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Subject:  Re: Location, Location, Location? Date:  5/23/2002  8:53 AM
Author:  bcfrench Number:  5854 of 15018

<< #2)Financial Planning - More "Personal Finance" stuff that the Fool teaches here. (CC Debt, Budgeting, SAVE SOME STINK'N MONEY, etc.)>>

That job would end up involving a lot of sales, cold-calling, etc. My husband did the financial planner thing for awhile in grad school in conjunction with Fidelity and grew disillusioned about how much sales that job involves. Which is OK if you like sales -- personally I don't.

<<#5)Computer Consulting - Last ditch effort to get out of 9-5 working for someone else life. (Convinced I'm really burned out on doing "computer support" though)>>

Well, there is computer support and computer support.

First of all, there are an awful lot of unemployed computer people out there right now, so you may have a lot of competition. The number of unemployed web people out there right now either (a) trying to make it doing freelance web work and/or (b) supplementing with computer support gigs would make your head spin.

I think the key to success in this area is to find a specialty in demand. I have an old work acquaintence who has a successful business specializing in building, maintaining, and troubleshooting home networks -- cable, DSL, Ethernet, etc.

I've often wondered if there was a business opportunity in the area of professional computer shopper. The number of people I have seen in computer stores growing glassy-eyed at the salesman's pitch about RAM and gigs and 3-D rendering is amazing. I recently watched as a salesguy tried to get a very elderly couple to buy a very top-of-the-line computer with everything in the world, including a DVD burner and a 64MB gaming card. When the salesguy went away to check something, I asked them what they wanted to use the computer for. Their daughter and her family just moved across country and they wanted to get email and the ability to look at grandchildren pictures on her daughter's family website. The lady thought she might also want to look up recipes. I took them over to look at the budget models.

A professional computer shopper could sit down with a client, assess what they would use a computer for, perhaps suggest some other uses they might want to consider, and then recommend possible systems, peripherals, and software, and then do the research to get the person the best deal. Not only that, this person would be knowledgeable about new products, recent reviews, reliability ratings, etc. This person could also help the person set up the system, home network, antivirus/firewall software, that sort of thing.

I think there are some people out there who would pay someone to do all that for them. I know my mother would have if she hadn't had me or my sister to shop for her; she told me so.


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