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Mezagog
11-27-2007, 11:07 PM
Been a tech since 98, seen alot of changes come down and can say that I have adapted quite well, everything from Sharp being the ghetto brand to winning awards and when Konica and Mita's were just Konica and Mita and not there new elongated names. Now I am not saying I am gods gift to any company that I have ever worked for, because I'm not. I've upset customers, co-workers and even owners in the past. We all have. Been thru more classes than I care to count and still run into machines that leave me looking at the machine going :confused:. Factory trained on Sharp, Konica, Mita, Savin and picked up quite a bit on the other manufactures to include duplicators, Duplo, Rizzo and so on.

Took a break from the industry for awhile, when I left I was at 40k a year, my first year back I'll be lucky if I make 30k. Got all the other training that is required for us. A+, Network+, so why am I working for a guy who makes scrooge look generous. Why aren't I out there doing my own thing. If any indie's or even other techs who have been pondering this , read this, chime in. I own my own tools and vaccum, so whats stopping me? How hard is it to pick up machines for service. I need advice. I am in Central California and wondering what my next move should be. Do I go to another company and hope that things stay better for longer than 90 days, or should I branch out?

blackcat4866
11-28-2007, 02:14 AM
I think this story should illustrate my point:

I started out on 1988 doing this. I heard stories of a local legend, a genius in copier repair. He had been out on his own for a few years by then. He had started to hang around our store hoping to catch a few fixes in casual conversation. Not that he needed any help. This guy was good.

He wasn't getting rich, but he was doing fine. New car, making the house payments, etc...

I guess it became obvious around the 8th or 9th year. All the machine he had been trained on were obsolete & gone. Or the parts weren't available. Then the first digitals started showing up. They are different enough that that its not so intuitive any more. And there weren't any cool forums, where his buddies could bail him out.

Gradually, he lost his customers, car, & wife. It ends worse, but you get the point. Without the dealership support its hard to keep up to date.

Copier_Guy
11-28-2007, 03:53 AM
Very enlightening story about the effects of not being adaptable. You do have to be adaptable and most of all versitile. It is rough out there and you have to be brave and persistent. I would try to develop a little clientele before I go out there and also try to find other hustles to help sustain you through those hard times. Definitely start working with computers and networks, because computers will lead to copier/printer jobs and vice/versa. Going it alone is definitley not for the faint of heart, but the rewards are greater than humping it for Scrooge's Cheap Ass Cousin!!

Good Luck out there! :)

Mezagog
11-28-2007, 05:50 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, keep the idea's, fears and so on coming. Another thing that I was thinking of was who would I go to for supplies? Drums, Developer, Toner, Masters, Inks. Everyone I have worked for used manufactures for supplies, are there third party suppliers?

Copier_Guy
11-28-2007, 07:04 AM
Thanks for the advice guys, keep the idea's, fears and so on coming. Another thing that I was thinking of was who would I go to for supplies? Drums, Developer, Toner, Masters, Inks. Everyone I have worked for used manufactures for supplies, are there third party suppliers?

All over the place. Get real familiar with your computer and search engines, because you will spend many hours developing contacts and reliable vendors for parts and supplies. Who knows, you may have sales so high that the OEMs come knocking at YOUR door. We could hope, can't we.

That's what it's all about. Hoping and dreaming and the tenacity to turn those dreams and hopes into reality.

blackcat4866
11-29-2007, 02:51 AM
A few general purpose copier suppliers are www.ued.com (http://www.ued.com), Printer Toner Cartridges - Copier Toner Cartridges - Printer Parts & Copier Parts (http://www.precisionroller.com), Copier parts, imaging supplies, photoreceptors, service accessories and printer products from Katun (http://www.katun.com).

