General Chat Thread, Some Advice, Thoughts and Opinions.... in General; Just been out walking the dog on the main road just off my street and noticed there is an old ...
22nd March 2011, 09:26 AM #1
Some Advice, Thoughts and Opinions....
Just been out walking the dog on the main road just off my street and noticed there is an old computer shop (to let) and it's got me thinking - Should I and Would I - it's literally 5 paces away from my front door step so How closer to home could you get ?
Anyway in todays climate, would it be worth opening a shop like that ?
round the corner we have 2 quite reputable computer shops but both very expensive and only really do repairs, one of them is solely Microsoft whereas I'd do across the board. As long as I market properly it should do well - or wouldnt it ?
Shops been empty for months possibly years so I may get cheap rates!
Any ideas folks ?
22nd March 2011, 09:32 AM #2
from the fact my current employer shut down its retail shop and my previous emplyer has just gone (again computer retail) id sy no you cant compete on price with online and however good or pad pc world are people will go there or pester their computer literate friend(s)
22nd March 2011, 09:35 AM #3
I have several friends who are in the computer repair business, as well as other businesses, and they have all given up their shopfront as there wasn't enough 'footfall' - people coming in off the street - to justify the rates, bills etc. They all work from home now and have an extensive web presence and good local advertising, being on Checkatrade etc. They are all hanging on OK but say they wouldn't be if they had to pay for a retail outlet.
So, no, my advice would be - Don't do it.
22nd March 2011, 09:43 AM #4
There's probably a reason that it is no longer a computer shop
I would also say no. Seen many come and go, and have heard of others really struggling. Very few people want/require a custom built computer anymore when they can just buy one from Dell/PC World and there is no real cost saving in buying one.
As for repairs, that can easily be done from home.
22nd March 2011, 09:49 AM #5
You're be better off advertising a computer repair/upgrade/training service without the cost of a bricks & mortar store. The cost running a shop is immense and unless you have people coming in off the street it can get very difficult.
A "from home" call out service will allow you greater flexibility and take away the pressures of rent/bills etc...
Just be sure that if and when you start making money from this, it all gets declared and is above board.
22nd March 2011, 10:16 AM #6
The fact that it's an old computer shop shouldn't make much difference - the insides of most similarly-zoned shops are going to be pretty similar. Opening a shop exactly the same as one that closed down is probably not a good idea, however a computer-and-other-stuff shop might work - simply offer as many services as you can from the one location. I'm guessing a combination coffee shop / Internet cafe / computer repair shop / bookshop / art gallery / flexible office space / international video conferencing call booth might have a chance. There seems little point in hiring shop space and then filling it with dusty-looking boxes of computer equipment, you can keep that stuff in a back room or warehouse somewhere, use your shop front for something more useful.
Originally Posted by cpjitservices
22nd March 2011, 10:23 AM #7
I had considered this, a few years back, when I lived in Essex.
Originally Posted by dhicks
My dream was to open a PC repair/upgrades shop, and have a room out the back that was kitted out for LAN gaming. Therefore, during the day, you'd try to attract passing trade, but in the after school times, you could have teenagers in, keeping them off the street, and playing the latest clan games.
It's something that I STILL think about, even now.
If you had a group of 8-10 kids, who were interested, that would feed through to others at school, and you might find that it blossoms.
As for a straight shop....I think the times are too risky for a start up.
22nd March 2011, 10:27 AM #8
location is the key
A computer shop for e.g. in a line of shops in a highstreet would do very well.
You normally find though that most PC repair places are in the most weirdest of places ! ( i assume cheap rent )
If you could open a shop with a Internet cafe/gaming place out back it would do well in a key location
But setup costs for a gaming suite is quite high
22nd March 2011, 10:30 AM #9
You'd certainly want to be somewhere with cable, for a decent conx....Plus, you gotta be looking at 15k, start-up for the gaming area.....And that's before you talk fixtures and fittings for the actual shop!
