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Business going bust

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by dykes7, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. dykes7

    dykes7 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 0
    I have been running my business for 6 years now I run a computer repair business Things have been a struggle since last year and i was gratful when i was offered a contract with PC World to repair there PCs
    Since last year things was so bad that i had to go on a debt management with Payplan they have helped me so much and with this contract i was hoping to get on my feet again. Anyway the contract ended due to the company bad yearly profits and since then i have been shruggling try to get my monthy payments paid The problem is that with little money coming in this has a big effect on my family My phone doesnt ring like it did and i am worried what the future holds. I have tried to get grants for more training because i seem to miss out because i need more qualications but being selfemployed there is little help available. I love my job but i dont know what to do for the best. I have a mortgage in my name my debt are up to date at present i get working tax credit which is a good send but still there isnt enough coming in I am 50 and worried i wont get offered a chance in employed work
    What is the best way forward any help would be gratful
  2. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 7,358 Likes: 1,580
    I would start by sorting out the personal stuff first, so you know where you stand, then address the business issues. I would say start by working out what you really need, go back through the expenses and bills and cut out anything that isn't needed. You've probably done this already, but it's one of those things that doesn't hurt to do again.

    Don't know where you are, but in Scotland, there is an Individual Learning account that funds upto I think £250 of training fees a year, which is enough to get you on most of the local college courses.

    Try Learn Direct, because if you're self employed you maybe able to get around it on the basis of company training, which there also used to be funding for.

    Have you submitted YE 2008/9 accounts and tax return, if you're not doing as well as last year then profits will be lower, that will reduce the tax bills, and then you can submit the final YE income figure for WFTC, that might make a bit of difference to your payments.

    It is good that you're looking at this whilst you're still on the right side of things. There are far too many people that at this point tend to shut off, and carry on blindly hoping that things will go right. I saw that a lot when I was working in practise.

    Then start on the business side of things, and I know that they'll be lots of posts here with ideas on how to kick start the business.

    Are you owed any money under the PC world contract, or by customers?
  3. Christine Hough

    Christine Hough UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,422 Likes: 490
    Firstly, just to say how sorry am to hear about your problems.
    You are not alone and there are many in your position.

    My son also tried to make a living repairing computers but could not make it work.

    I just wondered where you live.

    I guess you need cash flow quickly.
    I keep thinking of development ideas, but they take time to generate returns.

    Any chance of putting on an adult ed class about maintaining your computer.
    Putting up an ebook. Cheap repair advertising through shop window etc. (adverts cheap, not your work!!)

    Apart from PC World, who were your customers (just a profile of them not their names :) )and have you kept all their names to send them offers.

    Any chance of marketing to students about to go to Uni with refurbished lap tops?

    What other interests/ skills have you?
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  4. MH1

    MH1 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,587 Likes: 488
    If capable try to offer further services, virus removal, setting up wireless systems and probably the best potential PC training in house, most people know very little about PC's, how to use them and set them up etc, even offering a full back up service would get clients.
  5. dykes7

    dykes7 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 0
    Thanks for the reply most of my work was with BT, Techguys, The problem is the cashflow my income as dropped quite alot. I live in wales but the only training available is careers delvopment loan theres no funds available for soletraders. I have been paid by techguys so nobody owes me any money
    I did go to a meeting last week reguarding a possable contract for comet oncall and i did have a phone call reguarding desktop support both have come to nothing at present but most of my work as been field service so i have never worked with a companys on desktop support this is why i want to get the qualfcations the compitition is quite high round here and i dont charge a call fee i cannot understand why the work as dried up my rates are reasonable £20 first hour £10.00 after that
  6. dykes7

    dykes7 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 0
    I do offer a virus removal service wirless contection and broadband problems
    I have got A+ NETWORK+ MCP SINCE 2003
  7. GeorgeM

    GeorgeM UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 519 Likes: 84
    It sounds as though you need to widen your customer base anyway. If you are dependent on one or two big customers then you are always at risk should then end their contracts. So I think you will need to diversify into a wider customer base.

