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brillpc
03-05-2005, 12:54 AM
Hi,

I have decided to start my own computer business repairing and selling pc's within a 40 mile radius of my local area. I have been repairing pc's of friends and family for a few years now and i have the knowledge to do it. Could you please advice of any first steps and also advise me on how to get my first few customers as I am on quite a tight budget. I already have premises that I can use. I would also be grateful of any advice you have for finances as I am only 17. Thanks for your help in advance

Julian

Shellfish
03-05-2005, 01:08 PM
Hello Julian,

This sounds like a fantastic idea as so many people have PCs these days and practically everyone needs help at some stage. It's also great that you have premises as that can be both costly and time-consuming to organise.

In terms of first steps of getting your business up and running and finance, do you have a business plan? It's often a useful place to start as it gives you a chance to look at your potential market and your likely customers and also to work out the finances.

For funding, I'd start by talking to your local Business Link as they might be able to assist, but before then you need an idea of how much you want and what for. I'd suggest you look at what equipment you need that you don't already have (e.g. back up and recovery systems), at normal overheads (headed paper, business cards, maybe a leaflet, though some of these you could probably do for yourself at least at first) and other set up costs (like becoming a limited company or VAT registering if that's what you want to do, though it's maybe not necessary at this stage).

For the first few customers, I'd have a think about who your customers will be, for example will they be small business owners or home users or both? Word of mouth referrals are the best and cheapest way to get new customers, so it's worth making sure all your friends and family know that this is your new business and it's up and running (as soon as it is). Longer term, an ad in the Yellow Pages could be worth your while, or even door drops or a letter to your key targets (so for example try putting an advertising flyer or letter through the doors of 50 houses in an affluent area where they're all likely to have PCs, then see if you get a response).

Does that help?

Shellfish

brillpc
03-05-2005, 06:41 PM
Hello,

Thankyou for your help. One other thing, I just wondered what government bodies I would need inform. I intend to be a sole trader.

Thanks for your help in advance.

Shellfish
03-05-2005, 08:19 PM
Hello Julian,

From a paying business rates point of view, you'll presumably be working at client premises, so I don't think that will apply to you (usually you'd need to let the council know if you were using your home as your principle place of business, for both business rates and potentially planning/change of use permission, but that shouldn't apply here). The only other people you ought to let know are your house contents insurers and your mortgage lender if you own your home, and you may need to let the local tax office know too (their number should be in the phone book under Inland Revenue or Tax). If you're going to be a sole trader, you don't need to go to Companies House (that's only for limited companies) and you don't need to VAT register until you reach the turnover limit, so I think that's probably everyone,

Shellfish

Statler
04-05-2005, 09:37 AM
Hi Julian,

If you are going to operate as a sole trader then you will have to notify HM Revenue and Customs within three months of commencement of trading:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/selfemployed/

Lee