self employed computer tech

Become a Self Employed Computer Tech

As a high school kid I knew exactly what I wanted to do as a trade. I was determined to follow my passion which had been developed by tinkering in computers since a very young age. Personally, I was never interested in working for someone else, so as soon as I was done high school and had completed a PC Repair course I set off to become a self employed Computer Tech.

Those interested in working on your own may have taken a much different path. Many have gained experience by working as an employee for a computer firm or they may have experience in a previous business experience. Regardless of where you are coming from, a few helpful steps may be needed to get on the path to a successful career as self employed computer tech. I know I could have used some of these tips.

The first step is evaluating your potential and making sure you have the traits to be self employed. Most of the time people will begin working for themselves because they have a passion for what they do. It is the passion that keeps them motivated to keep making the many needed sacrifices day in and day out. Another very important trait is work ethic. You better be ready to work 60 -80 hours a week, which includes being bothered at any times of the day, maybe even Sundays. When a server crashes and the productivity of a clients operation is on the line, important customers want to be sure they can rely on you. Proper time management is crucial in this business and will need great discipline on your part. You will need to put aside many distractions so you can focus on the work that has to be done.

The second step involves sitting down and planning everything. Many skip the very important exercise of creating a business plan. Even if you are not able to follow your original plan, you can always make changes along the way. Ask yourself; What type of services will you be offering. Will you have a store front, office or simply run out of your home. Calculate all the costs necessary to start up such as an internet hosting service and a company website.

The third step involves making a list and purchasing all the necessary tools. You can buy a simple toolkit online right here. Technically you can get away with just a handy and trusty Philips head screw driver, but eventually you will need more advanced tools like; Multimeter, RJ45  Crimper & Cable Testers and an external USB Drive. As for applications and software; You will need to have copies of all the operating systems you will be installing. It is very useful to keep portable copies of Anti Virus, Anti Malware, Anti Spyware and registry cleaner software. Your external USB drive will be very practical for this.

Fourthly, you will need to choose a business name. Will you do business under your own name or will you find a catchy name that will represent well the type of company you want to be and the type of services you will offer. You will need to check with an accountant about what your local government laws are in regards to registering a legal company name. Your accountant should be able to help you out with reporting the taxes and income that you will make. Do your research to be assured that you are complying with the regulations.

Next, you will need a good invoicing software program. Siwapp is a really good free open source solution. Do not be afraid to ask around and do your own research and make sure you try the software before you are committed to using it. It can be very complicated to switch software if your business is up and running. If you want to do your job better with more IT managed apps like; full featured help desk, network inventory and monitoring tools you can download Spiceworks for free. They even offer an interactive community of nearly 3 million IT pros.

The sixth step will be about finding new customers. What will be your advertising and marketing plan? Well you can print up some business cards and flyers and hand them out to people and businesses in your local community. It is imperative to have an online presence. You can create your web site and use social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

The final step is to make sure you become an expert at what you do. Before anyone will do business with you, they will need to feel like they can trust you. Build up your confidence  and develop yourself and your skills daily. Stay up to date and current in the industry, if you don’t you will FAIL for sure. Get certified with great independent organisations like CompTIA.

I hope these steps help get you get started. There is much more involved in starting your own business, but this should get you on your own path to living your passion and dream. Mine lasted over 16 years, because I was able to run my very own successful computer company in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. And now today I have the privilege of teaching others at CDE College to become future computer techs.  Good luck to you and remember you can contact me if you have any comments or questions.