Wondering how to start your own computer business? Some things to keep in mind

How to Start Your Own Computer Business

The good folks at CMIT Solutions' office in Sacramento, CA

Wondering how to start your own computer business?

It’s a growing industry filled with opportunities for dedicated entrepreneurs who approach things the right way — by identifying market needs and pursuing them with smart strategies, superb customer service and an eye to the bottom line.

It’s also a career path you can’t approach lightly. Technology continues to advance, and it’s getting more and more difficult for a sole proprietor with some skill in maintaining and repairing computers to get by with a limited budget and skill set. Here are some things to consider before you make the move to start your own computer business:

Who are your customers? Would you aim for the crowded field of individual computer repair vendors, the “break-fix” crowd in branded vans and Volkswagens, or try to identify a more lucrative target market? You might be able to find some clients operating by yourself, but you’re assuming a tremendous amount of risk for mainly low-paying jobs, and it’s a crowded field with a ton of competition.

What’s your business model? Would you run the business out of the house or open a storefront? Would you aim to scale and add managers and technicians after a certain period of time or stay on your own? Would you model yourself after similar businesses or offer a new approach to service that would distinguish you from the pack?

How big is your budget? Do you have enough operating capital to run the business for a while — say, three or four months — without income? Are you confident you’d be able to win enough business in the first few months to be able to pay for equipment and operating costs, office space, employees (if needed), and any unexpected expenses?

Are you up to speed on all the latest hardware and software? Are you solvent and flexible enough to adjust? The IT world moves with lightning speed, and the skills you mastered three months ago might not be as valuable today. You have to keep learning.

Do you want to go completely on your own, or would you consider buying a franchise? Starting your own business, regardless of the field, can be an incredibly risky undertaking; you’re really banking on your own skill, expertise and capacity to work, and even then nothing is guaranteed. A franchise system allows you to take charge of your own enterprise and grow it the way you want, but with proven systems and support that can offer guidance when you need it.

CMIT Solutions is a national network of locally owned IT franchises that serves a specific and growing market with demonstrated demand: small businesses that employ between five and 99 people, businesses big enough to need outsourced IT support but generally not big enough to have internal IT departments. It’s an ideal market for managed service providers like CMIT Solutions, and we’re always looking for skilled, driven entrepreneurs — even those who might not be tech experts — to open and run CMIT locations. Interested? Take a look at www.cmitsolutions.com or www.cmitfranchise.com.