For printer parts try yeah.com - Only the best links ... (http://www.calhoun.com), HP LaserJet Printers & Accessories - Genuine HP Parts & Fusers, LaserJet Repair Kits - The Printer Works! (http://www.printerworks.com), Feedroller: hp feed rollers, printer parts, hp rollers , feed roller repair kits, feed roller parts, laser jet rollers, separation rollers, hp feed rollers, pick up roller, mp roller, paper jam, printer part rollers, fusing assembly, roller parts fee (http://www.feedroller.com), Lake Erie Systems provides Genicom printers, Lexmark printer, TI ribbons, OKI Okidata printers, Genicom printer repairs, lexmark printer repair parts, lexmark maintenance kits, oki printheads, maintenance manuals (http://www.fastprinters.com).

Once you have a part number, just punch it into a Google search engine, and away you go. You'll start to see the same names again and again.

I had no intention of discouraging you. It's just not an easy path. And you won't get much help from the dealers (but we'll always help...).

CanonHPTech
11-29-2007, 03:39 AM
What's stopping me?... well, I have brass ones... but I still have to pay the bills... its that being able to not look before you leap... trust me, I have had offers to go into biz for myself, but I have to eat... if you can sell your self... then your half way there my friend! I have worked for many of small biz owners who were very good salesman,and found oppurtunities where other saw problems, and other sold themselves and their companies... where these men falter was to hire the right people (not their nephews with A+) to run the day to day operations (such as accounting) and tech support (including continious training)... good luck sir. Maybe at some point we can meet and who knows.

Mezagog
12-15-2007, 12:49 AM
Sorry for the delay guys, I've actually been busy looking into this more. Appearantly the owner is in trouble with his two Distributors and one had approached me about possibly taking over things.................All for the low low cost of a 150,000 dollar buy in:confused: Do these guys not know how little we get paid:eek:.

It's not the fact that I'm afraid of the machines, because lets be honest the only difference in the copy, print, fax concept is the name on the box and thats it. The theory is identical on all machines. I think my biggest worry and what I'm going to start researching this weekend (Wife and Kids are going out of town..........Bachelor weekend) is the whole getting my hands on the manuals. You guys were right on the suppliers part. Man I can't believe how many third party people there are out there. Well everything but boards.

Anywho, I did want to follow up with the fella's to let you know what was going on with this. If nothing else I'll use this as my diary on the trials and tribulations on this whole subject.

Later guys

blackcat4866
12-16-2007, 12:38 AM
I've been rolling in the cost of the manual purchase into the service call. After all, I don't want to walk in looking like an imdecile. Most manuals can be downloaded in 5 minutes if you have an internet connection and a credit card.

nhatthuc0000
01-10-2008, 05:26 AM
good luck to u!!!!!!!!

arriva1
04-20-2008, 07:32 AM
I work for myself and my wife stays home and does the office work. I'm not getting rich yet but i'm not starving either. Its hard to take time off, but I'm not punching a clock.
There is plenty of tech support out there if you run into trouble. I have never been factory trained on any machine and run a good business (15 years).
I'm also looking for a good tech that wants to go out on there own (in florida). I have a great base of 80-90 contracts and hundreds of per call and supply order customers. Lots of room for more business but theres only so many hours in the day.

cobiray
04-20-2008, 03:48 PM
You could always test the waters for better offers and then take those back to Scrooge in an attempt to get a raise. Seems like the going on your own route could be a little risky, but that's been stated. Sounds like a lot more leg work and head ache. Ultimately it depends how fed up you are with your current position and the lack of other options. Good luck!

arriva1
04-25-2008, 02:07 AM
Sorry for the delay guys, I've actually been busy looking into this more. Appearantly the owner is in trouble with his two Distributors and one had approached me about possibly taking over things.................All for the low low cost of a 150,000 dollar buy in:confused: Do these guys not know how little we get paid:eek:.

It's not the fact that I'm afraid of the machines, because lets be honest the only difference in the copy, print, fax concept is the name on the box and thats it. The theory is identical on all machines. I think my biggest worry and what I'm going to start researching this weekend (Wife and Kids are going out of town..........Bachelor weekend) is the whole getting my hands on the manuals. You guys were right on the suppliers part. Man I can't believe how many third party people there are out there. Well everything but boards.

