I thought about it for a while... When I'm 18 (I'm only 14 now) I'd like to open up a computer store specializing in mods...
Well, call me a realist, but there are a few problems with running a PC-Mod business.
1) Most people that want a unique mod, do it themselves (us true geeks). Most others that just want a window and some lights - well, now the case mfgs are catering to them.
Running a store that builds basic whitebox computers and does onsite repair is a decent business - exspecially if you cater to larger companies (and hospitals!) that don't have onsite IT staff. Also, Governement Bids. That is where the real money is, not gamers or modders. Then you can do gaming rigs and mods on the side, if you have time. The bread and butter is Business and Government.
2) Dell and HP/Compaq. It is getting much more difficult to match or beat their prices for business machines. Add in the warranties they offer, and it gets even harder to compete. Now, you and I know that a custom built rig with top-shelf components will be better, but in the real world, price rules. Businesses don't care about FPS on a cubicle-bound work machine. They want cheap, and if it breaks, they want it fixed yesterday - at no extra cost.
3) Real modding takes time, time is money, you have to make that back. Most of your Joe-Sixpacks will have a hard time swallowing a case that cost $150 because of the slick modding you did to it. The ones who know and can accept the costs, are usually the ones doing it themselves.
4) The internet. Internet PC suppliers will KILL a retail store on price EVERY TIME. It is a cut-throat business. Having to figure in Taxes, Rent, Electricity into your Inventory Costs will often leave you either (I) higher cost than online e-tailers or (II) with no margin for profit.
Sorry to rain on your parade, but this is the business I am in. I deal with small (and large!) computer mfg/resellers on a daily basis. It is getting harder and harder to run a small (read: Not national chain) computer store. margins are razor thin, profits are tiny, volume is the only way to keep up (hence the Governement Bids and Business Contracts).
Sorry to rain on your parade, but if you are willing to invest $20,000-$50,000 start up costs into your business, you should be fully aware that there is a good chance of going under in the first year - and losing it all.
Post edited by: JavaDog, at: 2004/07/30 17:03