How to Start a Home-based Computer Repair Business

So you’re interested in starting your own computer repair business? Every business starts with an idea, then that idea is explored. You have the makings of being an entrepreneur.


Ryan Arter


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  • Ryan Arter   
  • 203 Pages   
  • 05 Mar 2015
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    how to start a home-based Computer Repair Business ho w to star t a home-based Com pu ter Repair Business ® globe pequot press Guilford, Connecticut www.GlobePequot.com Decide your specialty Understand time commitments Create a price structure Market your skills Grow your business 1st edition Everything you need to know to run a profitable and satisfying computer repair read more..

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    Ryan Arter home -based business series how to start a home-based Computer Repair Business HTS_Computer Repair_2pp_CS55.indd 1 4/18/13 3:30 PM read more..

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    Dedicated to my father, Gary A. Arter, who was unable to see the completion of this book . . . but without whom it would have never been accomplished. Copyright © 2013 by Morris Book P ublishing, LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying read more..

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    Contents Acknowledgments | vii Introduction | ix 01 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business | 1 Your Love of Electronics | 2 Computer Repair Is a Service Business | 3 The Life of an Owner/Operator | 4 Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Repair Technician? | 6 Training & Certification | 7 The Repair Technician Schedule | read more..

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    iv Contents 03 What You Need in Your Home Workspace | 41 The Perfect Space | 41 Business Telephone Service | 50 Software | 53 Tools of the Trade | 55 Workstation Organization | 58 04 Writing a Business Plan | 59 Why a Business Plan Is Important | 60 Cover Sheet | 60 Table of Contents | 60 Executive Summary & Statement of Purpose | 61 Mission | 62 read more..

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    v Contents 06 Business Details | 97 Determining Your Price | 97 Type of Services | 100 Selling New Goods | 103 Selling Refurbished Inventory | 105 07 Financial Planning & Management | 107 Income Statement | 108 Cash-Flow Projection | 109 Balance Sheet | 113 P&L Statements: Numbers to Live By | 117 Personal Credit versus Business Credit | 118 Vendor Relationships read more..

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    vi Contents Nontraditional & Unique Mark eting Ideas | 147 Blogging, Blogging, Blogging | 150 Publicity | 154 Other Advertising | 158 10 The Internet & E-Commerce | 161 Search Engine Optimization | 166 Reaching Your Market | 167 Getting Listed in Directories | 168 Link Exchange | 168 Building an E-Mail List | 169 Online Auctions | 170 11 Business Endgame | 172 read more..

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    I would like to express my greatest gratitude to the people who have helped and supported me throughout the writing of this book. I am grateful to my wife, Dandra, for her continuous support, from initial advice in the early stages to consistent encouragement to this day. Writing a book is an interesting adventure, and I’m sure from the outside read more..

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    HTS_Computer Repair_2pp_CS55.indd 8 4/18/13 3:30 PM read more..

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    Introduction So you’re interested in starting your own computer repair business? Every busi- ness starts with an idea, then that idea is explored. You have the makings of being an entrepreneur. When you look at small business in America, there is an overwhelming number of small businesses, specifically businesses that have between one and four employees. One read more..

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    x Introduction I then reentered the small-business arena. No more suit and tie, a more relaxed atmosphere, and no more corporate meetings. I found myself happier, more produc- tive, and motivated. However, I was still at the mercy of my employers in terms of growth potential and money-making capability. Then came the talks of “layoff” again and I read more..

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    xi Introduction worries were piqued. Since there are a lot of “logical” decisions to make in running your own business, I felt that I could easily and simply attack it from a logical perspective. Logic works. You can create your own destiny and your own job security by running an honest, innovative business that also doubles as your retirement plan as read more..

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    xii Introduction characteristics, blood, sweat, and tears all wrapped up into it. You’ll find that pride is closely linked to your passion, motivation, and success. Is It Time for You to Take the Leap of Faith? “Leaving the rat race is not as daunting as it may seem,” says author Dan Clements in his guide to work/life balance, Escape 101. read more..

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    So You Want to Start a Home- Based Computer Repair Business 01 You’ve got to have an entrepreneur’s spirit if you want to go into business for yourself. Clearly, you have a feeling about the electronics industry. Let’s face it. It’s cool, cutting edge, and the newest handheld electronics are astounding. Just take a look at today’s read more..

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    2 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business Your Love of Electronics Were you the kid who took apart his father’s home stereo and was able to put it back together again? Or maybe it never worked again but you were just drawn to the electronics and the engineering involved? I love electronics and as a youngster I was always drawn to read more..

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    3 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business Computer Repair Is a Service Business There’s no question that a service business can be made or broken simply by bad customer experiences. If doesn’t matter if your business is the low-price leader, if your business has the best website, or if you hit a home run and land a large customer. read more..

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    4 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business what differentiates a successful, quality business from an ordinary one. Treat each customer as a person; as the salesperson for your business, you’ll want to give him or her your undivided attention. Really listen to customers and understand their needs and the potential issues that may arise. read more..

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    Sample Monthly Expenses It’s a great idea to get your expenses in line so you know what you can afford and when. This simple spreadsheet gives an idea of what your expenses may be. Just add or subtract your per- sonal expenses and your business expenses as required. This example shows beginning cash, aka your “start-up cash,” as $10,000, removes your read more..

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    6 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business What you’ll end up with is a fulfilling life. Just think about the times that you’ll be able to proudly state that you’re self-employed. It’s one of my greatest rewards and when I describe it to others, it’s usually sounds something like: “I love being self-employed. I’ve been read more..

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    7 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business training—whether you’re self-taught, learned your computer repair skills on the job, or formally trained in a classroom. The mind of the repair technician needs to be logical and methodical. Diagnos- ing a customer’s computer problem can be time-consuming and frustrating. Not to worry. After a few read more..

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    8 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business Your College Education Students who attend college do so for very different reasons. Some know exactly what they want to do in life for a career, go to college for the appropriate education, and do it. Some think they know what they want to do, and go to college only to end up read more..

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    9 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business Many of these schools will provide a certificate upon completion, and tuition costs are typically less than those at most state colleges or universities. Depending on the job skill to be studied, traits that are important for students pursuing techni- cal school training include good manual dexterity, read more..

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    10 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business are located around the country and offer professional certifications for Macintosh computer systems. There are fees involved, but they are minuscule compared to a traditional education at a college or technical school, and one can become a certified Mac technician within weeks if a rigid study habit read more..

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    11 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business In the beginning it’ll most likely be just you running your operation. This is the simplest and quickest way to get started. However, it puts all of the pressure on you to make sure that everything gets done. Ultimately this means that your schedule will be somewhat dictated by read more..

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    12 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business When it’s dropped, it will need service. Who are they going to call? Hopefully you! When contemplating your business, and while it’s still in start-up mode, it’s a great idea to focus on a niche. This gives you the ability to become the expert in a field and also focus your marketing read more..

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    13 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business market. Remember, too, that even within the PC market you can fine-tune your busi- ness to specialize in desktop units or laptop units, even down to focusing on a specific manufacturer of each. Say, HP laptops. Here are a couple of niches that you might find yourself thinking about. However, read more..

