To add to nathraq's most EXCELLENT suggestions....
Originally posted by Nightwalker
I'm 17. Work at K-Mart. I have the knowledge to open a small computer business but dont know what regulations are put on something like
I think I can help. I've run a number of small businesses on the side -- and that's the key to getting this going: don't quit your day job just
yet. Plan on it as a sideline and it will expand later.
I have the opurtunity to run in ad in an ad booklet distributed at my church but dont know if its breaking any laws to do so.
No, it isn't. Go right ahead. You might also set up some business cards for yourself... pick something nice and tasteful that your parents would
react well to.
I dont know anything about reporting my profits to taxes and what not. I really just need to know if I can and if so how to run something like
this. It will be run out of my home.
Easiest thing to do is download a copy of Microsoft Money or something similar and just keep books in it. At the end of the year, report it on your
income taxes as "hobby income" (this is legal for a year or so.) You will have to pay taxes on it.
Expenses that you can track (deduct from profits) include advertising, internet fees (set up a web page detailing your services), books, software,
Keep your virus checkers up to date, and do offer services like getting rid of spyware and blocking ads for folks (download Google toolbar for them or
something similar.) Do have some free utilities...but never ever take hacked/cracked software. That gets them into trouble and leaves them with a
bad taste about you. Referrals from old customers will get you new business.
A word on software: unless someone is desperate for something new, don't tell them something like "Oh, NOBODY in their right mind would use
anything by Micro$$lut!! Here, let me get you a new program!" Most folks aren't capable of learning several hundred programs, and forcing software
on them that you like isn't very kind.
DO learn the fine art of data recovery from crashed/horked disks and accidentally erased files. That, alone, will bring in a bunch of business.
DO learn the fine art of virus cleanup and repair... another good source of income. When you do a virus cleanup and repair, CHECK THE RESULTS WITH A
SECOND VIRUS CHECKER. Yes, they're good, but sometimes they miss something that another checker has.
I know how to do everything I want to with computers I just dont know the business regulations on it. If any of you guys could please give me
some information on this if you have any. I believe Im going to buy Small Business for dummies Friday.
Good luck, and if you have any questions, U2U me.
[Edited on 15-7-2004 by Byrd]