Welcome to another book review brought to you by 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 will focus on books specifically about starting a computer business. If you’re in a hurry, skim the BOLD sentences and then read the Final Verdict.
Today I’ll be reviewing a book called How to Start and Run your own Computer Repair Business (HSRYOCB) by Joe A. Wisinski. I stumbled across this book while looking for a new book to review for this blog. The two other books I’ve already reviewed, Computer Repair Business Lessons Learned and Start your Own Computer Business, seem to be the most well-known among the do-it-yourself computer business crowd. But I was pleasantly surprised to find this one, along with a few more, that I will be reviewing over the coming months.
The front cover of HSRYOCB is pretty straight forward: a photo of the guts of an ATX computer case set against a white background. Lets see if there’s some meat underneath this unassuming exterior.
What’s It About?
The book is a step-by-step guide about how to start and run a small independent computer business by going through the steps that the author personally took to start his business. Wisinski’s book hits all the major considerations: business naming, advertising, customer relations, and how to keep track of your clients and money. One thing to keep in mind is that this book is only for those who want to be a solo consultant, not those who want to start a full blown business with employees and a store-front.
The author gives many specific examples of the techniques he uses in his business, often providing visual examples of things like business cards, classified ads, newsletters, and spreadsheets.
What do I like about it?
I like the personal how-to approach this book takes. It’s really like a behind-the-scenes look at how the author started and built his business. Wisinski uses specific examples from his experiences to provide concrete solutions for things like advertising, dealing with problem customers, and tracking expenses and income.
The author seems to know his stuff and speaks from many years of experience as an independent computer technician. He presents practical and actionable tips on day-to-day aspects of running a computer business. I really liked the information he provided about keeping track of customers in a spreadsheet. It’s simple and effective and I plan on using some of his advice in my own record-keeping.
Physically, HSRYOCB is built like a workbook you’d get in school. It’s printed on big 8.5×11 pages and has a thin profile with only 72 pages. It’s a quick read and takes up absolutely no space on my bookshelf, which is great!
What do I not like about it?
There’s nothing ground breaking in this book. In fact, I found the book to be bordering on condescending in places. For example, the author spends three paragraphs explaining to the reader why they’ll need their own personal computer before they can get started with a computer business. I’d hope that anyone who wants to start a computer business has sense enough to have their own, otherwise they’re getting in to the wrong field.
The author really breaks things down to their simplest components, which is very helpful in some ways (how to set up a customer management spreadsheet), but overkill in others (how to answer the phone). Those who have spent any time researching on their own, or have any common sense, will have figured out most of this information already.
While there is some good info here, it is very one-sided. The author speaks from his own personal experience and tells us what has worked for him, but the result is a very narrow view on many topics. He tells us what kind of classified ad he uses and why he thinks it’s successful, though I think there are many other ways to make a successful and impactful classified ad.
The final verdict.
How to Start and Run your own Computer Repair Business is a simple, straightforward guide for those who are in the VERY early stages of planning a computer repair business. The book doesn’t delve deeply into any one subject, but instead gives practical advice on how the author has chose to run his computer business. It’s a quick read and offers a few good examples on some specific things, but may not be worth the money considering some of the other books I’ve reviewed offer more in-depth information and extra content online.
I recommend this book for anyone looking for another person’s take on starting a computer business. You will get some fresh insights and examples of things you can try yourself. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is looking for in-depth advice or a comprehensive guide to starting a computer business.
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