Owning a personal computer was once considered a luxury. Computers have now integrated into our lives to the point of being considered a necessary part of living. Most businesses could not function as efficiently without computers, and nearly every household in America has access to a personal computer. This creates market conditions that are favourable to anyone who wants to start a small computer business. All it takes is a little technical know how, a lot of hard work and some start up capital. If you meet this criteria, you could be running the computer business that you've always dreamed of.
- Skill level:
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Write a plan for your business. Identify the challenges that a small computer business expects to face, and make a plan for how you will overcome those challenges if they present themselves. Also come up with a budget for operating your business, as well as projections of how much money you can expect to make in order to cover those costs. There are many websites that offer free business plan templates. Download one of these templates and use it as a guide to write a plan for your computer store.
Register your computer business with the City Clerk's office. This will make you a legal company and also give you the ability to obtain an employer identification number from the Federal Government for tax purposes. The registration process may vary from state to state. Call your local City Clerk to find out where and how to register your business. You can also contact the Secretary of State's office for the state your business will be located in.
Find a location for your small computer business. This location should have adequate retail space for your sales staff. You should also have plenty of room in the back to provide an area for building, repairing and storing computers that are not kept on the sales floor. The location of the building is also an important consideration, since you want it to be easy for people to get to your computer store.
Order the computer hardware and peripheral devices that you will sell in your store. You will need to establish a reseller account with various computer manufacturers. This allows you to buy computers at a wholesale price so that you can resell the hardware or software. If you plan to also offer an in-house brand, you will need to order the components that are needed to build those systems.
Purchase a point of sale and inventory control system for your small computer business. The inventory control aspect will alert you when you need to order replacement items, and also give you a quick glance view of what you have in stock. The point of sale (POS) software provides an interface for your employees to easily sell items to customers. It also instantly updates your inventory as sales are made.
Hire the staff that will work in your store. You may not need a staff if your computer store is really small. However, when making your budget during Step 1, you should plan on having at least a couple of people on the payroll. This will allow you to have someone covering repairs and someone working on the sales floor during times when you may be busy balancing the books or doing other paperwork.
Announce your grand opening. Print flyers, take out ads in the local newspaper, submit announcements to local radio stations and do anything else possible to get the word out about your new computer store. It is important to let people know that you are open for business.
Tips and warnings
- You can get additional business if you become an authorised sales agent and authorised repair shop for various computer brands. This serves as free advertising in a sense, because that manufacturer will refer targeted customers to your business.