Mobiles and computers are no longer items of luxury. They are a must have for any household. Further, all professional activities would come to a standstill if the computing and communication powers are snatched away from them.
The omnipresence of these devices implies that you can earn steady income if you set up a mobile/computer servicing and repair center. Fixing technical and software issues that hassle users can keep you profitably engaged. The demand for services would never wane and technical or virus/malware related issues would keep surfacing up.
Planning the Business
Any venture cannot succeed without a robust plan. You need to chalk out an elaborate mobile/computer servicing and repair business plan to maintain your cost effectiveness and competitive edge. The plan should address a number of areas as delineated below.
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- The gamut of your service offerings i.e. hardware repair, technical troubleshooting, software problems resolution etc.
- Does your technical proficiency measure up to the needs of the service/repair business
- Would you need to undergo a certification course in mobile/computer repairing before starting the business to inspire trust in prospects?
- What would be your USP that would make your services more credible and acceptable among targets?
- Competition analysis to understand the rich sources of customers, strategies being deployed by adversaries to attract clients, and marketing tactics needed to wean prospects away from their regular service agencies
- Which methods to adopt to render your services cheaper and business sustainable?
- The repair business demands servicing clients at their locations frequently. Which connectivity options to rely on for swiftly reaching client’s place and demonstrate your commitment for customer satisfaction?
- Should you enter into an agreement with a popular commutation service for availing cheaper transportation facilities on regular basis?
- Do you want to operate from home or lease out a store in popular business location?
- For setting up the store, the area should be visible, easy reachable with ample parking space
- Would you be able to pull it off on your own or would you have to hire additional people?
- What should be the basic technical competency of people you intend to hire?
- What would be your marketing budget?
- In which places you would get your services listed for grabbing more attention like local Yellow Pages, websites etc.
- Which diagnostic software and tools you have to procure to efficiently cater to clients’ needs?
- How much insurance coverage would be required to indemnify clients if a mishap occurs during repair?
- What would be your charges for various services offered and whether they are comparatively lower than your adversaries?
- Would you have special offers and discounts for regular customers?
- How would you facilitate online payment for customers unwilling to pay by cash?
- What would be your marketing approach for people of different income groups and demographic quotients?
- What assets would be required to start with i.e. the number of computers, tools, bags, furniture, and other equipment
- What are the types of expenses you are likely to incur on daily or regular basis for which you have to set fund aside?
- What would be your contingency or back-up plan in the event of a disaster?
- What are your profit related expectations from the business and how you are going to achieve them realistically?
- How long would it take to recover the mobile/computer servicing and repair business start up cost according to your business projection?
- How many hours weekly you have to work to materialize your aspirations?
- What would be the normal working hours for the business?
- How would your prospects reach out to you?
- What are the potential roadblocks in your plan and how you aim to address them?
- Should you serve as an apprentice at a repair shop to get a feel of the nature of problems frequently encountered and the average resolution time?
- Entering into what kind of strategic alliance with software and hardware partners would help you cut costs and affordable run your business?
Mobile and computing domains are in a state of technological flux. Popular trends become obsolete in few days and are superseded by more sophisticated systems. As such, to make your presence felt in this segment and remain relevant, you need to keep yourself abreast of all contemporary advancements.
Registering your Business
Once your business and marketing strategies have been chalked up, it is time to get your enterprise registered. You can operate the service centre as a sole proprietor or enter into a limited liability partnership with someone you can trust. A partnership would relieve you from having to bear the debts and losses individually although you would have to share the profits with others.
Alternatively, you can apply for franchise of a renowned service centre. This way you would have all the resources served on a platter and you can benefit from the brand reputation of the agency. Marketing costs would be significantly lower.
Anyway, you have to register your firm as a small scale industry with Ministry of Micro, small and medium enterprises. Visiting the online portal would help you learn more about the legal and licensing obligations you have to fulfill. Don’t feel daunted because the incumbent government has done away with numerous red tapes to facilitate ease of doing business.
Further, the provisional certificate issued by the Ministry would help you secure loan from nationalized banks and also buy tools at subsidized costs. Loan under government’s Capital Investment Subsidy Scheme (CISS) at nominal interest rates and protracted repayment period is readily available as the ministry provides bank guarantee on your behalf. You can also enjoy income tax exemption for first three years.
You need to get PAN (Permanent Account Number) and TAN (Tax Account Number) issued in the name of your business by filling out Form 49A and 49B and uploading needful documents on government’s TIN-NSDL’s site. You have to acquire GST (Goods and Service Tax) number on the site of Central Board of Excise and Customs (http://www.cbec.gov.in/htdocs-cbec/gst). If you planning to hire people to assist you, you need to secure labor license and comply with EPF and ESIC norms.
Starting the Business
Once you have secured needful mobile/computer servicing and repair business license and also leased the area for starting your center, you need to inform the local police station and municipal office. Your shop might be audited by the municipal team to ensure compliance to building codes and to ascertain the adequacy of fire and other safety provisions.
Marketing your Services
At first, you would experience stiff competition from existing service centres and popular outfits in your locality. This calls for intensive marketing to get the ball rolling. It is always prudent to target home based or retail customers rather than businesses. Corporate houses require you to register with them as a vendor and then quote against contract requests. Often existing or more resourceful vendors bag the contracts and you would remain idle for prolonged period till next request arrives at your mail. Retail customers want their issues to be resolved at the earliest and would gladly rely on your skills for cost efficient and swift addressing of faults.
If tech fairs are getting organized in your neighbourhood, book your spot in it for strongly publicizing your repair skills. Contact with a local marketing firm to spread the word with flyers and professionally designed brochures.
Your marketing plan should be comprehensive. This essentially means that all potential areas of gaining business should be covered. If clients are more inclined to dispose of old machines and buy newer models instead of going for repairs, you can capture their attention by offering to salvage sensitive and important data from old computers/mobiles and transfer them to new devices.
To gain business calls, you can get your business advertised in local newspapers and magazines. Always accompany the ad with discount or offers so as to make prospects commit their attention to your services. Always add a personal touch to your ad so that prospects can relate with you and feel comfortable sharing issues experienced by them with you.
You can also hire the services of a renowned web developer and designer to get SEO (Search Engine Optimization) compliant web page designed to promote your services online. Periodical, relevant and informative blog posts about computers and mobiles would get your site secure front page spot for pertinent organic search queries on Google through better search engine result page (SERP) ranking. You can also integrate your site’s shopping cart with popular payment gateways to facilitate safe and cashless monetary transactions. This would be an added advantage in wooing clients in this age of demonetization. The ease of making payment would draw more customers.
You can reap rich returns by leveraging your computer/mobile servicing and repairing skills. Once you have a flourishing business in place, new prospects would spontaneously come through word of mouth promotion.
Before wrapping up, let’s glance through the prime motivators for starting this promising business.
- Demand for services would always persist
- Customers prefer local stores over popular brand outlets to save few bucks on service charges
- Business volume would never ebb as security threats of virus/malware continue to grow with internet’s outreach and new models continue to inspire people to invest in them
- You can operate from home, enjoy flexible schedules and even moonlight while working on a regular job during daytime
- Business overheads are low or negligible
- After initial marketing, promotional costs would be significantly lower
Capital needed to materialize your Mobile/computer servicing and repair business ideas would be around 50K-2 Lakh rupees. Profits would depend on the quantum of business you command. Although lean periods may occur initially, but once you have ensconced yourself reliably, you can rake in profits worth 25K-50K per month easily.
If you want to learn more about how to start a Mobile/computer servicing and repair business, the links provided below would help you out.
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