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    14 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business Keep in mind that the PC repair market is a fierce market and the small businesses that have made a success out of this industry are doing so in bulk repairs and services. As I said before, success is in numbers, so higher volumes and lower margins should be expected. Macs? By now you read more..

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    15 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business The tablet “computer” has made big strides in the last few years mainly because of Apple’s invention of the iPad. The iPad is thin and has a touch screen that allows a customer to operate the device without a keyboard. These devices have exceptional web browsing capabilities and, unlike read more..

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    16 So You Want to Start a Home-Based Computer Repair Business businesses that are trying to thrive in the iPhone and smartphone market in general. The business that succeeds in this market will be offering same-day and while-you- wait services to walk-in customers. Users cannot be without their phones for long, so speed will be the key to this high-margin read more..

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    Envisioning the Business 02 Starting your own home-based computer repair business is your future. Kind of a scary thought, right? Ask yourself, “What do I picture? How will running this business fit into my life? What kind of changes must I make in order to allow this business, and my life outside of work, to become a balanced success?” Breaking read more..

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    18 Envisioning the Business The first thing I think of when I say or hear the word “start-up” is: How much is this going to cost? This is an important aspect of starting your business. You must have some capital to do so. Capital is money, or cash to be more specific. Additionally, you can use credit cards to help fund your business, but read more..

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    19 Envisioning the Business However, there are factors and costs that cannot be avoided, so of course there’s risk involved. If there weren’t, then everyone would do it. The very thought of busi- ness ownership and moving on to the start-up phase of owning a business can be described as risky and that’s great. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers and love the read more..

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    20 Envisioning the Business An Accountant I also highly recommend meeting with a certified public accountant (CPA). This can simply be to help you determine how you want to structure your business for tax and accounting purposes. You do not need to have the accountant balance your books, write checks for your business, or even look into your bank account. read more..

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    21 Envisioning the Business A Computer You’re going to need a computer, period. There’s no getting around today’s technology, and in fact it is that very technology that will bring you a wealth of customers and business. The fact is that you won’t be able to do research or communicate in the way your customers will want to communicate with you read more..

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    22 Envisioning the Business is that some customers will do research on you, and the only place people research things these days is on the Internet. You want them to find you there. Your website will be a large part of your marketing scheme and can greatly increase your customer awareness and reach. Don’t know much about websites? Don’t know anything read more..

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    23 Envisioning the Business sane when it comes to my cell phone ringing. For example, you might be closed for business at 5:00 p.m., but your cell phone rings at 6:00 p.m. when you’re out to din- ner. You answer the call only to realize that it’s a customer who wants to know more about your business, place an order, check on the status read more..

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    24 Envisioning the Business Inventory Inventory is important and can also be the most costly part of your start-up as most business owners get excited and overbuy what they plan to sell. I like to take a different approach. I prefer to make a sale, then buy the inventory in the beginning. It does slow things down a bit, but I warn my customer read more..

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    25 Envisioning the Business The good news is that sole proprietorships and partnerships cost less to estab- lish and they have minimal formalities. Corporations cost more to set up and run than a sole proprietorship or partnership. For example, there are the initial formation fees, filing fees, and annual state fees. Additionally, a corporation can only be cre- read more..

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    26 Envisioning the Business On the other hand, a sole proprietorship or partnership can open and operate with minimal formal documents to remain legitimate. Bearing all of this in mind, there are a lot of tax ramifications, legal information, and decisions to consider when choosing to go about this business on your own, with a partner, or as a corporation. read more..

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    27 Envisioning the Business website to operate your business even on a small scale. Businesses without a website that provides hours, services, prices, and the ability to make a sale online quite frankly limit their exposure and limit their ability to be successful. This game of coming up with a name that is available, both in your state and on the read more..

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    28 Envisioning the Business n Apply by Fax. Taxpayers can fax a completed Form SS-4 application to their state fax number (see the website for your state’s fax number) after ensur- ing that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information. If it is determined that the entity needs a new EIN, one will be assigned using the appropriate procedures for the read more..

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    29 Envisioning the Business Since the very first item on their bulleted list is “started a new business,” this is the very first thing you should consider doing on your road to being self-employed. Registering and obtaining your name quickly is important. At this stage you will need to divulge the type of business, whether it be a sole proprietorship, read more..

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    30 Envisioning the Business 2. The owner is designing the site but hasn’t posted it yet. 3. The owner purchased the name for future use. 4. The owner bought the name, hoping to resell it at a profit. Unless you get lucky or have a unique domain name, you will most likely spend some time finding the perfect available match. This is step one read more..

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    31 Envisioning the Business the best. Unless you have experience in making websites or are willing to learn an entire trade in addition to your current new venture, I recommend that you find a service or a template that you can begin with and expand on. Most domain-name registrars offer domain-name hosting services, website- building services, e-mail hosting, and read more..

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    32 Envisioning the Business Don’t put the cart ahead of the horse—for a logo to be made you’re going to need an established business. Many logos end up being initials or part of the busi- ness name, so designing a logo before you have a registered name might prove to be a waste of work or finances. Know that most consumers in the market rely read more..

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    33 Envisioning the Business Customer Service Is Key As I am starting my businesses, I typically take my potential customer’s perspective in mind. This begins from deciding on a business name all the way to the opening day. There is a component to customer service that I never really understood or even con- templated until I saw it happen at my own read more..

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    34 Envisioning the Business customers, they told their friends about what an amazing business I had, and their friends started showing up. Those people told other people. I realized that I was gath- ering more customers than ever before, yet my marketing budget was not increasing. That’s word-of-mouth advertising working for you. While traditional marketing read more..

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    35 Envisioning the Business Amateur Repairs I see the need for someone to provide amateur repairs on a small scale. For example, repairing one’s own devices if the need ever arises. These can be done cheaply and on the fly, but in America, there’s no room for “under the table” services and sales. There are far too many consequences for business read more..

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    Establish Yourself in the Market . . . As Yourself There I was, running my computer service business, and everything seemed to be moving along fine and at a pace I could enjoy. I was hiring new employees, about one every other month, and I was able to keep my local presence and Internet pres- ence in check with one another. In fact, I started read more..

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    37 Envisioning the Business calls, then it might be time to hire a customer-service representative! Until then, be accessible to your customer if you want to offer professional services. Competitive Price Being price-competitive is necessary; however, this doesn’t mean that a business needs to offer the lowest price. Being competitive keeps everyone honest. If read more..

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    38 Envisioning the Business Checking your own work by offering a quality control inspection can take some time, but will pay back hugely in the long run. There’s nothing worse than talking to customers, selling them a repair, performing the repair then delivering it back to them only to find that you forgot to put the screws in the case. It read more..

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    39 Envisioning the Business A receipt will show the customer’s information, the date in which a service was per- formed, what specific service was performed, and the price paid. The receipt (also called an invoice) can be a good place to convey additional information to your clients such as warranty terms, return policies, and so forth. You can also use read more..

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    40 Envisioning the Business and shipping addresses (asking for any changes), verify the phone number, and then proceed with taking the new order. Being “in the system” will impress the customer, who will feel that you care enough to keep these details handy. Keeping a good, clean database will make life easier, so remember to keep that documentation read more..

