Welcome to another book review from Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy. I try to keep these reviews simple to read and concise in delivery so you can quickly find out if the book being reviewed is right for you. I focus on books specifically about starting a computer business and I hope to tailor my reviews to folks who are in the early stages of starting a computer consulting business. The thing you’ll need to keep in mind is that I’m still in the process of learning as I read and review these books, so my reviews are from a start-up perspective. I think that fact may benefit those who are in my situation more than if these books were reviewed by a “seasoned pro”.
The book I’m reviewing this time around is Computer Business Lessons Learned by Daniel Hand. I found this book while searching online for information about starting a computer business. One thing that grabbed my attention about this book were the words “Lessons Learned”. That tells me that the author has already had his trial by fire and he’s ready to share his insights. The website says that CBLL is “a true book that reveals exactly how to be successful in the Computer Repair Business.” Does the book live up to the hype? Lets find out…
What’s it about?
In Computer Business Lessons Learned, Daniel Hand takes all of the aspects needed to build and run a computer business and expands upon each one with his own personal insights and experiences. The book reads more like a manual or handbook for the computer business owner and every chapter can be referenced independently so you can skip to the sections that interest you.
In the beginning, the author introduces himself as a retired Marine who decided to use his customer service and technical skills to pursue his dream of starting a computer repair business. He immediately admits that he is not an expert at starting a successful business, merely a business owner willing to share the techniques that led him to earn over 100K a year owning his own computer business. The rest of the book concentrates on the nuts and bolts of starting and running a computer repair business including getting established, marketing, hiring, reselling, and outsourcing along with essential work-ethic related topics such as customer service, following through, and taking notes.
What do I like about it?
Like the book Start You Own Computer Business, which I reviewed previously, CBLL draws heavily from the experiences of the author. Unlike the former, the latter gets very specific and keeps things short and to the point. This is a good thing, as people who read books about starting a computer business normally are not interested in being entertained, they’re interested in hard facts and practical advice. CBLL delivers this in spades. The book is chock full of useful information, going so far as to include examples of warranty agreements, service contracts, and business proposals.
The best thing about this book, however, is actually not the book itself, but the extra stuff that comes with it. Once you purchase the book, you receive a personal email from the author which gives you the location and password to an exclusive section of his website that offers sample documents, forms, and agreements that he’s used in his computer business. This stuff is invaluable and is certainly the result of many years of hard work and trial and error. Not only that, but through that initial email the author makes himself available for correspondence in case you have any follow up questions about the book.
What do I not like about it?
If you’re looking for a polished and perfect publication in CBLL, look elsewhere. The no-nonsense tone of the book transcends the words on the page to cover the entire presentation of the book itself. It’s bound together with metal ring binding and the pages are laid out and organized with all the flair of a college term paper. I also noticed quite a few typos along with a smattering of grammatical and spelling errors throughout the pages of CBLL. All of this gives the first impression of a cheap book that was assembled at home. These are all superficial fallacies and can be easily overlooked, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned them because I do feel they have an overall effect on the quality of the book. The price is also slightly higher than other similar books on the market, but this may be due to the extra online content that you are given access to, which is all very useful.
The final verdict.
Computer Repair Business Lessons Learned is a straight-forward, no-frills guidebook for people like me who are starting their own computer business. The book hits all the major topics and events one might run into while starting and running a consulting or repair business. Although the look and organization of the book can be off-putting at first, the extra downloadable content and personal contact form the author make it well worth your time and money.
The real star of this book is the author himself. Not only does Daniel Hand own and operate his own successful computer repair business, but he also founded ACRBO, the Association of Computer Repair Business Owners. ACRBO is a trade association of Computer Repair Business owners. On top of all that, Dan is also inventor of a novelty gift for computer technicians, PC Dice. Oh yeah, and he wrote a book or something.
This book, along with it’s author, are the definition of personal service. If you still have any doubts, check the inside cover of the book after you buy it and you’ll find Dan’s signature along with the hand-written note: “Best of luck”. Your luck will surely get a boost with the help of this book and all of Dan’s resources.
Other book reviews from Y.F.N.C.G.: