Tools of the Trade – Software Essentials for PC Repair

Running your own repair business means finding the best tools to help your customers. Unlike repairing computers for friends and family, you are now doing this for profit, which means that licensing agreement is a lot more important. Many free tools are only for personal use- commercial use requires expensive licensing. Read the rest of this entry »

Job Posting: Senior Computer and Server Support Technician

SAMSA has one opening for a Senior Computer and Server Support Technician. Responsibilities include providing support for desktop, server, and mobile technologies for SAMSA clients. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Start a Computer Business Using Subcontractors

Most aspiring business owners do not start with the consideration that they won’t be doing the labor themselves. When it comes to running a computer repair business, actually repairing computers can be a big distraction from managing the business. For this reason, it may be worth considering starting out by hiring contractors to do the work, and spending your time on the marketing of your business. The majority of your time will probably be spent partnering with new contractors, communicating with customers & contractors, and marketing your business.

The goal of running a contractor-based business is to automate as much as possible, so that you can focus on growth, keeping scalability and expansion in mind. This approach is not without challenges, however; management, communication, and advertising need to be automated as much as possible to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Some more of the pros and cons of running a subcontractor-based business are discussed here.

Stuxnet: as Complex as Malware Gets

A article tells the story of perhaps the most complicated computer virus – Stuxnet – and it’s discovery and ongoing investigation. Definitely worth a read for techs seriously interested in security. You might think you’ve come across some difficult computer viruses until you read this.

Fake Hard Drive Error Virus Removal

BienTek, a Southeast Michigan computer services and virus removal business, reports seeing an abundance of fake hard drive error viruses lately.

These viruses typically hide documents and desktop files. Messages warn of “IDE or SATA” failures and suggest paying to get a version of their “repair utility” to fix the issue. These fake programs usually seek to obtain your credit card information to get your files back. They are essentially ransomware, since they are holding files for ransom. Read the rest of this entry »

The Rise of Tablets

In a followup to Is the End of PC Repair Near?, a new article from the Los Angeles Times discusses the rise of tablet computers, and the decline of PCs. Some article highlights reflect the discussion that has taken place around whether the PC repair industry will be around in a few years, including points like the following:

Many computer users still prefer the laptop’s physical keyboard for writing. And unlike PCs, tablets don’t yet allow users to burn CDs or DVDs, play more graphics-intensive video games or store large music and photo collections. And with the glacial pace at which many companies replace workstations, the millions of PCs parked on cubicle desks around the world aren’t likely to disappear overnight.

Tablets, with their limited screen size and lack of a keyboard, are not yet as effective for tasks that involve a great deal of typing or creative work. They are still a rare sight on college campuses, where students need the versatility of laptops to crunch numbers and write long papers.

Ultimately, technicians are going to find opportunity in tablet repair, although the market does not seem like it will be as profitable as traditional computer repair once was. It seems that one of the first changes the computer tech is going to need to make to stay afloat starting now is to increase his focus on providing services for the business market.

Update June 19th: “we will see the end of PCs within a decade” according to Adam Bosworth in a TechCrunch article.

Should Computer Repair Businesses Advertise on Groupon?

In a computer repair thread, CallThatGirl asks about advertising her business on Groupon. The trouble with Groupon for service businesses is that your production capacity is limited by the number of employees you have, and unless you have a large number of employees that aren’t keeping busy, you might get overwhelmed with the short burst of work. If your business gets overwhelmed, Read the rest of this entry »

Is the End of PC Repair Near?

In The Future of the PC Repair Business, your author speculates on what technicians should expect in the coming years. Virus removal is an important service for today, but will it be around in five years? Will PC’s become extinct?

Why Your Computer Tech Application Sucks

I receive a lot of computer repair applications from potential techs (contractors) that I seek to partner with, and many of the cover letters just suck. Here’s the worst type: the tech often gives a story about his passion to fix computers since he was in his mother’s womb, and how he was born with a repair kit in his hand. Unfortunately, it says little about experience. He speaks about his communication skills, but in that same sentence, grammar errors are made and and obscure words are used in a failed attempt to impress. If he includes a story, it’s about how he once had to fix his own computer, or his mother’s (since he has such a small sample set of stories to draw upon, given his minimal experience).

The better application speaks about Read the rest of this entry »

Should Your Businesses Advertise on AngiesList?

Is it worth it to Advertise on AngiesList? Some people think the system is a scam. That’s no big surprise to find some negative feedback, given the size of AngiesList. If your AngiesList sales rep tries to get you to buy a package, and you decline, it’s likely he’ll come back later with a discount (this might be months later). My business got a 50% discount offered after waiting. Still, after looking at the numbers, I chose not to advertise on AngiesList, even with the 50% discount.