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    What You Need in Your Home Workspace 03 Remember, this is your office, the start to your very own business. Make it perfect. Make it exactly what you need in order to facilitate your very best decision making, customer service, and professional repairs. This space will look different for every business owner and will change over time. In the last read more..

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    42 What You Need in Your Home Workspace checklist, my plans, and a telephone. However, I quickly realized how often my family used the kitchen table for everyday tasks. So much so that I needed to get away from the disruption of sliding my stuff around so that my kids could eat their cereal. It was a necessary move. It was apparent to me read more..

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    43 What You Need in Your Home Workspace or too high, does not have adequate back support, or is wobbly may not seem like a problem initially, but over time your body will react, and you will develop sore, stiff muscles. If you have clients visit you at your home for a consultation, you will want them to have their own chair. Keep your read more..

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    44 What You Need in Your Home Workspace A Technician Space The technician space is one of my favorite spaces in my business. The technician space is simple. A drafting table, a garage shop table, or other sturdy solid-top table would work well. Aside from my personal desk, the technician space is where all of the magic happens. When I flip on the read more..

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    Electrostatic Discharge Precautions Electrostatic discharge, or EsD, is defined as the sudden flow of electricity between two objects caused by contact. Basically, if you have lots of electricity built up and that electricity meets the technology you are working with, it could cause irreversible damage. EsD can be caused in two different ways: static electricity or read more..

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    46 What You Need in Your Home Workspace “Receiving it” counts as the physical receipt of the package from your delivery carrier (i.e., you have it in your hands), then in turn it counts as the book receipt into your inventory system. A receiving space is just an area where you can collect the daily shipments of packages ordered so that they read more..

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    47 What You Need in Your Home Workspace someone more than once. I recommend that you create a small shipping space in the beginning to ensure that you’re ready for this eventuality. The shipping space in your new business can be simple. Truly, if you’re not intend- ing to ship out of your home office on a daily basis, there is no need for alarm. read more..

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    Shipping Supplies You’re getting closer and closer to being able to start your home-based computer business. While it may not be practical when you are just starting out, shipping is something to consider once you have gotten to steady ground in your business. snail mail has been around for hundreds of years. It’s simple to package some- thing up, take it to read more..

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    49 What You Need in Your Home Workspace The Commercial Space A commercial space is just that. In fact, remember talking about offering a “profes- sional” repair? This is just the ticket to truly bring your business into the professional world. When I first started looking for commercial spaces, I didn’t really know what I needed or what I was read more..

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    50 What You Need in Your Home Workspace kitchen area, and a larger warehouse area that had a concrete floor to help me with me ESD issues. I could envision technician benches lining the walls, bright lights, and having the ability to receive walk-in foot traffic in the very large reception area. On top of all of that, the rent was cheap in read more..

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    51 What You Need in Your Home Workspace For example, VoIP telephone service is a twenty-first-century invention. VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol” and is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using your own home Internet service instead the old technology of using an analog or “hard line.” Most VoIP services are seamless in read more..

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    52 What You Need in Your Home Workspace from your computer, from a special VoIP phone, or even from a traditional phone with the correct adapter. You can even use VoIP wirelessly from any spot with wireless con- nection! Imagine sipping a cup of coffee at a Starbucks while taking business calls. The equipment you need for VoIP is pretty basic. You will read more..

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    53 What You Need in Your Home Workspace aware of everything going on within the system. You can avoid missing an important e-mail by setting the instant messaging system to notify you that you have received a message. Take some time and look into a VoIP system that might work well for your busi- ness, as I am sure that there is an option that read more..

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    54 What You Need in Your Home Workspace looking for any advice on which accounting software package to purchase, because if you and your CPA have compatible software, it will make tax time a whole lot easier in the future. I personally use QuickBooks Pro on my Mac for account purposes. Your accounting software is where you can view your profits (or losses), read more..

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    55 What You Need in Your Home Workspace Just like copies of software, you want your graphics to be your own creation. Why will you need graphics? No one will buy anything from your website without them. Your website will be a combination of text and graphics to appeal to your customers in the simplest way possible. When I started my first read more..

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    56 What You Need in Your Home Workspace Who cares about comfort and weight? You will. Hopefully you’ll get an onslaught of business and repair orders will be stacked up. When this happens, if you have a cheap set of “jewelers screwdrivers” that are chewed up and hard to work with, you’ll want to throw in the towel. Order the right read more..

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    Tool Checklist n precision slotted and phillips screwdrivers n size 00 n size 0 n size 1 n size 2 n A screwdriver magnetizer/demagnetizer n precision nut drivers n size 9/64 n size 5/32 n size 3/16 n size 7/32 n size 1/4 n size 5/16 n size 11/32 n size 3/8 n size 7/16 n precision nut drivers n size 5 mm n size 5.5 mm n size 6 mm n read more..

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    58 What You Need in Your Home Workspace Workstation Organization Your workstation is the most important area of the workplace because it is where all of your repairs will be done. In order to be able to work effectively, you must keep your workstation organized, clean, and well stocked. Organization is essential to being able to work effectively. There is read more..

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    Writing a Business Plan 04 Business plan, management plan, financial plan . . . aggh! I know, you are thinking that now may be the perfect time to jump ship. Give yourself a bit more credit; you can do this. With a little research and planning, creating these necessary documents can be easy and empowering. Nothing says “I am my own boss, read more..

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    60 Writing a Business Plan Why a Business Plan Is Important A business plan helps you keep your thoughts straight and acts as a guideline as you progress down the path to opening day. As you approach a bank for financing, it will be required. It also helps you validate the concept of the business and sets clear goals. For our example, the business read more..

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    61 Writing a Business Plan Start-up Summary 00 Services and Products 00 Marketing Plan 00 Market Segmentation 00 Competition and Buying Patterns 00 Operations 00 Management Plan 00 Personnel Plan 00 Personal Balance Sheet 00 Start-Up Funding 00 Important Assumptions 00 Financial Plan 00 Start-Up Expenses 00 Cash-Flow Projection 00 Balance Sheet 00 Appendices 00 read more..

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    62 Writing a Business Plan to and anticipate technology changes, provide high-quality services, invest time and money in marketing and advertising, expand into specialty markets, and stay up-to- date with the “technology curve.” The company is initially formed as a Limited Liability Company in ANYTOWN, and will succeed tremendously in this market. Capitalizing on the read more..

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    63 Writing a Business Plan The Metro ANYTOWN area is populated today by more than 700,000 inhabitants and is home to ten Fortune 500 and fourteen Fortune 1,000 company headquarters. The Metropolitan ANYTOWN Chamber of Commerce and corporate executives are committed to actively recruiting new companies to the region. Public and private partnerships with business, financial, read more..

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    64 Writing a Business Plan Market demand drives electronics manufacturers and distributors to offer new and improved products to the market. The demand for newer technology with more visual interaction and entertainment is great, and families in the United States are spending a tremendous amount of their income on said devices. Smartphones have definitely become an read more..

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    65 Writing a Business Plan n Smartphones. With the advent of text messaging, users can send regular short-message service (SMS) or e-mail on their phones. This leads to an unprecedented use of smartphones at an almost epidemic level. Neverthe- less, the more advanced these devices become, the more fragile they are. The touch screen on almost all new smartphone read more..