Anywho, I did want to follow up with the fella's to let you know what was going on with this. If nothing else I'll use this as my diary on the trials and tribulations on this whole subject.

Later guys
Hytec for boards and board repair. They have good tech support too.

freedomtt
05-09-2008, 04:32 PM
Good luck on what ever you decide to do!

As a little chime in, one thing I wonder about with indepedent techs is how you get the software tools for the machines, or do you just not work on machines that need it? I can't imagine sending my techs out to work on the newer Canon machines (we are a dealer) without the system support tool and NAVI. Maybe these things can be bought online? I'm sure someone is willing to sell them.

blackcat4866
05-10-2008, 05:13 PM
freedomtt:
I wonder the same thing. We are a Copystar dealer, and it would be nearly impossible to sell these machines as networkable MFPs without a whole raft of utilities:

KM-Net Viewer
Setup Utility
Current firmware
etc.

I simply beg off on models with this sort of software requirements, i.e. Xerox.

=^..^=

Bill Monroe
05-21-2008, 07:10 AM
I noticed that this thread hasn't had any activity in about a week but I thought that I'd ad my two cents.

I have been an independent for the better part of the past 20 years and I must admit there are times when I yearned for the security of a "job". But you know what? You can do pretty well for yourself if you're willing to go out and pound the pavement. You can talk to the customers that you are taking care of and ask them how they would feel about signing a service contract with a small insependent (YOU!) You can line up several dozen customers within a month. If you are personable and customers like you, you can get a leg up. As far as worrying about keeping up with technology, you can become a dealer or a retailer and have access to new machines, parts, supplies and technical support. Copystar is always looking for dealers, and I found out that you can become a dealer for NEC who market Kyocera and Konica-Minolta machines ans you don't even have to have a store front. You can do it out of your home. There are a multitude of resources that you can connect with for parts, supplies and machines. I deal with NuWorld down in Cerritos and I've been able to get machines, parts, and whatever else I need from them. They're good. I'm also a dealer for NEC but I work from home and best of all, I get to keep all the money!

Let me know how you make out. There are always options.

Aloha,
Mr. Bill (Oh Nooo!)



















'

Scorotron Wizard
05-22-2008, 09:07 PM
Good luck to you
I would recommend you stick to one or two brand as it takes a while to find your way round their service modes etc.

arriva1
05-22-2008, 10:47 PM
Good luck to you
I would recommend you stick to one or two brand as it takes a while to find your way round their service modes etc.


I agree. I put service contracts on Toshiba and Sharp mainly. Although I will service just about anything, it gets hard to carry that many different toners and supplies.

Scorotron Wizard
05-23-2008, 01:11 AM
Thanks for that but it's not just the toners, its finding the different procedures to get into the service modes, I remember CROP codes for Sharp machines but what no does what (CROP 14 Fix all) 10871087 for the old Mita and some Nashua (& now the new Kyocera) stop 0 stop1 Minolta, Stick a spike in the hole for Cannon, Paper tray UP etc for Panasonic, these are just afew off the top of my head, but then what code does what, if you stick to a couple of brands you can get quite good at sorting the problems, ok take on any that come along but when you upgrade you can put in a mc that you know your way around. Anything you are not sure of ask here on the forum you can be assured of support here:)

