Want to start your own PC/gadget repair business? Microsoft has teamed up with iFixit to offer a training service called the Pro Tech Network. The program is free, and it aims to educate "students" in servicing desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The program is sponsored by Microsoft's Registered Refurbisher Program (opens in new tab).
"By providing free online training for people to setup a phone, tablet or PC repair business, we hope to increase the reuse of these devices," said Microsoft's Josh Henretig, Group Manager, Environmental Sustainability.
The material is written by iFixit, a website that is well-known for ripping apart devices and providing step-by-step pictorial instructions. The new Pro Tech Network includes "in-depth" repair manuals, accounting tools, cash flow worksheets for small businesses, design templates, testing pointers and so much more.
"By sponsoring this repair business toolkit, we hope that some of the visitors may see this as an opportunity to create a green business for themselves, for their neighborhood, and for the planet," Henretig added.
The startup guide for launching a repair business is broken down into six categories: Getting Started, Business Development, Customer Service, Marketing, Accounting and Parts Procurement. Under Getting Started, the tool provides information on creating a workspace, securing data, e-waste recycling, electrostatic discharge, and four other topics. The Creating a Workspace section includes info on what tools to buy, how to set up shop, and more.
"Ideally, if more local people offer repair, refurbishment and recycling services, more of these valuable resources can be driven back into the production cycle, supporting the idea of a circular economy," he said. "In this type of system, everything we use gets reused and recycled, reducing our need for virgin raw materials."
As always, "students" can jump on iFixit to find guides for repairing virtually anything, from iPhones to game consoles to cars and trucks to appliances.