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  1. #1
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts KIP_Doc's Avatar
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    Going out on my own...

    Ok, since I am currently unemployed, and looking for work that doesn't exist, I am thinking of going out on my own as a technician. Any tips anyone can give? Where is a good source for parts and manuals, or anything else helpful. Thanks.....


  2. #2
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    JustManuals.com's Avatar
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    I've got the manuals. Whatcha need?

    Paul@justmanuals.com

    When you need a manual and you need it NOW !

    http://www.justmanuals.com
    Instant downloads

  3. #3
    Field Supervisor 500+ Posts Jules Winfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIP_Doc View Post
    Ok, since I am currently unemployed, and looking for work that doesn't exist, I am thinking of going out on my own as a technician. Any tips anyone can give? Where is a good source for parts and manuals, or anything else helpful. Thanks.....
    Unless you're planning on working on smallish HP printers, you're going to have a hell of a time finding parts. Most manufacturers will only sell parts to authorized dealers. You would have to find dealers who are willing to sell you parts and hope they won't charge you retail (which they probably will). Manuals I'm sure you can buy pretty easily (look up and to the right).

    But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard... to be the Shepherd.

  4. #4
    Master Of The Obvious 5,000+ Posts


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    It only takes a few years for technology to leave you in the dust. I've seen it happen plenty of times. A great tech with dealer support goes private. Then find he's working on older, and older and older machines.

    If you'd like a serious answer to your request:
    1) demonstrate that you've read the manual
    2) demonstrate that you made some attempt to fix it.


    blackcat: Master Of The Obvious =^..^=

  5. #5
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts
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    A O.k. Kip, I'm going to give it to you straight. It can be done (I did it & just started my 4th year in business) but it takes planning, hard work & sacrifice that first year or two. I wouldn't go back to working for someone else for anything. Punching time clocks, dealing with bad customers, cheap bosses, lazy coworkers, etc etc.- who needs it? I love working my own hours, making all the profit & beating the competition I used to work for on a sale is a rush. Yes, you can get all the parts you need from precision roller. They have almost everything you'll need. Very easy to set up an account with also, as opposed to katun who wants your firstborn just to sell you parts. If I were you, I would stick with just a few models that you know well at first. Find some good wholesalers in your area that you can buy good, used machines at good prices. The majority of what I sell even today is good used copiers that I know well & make good profit on. Find your niche. Mine was the small to mid-size customers that werent getting good service from the big comanies but they were still paying big company prices. They just had to wait untill the bigger customers got taken care of before a tech showed up to them. Also, be competitive. I have the lowest prices in my area. I also give twice the warranty that the bigger companies give. If your selling quality equipment, the extra warranty wont hurt you, but it will help you get the sell. Watch your overhead. I have about 700 square feet of office space on the property where I live. My wife is my secretary. I have no employee or building cost. As a matter of fact, because I'm able to deduct half of all my bills (phone, internet, mortgage,) & all my mileage, I don't even have to pay taxes. Another trick is going to auctions. I don't know how it is there, but in my city, they have a state surplus auction every month that I get used copiers for parts. They also have printers & fax machine cheap that I clean, fix up & resell for a nice profit. If you've been in the business for awhile, you probably know where a few accounts are you can pick up. Your going to need to get your parts stock up first, plus invoices, business cards, advertising, etc. Then you have the fun of gettting legal (business liscense, tax id #, all that stuff). I wont lie, the first year sucked. Their were times I wondered whether to feed my family or have electricity. If you make it though, its worth it all. As far as that other guy saying you'd get left behind with the technology, what else can they do to a copier? If you have some digital copier schools under your belt, you should be able to keep up. The guys that got left behing were analog guys who never got any newer training before they went out on their own. If you don't try to take on too big of machines, you should be able to go for decades. Don't forget, you can get many small & mid-size machines brand new for resale from companies listed in the Locator magazine. The only thing being the "Authorized Dealer" means is you have to deal with quotas. You big company techs reading this know this to be true. How many bad model copiers hav your saleman sold just to get inventory out the door, not caring about the tech that has to service it, or the poor customer that paid good money for junk. The biggest thread on this website it the one about "biggest piece of crap you ever worked on" . When your selling for yourself & you have to warranty it, your a lot more particular about the equipment you put out. I personally sell the copystar 1820, 2050, & 2550 new & the minolta Di series used. I found them to be best machines for the money but it will depend upon what you know. Well, it stopped raining outside so I'm done here. Good luck it you decide to go for it, and remember to treat your customers like family. They're going to be taking a chance on you, so don't make them regret it. Be choosy, though. Some accounts just arent' worth the trouble. Walk away, or even better, send them to the competition. I love sending those horrible problem accounts to the other guys.


