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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Does anyone else on this site own/run their own business?
If so, what sort of business is it?

Paul
 

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Yup, I take it you're thinking of setting up on your own?
 

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Work for the Family Business off-Licenses and Supermarkets,

My wife also runs here own catering and and sandwhich shop
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yup, I take it you're thinking of setting up on your own?
Yeah i am, A PC building business. Hopefully it will be up and running by January time, just waiting on the website to be written mainly.
 

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Yup. What is it you need?
Margins in PCs are ridiculously miniscule these days though, unless you are aiming at a niche market demanding certain specs...
 

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PC Building?! A whole business dedicated to it? Mate, no point, surely? Are you going for some high end custom builds or something? How are you going to beat the likes of Dell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, i will be custom PCs as well as predefined ones.
I might not succeed in such a tight market, but wouldnt you all say that it is worth a try? It is only part time to start with after all.
 

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I run my own business in IT however I would really think hard about dedicating one to just building PC's, the only people you will appeal to are non business users. Any company in their right mind would not use custom built pc's.

In the late 90's when the development of pc components was moving at a fast rate then it was OK but alot of the companies I know of that once specialised in custom built PC's are now seeking business in different area's of the market.

What people tend to forget when building PC's is that you need to offer some sort of warranty, if you give a 1 year warranty expect to receive lots of calls from illiterate IT people who will automatically assume everyone problem they have is to do with something you did.

Also think about.

Hardware warranty - what if after 2months the motherboard fails? the manufacturer will not accept them back unless they have had full diagnostics run.

Licensing - You will not be able to get close to a company like dell who offer Windows XP included in the price, expect to pay at least ?100 per machine
 

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Yes, i will be custom PCs as well as predefined ones.
I might not succeed in such a tight market, but wouldnt you all say that it is worth a try? It is only part time to start with after all.
To be brutally honest, no, I wouldnt even consider it. I used to build them, learnt from it and now won't bother. Direct anyone to dell.
 

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It is possible for your business to work as I know of one near here that uses the same supplier as myself they are called custom computers swad ltd
I myself run my own IT Support firm and do supply PC's to my clients as it creates margin for me and provides the clients excellent service as I carry spare parts around with me.

Don't rule out providing other services which provide yourself with more margin and your clients with a better service.

Also remember to get yourself signed up with Microsoft's OEM programme and never ever supply pirate software.
 

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Hardware warranty - what if after 2months the motherboard fails? the manufacturer will not accept them back unless they have had full diagnostics run.

Licensing - You will not be able to get close to a company like dell who offer Windows XP included in the price, expect to pay at least ?100 per machine
Hardware Warranty - If you buy from a decent supplier they will test for you (After you've done some basic Tests) and then sort you with credit / replacement within 12 months.

Licensing - Where have you got your figures from ? XP home oem is less then 50 and xp pro oem is less than 80.
 

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Ive been in the business of selling Computer products for nearly 12 years. I started selling PC Components (Hard Drives, CPUs, Memory, Monitors etc etc) to various sizes of System builders and during the mid 90's there were good margin not only for me, but for system builders, no matter what the size.

These days, the pure margin has gone - you will not make money building custom pcs any more. Even lots of mid size System Builders have gone bust in the past couple of years (elonex for instance where fairly sizable and they really struggled, then look at the likes of TIME....)

I have moved away nearly totally from selling components and now sell mostly PC Monitors and LCD TV's. The only "component" brand we still supply to the trade are Aopen Optical drives and Cases. But most of my customers now are etail based resellers or retail shops.

I would seriously consider looking hard at what you are thinking about doing mate - your about 10 years to late in my opinion.

People have always asked me where they should get a PC for home from - and it kills me to say it to them, dell! You cant beat them for price or support to a non-pc person. Agree - if like me you understand the insides of a PC, then you build your own from shopping around and getting all the components but not everyone is that clued up and they are the ones that are looked after by the likes of Dell.

Good luck with your business though, I can give you most of the best places to buy the products if you need me to help.
 

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I set up and have been running a graphic design / web design business for the past 3 years designing all types of promotional media including vehicle graphics, A boards, signage etc. Scary, especially in the quieter periods but beats working for somebody else. Business is still good at the mo, could always be better though. If you can some how set up some contractual work for setting up and maintaining these systems you would be on to a winner. Contracts of any type are money spinners.
 

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Yopu will not make money out of building PC's ... however small usiness IT support will... why spend 3 hours building a PC with probably less than ?30 profit ... when installing anti virus on a workstation will earn you that but only take 10 minutes.

