If you are interested in computers or are familiar with their technical aspects, you can start your own computer repair business. With low startup costs and no certifications or licenses required to operate, this industry has relatively low barriers to entry. This means you need to research the market and your competitors to identify a profitable location for your computer repair business. This article discusses:
- the various steps to be taken to open a computer repair business in New Zealand;
- Some of your legal and tax responsibilities; and
- how to sell computer repair services.
Upgrade your skills and keep up with trends
You do not need to obtain any special qualifications or licenses to become a computer repair technician in New Zealand. However, to increase the credibility of your services, it may be worth pursuing a certificate, diploma, or advanced degree in the following areas:
- IT support; or
- other items related to computing, such as information systems.
You also need to be a good communicator to explain problems to customers with little or no technical knowledge.
Due to the nature of your business, it is imperative that you stay on top of industry trends, software development, hardware, and emerging threats. You can do this by attending regular training sessions or by doing your own research online.
Define your service offer
Before starting a computer repair business, you will need to decide what services you can offer. From updating your operating system to removing computer viruses, your company can offer a range of services, including:
- repair of equipment for various models of computers;
- cleaning, diagnostics and damage elimination;
- removal of viruses and malware;
- repair and replacement of internal batteries;
- diagnose and solve network and performance problems; and
- data recovery.
Even if you have the skills to serve potential clients in all of these areas, in some cases it may be better to narrow down the services offered to increase your chances of success. You can do this by analyzing the market and finding a niche that is currently poorly served by your competitors. When doing this, you should also consider:
- your strengths and weaknesses; and
- the cost-effectiveness of the various options.
To find market opportunities, collect as much data as possible about:
- what services your competitors offer;
- how they rate these services; and
- how they advertise them.
Your analysis should also take into account:
the needs and expectations of your potential customers; and
how these needs are currently being met by your competitors.
Before defining your offer, compare the profitability of different options and decide on the one that makes the most sense. A mentor can help you complete or guide the analysis.
Build your business
When starting your computer refurbisher business in New Zealand, you can start your own company or purchase a franchise. Running your business within an established and well-managed franchise network can increase your chances of success, especially if you are entering a crowded market.
However, running a franchise means you don’t have the same level of control as if you were starting your own independent business. You will also have to give away a portion of your profits to the franchisor in exchange for leveraging their established brand, operational strategies, and marketing efforts.
As with most business decisions, you should:
- compare your costs and obligations for each scenario; and
- assess your willingness to accept any risks associated with each option.
Franchise agreements are often complex and can vary widely, so you should consider seeking advice from a franchise lawyer.
Choose your business structure
Another important task when starting a business is defining the legal structure. There are three common types in New Zealand, including:
- individual entrepreneur;
- partnership; and
When choosing the best structure, you should consider:
- how you want to run your business; and
- whether you need funding or want to expand your activities in the future.
For example, as a sole proprietor, you have a lot of control over how your business works, but you:
are often limited in your ability to raise capital; and
could put your personal assets at risk.
Register your business
Other important requirements for starting a business in New Zealand include registering your business:
Register NZBN or Office of Companies; and
with internal revenues.
In addition to getting an IRD number for your business, you will also need to register for a GST if you think you will make more than $ 60,000
Protect your assets
You must insure yourself to protect your business and equipment, and to protect yourself from liability in the event you make any accidental mistakes or omissions. You should tailor your insurance policies to the needs of your business, so it is best to talk to a broker to find the most competitive policies.
There are many setup tasks that you will need to complete before starting your own computer repair business. It is important that you are familiar with these commitments.
Find an office
If you are starting a small business with minimal staff and living in a classified commercial area, you can run your business from home. This will allow you to claim a portion of your household expenses for tax purposes. However, you need to properly assess the coverage area, as your home may be less crowded than a commercial space such as many shops or busy malls.
Promote your services
If you are running your business from home, it is imperative to invest in digital marketing. Indeed, developing a strong online presence ensures that your potential customers can easily access your repair services. You can do it:
- website creation; and
- invest in a mix of organic and paid advertising to build and grow your audience.
Your site should:
- clearly explain what services you offer and prices;
- include customer testimonials to increase your credibility; and
- allow customers to easily contact you via a form or live chat.
Remember to record your customers’ details in CRM and ask for permission to send them regular marketing emails such as newsletters and repeat purchase reminders.
If you run a local store, you should add local marketing to your strategy to attract new customers. This strategy allows you to target consumers and customers within a specific radius of your store. The key to developing a successful local marketing plan is to accurately identify your customer and create a mobile-friendly website. Here are some of the tactics you can implement:
- localization of your site;
- claim your local listings on third party websites and directories;
- investing in local SEO; and
- localization of your social and paid ads.