    Perhaps you could partner with several local firms to help promote your services ?
  8. KidsBeeHappy

    KidsBeeHappy UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 7,358 Likes: 1,580
    Have you marketed into local small business, those with maybe under 10 employees that typically try to avoid having contracts but lack the in-house skills.
  9. Coppock

    Coppock UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 990 Likes: 147
    where abouts in wales are you?
  10. guscat

    guscat UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 227 Likes: 31
    So sorry to hear of your plight.

    My suggestion would be to target smaller companies (with no dedicated IT department) within a commutable distance. You can write down a list of services you can offer and why customers like using you / USP's, then hit the phones and call them in the first instance. and do a mini 'fact find' to see if they could use your expertise, and sell your selling points to try arouse some interest. This is cheap (only cost is phone calls - get skype!)
    If you were to call 100 on Monday, the chances are that you would get 5 to 10 leads which you can then take to the next level - visit or send information etc, and from this 1-2 new customers possibly, Repeat the exercise on Tuesday if successful!

    If you need any sales tips give me a nod, I can help you free of charge (no strings) in forumlating 'scripts', with interest arousers, questioning techniques etc if you like as I have 20+ years in sales.

    You may be surprised at what this throws up - a lot of SME's etc are looking to reduce costs at present, and you may come across a few being ripped off, or just happen to call at the right time!

    Good Luck :redface:
  11. telemax

    telemax UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 3,113 Likes: 674
    It's amazing how rapidly things can change in business. Something that worked last year won't work now. I think you need to keep the business going and as another poster said target small businesses on the telephone.

    However for a short term income boost get a part time job, whether it's a paper round or dlivering pizzas, or both just to get some money in.

  12. MrsPWN

    MrsPWN UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 1,656 Likes: 292
    I was also wondering where abouts in Wales you are.
  13. dykes7

    dykes7 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 0
    I will target compaies thanks again
    I am in north wales
    I need som leaflets and then target local business

    thank again
  14. MrsPWN

    MrsPWN UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 1,656 Likes: 292
    I am in North wales too, if you are in the Porthmadog area I know of atleast 2 laptops that need fixing ;) and I would be happy to help with advertising, posters etc.

    We need all the help we can get up here!
  15. Christine Hough

    Christine Hough UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,422 Likes: 490
    One of the reasons that the work is drying up is that computers are so much cheaper that it can seem more attractive to replace than repair.

    A friend of mine had a laptop and it would have been over £250 to repair.. so against his green ethics it was a case of replace and get a higher spec.

    But also look to builders re installing wifi. If they are happening to build a conference centre ( or modify old buildings into one) then there is scope.

    Lots of good advice here and lots of goodwill.

    Hope it turns for you
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009
  16. Christine Hough

    Christine Hough UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 2,422 Likes: 490
    Rather than print leaflets, why not compose an email. My understanding is that it is not illegal spam to cold email business but you must not cold email personal email addresses.

    It is quicker and easier to get out.

    Also have a look at Sprint mail for emailing to schools.

    Offer to give talks about Internet security and how to avoid viruses to various groups might be another contact generator.
  17. dykes7

    dykes7 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 18 Likes: 0
    Whats wrong with the laptops? I have done work in port maddog
    so i know the area well i am along the coast in Abergele
  18. MrsPWN

    MrsPWN UKBF Contributor Free Member

    Posts: 1,656 Likes: 292
    One is my dd's and gets halfway through startup and shuts itsel down, her boyfriends is also dead but I don't know what is wrong with it.

    I think you are too far to make it worth your while and posters here wouldn't be much good..will put my thinking cap on tho :)
  19. My Owl 1

    My Owl 1 UKBF Regular Free Member

    Posts: 914 Likes: 87
    Hi have you ever approached colleges or schools, they are always looking for techies to assist them with their IT problems.

    Good Luck

    Best wishes :)

  20. Geoff T

    Geoff T UKBF Contributor Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 5,508 Likes: 1,226
    Op - to extend Christine's idea - have you posted into the regional forum yet? don't think the mods will mind...get in there, tell 'em where you are, what you do, and how far you can travel...see what comes up...

    I'll trawl through too, see what I can can come up with!

    Keep at it m8!