arriva1
05-23-2008, 03:48 AM
Thats true. Thats why I only put the service contracts on Toshiba and Sharp. Machines that I know well and have solid support on. I service the rest on a per call basis. That way if it looks like a good account I can check out the machine and with the intrivias guide you can get by most times. 80% of the time its something you can figure out right away. If not and I think its going to more of a pain in the ass than its worth then I respectfully decline the job and I'll usually give them some names of other independants that specialize in that specific brand. Then they will reccomend you when they run into a problem with a brand you specialize in. Most of the calls I get from my advertizing is companies that are sick of the big dealers and being roped into these never ending leases. There is a sea of repoed and off lease equiptment out there, some current models with very low meters that a small guy can make a good living and still compete with the big guys and save customers money. The only accounts I have trouble getting are the very large companies, but I'd rather stay with the midsized companies anyway. When you have a few accounts that generate most of your income and you lose one it could be devastating. I have 70-80 contract customers and a few hundred supply and per call customers and its just my wife doing all the office work and drop ship orders and I take care of sales, parts, and service. The only draw back I have as an independant is the ability to take any extended time off (which does suck). It would be nice to have one more tech that could handle things while I'm gone and take over when I drop out.

mickspace
05-26-2008, 06:15 PM
Been a tech since 98, seen alot of changes come down and can say that I have adapted quite well, everything from Sharp being the ghetto brand to winning awards and when Konica and Mita's were just Konica and Mita and not there new elongated names. Now I am not saying I am gods gift to any company that I have ever worked for, because I'm not. I've upset customers, co-workers and even owners in the past. We all have. Been thru more classes than I care to count and still run into machines that leave me looking at the machine going :confused:. Factory trained on Sharp, Konica, Mita, Savin and picked up quite a bit on the other manufactures to include duplicators, Duplo, Rizzo and so on.

Took a break from the industry for awhile, when I left I was at 40k a year, my first year back I'll be lucky if I make 30k. Got all the other training that is required for us. A+, Network+, so why am I working for a guy who makes scrooge look generous. Why aren't I out there doing my own thing. If any indie's or even other techs who have been pondering this , read this, chime in. I own my own tools and vaccum, so whats stopping me? How hard is it to pick up machines for service. I need advice. I am in Central California and wondering what my next move should be. Do I go to another company and hope that things stay better for longer than 90 days, or should I branch out?
I have owned a small business, and I can tell you, Write Your Own Checks! Trust no one; get your self a lawyer and accountant. Get a business plan, the Small Business Administration http://www.sba.gov/ (http://www.sba.gov/) will help with this, they have coaches and counselors etc.
It will be allot more work; you’re the Guy everyone will want to talk to, complain to, and sue and what ever else. And if you decide to do Networking Keep a very detailed record of everything you do and have the IT head sign it before you leave the place. (my company was in litigation once because of some retarded IT admin claimed I screwed up their Network, which is funny as I was never on there network, I set the machine up with a crossover cable, come to find out the problem was 1500 miles away) And if you do Chargeable calls, also make them sign an estimate before you do any work. This will save you some hassles six months down the road. I am just a simple tech and this is what I have learned the hard way. In short keep very detailed records to cover yourself later. Here are a few web sites that might help.

http://www.precisionroller.com/ (http://www.precisionroller.com/)

http://www.all-laser.com/ (http://www.all-laser.com/)

http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/hpparts.html (http://www.sphere.bc.ca/test/hpparts.html)

http://www.p2gcentral.com/ (http://www.p2gcentral.com/)

http://www.innovone.com/~tsa/dispframe.php?catred=0200 (http://www.innovone.com/~tsa/dispframe.php?catred=0200)

http://www.hytecrepair.com/ (http://www.hytecrepair.com/)

http://www.intravia.com/ (http://www.intravia.com/) (Manuals, I am told this is good, never used it thou?)

Raimond
07-22-2008, 07:48 PM
Simple, get up and get out and start knocking on doors, and you will see how quickly word of mouth gets around about your tech support and repair, if you are good you will stay busy and get rich but not without a lot of hard work. I can tell you this it ain't going to come to you you have to get out and get it so unless you are happy making 30-40K. The worst that can happen is that you will have to go back and get your old job back. I started a prepress business 28 years ago and sold it three ago, started in my house with nothing and ended up billing over 2.7 million per year... best time to start is NOW...

mmru4real
08-22-2008, 03:59 AM
I work for myself and my wife stays home and does the office work. I'm not getting rich yet but i'm not starving either. Its hard to take time off, but I'm not punching a clock.
There is plenty of tech support out there if you run into trouble. I have never been factory trained on any machine and run a good business (15 years).
I'm also looking for a good tech that wants to go out on there own (in florida). I have a great base of 80-90 contracts and hundreds of per call and supply order customers. Lots of room for more business but theres only so many hours in the day.
You can always contact me I am an Independent in FL

nmfaxman
08-22-2008, 07:35 AM
Wether you think you can, or think you can't
Either way you are right.

