Want To Start Your Own Tech Support Business?

Judging by our visiting browser statistics, College Info Geek readers are pretty tech-savvy. Some readers, however, believe they’re legitimately tech savvy, and think it would be a pretty sweet idea to start their own tech support business.

Since I spent 15 months working at my school’s tech support center, I can tell you that tech support only results in brain aneurysms and horrible deja-vu; however, if you’re one of those masochistic souls who still thinks the potential profit outweighs the risks to your sanity, then commit these five tips to memory before carrying on.

Tip #1

You must get A+ Certification. This is a must-do. Getting A+ certified lets the customer know that you’ve actually been tested on your tech support ability. The process of studying for the test will also give you knowledge that you didn’t know you needed.

After you’re A+ certified, I’d look into Network+ certification as well. It’s one more badge of credibility, and may help you get a job in IT in case the business doesn’t pan out.

Tip #2

Be willing to make house calls. People can drop their computer off at Geek Squad, which has national brand recognition. However, ever since the Best Buy acquisition, Geek Squad is not the bastion of customer service it once was (in fact, founder Robert Stephens even said that his company would be terrible if it had more than 100 employees). Therefore, you need to out-service them. Be super professional and go the extra mile.

(sub-tip) – if, when you show up, anything looks sketchy (customer greets you without pants, any sort of meat is hanging up outside, you hear Weird Al Yankovic’s “Like a Surgeon” just barely masking screams from the basement), LEAVE.

Tip #3

Learn how to remove a virus. Being able manually remove a virus will increase your business tenfold. Some shops charge $200 and keeps a customer’s computer for 3-4 days to remove a virus that I could get rid of in 15 minutes. You know those fake “You need to buy this anti-virus” messages computers get? They’re everywhere. Learn how to remove one (I learned a lot of what I know at Bleeping Computer) WITHOUT screwing up the customer’s computer and you’ll be on the gravy train. I do this for free and people are so thankful it’s not even funny.

A Fake Anti-Virus

This is an example of a fake anti-virus.

Tip #4

Get a contract. You’re not only toying with someone’s expensive computer, but you’re also toying with the machine that holds their data. This could be single copies of their beloved dead relatives (because they’re dumb and don’t back up) or business data worth literally millions. You DO NOT want to be liable when you’re working on a CPA’s computer and you fry the motherboard because you forgot your anti-static wristband. Get a contract with an watertight indemnification clause. This means get a lawyer. Sorry, but that’s how it is.

Tip #5

Price well. Don’t be super cheap on yourself, but make sure your prices are attractive enough to lure people away from the horror that is Geek Squad.

Hopefully these tips can help you get your tech support business running. If you’re seriously considering starting one, I’d also check out Entrepreneur.com’s tips.

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7 Comments:
  1. At the same time, we are over seas so we will do phone tech support… if you have any suggestions with our idea, that would be highly appreciated…

    Thanks for the great tips!

  2. These are great tips! My friends are thinking about starting a business like this…

  3. You can see the new websites for tech support and can start the business like spam is one of the best who provide best services to customer across globe for any technical issue in computer, virus, printer, games, slow performance, data recovery at a reasonable price and you can call spam anytime to get your computer issues fixed.

  4.  While I agree Tip #2 yields great customer service, I think it might be important to keep in mind not all customers will be trusting with their homes and personal space (my mom, for example, would be hesitant to let someone unfamiliar to her into her home without my dad having been home…just in case). In addition, house calls take up time and money… and in a tech support situations efficiency is everything. I work for LogMeIn, and our product LogMeIn Free comes to mind as a great solution for your regular clients. Once it’s installed, you can work on an ad-hoc basis and for emergency situations without leaving your house, dorm, etc. Imagine how impressed they’ll be when you can do it from the mall or back of the classroom using your iPhone or Droid. There are a few options out there, so feel free to poke around.. but the LogMeIn version is always free.

    Kevin Aries
    Marketing/Communications LogMeIn
    @LogMeIn on Twitter

    • I love LogMeIn and have been using it for years. This post was written as a result of a reader asking about starting a repair business, so remote support didn’t immediately come to mind.

      However, you’re totally right. Offering remote support through things like LogMeIn or TeamViewer can give a tech support entrepreneur yet another edge. The other writer on this site, Andrew, used to work for a company that did ONLY remote support. 

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