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    66 Writing a Business Plan The need to attract, acquire, leverage, and retain customers remains a primary concern of business. Revenue growth through customer acquisition and retention is as important a requirement in e-commerce as it is in other businesses. Customers count speed of service as a key reason they do business with a company. They resent delays read more..

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    67 Writing a Business Plan Personnel Plan The NEWCO online store will operate virtually twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Although the store opening hours will officially be 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., it is clear that with our Internet operation, customer support will be available nonstop. The personnel plan will be developed and refined as customer read more..

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    68 Writing a Business Plan Important Assumptions As a general rule the company will not sell on credit. However, for very special cases we might offer short-term credit against valid assurances. We shall accept cash and checks, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, and PayPal on the Internet. All sales paid via credit cards will be read more..

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    69 Writing a Business Plan Balance Sheet Our balance sheet summarizes our company assets, liabilities, and equity a month after start-up. The business will implement its marketing plan in the second month of operations, steadily increasing the advertising budget to grow sales. We will provide an accurate balance sheet over the course of business as it develops. read more..

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    70 Writing a Business Plan Most of your business’s supporting information can be included within the body of the business plan. Reserve the appendix for information that supports the busi- ness financials, including tax returns, inventory estimates, and personal and business credit-history information. Also use it for any general supporting documents that are longer read more..

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    Getting Started 05 With all of the pieces of the puzzle coming together in your plan, it’s time to start making your dreams of being a business owner become a reality. In today’s Internet world just about every man, woman, and school-aged child is connected to the web via smartphone or computer. You need to build a website. Getting a website up read more..

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    72 Getting Started you, the business owner, as there is no one more closely aware of the way your busi- ness needs to be portrayed to the public. By now you have your domain name (which will be the name of the site as found on the Internet), your business name (as registered with the IRS), and your logo (graphic branding), so you are ready to get read more..

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    73 Getting Started (to represent a single page on your website) and write “Home Page” in it. This is where your tree will start. Every website has a home page, also known as the first page. This is the page that will pop up when you type your domain name into a search bar on the Internet, so of course this page needs to be amazing! The read more..

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    74 Getting Started can always got back to the beginning of your site and get to your home page—from any page. Additionally, a navigation section that is also consistent on every page will allow customers to quickly move to different sections on your site. In webmaster lan- guage, if this navigation section is across the top of your site, it’s called read more..

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    75 Getting Started The web medium is different from print because you can interact with your cus- tomers in this way. However, don’t mistake a clean, elegant website design for pizzazz. Just because you can make an animated jpeg with a dancing computer that also flies across the screen doesn’t mean that you should do it. Elegance and simplicity read more..

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    76 Getting Started Graphics can also quickly tell the story on a page. You can help your site’s “skim- mability” by placing graphics in strategic locations with small blurbs of text to keep readers focused on your goal—to complete an order. Since your site is going to be all about computer repair, then you should have a picture of a broken device, a read more..

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    77 Getting Started Color decisions also apply to the color of the text that is on each page. A typical page is white with black text. If you have a black page, black text won’t work so you would choose white or another color. Red text alerts or “warns” the reader to “look here.” Green text on a light green page is somewhat read more..

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    78 Getting Started Privacy Statement Your website’s privacy statement is a page telling your customers and visitors who spend time on your site what information you collect and what you will do with that information. Simply put, it is a short explanation of what you are doing to observe visitors on your website. There are a number of sites that will read more..

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    n If you have opted-in to receive our e-mail newsletter, we may send you periodic e-mails. If you would no longer like to receive promotional e-mail from us, please refer to the “How can you opt-out, remove, or modify information you have pro- vided to us?” section below. If you have not opted-in to receive e-mail newsletters, you will not receive these read more..

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    our services will not function properly. However, you can still place orders over the tele- phone by contacting customer service. Do we disclose the information we collect to outside parties? We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information unless we provide you with advance notice, except as described below. The read more..

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    81 Getting Started Questions & feedback We welcome your questions, comments, and concerns about privacy. please send us any and all feedback pertaining to privacy, or any other issue. Online policy only This online privacy policy applies only to information collected through our website and not to information collected offline. Terms and conditions please also visit our Terms read more..

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    82 Getting Started just because you have Terms and Conditions posted on your website doesn’t mean they have been accepted. That is the first point you should take from this section. You can “force” the acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, usually by having your customers click an “I accept” button with a link to the Terms and Conditions page, read more..

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    83 Getting Started customer testimonials require actual handwritten work from your customers and they need to really be impressed to make this effort. Therefore, only a small percent- age of your jobs will result in testimonials, which you should hold on to dearly and proudly display for all of your customers to see. If customers took the time to write to you, read more..

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    84 Getting Started Words Now let’s talk about the most important part of your site—the language on the site—because if this part is faulty, the rest of your work will be largely wasted. Have you ever been to a site and caught a spelling error? How about careless grammar or punctuation? Truthfully, since I’ve written and published several websites read more..

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    85 Getting Started n Does your bank offer back-up employees to stand in when your primary con- tact is away from the bank? Make sure that you personally know each of the responsible employees. I believe that banking in person develops relation- ships much faster than banking solely online. Since you can’t always count on having the bank manager at your read more..

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    86 Getting Started Insurance In addition to having an ally at your bank, you’ll also want to partner with an insur- ance agent. As a small-business owner, you may be able to use your personal relation- ship with your current agent to leverage good commercial insurance rates. As with your banking relationship, you are the insurance company’s customer and should read more..

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    87 Getting Started if a fire forces you to close your doors for two months, this insurance would reimburse you for salaries, taxes, rents, and net profits that would have been earned during the two-month period. n Crime Insurance. Crime insurance covers theft, burglary, and robbery of money, securities, stock, and fixtures by employees and outsiders. Liability read more..

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    88 Getting Started The bookkeeping portion of any business can quickly become overwhelming if not consistently attended to, so a daily monitoring of the checking account balance will go a long way toward the discipline that needs to be maintained. Within most account software programs one can keep records and copies of invoices, quotes, purchase orders, and other read more..

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    89 Getting Started The beauty of having a computerized inventory-management system is that it makes everything from inputting information to taking inventory much easier and much faster. Doing a hand count of a large inventory warehouse can take days, but a computerized inventory system can make the same process take just a couple of hours. In the case of read more..

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    Sample Invoice with Service Line Item INVOICE Date: Order#: 02/02/2013 119631 Order Comments: Customer delivered a 15" MacBook Pro 1.67GHz. Additional Information: How did you hear about us? Google Bill To: (Customer ID#1) Ship To: Ryan Arter 19941 West 162nd Street Olathe, KS 66062 United States 866-638-8402 ryan@missionrepair.com Ryan Arter 19941 West 162nd read more..

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    INVOICE Date: Order#: 02/02/2013 119631 Order Comments: Customer delivered a 15" MacBook Pro 1.67GHz. Additional Information: How did you hear about us? Google Bill To: (Customer ID#1) Ship To: Ryan Arter 19941 West 162nd Street Olathe, KS 66062 United States 866-638-8402 ryan@missionrepair.com Ryan Arter 19941 West 162nd Street Olathe, KS 66062 United read more..

