what kind of computer business is it? Are you building computers for people? Repairing? Selling? Or are you doing something different? Best allocation of advertising would be in a local paper, and to have a website, and I personally know just the guy to design you a website
I've been in IT for 22 years. The majority of my friends are in the field. Most of them that have done what you are talking about and it had ended their marriages in divorce. There wifes got the houses and money. I did it for a while and was heading the same way. We were all miserable because your phone NEVER stops ringing. If your single, there becomes no time for dating. If you plan on being alone with money to spend but no time to spend it then go for it. You can try it for a while but once you start it's hard to get that phone to stop ringing. It took me about 2 years to get people to stop calling. Especially if you meet them at work. You can't be mean to them. Also, if you plan on getting customers from work, you Boss and/or His/Her Boss may not like it. I've seen people get in loads of trouble for it.
Just a few things to think about....
My only recommendation is to not be fooled that you can turn a profit building custom machines for people unless you are doing some super-high-end custom stuff. Dell and the like are just too cheap these days to make money building boxes.
As far as businesses go, OS deployment and monitoring are very hot right now as well as web collaboration, so check out SCCM/SCOM/MOSS if you're interested in doing Microsoft platform consulting.
The way I see it you you have to take a shot. If you don't you will never know. I am taking the shot I am just looking for some advise or opinions.
Sounds like a good start. Here's my $.02...
1- keep overhead low. No storefront, keep your advertising out of the yellow pages (for now), Don't add unnecessary expenses. Doing any of these things means you're trying to force the business. Don't spend too much until you find out whether or not you've hit a proper niche, which brings me to...
2- find your niche. A friend of mine here in Rochester put together an ad campaign that was blindingly effective and ridiculously simple: His ads focused on a common problem for neophyte computer users, pop-ups. Now, he's a full service computer tech, but you'll get lost in the shuffle if you try to appear to broad-based.
3- set up parameters. Another poster mentioned calls at all hours, ruining his marriage etc... don't let this happen. You business is what facilitates your life, not what dominates it. Turn the phone off after a reasonable hour. Make the calls the next day. You're going to have to put in some long hours, especially when you're just starting out, but plan on rolling this back slowly.
4- know your competition. How long does it take your competition to fix a computer? How much do they charge? Do they do all the leg-work, or does the customer have to do the running around? The answers to all these questions will tell you what aspects of the services you provide, will be the ones you can crow about to prospective clients. If you're cheaper, shout it from the rooftops. if you pick up and deliver folks' computers to their homes, make the other guy sound like a crook for not doing it.
5- be willing to alter your plan. The single biggest advantage you have over other well-established competition is: you are light, quick and can adapt quickly. Businesses that have been established for some time have a set system for their operations. You aren't held back by any of this. You can change tracks on a dime. (Just recently, I switched from being mostly in the new housing market to specializing in handicap accessibility) Use your flexibility to your advantage, it's the one thing your bigger competition just can't keep up with.
6-Good luck. You're making a great decision. Since I started my own business, I've never been happier. If you ever need any advice, don't be afraid to pipe up.
good for you my friend, i am the owner computer company in upstate ny, i have been in the business for a long time, i can give some great advice if need be, i have started a successful computer business from nothing, so please dont hesitate to ask