The accidental business - opportunity often finds you
You never know when a business opportunity will find you. Here's the story of my computer service business opportunity and how a sound reputation really helped me to start my computer service business with success.
Here's the story of how I lucked upon starting my own computer service business.
Shortly after I first joined the Army back in 1989 (I know that pretty much dates me), I was standing in formation and was asked if anyone could type.
I was able to and the Platoon Sgt then took me in to assemble my new "type writer" - a 286 computer.
This was my newly assigned equipment, and it soon broke down (as 286 computers were known to do).
His reply was simple: "Its your equipment, you get it fixed".
That one answer has added wealth to my family.
It helped to springboard me into starting a computer service business that I could have never imagined.
And...when times got tough, that learned computer skilled that I had "accidentally" acquired made me a fortune.
Now understand this: fixing computers was not my career field in the Army.
In fact, my occupation on record was that of a linguist.
But, as time passed, I was able to build upon this computer skill so much that I ended up eventually starting my own computer business.
As I moved from station to station my reputation as a computer technician began to proceed me.
Exiting commanders often told entering commanders of technical prowess.
One commander would tell the other, "This guy takes care of our computers at the unit, if you don't have anyone else already doing it you might keep him for that".
This went on for almost ten years, and, when I finally got out of the Army, I had a skill which of course was undocumented but was very sale-able.
When I returned home, I began working as a computer technician for many local companies.
And as time progressed, I would work on getting a variety of computer-related certifications.
These certifications benefited me as well as many of the companies I worked for.
And just like in the Army, my name became associated with repairs of certain types of electronic equipment (mostly mainframe computers and personal computers).
And here's the kicker: I didn't know it at the time but the technical skill-set I was building was a skill-set that many other did not possess.
In fact, the type of computer service I was performing was something that others were struggling to do (some successfully others not so successfully.)
And to think, my successes were a result of getting my name known and building a reputation for being a sound computer technician.
Anyone looking to break into the computer field or looking into starting their own computer business can learn from my story.
The key point is to get your name known for doing solidly good work.
Your work doesn't have to be spectacular - but it does need to be good.
Since then I have slowly built a business, buying needed equipment as I have to.
If you are looking at starting your own computer business, then you can learn a thing or two from my experience as a business owner.
Whatever you do, don't over extend your finances initially
Let the business pay for the equipment.
If purchasing equipment is out of your range - then don't make that big investment wait until you can afford it.
Now, this rule of thumb doesn't hold true for critical pieces of equipment.
- So, if the investment will realize itself within 6 months to a year - it might be worth the price.
- Otherwise, don't commit to financial obligations which may not be reachable early on.
The third point is really a biggie (that is, if you followed step number two: don't overextend your finances).
It's the crux of what has made my business a success.
And it is: don't price yourself out of the market.
This is where most new companies fail.
I want to make a profit just like anyone else - but not from just one customer.
If the customer feels like they are getting a good deal for what they are paying, your name will spread like wildfire (goes back to step one).
Again this lesson taught itself, as I left my job I moved to another field.
People began to ask for help, with my skills I was able to assist them at an affordable rate.
I have now made more money away from the computer field then I ever made working in it.
It has been slow, but it has really been worth it.
Take your time, extend yourself to help others and it will come back to you.
Let your customers know how important they are to you, when you do they really do appreciate it.
This is the fourth and final important concept.
Here's to successfully starting a computer service business that your customers will crave!
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