Originally Posted by 2097
Big bucks needed for my vision!!!
22nd March 2011, 10:48 AM #10
Yeah I was going to do online gaming - Internet cafe kinda thing - I'll see how much the shop is and go from there!
22nd March 2011, 11:10 AM #11
To be honest, come up with some ideas that do not cost anything.
Perhaps a tweet/facebook group where you can offer basic IT Support? free? then perhaps charge on the bigger cases?
As a supplier I do not think it will go well, you will obviously need to keep your current job.
I have always thought about doing an IT support based company or something, I know the prices out there are frankly extortion.
22nd March 2011, 11:22 AM #12
As many have said, it's simply not worth it as an initial startup because of the massive costs involved... I worked out that if I wanted to open a small unit in a council area I'd be looking at around £700+ just for ground rent, rates and utilities. You've also got all the startup costs of signage, installation, decoration and putting in utilities... Then add in insurance, installing alarms... Ugh! Which explains why the prices are so high... I doubt the stores are making much money.
However that said, if you were to do a computer shop a have a suggestion for you... Don't just make it a "computer shop" look at opportunities for installing equipment such as CIS systems for printers, resetting waste counters, cleaning keyboards, etc... I get people wanting to visit me from 100+ miles away just so I can show them how to reset their printer, fix a clogged printhead, etc...
That's just the printer angle but the key with all of this is I would focus on getting yourself setup with an online presence as the priority, maybe find somewhere you could do a market stall or borrow some space for one/two days a week informally.. let it grow without the big expenditure and see if it makes sense after all that...
I suspect it still won't but you won't have lost thousands on an idea if you go slow..
22nd March 2011, 11:46 AM #13
Have to agree with others, at the current time I think an actual shop would be a risky thing to do. It's something I have thought about occasionally in the past few years, there are a few nice locations in town that seemed to always be up for rent and good-sized too. But in these times of simple Ebay shops running out of someone's living room, being able to post free ads online, Facebook groups, Twitter and creating your own web presence all while working at home, a brick-and-mortar store is probably always going to be more difficult to maintain as time goes on.
If it were me, my idea would be to create it as something bigger than just a repair shop, even something bigger than just a computer shop - I would try to appeal to all niches of the 'computer / gamer / geek' culture. Offer repairs and upgrades, but also LAN gaming / Internet Cafe, sell comic books & trading card games, xbox/ps3/pc games, hold events like Friday Night Magic (MTG card game weekly event) and gaming tournaments on the kit..... basically trying to make it appeal to people beyond the service they need from you now and then and turn it into a place they would want to come regularly for things that appeal to them.
I reckon such a shop would go over quite well in my town, but only because we have no Comic Book / Games Workshop type stores (and the club where we used to hold our weekyl gaming club closed down forcing us to close our group too sadly), and the only PC repair shop I know of besides PC World is a small stall in the market in town which, in all honesty, I personally wouldn't use because as good as they may be it just looks dodgy.
Last edited by Pete10141748; 22nd March 2011 at 11:49 AM.
22nd March 2011, 11:51 AM #14
Mind, though - they might wind up being your only custom. Seeing a bunch of grubby teenagers hanging around a shop isn't going to make the place attractive to anyone else. It's the sort of thing you'd need to work out, but there might be a better market in work-from-home professionals who want a serviced office to rent per-day rather than teenagers wanting to play gamesfor a few hours - I'm guessing office workers are quieter and pay better. Maybe LAN gaming of an evening or weekends, and you can always get past the initial startup costs for equipment by getting people to bring their own, which you could of course then sell them.
Originally Posted by aerospacemango
Thanks to dhicks from:
aerospacemango (22nd March 2011)
22nd March 2011, 11:56 AM #15
Agree with some of that! However, I'd be looking at a space at the back of the store, to kit out, so that the dirty, smelly oiks are separate from the main shop!!!
Originally Posted by dhicks
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