We are living in a technology age where the mainstay of most daily routines is anchored on technology-based systems and gadgets. So far-reaching is the digital technology spectrum that virtually everyone has some form of tech that they rely on daily. As time progresses we are even going to see more and more tech innovations becoming mainstream in Zimbabwe. As is the case with any gadget or system the need for maintenance, repair or upgrade will always arise. It is with that basis that the prospects of business ideas in the tech domain come into view. Herein I’m touching on how you can establish a business majoring in tech repairs
This is largely dependent on what area you choose to focus on. Mainly tech repair focuses on computer hardware and in some instances computer systems as a whole. Location-wise it’s again optional either home, commercial building or on-call (i.e. being called to a location to fix an issue in situ). You’ll need to have basic tools such as an electrician would have. Some of the tools or components you’ll need to have are different types of OS (operating systems), screwdrivers sets, data recovery mechanisms, different types of computer-related cables, blowers, spare internal and external computer parts, just to mention a few. You would also need to acquire diagnostic equipment and diagnostic software. You can’t afford to gamble when diagnosing problems as that can have fatal or costly repercussions. You’ll also need a very responsive website and highly active social media presence. Workspaces don’t necessarily have to be sophisticated as such. All you need is to develop a sterile, well-lit, secure and easily accessible work area. You also need to have a solid network of suppliers.
Broadly you can target to cater for the individual or for other businesses or institutions. You can actually combine the two so as to have a diversified portfolio every time. Regardless of what location you choose to settle for you can still provide services for both individuals & businesses alike. You don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to just repair only. You can also provide installation services, maintenance and tech support (physical or virtual).
Depending on how you want to start, of which, normally you can start off small – your team can be very lean. You can start off with a team of 4 with two focusing on doing the actual repairs whilst you and the other person focus on other administrative operations. The people doing repairs must have qualified technical expertise – desist from guesswork. People with Cisco, Microsoft, Apple certification and so on, those are the people for the job – technical expertise is imperative! Your repairs team must be well-versed in both the hardware and software aspects as there is usually an intertwined relationship between the two.
Your start-up costs can be very lean depending on how you chose to operate. If you institute a commission-based remuneration for the repair team that significantly contains financial burden. Operating on-call or from home can also reduce costs. Getting diagnostic equipment, diagnostic software and operational tool kits are some of the significant initial costs. Instituting blanket charges or hourly rates for repairs also ensures you can start making money right from the onset, thus, averting initial loss-making. Though initial loss-making can be mostly inevitable you must ensure that you have buffer funds to operate optimally for six months before significant profits start to flow in.
Tech repairs are definitely an on-demand services. There are many people using tech gadgets or systems, from individuals to corporates, students and so on. So there is definitely an inexhaustible market that can be tapped into. Often times I hear people complaining about how hard it is to find well-grounded and skilled tech repair services. Therefore if you put together a very consummate tech repair business that offers exceptional service you’ll no doubt carve out a huge market share for yourself.
First things first, get your business registered for formal recognition and to have a professional appeal. Secondly, considering the nature of this business i.e. the risk of property damage or loss – it’s highly advisable to get insurance. You can approach insurance service providers and find out what packages they have that can cover your business. As I earlier on highlighted, it’s very important to have qualified technical personnel. If you have a repair team that has the formal certification that not only legalizes their ability but it also boosts your ratings.
Tech is always characterised by rapidly evolving trends so always stay on top of current and emerging trends. Customer service is very important in this type of business. Customers will need to be given answers to questions or explanations in easy to understand terms. Integrity and ethics are also important, this is a technical field and some people capitalize on this to short-change customers. This has set a bad precedent as tech repair people now tend to be sometimes taken with suspicion due to past bad experiences. Referrals are a major driver for customer inflows for your business so how you interact with customers and provide services is of utmost importance.