At the turn of the 20th century owning a computer repair franchise industry was a great business opportunity. The lifespan of a computer is not always a long one. We’ve all been there. The new laptop is ruined the second the kids get a hold of it or natural wear-and-tear makes the computer obsolete after only a few years. The inevitable breakdown of computers is kindling the $19 billion-dollar industry.
Technology from home desktops to enterprise-scale servers need maintenance and repairing. Yet the industry is shifting. The lower prices and affordability of technology is affecting the consumer trend. As smartphones become more common, and tech manufacturer’s software updates encourage consumers to buy new hardware that matches processing speeds, many choose to buy new computers over repairing old ones.
So, what does the market outlook offer on owning a computer repair shop?
Computer Repair Industry Outlook
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 84% of U.S. households are reporting to own a computer in 2014, with the number most likely even higher today. A computer repair franchise will typically service household customers over large companies who would need private technicians. In 2017, the three most popular laptops were: Dell Alienware 17 R4 ($1,299.99), Acer Swift 1 ($289.99), and the Razer Blade Stealth ($1,349.99). Prices for a laptop range from around $300 all the way up to $1,500, or more. Many computer owners who are willing to invest in more expensive computers are more likely to repair and maintain their computers with general maintenance. Desktops which are also more expensive and used long-term are repaired more often than cheaper laptops.
Currently, the computer repair industry is experiencing a 0.03% decline in growth rate. Of course, consumers opting to buy new computer systems over repair services affects this decay rate, but cell phones are also a variable. Today’s smartphones are dynamic. Internet-enabled smartphones function like a computer for an average consumer. Most consumers are using their phone to run entertainment apps or games. These technologically complex products need more repair work than a basic-feature phone. The 3% growth rate of the cell phone industry suggests that the proliferation of smartphone ownership is offsetting computer repairs.
Owning a Computer Repair Shop
The ubiquity of tech creates great opportunities for a computer repair franchise. Many repair franchises specialize in phones while offering repairs for cell phones, tablets, and laptops. As industry convergence continues the best way to stay profitable is to diversify your repair services. Meaning, a computer repair franchise should also repair other devices. Computers and laptops will need repair maintenance from issues like malware or hardware issues. Smartphones are in a person’s pocket making them more susceptible to damage like cracked screens and water damage. Taking advantage of retail opportunities also adds another revenue stream. Repair services are the fundamental business concept while retail adds convenience.
Taking a universal approach to the repair services you offer in your shop broadens your opportunities for customers to take advantage of your services. Serving these new and emerging markets increases revenue streams.
Common Computer Repair Services
On average, a laptop usually has a 3-4 year lifespan depending on how well users care for the device. Hardware begins to age and fail after four years. Even a laptop battery has a charge cycle—the number of times a battery can run down and recharge—which is around 500 times. Below are a few common issues that computer owners are likely familiar with.
Computer Runs Slow
One of the most common issues for repair services are computers running too slow. If it’s a software issue it could be malware, too many startup items, or a buildup temporary files. The hard drive could also be fragmented—slowing processing speeds. Other hardware issues that slow computers down are lack of RAM or a failing CPU.
Computer Keeps Restarting
Another frustrating issue that computer owners have is when a computer continuously restarts. One possibility for this is an operating system update issue. An interruption during a critical update can make a computer constantly restart. Users can try and update again, but this does not always work, and they will need to bring their laptop in for a professional to fix. If there is a problem with hardware like a graphics card, motherboard, or network card drivers this could also be the reason a computer keeps restarting.
When laptop owners shut their screen, and place their laptop in a bag the hard drive may still spin for a few moments. As the bag is jostled around, this can damage the system leading to overheating. Similarly, if there is an issue with the fan or dust is blocking the vents, a computer is likely to overheat.
These computer issues are the three most common ones facing computer repair franchises. Most are simple fixes that well-trained technician handles.
Common Repair Issues for Cell Phones
Cell phones have a knack for getting damaged. Even with protective cases and supposedly indestructible phones available on the market, the demand for cell phone repair services will continue to grow. Around 35% of people damage or break their phone within the first year, according to Worth Ave. Group.
Crack or Broken Screen
There are thousands of phone users still using a phone with a cracked screen right now. Around 50-55% of all phone repairs are fixing a cracked or broken screen. Smartphones outfitted with a touchscreen will need to be replaced. LCD screens or Internal LCD displays also need to be replaced, but minor damage can be repaired.
Between 15 and 20% of phone owners will need a repair after their phone is submerged or contact with water damages their phone. Water immersion damages the circuitry and other hardware components of the motherboard. These parts will need to be replaced or reconnected.
Malfunctioning Charging Port/Connector
The third most frequent issue a tech repair franchise will see are broken charging connectors. This problem results in phones not being able to charge–even when plugged in. Aging or electric short-circuits are a common culprit for a broken charging connector. Broken ports or docks can also lead to a phone not being able to charge.
Computer repair franchises that take advantage of various revenue streams report strong profits. 81% of surveyed franchises reported being profitable last year. As technology becomes the forefront of market expenditures, the need for repair will also be at the forefront. Investing in a computer repair franchise has lucrative vantage points in the technologically driven future.
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