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    92 Getting Started Last but not least, you’ll need to charge the appropriate sales tax on each order if required. While there are many counties around the country that don’t require sales tax to be collected, most do, and you must charge and report it to the state in which you’re operating. How to Write a Quote In business, a quotation is read more..

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    19941 West 162nd Street Olathe, Kansas 66062 1-866-638-8402 http://www.missionrepair.com QUOTATION Customer: John Doe Date: 2/17/13 123 main street Anytown, Ks 66062 Description of Work Amount 4gB memory for 15” macBook pro 1.67gHz $49.99 Installation Labor $42.50 Disk Defragmentation service $46.99 sub Total $139.48 Tax $12.06 Grand Total $151.54 Remarks payment Terms: read more..

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    94 Getting Started Your quote can be simple and can easily be performed in a word-processing pro- gram using your letterhead. Start by having your business name, address, telephone number, and website address listed for contact. Next, clearly label the document as a quote, and add the date of the quote. Additionally, in the head of the document, add your read more..

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    95 Getting Started Time to Make a Sale You’re ready. Your website is up, and all you need to do is get an order. You check your watch, listen for the phone . . . the days may even pass by like an eternity. The key to getting your first sale is just a bit of patience. I remember my first “natural” sale. It was “natural” read more..

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    96 Getting Started Your job will be to service that customer, and it’s my advice to over-service when you can. Really drive it home. That first customer will always be your first customer, you can only have one. Make a good impression and you can only benefit from there. You need that first customer to tell a friend that your business was read more..

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    Business Details 06 All right, the time is drawing near; it’s almost time to open the doors and become a real live business performing real services. Don’t get ahead of your- self just yet. There are a few more pieces to this puzzle that we need to address. Soon, very soon, you’ll be sitting back watching the orders pour in, but the real read more..

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    98 Business Details services. The two main categories in factoring your service costs are the cost of goods (inventory) and the amount of operating expenses (your salary). The cost of goods includes the prices paid for the parts that you will use in per- forming the services that you are offering, plus any shipping fees associated with the delivery of those read more..

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    99 Business Details Prestige Prices You can take the opposite approach and if you have a good location or can offer some sort of upscale service that demands a higher price, you can justify being more expensive than your competition. If you guarantee same-day turnaround, offer a war- ranty that the other guys don’t, or carry certifications or experience that read more..

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    100 Business Details Loss-Leader Pricing Services that are priced below your costs are referred to as loss leaders. Although this specific strategy may not make sense initially and you will make no money on these types of discounted services, the hope is that your customers will purchase other services from you at higher margins—now or in the future. In the read more..

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    101 Business Details There is a limit, however—you can’t simply state “My hourly rate is $250 per hour,” because you’ll never get any clients by charging outrageous prices. This is a balancing act between you and your expenses. Charge too little and you’ll never make it. Charge too much and you’ll never make it. You need to find the sweet read more..

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    102 Business Details but you’ll need to jump in at the beginning of the product life cycle in order to get the biggest bang for the buck. Learning to pick a hot product before it becomes hot is a valuable skill that comes from knowing your market, but training can be limited, so the risk of jumping into a service line that is read more..

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    103 Business Details n Would you sell it to someone you know? n Is there a real need for the service in today’s market? n Can you imagine yourself selling this service for the next several years? The key to having a successful business is to know your service line and to believe in the promise that you are selling. If you do not believe that you can read more..

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    104 Business Details Pick the Right Time Customers tend to be very focused on your sales pitch, especially on the price when you’re selling your services to them. Recommending additional expenses at that time may be ineffective. What you can do is recommend something to them once they’ve completed their sales call with you or have purchased online. Show That read more..

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    105 Business Details Don’t Be Pushy No one likes a pushy salesperson, and I’ve never sold an item that I didn’t think a cus- tomer really needed. Up-sells and cross-sells should be recommendations and not be forced on consumers. They sell themselves. Here are a few appropriate phrases you can use on your website or in your sales pitches: n Use “popular read more..

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    106 Business Details What’s more, you could easily find a plethora of damaged and otherwise “junk” items on auctions sites like eBay for you to repair. Since you’re repairing and refurbish- ing damaged or broken products, you’re able to buy them at a small fraction of their worth when repaired. These low product costs make refurbishing and selling previ- read more..

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    Financial Planning & Management 07 Financial planning for your start-up business is the part of the process that determines whether or not your business is viable in the market, and it will be a key in determining whether or not your business plan is going to be able to attract the banker’s attention if you decide to request start-up capital from the read more..

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    108 Financial Planning & Management This is just a small sample of start-up expenses; your own list will grow as you start gathering the data and writing it down as purchases are needed and made. Operating expenses are the costs associated with keeping your business up and running. These are also called ongoing expenses and will show up consistently in your read more..

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    109 Financial Planning & Management NeWCo, LLC STARTup expeNSeS WoRkSheeT Expense Cash Budgeted Accounting services $100.00 Advertising $250.00 Cash $100.00 Equipment - Cpu $829.00 Equipment - Tools $190.00 Equipment - Bench $520.00 Insurance $139.00 Internet service $62.00 Legal Costs $100.00 office supplies $300.00 Rent $1,215.00 software $500.00 starting Inventory $1,830.00 read more..

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    Sample Income Worksheet NeWCo, LLC: Income Statement projection January through December 2014 Ordinary Income/Expense [Jan 1 – Dec 1] INCome sales $2,979,128.92 Total Income $2,979,128.92 Cost of goods sold Cost of goods sold $1,068,709.96 state sales Tax paid $24,214.27 Total Cogs $1,092,924.23 gross profit read more..

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    payroll Expenses Add to W-2 at end of year $2,000.00 payroll processing Fee $2,942.16 simple IRA match $6,817.63 Taxes $66,975.61 Wages $667,904.18 Total payroll Expenses $746,639.58 penalties & Fees $830.46 postage and Delivery $3,332.97 professional Development $300.00 professional Fees Accounting $9,172.50 Legal read more..

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    112 Financial Planning & Management utilities Alarm $3,238.53 gas and Electric $4,872.69 Internet $2,288.90 Trash $583.78 TV service $1,525.09 Water $138.00 Total utilities $12,646.99 ToTAL ExpENsE $1,817,139.68 Net ordinary Income $69,065.01 Net Income $69,065.01 Think of “cash flow” as money “flowing” in and out of your read more..

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    113 Financial Planning & Management be enough cash on hand to make your business a good candidate for a line of credit or short-term loan. Balance Sheet Your balance sheet is the last of the three financial statements that you need to complete your financial plan. It will provide a snapshot of your business’s net worth at a particular point in time. read more..

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    TWeLve-moNTh CASh fLoW NeWCo, LLC read more..

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    TWeLve-moNTh CASh fLoW NeWCo, LLC read more..

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    Sample Balance Sheet NeWCo, LLC: BALANCe SheeT After 1st month of Business AssETs Current Assets Checking/savings Checking Account 5,821.00 savings Account 900.00 petty Cash 100.00 Total Checking/savings 6,821.00 Total Current Assets 6,821.00 Fixed Assets Computer Equipment read more..