  6. #6
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts
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    try LPT LIBERTY PARTS TEAM FREE PH # 888-444-8778
    PARTS NOW 800-886-6688
    ALSO call the manufacter of the eq. they have to sell you parts
    what i do is tell them what model/sn# what part called & i need the # cost availability
    and let your customer order & pay for patr/shipping
    that way you don't have to deal with invetory/tax/or goverment
    good luck


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    A O.k. Kip, I'm going to give it to you straight. It can be done (I did it & just started my 4th year in business) but it takes planning, hard work & sacrifice that first year or two. I wouldn't go back to working for someone else for anything...........
    This is a tip
    Respect


  8. #8
    Service Manager 100+ Posts mjunkaged's Avatar
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    My fave form of advertising for new business has been craigslist! Tom, can you elaborate on your advert choices/methods and how effective each are?


  9. #9
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    Craigslist is O.K. if you want to sell cheap, but to make a decent profit, I'm afraid you'll just have to get out & knock on doors. As a tech., this was the hardest part of the job to learn, being a salesman, but once you find your groove its not too bad. Great when you get the sale. I get very few call from my yellow page ad, it pays for itself & maybe a little profit, but nothing great. You just have to network & meet people. I get more calls from referals from my existing customer than anything else.


  10. #10
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    I was wondering how things were going with your new adventure. I just started reading a book called "Selling Office Products Successfully" by Terrill Klett. I haven't read but a 1/4 of it and so far so good. It really starts out getting you motivated on sales. The guy explains how he started out at a dealer and didn't sell anything his first 90 days...so staying motivated and not getting depressed is VERY important! It might be worth you reading.

    I think the hardest thing with sales is getting over rejection and keeping a positive attitude. Ppl are real assh*les sometimes when ppl try to sell them something, even though ppl at their own companies do the same thing.

    Other words of wisdom I can offer:

    1. Save ALL your receipts do make sure you get every penny you can from the IRS.
    2. Don't do sales on account or give customers credit. The biggest thing that will cause a business to go under is poor cash flow. Make people prepay, finance, or do deposits. Seriously, just one or a few clients not paying or having hard times themselves WILL make or break you. Don't worry about losing business or the sale if they can't finance or prepay. Better to lose that sale then give them parts, machines, supplies, etc. AND be out the money.
    3. DON'T play the cheapest alternative game. In other words charge enough to make a profit and be in line with competitors. I've learned a few things in my life and one is that being the lowest price doesn't guarantee any sales. In fact you'll have to work even harder to make up the discounted profit than your competitors will. A lot of it is psychological. You have to believe that your product and services are worth the rates...if you don't why should customers. Also, it's better to price higher than raise prices later, this gets noticed and pisses ppl off.
    4. You have to find ways to make ppl aware that you are out there. You can be the best guy, have the best products, and the best prices but if you can't inform ppl that you're there, then how will they find you to do business with you?
    5. Have patience and don't lose hope. Milton Hershey built a multi-billion dollar food/entertainment empire (although I think their chocolate is disgusting). He also failed miserably about four times before getting it right. Persistence eventually pays off. I myself, had a huge loss and exhausted my entire savings the first year I was in business. I gained weight, was stressed as hell, and very scared...luckily, one of my marketing campaigns brought me some good fortune and I did well.
    6. There will be roller-coaster rides. Even though things went well for a while, the economic crap really hurt. Customers were going out of business which meant I might be too. Fortunately, I'm still surviving and working on a comeback...remember get paid up front. We had too much in receivables, now we do almost 100% prepay or deposits, even for schools and nonprofits.
    7. Have a well written contract. Our contract is very clear. If a customer doesn't pay (there are some things that are not prepay like cpc programs, but an initial deposit and additional deposits are still sometimes required) they don't get service. Too long of non-payment and we WILL cancel them until their account is current.

    Hope this helps.


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