Dear Lifehacker, I'd like to start my own IT troubleshooting business at my university accommodation. They've given me the all clear, but I've no idea where to start? Any pointers? Thanks, Rookie
Student picture from Shutterstock
Good to hear that you've cleared doing this with your accommodation provider — some places have restrictions on what you can do. In no particular order, here are a few basic issues to consider:
Work out your rates You'll need to come up with a charging schedule. This article has lots of useful general pointers. Given that at least some of your market is likely to be fellow students, don't set your prices too high. For IT troubleshooting, you're likely to want a mixture of fixed charges and per-hour fees.
Come up with a promotion strategy In the university context, the old-fashioned noticeboard still has a lot going for it. You'll also find noticeboards in supermarkets, hospitals and nursing homes — all potential sources. Set yourself a Facebook presence too, and a basic web site (though this doesn't necessarily have to be complicated).
Get yourself organised If you're going to combine freelance work with study, you need to be efficient at both. You'll need a schedule. If you expect clients to visit your accommodation, you'll also need to make sure you keep the place tidy and presentable — sometimes a rarity in student housing.
If readers have additional suggestions, we'd love to hear them in the comments. Good luck!
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