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    117 Financial Planning & Management Yes, keeping expenses down is a good plan. Getting your sales revenues up is better. P&L Statements: Numbers to Live By As a business owner, I find myself constantly looking at my “numbers.” This can mean a lot of things. As a creature of habit, I routinely look at my bank accounts (personal and business) as read more..

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    118 Financial Planning & Management years for your small business to make money; while this may be true, I do not consider this a rule. As a small business owner I am in the game to make money. I watch my P&L, which will describe each expense in detail at the push of a button. Just when you forgot that you spent $200 last month on read more..

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    119 Financial Planning & Management Your trade-credit transactions, if formally conducted, are gathered by the business- credit bureaus to create your business-credit report using your business name and EIN (Employer Identification Number) that you receive from the IRS. If you’re asking another business directly for credit, they can view your business- credit report read more..

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    120 Financial Planning & Management 5. Make sure you don’t make late payments. 6. Continue to accrue debts and then subsequently make payments each month to keep your business-credit profile current. Pay them off each month if pos- sible. It’s in your best interest to begin early and get your business credit started off on the right foot. It’s a read more..

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    121 Financial Planning & Management At the same time, communicate with your vendors, stay professional, and treat them with the respect that they deserve. Since you’re going to be running a profes- sional, well-respected business there’s no reason to not treat your vendors as you would want to be treated. In the long run, you will find that read more..

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    122 Financial Planning & Management n Company name, address, contact information n Business structure: corporate, partnership, sole proprietor, etc. n Terms requested n Sales-tax number n Tax EIN n DUNS number n Years in business n Annual revenue n Bank information n Credit-card number n Trade references of other suppliers n Signature of an authorized officer read more..

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    123 Financial Planning & Management Cash Your First Paycheck So you’ve gotten your first sale, you’ve performed a few repairs, and you have the abil- ity to write yourself a check. This will come with a lucrative run of services and your feeling of success and getting a hold of your business structure. You’ll never forget your first paycheck, and if you read more..

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    Taxes & Record-Keeping 08 Bookkeeping in small business is not usually complex, but for some reason, the thought of recording transactions and reviewing financial statements strikes fear in new business owners. The truth of the matter is that as a business owner, you should be focused on selling the product or service you are offering, network- ing, and read more..

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    125 Taxes & Record-Keeping Over 28 percent of businesses declaring bankruptcy cite problems with the financial structure of the company as the main cause of failure, according to a Small Business Administration study, “Financial Difficulties of Small Businesses and Reasons for Their Failure.” Take the responsibility of entrepreneurship by learning the basics of accounting. read more..

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    126 Taxes & Record-Keeping Hiring an Accounting Pro Unless you are a numbers whiz or have a degree in accounting, you will need to employ the services of a professional to set up your accounting software. To get a grasp on your small-business accounting and financials, should you hire a book- keeper or an accountant? It’s typical for a small business owner to read more..

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    127 Taxes & Record-Keeping Once you do, this will determine which income tax return you will need to file each year. Additionally, the federal government has four basic types of business taxes that must be paid: n Income tax n Self-employment tax n Employer payroll taxes n Excise tax Certified Public Accountants Are Your Best Friends As I’ve mentioned, the best read more..

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    128 Taxes & Record-Keeping There are volumes written on this subject and you should do as much research as you can but know this: There’s a price to pay for legally owning and operating a business in the United States. Understanding and believing that paying your taxes is the right thing can be the beginning of a successful enterprise. That doesn’t read more..

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    129 Taxes & Record-Keeping blank. Finally, add the sums of daily expenses vertically, then calculate your totals for each type of expense horizontally. Subtract any advance payments you may have taken from the business (i.e., cash) from those that are due you and write yourself a reimbursement check. Make sure you double-check your calculations before filing read more..

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    130 Taxes & Record-Keeping Speaking of security, digital files are susceptible to online or network “attacks.” A paper file can never be seen by prying online eyes because a computer hacker cannot break through your firewall, crack your computer password, and then open a locked filing cabinet in your office to read your data! There is still some peace of read more..

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    Marketing Your Business 09 In all honesty, marketing has to be my favorite part of owning my own busi- ness. This is my chance to show my individuality and to be creative. When I market my business, I have a chance to show what sets my company apart from the others in the industry. This is the time and place to show the cus- tomer that a read more..

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    132 Marketing Your Business themselves in, then you know that all of your hard work and great marketing strate- gies have paid off. Get moving and get your name out there . . . Assess the Competition First and foremost, before you start any marketing plan you’re going to want to find out whom you are competing against and how they are read more..

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    133 Marketing Your Business the Internet. Since you’re a computer repair business, you had better be conversant with the Internet and use its resources to your advantage. The Internet can tell you an awful lot about your competition. You’ll have a web- site and so will your competitors. This gives you twenty-four-hour access to learn about the guys across read more..

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    134 Marketing Your Business trademark infringement, or worse. You’re going to want your website to be unique and yours, not a copy of someone else’s hard work. Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery—Sometimes It was a monday morning, and we received a call from a customer who was complaining that a repair we completed was not done properly. since this read more..

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    135 Marketing Your Business Why Your Services Provide Value Think of it from the perspective of your customers . . . why should they choose your business for service? When you’re developing your business, keep in mind that you want to be a difference maker, someone who stands out among the crowd of other entrepreneurs in your field. Doing the same read more..

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    136 Marketing Your Business box” and pioneered the twenty-four-hour repair with overnight shipping to and from the customer’s location. No one else was doing this properly, and we seized the mar- ket void. But then came the competition—if your idea catches on, you can bet that oth- ers will follow. This is when differentiation between your brand and everyone read more..

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    137 Marketing Your Business Choose Your Core Values & Implement Them Better Than Anyone Else At your business, make your customer the priority. Always. For me, this not only means using the best possible parts but it also means admitting mistakes and fixing them. When customers choose your service, they know that they will be treated honestly and read more..

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    138 Marketing Your Business a bank. Or you may use more traditional billing techniques either online or through the mail. n A fulfillment facility to ship packages to customers n A way to accept returns n A way to handle warranty claims if necessary n A way to provide customer service (often through e-mail, online forms, online knowledge bases, FAQs, etc.) Visiting read more..

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    139 Marketing Your Business not even be relevant to that keyword right on the front page. Now that’s the kind of keyword you want to focus on in your SEO efforts—because the more services you can have land on the first page of your search engine, the more people are going to see your website. The more people you get on your website, the read more..

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    Keep Your Eye on the Prize I started my business on a kitchen table. I bet on myself and told my family that this was going to work, so I made it work. I didn’t have a huge pile of money to get things started, so I spent all of my time perfecting my website. Within six months, I needed to hire my first employee. This is where the game read more..

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    141 Marketing Your Business To turn a profit, every month you need to sell x number of services, perform y number of repairs, and invoice z number of customers. That’s your business: sell, repair, and collect payment. Without the right combination of x, y, and z, you don’t have a business. Because selling services naturally leads to repairs and read more..

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    142 Marketing Your Business After all, if you’re not willing to work hard, it will be a long, tough road. But if you’re determined to be successful, work smart and expand your reach. It will pay off. Networking In the beginning, it will be an excellent idea to reach out and meet other people in your business or just meet other business read more..

