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Old 06-02-2008, 09:59 PM
 
27,043 posts, read 38,294,087 times
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harry chickpea has some very good points to make.

I have learned about getting away from jobs I don't want: Quote an obnoxious amount for the work. Something so outrageous that even a non-computer person will know it's to much. They'll either find someone else, or you'll make one heck of a profit for putting up with someone you don't really want as a client.

I missed that you are at a full time job. That does complicate things. I tried that off and on for years and finally just quit and went out on my own. The circumstances were right and we could afford taking the chance.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,788,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Check with the Secretary of State for your state and find out if you can set up an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) which is what I did. A good lawyer can also help with this. My definition of a good lawyer? The one I called. He talked with me for half an hour about my options and explained why I should go with an LLC. This was on a call he returned and before I ever visited his office - no charge for the half hour BTW. Good lawyer.

An LLC limits the liability to the business and protects your personal assets. I had that lawyer set me up with the papers for about $750 and the state charges for registering the name, etc. was about another $100. Cheap protection. Both for liability and the business name. If you don't register with the state and someone else wants the same name all they have to do is register it and you are SOL.

I have a second line for the business and all it does is roll over to my cell phone. Less than $10 a month. Gives you a number to hand out and privacy at the same time. My land line doesn't even ring, it just passes the calls along.

Go to Goodwill and look for a couple of inexpensive computers. Use them to get comfortable with adding/removing RAM, power supplies, motherboards, add-in cards, etc. Quick way to expand your business.

If you run into a tough one tell the client you need to take their PC home because some of the tools/software you need you don't carry with you (or don't have with you today) and head for Google! It's amazing what you can find with an Internet search. BTW I do 99% of my work at the client's site.

Go for it. If you're like me you'll end up going to play all day on other peoples toys. And get paid for it!
Some good thoughts, there.

Initially, I think I'll stick to RAM installation and maintenance software. The former, I did quite a bit even before I had my own computer, since I worked for a computer company on the production end of it. Safety was stressed quite a bit where static electricity is concerned. We were all grounded and wore cotton gloves. I still wear cotton gloves for RAM installation. The gloves can be had pretty cheap at Wal-Mart in the garden section. I get the women's version because they are snug.

I've always had good luck with programs suggested on the CNET computer help board. I only download free programs, such as CCleaner, Avast, Spybot, and others.

My wife and I have an attorney service, so there'll be no extra charges.

I may take you up on the idea of experimenting with practice computers. I really haven't had much in the way of problems with putting cards in my home computers, though with some types of cards, I am a little concerned about whether or not they are appropriate for a given computer. I may have to research that a bit.

I do appreciate your input. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Florida
1 posts, read 1,054 times
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For 40 bucks a month you can get a metro PCS cell phone if the business goes good than you keep it if not NO contracts and no late in the night panic calls disturbing you.
I think it is an excellent service
You should go to active retirement communities and give a brief talk on the subject and a discount for those using your services that day.
worked for me
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,788,371 times
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Originally Posted by Condospecialties View Post
For 40 bucks a month you can get a metro PCS cell phone if the business goes good than you keep it if not NO contracts and no late in the night panic calls disturbing you.
I think it is an excellent service
You should go to active retirement communities and give a brief talk on the subject and a discount for those using your services that day.
worked for me
Hmm, I'm more of a one-on-one kind of person, but I'll sure consider it. I may save that for a time when (or if) I can quit my job. Nice idea about the phone service, too. As someone suggested earlier, I could set it up to record a message if I'm indisposed. I don't foresee any emergency stuff coming my way with what I've decided to do so far, but if I learn more and become more active, that might become a possibility. For example, someone said something about setting up Linux. I'd have to learn more about it myself before I get into that.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:51 PM
 
955 posts, read 1,921,066 times
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Originally Posted by GregW View Post
K-Luv

