The question my wife asked was intriguing. I had just spent four hours helping a family member build a personal computer. It wasn’t the first time I had helped someone do so. The process is time consuming and takes technical skill to get it right, as well as to isolate and fix problems when things go wrong. My wife simply asked if I had ever considered doing the same thing as a business to make some extra money?
How Much Could I Charge?
As our discussion continued, she wondered how much I would charge for such a service. Other trained technicians such as plumbers and electricians charge $70-$80 an hour or more. The labor rate for Uhaul to install the towing receiver on my vehicle was $100 an hour. Surely the skill to assemble a computer is worth an amount in the same ballpark. But would someone pay around $300 to have build their computer? I mused it may be worth my time to do it for even half that amount.
Would I Enjoy It?
If a person is going to have a side hustle, they have to enjoy it. I love working with computers, which shouldn’t be a surprise given my primary career as a software engineer. I enjoy taking a collection of parts, and making a useful, running machine out of them. This side hustle would be extremely enjoyable for me.
Is There A Market For It?
This is where my side hustle dreams may fall apart. I’ve helped several people build computers over the course of several years. But is there enough demand to build custom computers to sustain a small business, even if it’s just a part-time side hustle? The answer to that question is unknown. The vast majority of people buying a computer will just go to a big box store like Best Buy. The clientele wanting a custom computer would largely fall into the gaming community, and many of those people would have no problem rolling up their sleeves and doing it themselves.
Are There Any Startup Costs?
One great thing about building custom computers as a side hustle is I don’t need any equipment or special business space to do it. All I need is a simple screwdriver.
How Would I Get Business?
To find clients, I would have to advertise my services. I could advertise in the newspaper, online, and by word of mouth. As with any business it may take some time to find a client base.
Whether or not I could consistently make money building custom computers is an interesting question. It may be worth doing some investigation, or even giving it a try. The worst that could happen is I just don’t find enough clients. Best case scenario is I build a computer every now and then and have fun doing it.
How about you, EOD Nation, do you have a skill you could monetize?