Unless you like to live paycheck-to-paycheck, setting up recurring revenue for your computer repair business is a must. Without it, your income is not predictable and it is difficult to plan for the future of your business. Without this I would not have been able to quit my job to start working for myself. Having this in place was huge for me – and it should be apart of your plan too.
Basic Business Models
In the world of computer repair (and computer consulting in general) you will be dealing with residential end users and businesses. With each of these types of clients you will probably be offering one of two services: Break/fix Support or Managed Services (which might still include break/fix support.)
Break/fix service is exactly what it sounds like – something breaks, you fix it. There is usually very little or no preventative maintenance happening. The client only calls when they are having problems. It might be several months or a year or more in between visits to the client.
This is bad for both you and the client.
It is bad for the client because some of the problems they call about might have been foreseen and therefore prevented. Or at least the damage that was done could have been minimized. It’s not good to only see your clients only when disaster strikes as they might associate you with when their computers and other technology are not cooperating.
There is no way of knowing the health of their computers without actively monitoring their systems. Being ignorant to this is incentive for break/fix providers – they get paid when stuff breaks. Not good for the client.
And it’s definitely not good for you. There’s no way of predicting when clients will call and need your expert services. How can you plan and budget without knowing that ? It’s pretty hard to.
Managed services is good for both you and your client. This is typically a great way to support business clients (especially if you have the experience with networks, servers, etc.) By maintaining your client’s systems you can provide a much higher level of service. With this type of business model, the client pays you a monthly fee to maintain their computers. “Maintain” can be defined by you and what services you want to offer. You can also offer unlimited support.
Typically how this works is you bill a fee per computer per month. You can also have a higher fee for servers because they can be more complicated and more time consuming to maintain.
This is great for both you and the client! The client gets proactive, managed support and you get predictable monthly income.
So, how do you get recurring income for you computer repair business?
Sell maintenance and/or unlimited support contracts. Each contract should be tailored to each clients’ needs and systems. Each of your clients will probably have different contracts and services depending on certain factors such as:
How many computers they have
How often they need your services
Age of computers
What services they feel are important to them
Whether or not they have a server
What type of service they want (maintenance only or unlimited support)
Each scenario will determine what you charge the client.
In future articles I’ll go into more detail on the actual contracts and what to charge and what services you can offer – so stay tuned!