How do you start a business without spending your own money? How do you find anyone careless or crazy enough to invest in your startup and not their own? I'm serious, how do you start without spending most or more than all of your own money?
Unless it's your wealthy Aunt Peggy, you don't. If you have a great idea and are unwilling to invest your own money, why should someone else? Unless that someone else sees that you have a wonderful concept, comes up with the investment, but in return wants to own 95 percent of the business (wouldn't you?). At that point, why bother.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,788,371 times
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I was thinking about "down the road" one time. I thought to myself, if I get this going full time and things are looking good, I might take on somebody else to help. I'd make sure he does exactly what I do -- no more, no less, unless he can show me something he can do that I cannot do. This way I could grow the business a bit.

BTW, I have no idea what I'll charge, but I was thinking $50 sounds more than fair. I knew one guy who got a technician to get rid of all his viruses and whatever else he had, for over $300. But the thing is, that was a one-time thing. If there is no way for the guy to stay clean then the tech didn't do a lot of good, did he?
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Old 06-04-2008, 08:47 AM
 
27,043 posts, read 38,294,087 times
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Originally Posted by Brian.Pearson View Post
I was thinking about "down the road" one time. I thought to myself, if I get this going full time and things are looking good, I might take on somebody else to help. I'd make sure he does exactly what I do -- no more, no less, unless he can show me something he can do that I cannot do. This way I could grow the business a bit.

BTW, I have no idea what I'll charge, but I was thinking $50 sounds more than fair. I knew one guy who got a technician to get rid of all his viruses and whatever else he had, for over $300. But the thing is, that was a one-time thing. If there is no way for the guy to stay clean then the tech didn't do a lot of good, did he?

That depends on the client. If the tech put on freeware (Adaware, Spybot, etc) that requires the client to run them and he doesn't then the problems will return.

You'd be amazed at the number of people who would rather pay me to clean viruses and spyware off their PC than pay for programs and do it themselves, even if all they have to do it run a few programs on a regular basis. Most people are lazy, or too busy, or something.

If a program is installed that is paid for and requires a yearly renewal fee and it's not paid the problems will return.

I see this all the time. I get a PC squeaky clean, explain how to use the programs and how often, place a link on their desktop to a page on my website that tells them step-by-step how to do it, and I get called back because their PC is messed up again.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,788,371 times
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Quote:
You'd be amazed at the number of people who would rather pay me to clean viruses and spyware off their PC than pay for programs and do it themselves, even if all they have to do it run a few programs on a regular basis. Most people are lazy, or too busy, or something.
I had a hunch that may be the case. If they want to pay me to come back on a regular basis, I'd be happy to do it. I wonder if I should charge more for the initial job, and slide it down for return calls.

My experience with the AV program is that I probably would have to run in once the first time, which takes around thirty minutes, but later it wouldn't be necessary. CCleaner and defrag would most likely be needed, and Spybot would need to be updated and immunized. Other than that there wouldn't be much to do on the return visit. With my computer, Adaware is pretty much redundant, but at least Spybot has an active role in protection. If I run either Spybot or Adaware after running CCleaner, I hardly get any malware unless it's a very minor thing. That would mean the return visit wouldn't last very long.

I'd probably suggest they use something besides IE, though, in my first visit.
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Old 06-04-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,929 posts, read 51,568,471 times
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"My experience with the AV program is that I probably would have to run in once the first time, which takes around thirty minutes,"

Plan on a lot longer than that on some computers. That is one of the problems. For instance, I have a couple of desktop publishing programs with hundreds and hundreds of files. A full scan can take well over an hour.
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Old 06-04-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 8,788,371 times
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Quote:
Plan on a lot longer than that on some computers. That is one of the problems. For instance, I have a couple of desktop publishing programs with hundreds and hundreds of files. A full scan can take well over an hour.
Good point! I've known some people who have thousands of pic files, music or whatever. BTW, I was wondering something recently. I've heard ads about Internet services where a guy can park files. Any opinions about those? They are supposed to be encrypted, and the only person who can access them are the customer.
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