What I thought was going to be a thriving business resulted in me almost hating my passionate hobby. My own family dropped me the moment I started charging them. I had customers coming in with the most ridiculous request. I had customers I warned up front about the repair not being sustainable for a long time and they should go for a new device instead of the repair come back after a verbal approval of repair in and accuse me of doing a bad repair. I had done a repair for someone with an agreed upon number that had to be paid demand me to lower my price after the repair was done successfully. I have had a customer let me do a within 24-hours emergency repair to then flee the country with a new computer and not paying where the police said: We cannot do anything as the company you invoiced has been declared bankrupt.
Finding this over the years that I have worked in this industry and starting to hate the hobby I once loved I know there needs to be a change in the type of work I do and how I do it. Currently I am working out a new plan on making this local PC Repair company better with better protection against the bad stuff that has occurred to me.
When working in the private sector I learned the true faces of people, even if they were family.
I learned the reason behind belgian’s legal system and why everything has to be on paper for it to be “real”.
I learned to trust my gut instinct and instead of providing a service for the client to cancel the service at all from the beginning.
I learned to perform a service on anything even though it is against your own advice to not perform the service as it will bite you back, even when you have proof.
I learned that because people do not understand what goes behind repairing a PC, they also do not understand why certain things that take 5 minutes are priced a certain way.
I learned that people rather have you spend half an hour on something that can be done in 5 minutes against price X than to have something be done in 5 minutes and pay the same price. People are not ready yet in Belgium for paying for value. They rather pay for time.
I learned that if you want to give a premium service, you cannot give the premium service on everything (see the value vs time question) however once you get into a category of repairs where the people do understand the value of their devices, premium service is something you can give.
I learned that if I ever want to grow with this company, I need to go global instead of local. With a local company in Belgium that does repairs, you will never make it big unless you start doing B2B as well.
I learned that google can shut down your ad’s for no reason at all, and if that is your biggest way of being discovered, there is nothing you can do against it anymore. (https://nl.ifixit.com/News/31131/an-open-letter-to-the-ftc-on-googles-banning-of-repair-business-ads ) This has had a huge impact on my business as google was my main advertising form and had to go to freelance security consulting to stay alive.