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    143 Marketing Your Business the first “viral” video in history, so there’s some controversy as to which video might have earned the initial honors. “David After Dentist,” posted on YouTube in 2009, is a great example of a video that can be dubbed “viral.” It has had over one hundred million views, and is a simple, funny video about a read more..

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    144 Marketing Your Business friends passes on to his Facebook page. Then one of his friends (whom I don’t know) likes the link and passes it on to his Facebook page. There’s an interesting chain of postings that all derived from your profile. If you’re in business for yourself, why not post some interesting business information, like a sale or read more..

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    145 Marketing Your Business LinkedIn LinkedIn is a professional website and is touted as the world’s largest professional network with over one hundred seventy-five million members, and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted business contacts and helps you exchange ideas, thoughts, and opportunities with a broad range of professionals. In fact, I have read more..

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    146 Marketing Your Business still work today. The key is to pay the right price for the traditional marketing piece. Although it may seem that traditional marketing is dead, that’s simply not true. Newspapers There are still some newspapers making profits firing up the printing presses each night and hand-delivering stacks of papers all over town. Advertising rates read more..

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    147 Marketing Your Business you double the exposure for one price. Print magazines used to be a very expensive way to advertise, but these days the prices are low so don’t rule out the possibility! Trade Shows Trade shows in your niche can be valuable networking tools and an easy way to gather customers in a large group. It’s a way to represent your read more..

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    148 Marketing Your Business Another way to bring business is to find a theme and enter your business into parades. Just think about it . . . many city parades offer an immediate connection to thousands of potential customers. Guerrilla Marketing You can also take your nontraditional marketing ideas to a guerrilla marketing firm, or even run a guerrilla marketing read more..

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    149 Marketing Your Business Guerrilla marketing is a broad term, and entering a parade is a simple guerrilla marketing idea. However, for many the term signifies a “shocking” form of advertis- ing, and some say that if it’s not “newsworthy,” it’s not guerrilla marketing. While traditional media can be useful for advertising and marketing, the cost read more..

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    150 Marketing Your Business your business or a percentage off of your services for every 1,000 feet you fall. Donate a percentage to charity and have a custom parachute made with your logo on it. This particular stunt may be an exorbitantly expensive and risky proposition for a new business; however, it would certainly gain some attention! I suggest as you read more..

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    151 Marketing Your Business A typical blog, when created, starts at the top on the page while yesterday’s news scrolls down the page. The oldest blog entries hence are at the bottom of the page or several pages back, depending on how long the blogger has been writing. Most blogs allow the reader to leave comments, and these comments can be moderated read more..

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    152 Marketing Your Business Some Blogs Are Worth the Time so back in 2010 I was busy writing my blog and it was going well. I gathered several loyal readers and found out that staying on top of my blog and the comments left within proved to readers that I was attentive and communicative. I always worked in a line or two about “business” in each post. read more..

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    153 Marketing Your Business Blogging ends up being a great way to point users (customers) to your website. There’s a lot of gratification in writing a blog, and it’s exciting when you add rich and relevant content to a new website and then wait for the search engines to find and promote it. When I say “promote it,” I mean “index it” and read more..

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    154 Marketing Your Business Publicity At its core, publicity is the simple act of making a suggestion to the press or a reporter that leads to the inclusion of a company or product in a story. Newspapers, magazines, TV programs, and radio shows have large amounts of space to fill and they depend on publicists to help provide story ideas, interview read more..

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    155 Marketing Your Business For the most part, the act of making a suggestion to reporters, if they think your lead is newsworthy, will lead to one of two types of coverage: n A story created from scratch built around the story angle you suggest (i.e., a feature story on your company, a story about a big gamble on a Super Bowl commercial, a read more..

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    Press Releases Work Well Here’s an example of a successful press release that I wrote, which was read by over 2,400 newsrooms across the country within a matter of days: The new iPad is amazing, but it has a fragile screen. mission Repair saves the day with their amazing services. mission Repair, a staple in the service industry for the last five years, is read more..

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    157 Marketing Your Business To reporters who answer to the editor, a story is newsworthy if they feel that the audience will be interested in the topic. To uncover the newsworthiness of your busi- ness, think about your target customer. Put yourself in his or her shoes; in my case I want to appeal to customers who need service on items that I read more..

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    158 Marketing Your Business The fact is that reporters need stories. Remember that you’re just the person to help them find those stories. It can be intimidating to call and speak to a reporter directly, but I’ve done it and it’s worth the effort. I’ve even been given the invitation to call reporters when I see fit. Reporters are typically read more..

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    159 Marketing Your Business There are options to take mobile advertising to a new level. Consider a car wrap. It’s a fast-growing trend in marketing and is quickly becoming the preferred form of outdoor mobile advertising. The computer repair industry is a competitive environ- ment, and a vehicle graphic can easily be installed on your car or truck to promote your read more..

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    160 Marketing Your Business advertising—for your company. Your vehicle will be in the public eye every day and will hopefully bring in customers as you head to a client’s location or head to lunch. Your company-used vehicle is a prime candidate for an advertising wrap—Consider taking it to the next ball game, car race, or rock concert and leave your read more..

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    The Internet & E-Commerce 10 By now, you understand that you’re going to need a website. Yes, your website will have all of the pertinent information about your business, it will have some fantastic graphics, and it will contain all of the necessary components. You will have an online database and checkout system. Now let’s talk about these read more..

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    162 The Internet & E-Commerce on a street corner or as complex as a contractor delivering a nuclear warhead to the government, all commerce at its simplest level relies on buyers, sellers, and producers. When you get down to the actual brass tacks of commerce and commercial transactions, things get slightly more complicated because you have to deal with read more..

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    163 The Internet & E-Commerce 6. You need a way to deliver the service, often known as fulfillment. At the gro- cery store, fulfillment is automatic. The customer picks up the item desired, pays for it, and walks out the door. In mail-order businesses the item is pack- aged and mailed. 7. Sometimes customers do not like what they buy, so you read more..

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    Make Your Website Work my business takes orders over the phone. I have a straightforward electronics repair company that offers repairs on a multitude of items, and I offer simple mail-in and delivery options to any location in the united states. Initially, I placed ads in magazines, newspapers, and really pushed my customers to call in to speak to a live read more..

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    165 The Internet & E-Commerce adapters, and headphones if you decide to stock and offer these items. Customers commonly add these items to their order and therefore raise their cart price. Customers love e-commerce solutions too. Adding a “track your repair” link highly encourages customers to visit the site to see the progress of their service, versus read more..

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    166 The Internet & E-Commerce Search Engine Optimization Search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO, is simply the process of making your website come up when a user searches a particular keyword in a search engine. Basically, it’s the search results from a web search. Why is this important? The search results, unlike the pay-per-click results that we read more..

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    167 The Internet & E-Commerce Reaching Your Market It’s time to implement your marketing plan and begin reaching your market. It’s easy to see that social media is more than getting the most fans or “likes.” It’s truly about building meaningful relationships over time with the right group of people. This doesn’t happen overnight. This is why you read more..

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    168 The Internet & E-Commerce salesperson, the link between your visit and a sale might just be your site. Think about the number of people who won’t walk into a business and ask for service. Having your website answer the common questions for those shy or introverted customers will help you reach them, even though you may never be able to meet read more..