MattPhung
09-02-2008, 08:45 PM
My Toshiba E-Studio 550 gave me a Call for service Message and locked the copier. I can't push any buttons. How do I reset the copier so I can see what's wrong.

b003ace
09-18-2008, 08:42 AM
Something none of the previous replies has mentioned is ethics.

Do you have a non-compete clause in your current employment arrangement?

Is it ethical for you to solicit customers who you know only through your current employment? How will those customers look at your integrity as a result?

If the distributors are poking around looking for someone else to take over, maybe the owner would be interested in selling cheaper? That would eliminate many of the ethical concerns and give you an established customer base. Just so long as the old owner makes everything right with the distributors.

Personally, with the changes the industry is going through, I wouldn't want to go out on my own right now, but then, I'm not sure I even want to stay in the industry...

DAG COPIERS & COMPUTERS
12-07-2010, 05:31 PM
hey mezagog, three years down the road tell us what u eventually did.

Froota
12-07-2010, 11:36 PM
hey mezagog, three years down the road tell us what u eventually did.

Yes, it would be interesting!!!

Jules Winfield
12-08-2010, 02:17 AM
Something none of the previous replies has mentioned is ethics.

Do you have a non-compete clause in your current employment arrangement?

Is it ethical for you to solicit customers who you know only through your current employment? How will those customers look at your integrity as a result?

If the distributors are poking around looking for someone else to take over, maybe the owner would be interested in selling cheaper? That would eliminate many of the ethical concerns and give you an established customer base. Just so long as the old owner makes everything right with the distributors.

Personally, with the changes the industry is going through, I wouldn't want to go out on my own right now, but then, I'm not sure I even want to stay in the industry...

An excellent point. I know for a fact that the dealership I used to work for had their salespeople sign some kind of "no compete" agreement. They would actually sue if a salesman left and took any customer information with them. No sure if it was the same for service contracts, but I would guess that it was.

nmfaxman
12-08-2010, 03:22 AM
According to Mezagog's profile page, he hasn't been on this site since 2 months after the post.

I guess he went on to another career.

Makes me wonder why I am still in it after all these years.

JR2ALTA
12-08-2010, 03:35 AM
I don't understand.

This discussion seems like a little guy just works with his tools, some aftermarket parts and knowledge.

Can't someone become authorized through a manufacturer, sell a few machines and get access to OEM parts, manuals and firmware?

Maybe I am naive, is it like 100k to become a dealer?

ddude
12-08-2010, 07:00 AM
I don't understand.

This discussion seems like a little guy just works with his tools, some aftermarket parts and knowledge.

Can't someone become authorized through a manufacturer, sell a few machines and get access to OEM parts, manuals and firmware?

Maybe I am naive, is it like 100k to become a dealer?


It depends upon the vendor-if you look at second tier vendors, like Sammy or Muratec, you may be able to sell their line without a quota, no strings- If you look at some distros, like Carolina Wholesale, ACM, or Nuworld, you can resell the KMs, Ricohs, or Toshi, along with many other lines, up to a certain speed, again with very little commitment. To make a deal with a major vendor is like signing a contract with the devil- could be good, but you will feel the heat.

ESG
01-15-2011, 08:03 AM
Katun.com can help on some of the copier suplies, but like someone said before google is your best friend for looking for parts, toner, etc. Hang in there.

Wild Bill
04-29-2011, 09:36 PM
Dont take out a loan; Save 4-6 months expenses before attempting to start business.

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