My best mate is really successfull at this, though it has taken him 7 years to get there, he tried the PC building it didnt work, just left him with debt, now he supports 5 businesses all on maintenance contracts and looks after over a 1000 desktops, he supplys them with either dell or refurbished compaqs, they pay cost for hardware, there is NO margin in it his costs have to be transparent the internet has shown peole what things cost... his money is in the resale of operating systems, anti virus products support calls and now Microsoft is cracking down, ensuring compliance of licensing. Basically he does what any good IT manager would do BUT on a contract and not full time.

basically if you can juggle time well and you can be a successfull IT manager then you van do this.. an IT manager usually costs 30k plus for a small firm if you can bring that down to 10-15k but get systems implemented and do a weeks work in 1-2 days then get 4 contracts like that you can earn good money every year, but dont expect holidays or a stress free life.
 

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I run two of my own business doing CCTV and surveillance
technologies. I also have a computer company that supply?s pc?s / software /
server?s etc and maintains them for the automotive repair industry.

<o:p> </o:p>

I have to agree with the above comments about building pc?s,
you will not be able to find the margins in it anymore. The only thing we
custom build are basic servers, but people like HP / Acer are now getting a
very good SME product line.

<o:p> </o:p>

The other thing you have to also remember about supplying
PC?s is you will need to have insurance for the computers, let?s say you build
a PC and it bursts into flames and sets fire to a house, if the PC was found to
be at fault you could be sued.

You would also have to have RoHS accreditation and have a disposal plan for
customers, lots of money and a lot of hidden costs in the future.<o:p></o:p>
 

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I really fancy working for myself too. Im a jack of all IT area's( IT support, networking/ cat 5 cableing, website design (flash/dreamweaver), Cisco, windows,novell, ibm as400/iseries cl progamming... the list goes on and on).

Im more than qualified to support small business's as ive been in the game for 10 years.... just i dont know where to start.
(Here's my last website i did for a family friend www.ace-uk.org )...

Biggest hurdle that puts me off, is the difficulty in getting a customer base when your starting from scratch.

Whats the best way to get your foot in the door?? .........................cold calling, email, newspaper advert???

Any other info on how to get started would be great......

Ps... to the original message poster.
About 5 years ago you may have been able to make money building Pc's.... but not know im afraid. Since Dell have dropped their prices (and everyone else to suit!) its a no goer im afraid.
Only Pc building you will be able to make money on are high end Pc's..... but even then, you wont be making that much and there are far less people out their wanting 1k machines than there are wanting ?400 Pc's.
I used to build them for family/friends/customers in my spare time but given it up now as its not worth the hassle as i dont make any moeny on the pc bits i buy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My best mate is really successfull at this, though it has taken him 7 years to get there, he tried the PC building it didnt work, just left him with debt, now he supports 5 businesses all on maintenance contracts and looks after over a 1000 desktops, he supplys them with either dell or refurbished compaqs, they pay cost for hardware, there is NO margin in it his costs have to be transparent the internet has shown peole what things cost... his money is in the resale of operating systems, anti virus products support calls and now Microsoft is cracking down, ensuring compliance of licensing. Basically he does what any good IT manager would do BUT on a contract and not full time.
andymac, i have PM'd you.

Does anyone else do this sort of thing on a contract basis? Sounds like it has some good possiblities,but could do with some more information on it, like how to do payments etc. Would I need to invoice them weekly/monthly and then they give me cash/cheque, or how would i need to go about it?

Going to be starting an MCDST course as soon as i get my books, so support should be ok for this.
 

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People have always asked me where they should get a PC for home from - and it kills me to say it to them, dell!? You cant beat them for price or support to a non-pc person.? Agree - if like me you understand the insides of a PC, then you build your own from shopping around and getting all the components but not everyone is that clued up and they are the ones that are looked after by the likes of Dell.
I hate to disagree, but Apple has been beating Dell on price alone for the last couple of years at least. Before they went Intel it was difficult to make a direct comparison because of the number of variables, but now it's widely reported by leading hardware analysts. Granted, Dell compete in a lot more sectors where Apple isn't active, but where Apple chooses to it does it's homework and kicks Mikey boy's butt.
Back on topic; I would definitely stay out of PC building unless you are extremely familiar with very specific niche vertical sectors such as broadcast, aviation, post production etc and can develop dedicated high end bespoke systems, servers, RAIDs, network, client installations and the like. These will require very specialised knowledge that will not be available in the wider IT industry, but you have to absolutely know your sh!t, push the envelope and innovate the hell out of the sector. You also need a track record and some flagship installations and long term clients.
I've been running my own production companies doing music, film, electronic arts, etc for over 15 years and have done stuff in Hollywood and all over the world (I'm typing this from Bangalore right now - which is really where you want to be if you wanna glimpse the future!) and the only way to succeed is to be the best in the world in your chosen field. failing that you will have to be an anonymous box shifter, and that's a mugs game because you need to do it in HUGE quantities to achieve the same margins.
anyway, good luck. do you research, take your time, don't blow your money!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Has anyone ever had their website URL/your business logo advertised on their car, ie www.yourwebsite.com on the bumper/boot?

If so, where did you get it done?
 
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