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    169 The Internet & E-Commerce link to a related website. Links to related sites show that you care about them. You should always build your website with your visitor in mind. Be logical, though—don’t send your visitors to a competitor unless you’d prefer to help that competitor make a few sales. The link should be to a site that offers infor- read more..

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    170 The Internet & E-Commerce E-mail marketing is not dead, contrary to some professionals. Trust me on this. If it were, then why does almost every site you visit, when you sign up for an account, ask you for your e-mail address when the account is created? It’s because an e-mail address is unique to you and a direct way to send you read more..

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    171 The Internet & E-Commerce Another powerful aspect of eBay is that the SEO value is tremendous. eBay auc- tions immediately show up on the first page of Google searches most of the time, and being on the first page of Google is the key to natural sales. eBay is a powerful website, and Google rewards eBay by providing relevant auctions in top read more..

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    Do you stick with it? Do you grow it? Do you sell it? In my mind, those are the three obvious options. You have to decide what’s best for you and your busi- ness. There are many schools of thought that drive this type of decision mak- ing for business owners and operators. Many of your trusted advisors will have their personal opinions, and they read more..

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    173 Business Endgame Status Quo: Is It for You? There will be a time when you can sit back and say that you’ve gotten things under control. This is a great feeling, but as an entrepreneur you’re wired with success in mind and growth may be inevitable. There’s nothing wrong with a consistent business. When you find that balance, the fact of read more..

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    174 Business Endgame It’s basically all about managing your cash flow. Many times entrepreneurs get overly engaged in the joy of growth and lose sight of the need to manage cash on a daily basis. This might sound simple, but it can be a major issue if not handled properly. Business owners have to understand that we may not be able to afford read more..

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    175 Business Endgame To continue your growth path, you’re going to need to effectively delegate. You must grow as well. You can only do so much in a single day, and growing your busi- ness will mean hiring people to assist you with your expanding reach. The problem is that you’re the creator of the business and it’s hard to let go of some read more..

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    176 Business Endgame when the market is swelling. Of course you will be considering all aspects of your business when it comes time to sell, but what will be most important (other than market conditions) will be the state of the business and what you will want out of the deal. You will need to carefully consider the current state of your read more..

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    177 Business Endgame Just remember that as with most things in life, timing is everything. If you start a business with the intention of selling it as a top priority, take your time. Weigh the options, and grow the business’s value. Having a business that is “sell-worthy” is a feat in itself and you should be commended for it. While being read more..

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    178 Business Endgame One last word to the wise . . . the Internet is an amazing tool. Never forget that. Use it to your advantage. Not only can you learn from the Internet by using it for research, you can also use the web to network, market, and complete day-to-day tasks that are essential to running your own business. You surfed the read more..

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    Appendix As you check out some of these resources, you may find help just around the corner from many companies and individuals alike. Please always fully investi- gate each using your own judgment, while always adhering to state and fed- eral government laws as they apply to your business. There are many rules and regulations that need to be followed, and read more..

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    180 Appendix Business Resources Entrepreneur “10 Tips for the First-Time Business Owner.” entrepreneur.com/article/203254 Google Webmaster Tools Free and helpful advice to rank on Google. google.com/webmaster/tools IRS “Tax Information for Businesses” irs.gov/Businesses Qualdev E-commerce solution website. qualdev.com Small Business Administration For all of your small business questions and advice. read more..

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    181 Appendix CTIA Wireless communications tradeshow. ctia.org Macworld A long-running trade show with celeb- rity speakers. macworldiworld.com Topline A large directory of trade shows held throughout the year. topline.tv/tradeshow.cfm Educational Resources Apple Certification Become a Macintosh Technician. training.apple.com/certification CompTIA Get IT certified. certification.comptia.org CTS Computer Training read more..

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    business cards, 167–68 business credit, 118–20, 121–22 business hours, 10–11, 40 business interruption insurance, 86–87 business objectives, 63 business owner’s policy, 86 business plan, 59–70 appendices, 69–70 company description, 63–64 cover sheet, 60 executive summary and statement of purpose, 61–63 financial plan, 68–69 importance of, 59, 60 market read more..

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    chairs, 42–43 chambers of commerce, 142 cleanliness, 43, 58 click-wrap agreements, 82 college education, 7, 8 colors, website, 76–77 commerce, defined, 161 commercial automobile insurance, 87 commercial space, 49–50 company description (business plan), 63–64 company ownership (business plan), 64 company summary (business plan), 63–64 Compete.com, 133 competition assessing, read more..

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    expenses cutting, 113, 117 operating/ongoing, 108 start-up, 4, 5, 68, 69, 107–8, 109 F Facebook, 143–44 family support, 40, 59 federal taxes, 127–28 FedEx, 47, 48 filing, 44, 129–30 financial objectives, 63 financial performance, improving, 113, 117 financial plan, 68–69 “Find Me, Follow Me” (VoIP feature), 52 flexibility, 10, 11 G glass read more..

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    objectives, 63 plan for, 64–65 publicity, 154–58 social-media, 142–45 Super Bowl ads, 154 traditional, 145–47 websites in, 139 market segmentation, 65–66 mats, electrostatic discharge, 44 Microsoft Excel, 54 Microsoft Office, 54 Microsoft PowerPoint, 54 Microsoft Word, 54 mindset, 6–7 mission, 62 mobile advertising, 158–60 N “named” telephone numbers, read more..

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    186 Index S sales, 95, 113, 117, 141 sales tax, 92 schools, donations to, 155, 157, 158 search engine optimization (SEO), 133, 138–39, 166 search engines, 132, 153 selling your business, 175–77 services, 64, 90, 100–103 shipping, 46–48 skydiving promotions, 149–50 smartphones, 15–16, 64–65 snowball effect, 11 social-media marketing, 142–45 read more..

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    187 Index message of, 75, 84 navigation, 73–74, 77 privacy statement, 78–81 promoting/indexing, 153 setting up, 30–31 software for, 54–55 start-up considerations, 21–22 Terms and Conditions, 81–82 testimonials, 82–83 tree for, 72–73 visibility to public, 138–39 Windows operating system, 13–14 word-of-mouth business, 33–34 workers’ compensation insurance, 87 read more..

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    Ryan Arter, owner of Mission Repair, LLC and Mission Survi- vor, LLC leads the market with his innovations, cutting-edge programs, and Internet savvy. Mission Repair represented the state of Kansas in Google’s Economic Impact Study for 2009 and 2011 and has won the Top Gold Award in the independent Top Ten Reviews website for best iPhone read more..

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    how to start a home-based Computer Repair Business ho w to star t a home-based Com pu ter Repair Business ® globe pequot press Guilford, Connecticut www.GlobePequot.com Decide your specialty Understand time commitments Create a price structure Market your skills Grow your business 1st edition Everything you need to know to run a profitable and satisfying computer repair read more..

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    how to start a home-based Computer Repair Business ho w to star t a home-based Com pu ter Repair Business ® globe pequot press Guilford, Connecticut www.GlobePequot.com Decide your specialty Understand time commitments Create a price structure Market your skills Grow your business 1st edition Everything you need to know to run a profitable and satisfying computer repair read more..

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