When I first started my computer repair shop I was well aware of one simple fact: That I knew virtually nothing about starting a computer repair business.
Rather than bang my head against a wall trying to reinvent the wheel, I decided early on that I was going to find the most successful people in our field, and attempt to emulate what they’ve done to become successful. After talking to countless other computer repair business owners, and spending hours pouring over forums and Facebook groups I managed to find a common theme: Hard work alone isn’t the key to success in this field. In order to thrive, you’ve got to expand your knowledge base, and step out of our comfort zone.
Some of our peers were even kind enough to offer me reading lists of what they considered absolutely “must read” books that would help me make my business thrive, and even take it to the next level. After reading dozens of these books, I’ve compiled a short list of 5 books that every computer repair business owner should read.
by Michael E. Gerber
While possibly a controversial choice for this list, I have to say that every computer business owner, heck, everyone even thinking of starting a business in any field should read this book. Not only does The E-Myth Revisited emphasize the importance of having documented processes for your business, it also breaks down the three-fold nature of owning a business. Being an entrepreneur, a manager, and a technician all at the same time can be a complicated juggling act at best, but the solid advice that this book offers will teach you how to streamline and grow your business without dropping the ball.
by Mike Michalowicz
One of the last things that people in the computer repair business think about taking care of in their businesses is paying themselves. Sure we worry about paying the bills on time and keeping the doors open, but when it comes to our own paychecks we often put them off, or even sacrifice them altogether for what we thing is “greater good”. Unfortunately, that kind of thinking is counter-intuitive to building a strong and lasting foundation for our businesses. “Profit First” will not only clear up some commonly held fallacies about small business bookkeeping, but will point you in the right direction when it comes to honestly gauging how healthy your business really is. All while making sure that you financially take care of the person who’s taking care of your business, yourself.
by Karl W. Palachuk
One of the most profitable moves a computer repair business can make is to add managed services to their list of offerings. By offering managed services to your customers you’re not only securing a steady source of income with reoccurring revenue, but you could also be potentially expanding into a market that isn’t being serviced in your area. When it comes to managed services, Karl Palachuk is something of a guru. Mr. Palachuk offers amazing advice to managed service providers of all shapes and sizes on how to grow their businesses and revenue. Think of “Managed Services in a Month” as Professor Palachuk’s MSP101 course. If you follow the simple steps outlined in this book, you’ll be well on your way towards signing your first MSP contract in no time flat.
by John Jantsch
We all know that word of mouth advertising is by far the best form of marketing for our computer businesses. Unfortunately, what many of us fail to understand is HOW to generate that word of mouth buzz for our own businesses. “The Referral Engine” breaks this down into a science or a fine art by helping us to understand the “customer referral cycle”. Understanding this, we are better able to leverage the “referral cycle” into generating some real “buzz” for our services.
by Herman Pool
“One Hour Marketing” is the most recent release on this list. Published just a few weeks ago, it quickly jumped onto my top 5 list of books that every business owner should read. Herman Pool, who some of you may know as president of the ACRBO, breaks down marketing into its basic components, in a language that anyone can understand. By the time you finish this short book you’ll know exactly who your target market is, what your unique selling proposition is, and be well on your way to having an actual marketing plan for your business. “One Hour Marketing” is one of those books that not only pays for itself after a single reading, but will actually make you money once you implement its very simple ideas.
There you have it, my short list of books you absolutely cannot afford not to read. I could have easily made this list twice as long, but then writing all of those extra words would have taken away from my valuable reading time, and from growing my own computer business.
Please, do yourself a favor, and take advantage of all the sage advice available about how to start, run, and grow your computer business. So many successful people are willing to share their knowledge with us all, it would be silly not to attempt to emulate their success. Remember, you’re not alone, and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.
Each and every one of these books are well worth the spectacularly small investment you would make by purchasing them. That’s exactly what these books are, and investment in your business, and more importantly, in yourself.