You can't have a computer repair shop and use the tools you have in the garage to work on
your 1986 Chevy pickup. No, you will need a set of specialized tools that will allow you to
open, rework, and reassemble computers, phones, tablets, or whatever line of devices you
choose, and each has a specific toolset.
Typical toolset for basic computer repair needs (adding tools as you expand your service
line): $100 to $150.
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 that the part “needs to
be ordered” or is “out of stock,” then I set the expectation that it might take a day or two to
get things rolling. This is why I choose to diagnose and call customers the same day that I
receive their device in for repair, so that if I do need to buy a part for their unit, I can place
an order and typically have it the next day. Another option would be to visit a local supply
store each afternoon and pick up parts yourself.
So with this “Just in Time” (JIT) inventory system in play, you can balance your cash with
your sales more closely and not overbuy inventory up front. You will be sorely disappoin-
ted if you make a large purchase of 750 gigabyte hard drives thinking “I'm going to install
a lot of these,” only to have them sit on your shelf for six months as technology increases,
prices decrease, and you can't get rid of them. That's “bad” inventory and you don't want
I say buy a few items that you might need. Some memory, a few different-size hard drives,
maybe even a broken computer from eBay for parts, and keep your inventory to a minim-
um until you see some real sales trends and know where you need to spend your money.
Start-up inventory: less than $1,000.
Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation
This can be a difficult decision to make in the beginning, and as usual you should trust your
lawyer and accountant to help you make this decision properly.
You might have a partner in mind. I did. I knew that I wanted a partner to work with me
and to complement my strengths and assist me with my weaknesses. I wavered back and