Non-motoring > Time for new business? Miscellaneous
Thread Author: RattleandSmoke Replies: 18

 Time for new business? - RattleandSmoke
Been confused about this all week at it may already be too late.

A premises has come to let for £300 a month near me. It used to be a car garage (one I used to go) but he has since moved and after that it came a car wash place
It is about 250sq foot is quite secure. I am sure most people on here know I make a living by visiting peoples houses and fixing their computers but a lot of machines I have to repair at home. The problem is home is a large three bedroom house (my parents, my and my sister) but they will need to sell up soon and get something smaller.

Home is already too small for my business and it is taking me to long to repair machines as I do not have the capacity to work on more than one machine at a time

This premises to let is in a location next two primary school and is next to a very twenty cake shop with lots of fit women working in it. To get an idea of location think Kings Road, Chelsea but in Manchester. Another way of putting it is a lot of well off people will be eating and dining next door to this premises.

Locationwise it is perfect but security is a bit suspect (it has wooden shutters) and I reckon with rates and ultilities included it would cost me £500 a month.

My big question is how easy would be to generate £500 a month extra business just by having a shop? the plan is to pay my dad to man it 9-5 while I visit people on site. Could this work?

I am very drunk now in case their is any spelling mistakes (had 10 and a half pints, partly thanks to Ted :) ) but this has been bugging me all night. I have spent enough time on my dads car to get running in a road worthy and legal state so there is no longer a major rush for me to get a new car.
 Time for new business? - WellKnownSid
I know several people that have set up computer shops and made them a great success. They are a great way of attracting new repair business 'in the back room', although the art of running a shop is very different to running a repair business...

The main issue is the upfront cost of setting up - which I guess is going to be tens of £k to secure it and have any quantity of stock. Naturally there is no reason you can't start off small, by selling a few PCs along with (mainly) the components which you'll be using for repair anyway.

£500 a month - things always work out more expensive than you first believe - for one thing, your Dad's salary needs to be taken care of.

Location sounds ideal... is now a good time to negotiate good terms with the landlord, e.g. nothing up front and maybe a few months free and/or no long term commitment?
 Time for new business? - Iffy
...had 10 and a half pints...


Speaking as someone who used to sup too much at your age, I feel I have to advise you to do as I say and not as I did and cut down on the ale intake.

It will leave you more money for your business project, and while you can take a gallon in your stride now, you could be storing up health problems for later on.

Trouble with that is by the time you realise and cut down, it's too late and the damage is done.

As regards the premises, I get the impression your business doesn't generate enough money to pay for them, which it would have to at least for the first few months until the premises themselves generate extra income.

I know it's something you've been thinking about, but I wonder if the next stage for you might be a rented room/workshop without the hassle of a shop front.

Last edited by: ifithelps on Sun 14 Mar 10 at 08:10
 Time for new business? - smokie
"it would cost me £500 a month"

"plan is to pay my dad to man it"

That's more than £500 then.

I've often thought of running a similar business if ever I was stuck for work, but having a premises never entered my head. I guess you could sell stuff to (hopefully) add to income, but the prices of computer bits seems so volatile that you wouldn't want to stock much, even if you could afford to, and of course you have big competition in that market from the internet.

You could look at what other revenue generating services you could provide - phone unlocking seems popular - and also maybe target the break/fix and upgrade markets for equipment other than PCs - seems to me that XBox's etc can be modded to do a whole lot more than the average Joe would know about, so you might be able to push some of those services too.

If it is in an upmarket area you might need to spend a few bob on making the shop look the part - proper signage etc. However the insurance could be a lot if they think you are storing a lotr of relatively high value and desirable stuff.

Last thought - if the folks are selling up would you have to move out then, if so why not use the money to get yourself a flat or house with the space you need to carry on as now?
 Time for new business? - Zero
whats the passing trade like, whats the potential footfall.

In all honesty, there is no longer any serious money in the PC game, much much less so in the home pc game. PCs are becoming comodity throw away items. In my retirement from 36 years in the IT game, I have not even considered doing home PC work,

Unless you have a unique selling point you have a snowball in hells chance of pulling in the £1k month extra to pay for the shop, let alone make money out of it. PC world gave up on the PC only idea.
 Time for new business? - Bellboy
All excellent posts
Al i can add is that if you intend opening a shop on a main road then you need someone in there that knows what hes talking about,you say you will be out fixing at homes so what is the point in having retail type trading premises?
As said if you will be flat hunting soon then look for a flat say over a shop where constant coming and goings of computer paraphernalia is not a problem,you have relative security and maybe just maybe a downstairs shop could advertise your services for an 18% cut ?
 Time for new business? - Dog
Consider adding a massage parlour in a usable back-room,
then you can concentrate on the other if the former should flop.
 Time for new business? - Chris White
As others have said, moving from home PC repairs to a fully stocked retail shop is a huge step and something that will take a quantity of money to set up properly.

