SOHO Networking

I am thinking ( I have been for over 3 years) of acting on some of my small business ideas. There are a growing number of people with home offices in my neighbourhood. I do not know the exact number but I believe that in the Montgomery , Montgomery Wood, and Montgomery Walk development we have close to 500 homes. Most of these homes have wireless.

I am making the assumption that within a block of units (8 homes) there at least half have wireless and most likely all have a home computer with DSL or cable broadband. I based this assumption on my own block. I pick up at least 6 wireless signals from my family room. Most of the wireless signals have no security and almost all use the default router settings. I am betting there are lots of people out there like Mukesh and Nilima.

I think there is money to be made offering an in home setup service for small offices/home offices. I think I can use my neighbourhood as a launching point for the business. I can place a small ad in the association newsletter or a posting to the web site. I am hoping that word of mouth would provide enough marketing initially to get from one gig to another. Hopefully some of the home clients would refer me to small business clients. But first baby steps.

I have thought up a short list of services I could provide.

  • Home networking
  • Wireless networking
  • Security
    • patching
    • anti-spy-ware
    • anti-virus
    • ad-ware removal
  • PC tuneup (defrag, temp file removal)
  • Software installation and configuration
  • Hardware installation and configuration
  • Blogging and web site hosting

I have not thought much about how much to charge. Should it be an hourly or fixed price for a defined service (a la carte)? Should I have the clients sign off when work is complete? Should I incorporate or do a sole proprietorship until the business gets larger?  Can I manage the work load?  How do I limit this to weekends only at first?