife finaly found out about re-starting using the keyboard instead of the switch. Windows don’t take too kindly to flipping the switch.Using the switch on the computer is much more forgiving than using the one on the power strip or just plain pulling the plug.

        • Dave says:

          How true. But I can’t remember the last time I actually turned my computer off with the switch. Come to think of it, since my computer sleeps, I rarely power down my computer at all.

    • Comp1218 says:

      You are right dead on the money but I might add, that if you make a service call and it is anything more than a simple fix, the box goes back to the shop. The worst thing that can happen, is to lose data in front of the customer and not have ALL the tools you need to recover with you. I learned a long time ago that if disaster is going to strike, it will do so in front of the customer. Trying to remove adware and malware in the field for example, is an invitation for disaster because you never know EXACTLY what you will run into and the one thing that you need to recover….is back at the shop. Better to to put time back on your side and decide what to do with the service call bill later.

  6. Steven says:

    I’ve found warranty, especially if it’s just out can be an issue. Never agree to it without checking the computer first, especially if the complaint is the internet is running slow, or the computer is slow, or the other popular one, the new anti virus program reports a lot of errors in the computer.
    Having been caught out before, i have learnt that many times a new or refurbished computer comes back with such complaints is because the owner has installed malicious programs, toolbars and so forth, and the anti virus program they supposedly bought often turns out to be malicious ransomware.
    By agreeing to warranty before checking it out can result in hours of work cleaning a mess the owner created that isn’t a warranty item.

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