If I were you, the next step for me would be to take an office or small workshop somewhere where you can set up a dedicated workbench and office space and not have to worry about having someone to man the shopfront during the day.
Last edited by: Chris White on Sun 14 Mar 10 at 12:05
 Time for new business? - RattleandSmoke
That was my idea really, but it would need to also attract passing trade, hence the idea of my dad to work in it. I suppose I could just keep things very simple and have it as a by appointment only workshop but then I would not get the passing trade.

I have also been looking for some where cheap enough to use as a work shop only but I have not been successful trying to find any where. I have a 200sq foot lockup I use to store things like my bike and tools etc but it has no electricity and it would not be secure enough.
 Time for new business? - RattleandSmoke
The booze is something I do need to cut down, its not really expensive (I spent £25 last night, including transport, club fees etc) I know how to spend very little when I am out it is my health more than anything and the fact I can't drive on Sundays because of it.

As for premises the idea would be that is a computer repair drop off place as there is parking next to it where as most computer shops don't have good parking. It would not be a retail shop selling computer parts as there is no money in it, I would sell cables (lots of profit in that because I buy them so cheap) and get a sale or return deal on cartridges where I just make a tiny cut of the margin. I would not sell parts because I cannot compete with my own supplier.

It would just be a computer repair business and maybe look into other things too.

Now I didn't mention on the same road next door to be is another IT business, they mainly do B2B but they have changed their sign to "computer repair clinic" now from what I gather they have a bad reputation as they don't know how to deal with the public and they charge too much.

My main gamble is would having passing premises generate more income simply going into peoples homes?

As for security I may simply take the computers home at night especially laptops. I would also fit IP cameras etc.

I just don't know what to do, moving out by myself is another idea but many landlords would be funny about running a business from the flat.
 Time for new business? - spamcan61
The big problem as I see it is that you will be forking out an extra 500 quid plus a month irrespective of any extra business generated, I don't know what profit margin you operate at but that's presumably going to take a couple of grand or more in extra turnover to generate the extra profit. I suspect some money would be better spent on more advertising, but then I don't ( yet ) run my own business.

I appreciate it depends on the actual reasons for looking at a smaller house but is there no chance of getting extra space in your current house instead?
Last edited by: spamcan61 on Sun 14 Mar 10 at 13:29
 Time for new business? - BobbyG
I just don't know what to do, moving out by myself is another idea but many landlords would be funny about running a business from the flat.

Why don't you see if you can find a shop unit that maybe has a flat above it or living space integrated into it some way or another?
 Time for new business? - Avant
The solution that occurs to me is - when your parents move, even if the house is smaller, perhaps they can find one with a big garage or room for an equally big shed, where you could set up a workshop. Dad then wouldn't have to travel to man the premises.

You need to think how much of your business is from passing trade, or how likely it is to be so in the future. You're a repairer rather than a seller of goods, and so I would have thought that much of it comes from people recommending you to others - as Ted has to us all a few days ago. If passing trade isn't crucial, then location doesn't matter so much.

Hope that helps.
 Time for new business? - Stuu
Could you not just rent a workshop?
 Time for new business? - Ted

I only gave him a bottle of Peroni !!!!!

 Time for new business? - crocks
>>This premises to let next to a ....cake shop with lots of fit women working in it.

Don't let your stomach and your loins lead you into a bad financial decision.

You can still go and by what you want without working next door.
 Time for new business? - RattleandSmoke
I cannot believe I said that :( Not to self do not go on internet after taking Ted's beer!

Or was it all those cans of cider I had in the club?

I also didn't have 10 pints but I certainly had too much. The problem is I don't get hang overs any more.

I have decided against this premises as people have pointed out the costs will just spiral but I will try and get some sort of premises maybe in a shared office or something but there is no major rush.

A lot of mates are going through a funny face atm where we are all partying as hard as we did 9 years ago because we have realised we are getting old.

I am just going to save the money :)
 Time for new business? - Ted

Old ??? Gawd , man, you're still in nappies......and it might be a good thing ,too ! :-)

 Time for new business? - spamcan61
The way I look at it is people don't get computers fixed or upgraded on a whim, when passing a fancy shopfront. They do it when something's broke and needs fixing, by and large, a distress purchase. Much the same as plumbers, electricians and suchlike - none of whom tend to have retail premises. They all operate by word of mouth and a bit of advertising.

So hopefully an anonymous looking shed so me way from the high street will be significantly cheaper than a 'proper' shop.
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