I am looking for advice really. Me and my friend are planning to go into business together and the business is the building of PCs and then selling them, either customizable by the buyer or ready built.
The thing is i am wondering whether you lot think there is a market for this or whether people who don't buy PCs from a shop, would just build their own?
The other problem is is that we are both 16 and are we think people wont trust us because of this not only with their money but with our ability. Do you think that will be the case?
Believe me when i say i think i know my stuff with Pcs because i have been tinkering since the age of 9 or 10 and my dad knows his stuff and i learned from him.
Well, good you can build systems. On a small scale, you can sell to friends and family. If you try and go larger, it is a good way to lose money. You will compete with system builders who can buy in bulk and charge less for their systems than you can buy parts for. You would then have to offer support and fix problems which cost you more time and money. REally not a good plan.
It is VERY difficult to compete with large scale system builders who have all sorts of advantages. The days of the mom and pop system builders are more or less over. This was a BIG thing back in the 90's BTW. Today it is just too hard to make any money. Margins (profit per unit built, the mark-up) are paper thin even for the big guys, who make their profit on massive volume. The big guys also have sweet deals with suppliers which gets them the equipment cheaper than you or I can either. About the best we can do in a small IT shop I work in occasionally is buy from Newegg, believe it or not, who are cheaper than most wholesale suppliers in the 'channel'.
Additionally, you must service and repair those systems you build, which have an implied warranty. This means you must be there for them for a year or so and at times this can be a REAL HEADACHE. Even though the parts you buy are covered by mfg. warranties it is up to you to figure out WHICH part is broken, return it, hope you get credit, hope you found the right part, etc. etc. This can eat up hours of time and money.
However, it is possible to be a small scale computer company which does a variety of things for small scale customers, including the occasional system build. To be this company you need to be able to handle anything and everything in a Windows environment - networking setup and troubleshooting, troubleshooting desktops and small servers, fixing software problems on Windows and apps, etc. When you can do all this you are ADDING VALUE to the sale of equipment and then even if you have to charge a bit more to make a little money, ppl will pay it for all those other things you bring to their business.
I'm not saying you won't find a customer here or there. Some people are willing to spend more to buy a system from someone they like and trust but in order to really give value to a customer you need to be able to compete on price and this is next to impossible when they can go buy a Dell for $500.
Amen. Most people just want to check thier Email or browse the web and they don't want to spend money for good hardware much less pay the labor.I made some decent profit getting old machines that didn't work.Some given to me ,some for 5 or 10 bucks at a garage sale.Heck some even worked.Monitors,keyboards,the whole- nine -yards.Ordered a few parts ,swapped some around and voila agood first computer for someone that never owned one,a kids computer that they can beat on or for grandma to check the email.Best if you can get the OS with it.
If your going to do this, you're best off doing only special orders with at least 50% of the parts costs upfront. To be competitive you would be best off just charging for labor and not mark up the components. You could start by putting up signs around the school and where ever HS students hang out in your local. You should also look into setting up an account so you can credit cards. One marketing ploy could be to tell people you'll help them build it themselves. I would guess a lot of HS kids would like to learn how. Generally labor to put a PC together is $75 to $100 plus another $25 t0 $50 to install Windows. You want to keep your investment to a minimum How much money can you make? You'll have to try it to find out but like everything else it comes down to marketing.