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Topic # 32094 12-Apr-2009 12:17
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This may be a little bit off topic, if so please move it.

I am a 21 year old who lives in the Waikato. I've completed a masonry apprenticeship, decided to do an IT degree but 3 years is a long time and I couldn't believe how many holidays and how much down time I had.

I've decided to start my own business servicing the small town I live in (40min south of Hamilton) and surrounding areas in the Waikato. I want to start out doing basic repairs, troubleshooting, system builds, home networking etc.?

Has anyone been in my situation or similar before and do you have any advice for me?

Thanks

Alex



{MOD EDIT : SP : Moved to the most appropriate forum and added a few words to the subject}

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  Reply # 206631 13-Apr-2009 09:50
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The best advice I can offer is to get an accountant - don't try to do the end of year accounts yourself. A good accountant will save you far more than their annual cost. They'll also be able to help you put together a solid business plan, and map out the potential business.

I'd also highly recommend Xero as an accounting package.




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  Reply # 206642 13-Apr-2009 11:01
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dropping A LOT of mailer, (like junk mail) but heh it works, I find some posh areas have about 50% of no circulars sign on them compared to lower or middle end housing, otherwise good luck.

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  Reply # 206723 13-Apr-2009 21:39
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RedJungle: The best advice I can offer is to get an accountant - don't try to do the end of year accounts yourself. A good accountant will save you far more than their annual cost. They'll also be able to help you put together a solid business plan, and map out the potential business.

I'd also highly recommend Xero as an accounting package.


Personally as an accountant providing bookkeeping services to small business, I would not recommend Xero for someone your position, it's overkill for a tiny business,  there are more suitable solutions such as basic cash book program.

I'd recommend any of the following for you,  

http://www.acclaim.co.nz   Acclaim Cash Book Lite $120,  Acclaim Cash Book Complete $240.00, 

http://www.cognito.co.nz   Moneyworks CashBook $225.00

Compare that with Xero at $55.13 per month including GST, and you would see Xero is not good value for very small business,  indeed we have a very small client for which we do ALL their data entry and bookkeeping for $60.00 per month !

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  Reply # 206738 13-Apr-2009 22:49
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I agree at $650+ per year Xero is not good value for a small or sole trader.

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  Reply # 206746 14-Apr-2009 00:12
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I have used Cashbook Complete in the past and it worked well, for the price (it's gone up a bit) it's a nice simple but effective program, I second that, get an accountant, even if only until you know what to do yourself.

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  Reply # 206763 14-Apr-2009 08:09
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Ragnor: I agree at $650+ per year Xero is not good value for a small or sole trader.


I disagree, I started off with a small IT business, and used MYOB. The thing was useless, I couldn't really figure out how much money I was making or where it was going, I changed to Xero five years later and wished oh wished I had used it from the beginning.

$50/month is one hours bilable for this fellow, but it depends how quickly you plan to grow and how good you are at maths. When I originally started I did all my accounts in excel :)

I am just winding down my IT business, so if you want a super good deal on various assorted cables (power, internal, usb, firewire, sound, scsi, ide, sata etc etc I have four boxes of the stuff... Personal message me.)

Flyer drops are good, so is word of mouth in a small town, or a farmer mate near the main road may let you stick a big sign up in the field.

I word of advise, residential work is painful, they want everything done, for a very low cost and a long warranty.

Business customers pay better, and arn't so demanding - well they are but in different ways.

I would seriously look at getting a few businesses on your list of clients.




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  Reply # 206793 14-Apr-2009 10:36
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Hi,


I would recommend joining the nearest chapter of BNI - business networking international. I used to belong to BNI in Kapiti. They are a great way to network. And for a new business, that is critical.
For you it will be all about getting customers; servicing them profitably, and cashflow.


I too agree that aiming for business customers has definite advantages. Very hard to make a living out of servicing private home users.


I have used MYOB for several years and have no complaints. It worked just fine for me.
It is also improtant that you get an accounting package/system that your accountant is comfortable with. You want them to be familiar with it and able to advise you on the finer points of its use.


Good Luck.





kind regards Andrew TD

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  Reply # 206802 14-Apr-2009 11:13
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Ragnor: I agree at $650+ per year Xero is not good value for a small or sole trader.


Going OT, so all I'll say on this is.. each to their own - after using the abomination that is MYOB for several years. I consider it money very well spent.




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  Reply # 206806 14-Apr-2009 11:27
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I agree with AndrewTD about joing a BNI chapter, if you have one in your area and there is not already someone in the chapter doing what you do.
I wish I could be the IT person in our BNI chapter as that person gets two or three referals every week!

One thing that I found helped my IT business a lot was proper job tracking software.
I found this and have been using it for about 6 months now and it works great.  Does everything I need it to and more and they are adding new features all the time.
It even creates invoices for you.




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  Reply # 206850 14-Apr-2009 14:43
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I think before you open a business, you should seriously look at getting some form of qualifications.

I believe theres an AMES down there. You can do your A+ with them, which will give you good knowledge on a vast umrella of computer knowledge. Its a 12 week course as well, so you won't have to wait 3 years.

What you're doing is jumping in the very deep end of the pool. If you manage to stuff something up for someone because you don't properly know what you're doing, you won't get return business from them.
You do it right, you will get return business, and they'll tell their friends via word of mouth.

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