Q: I'm starting a computer-resale business and am attempting to research all aspects of setup, purchasing, licenses, reputable wholesalers and so on. I would appreciate any information or advice.
A: A successful computer-resale business requires experience and a business plan. Here are some resources to get you started:
- Dakota Micro (http://www.laptopsetc.com/sellcomputers.htm), a computer wholesaler in Memphis, Tennessee, provides a quick guide on how to put together your own computer-resale business. Call (901) 368-3771 for more information.
- Starting Your Business (http://www.toolkit.cch.com/text/P01_0000.stm) takes you through the process of starting a new business, from thinking about and planning it to actually doing it.
- First Steps: How to Start a Small Business (http://www.sba.gov/starting/steps.html) takes you through the process of developing a business plan. For more information, contact the SBA at (800) 8-ASK-SBA.
- Entreworld.org (http://www.entreworld.org/Content/SYB.cfm) includes the resources you need to build a good foundation for your business.
- Entrepreneur magazine (http://www.entrepreneurmag.com)
gives expert advice on management, marketing, technology and more.
You can also order the book Start Your Own Business
(Entrepreneur Media Inc., $24.95) on this site.
Once you've put together your game plan, you need a resale permit. The National Association of State Information Resource Executives, an organization for information-resource executives and managers nationwide, has a directory of government agencies that grant permits listed by state on its Web site (http://www.nasire.org/stateSearch/index.cfm).
"The hard part is finding the right specialty distributor to match your own specialty market," says Kevin King, owner of Disk-Count Data, a computer-resale business in Sacramento, California. "Choosing the wrong distributor could [put you] out of business very quickly. Part of getting good pricing is making sure you're buying from companies whose primary business is selling direct to licensed resellers--not a company that says it's wholesale but sells to end users at the same price."
In 1986, King started his business with just $1,500. Today, Disk-Count Data sells the Computer Resellers Kit, an ongoing software subscription service that contains a comprehensive listing of wholesalers in the United States and Canada. Subscribers receive monthly updates. For information, visit http://www.rs-kit.com or call (916) 381-8746.