Are you overwhelmed with the day to day tasks of running a computer business? Do you often overlook things or drop the ball because you just don’t have enough time? Are you spending enough time with your family, friends, or just relaxing? In this episode of The Computer Business Podcast I speak with Daniel Hand about his new book, Time Is Precious, which is aimed at helping computer business owners manage their time better.
I also answer some listener emails about the recent reports of declining PC sales and also how I handle purchasing hardware for customers.
Finally, in the toolbox, I reveal the two software services that have helped me take my time management to the next level. You don’t want to miss this jam packed show!
If you’re a solo computer consultant like me, you may often find yourself face-to-face with clients in their personal office or home. It’s best not to take for granted that these folks are inviting you into their private spaces. It helps to be prepared with certain things, both tangible and intangible, that will help make the experience go more smoothly for both you and your customer.
I put together a video in which I walk through the five things that I make sure to do every time I visit someone for an on-site job. It’s easy to forget one or more of these things, but each one is a valuable piece to making your computer business a great one.
In this episode of The Computer Business Podcast I let you know if YOU have what it takes to start a computer business.
If you’re still on the fence about starting a computer business, or are running a business part time, you’ll want to listen closely as I talk about what will be in store for you when you decide to run a full time computer business.
Is it something you really want to get into? Do you have what it takes? What kind of computer businesses are there and which kind is the best for you? These are all questions that I’ll attempt to answer in this episode.
In this video I answer a question from a reader about naming his computer business:
“I have a dilemma, I called my company markingle.biz, but am toying now with a better name for the company to sort of reflect the industry. The reason I chose my name was to build a brand name which is not just another PC shops name. What do you think? Should I rename or should I stick with the current name?”
And here is my response to Mark:
I’m excited to introduce a new feature here at the blog, the Computer Business Podcast!
I’ve been lucky enough to be a guest on multiple podcasts in the past, and had a great time chatting about my business. I also love listening to computer business podcasts and just podcasts in general. Mix that with my love of performing (I’m a musician after all) and you’ve got a recipe for me to start a podcast of my very own.
You can listen, download, and subscribe to the podcast below. Also, the podcast will soon be available on iTunes.
In this episode I’m going to introduce you to the computer business podcast. I’ll talk about what I have planned for future episodes, who I am, and the journey that brought me here.
Items Mentioned in this podcast:
- Computer Business Podcast: 20 Things You Can Do Right Now to Start a Computer Business
- http://www.computerBusinessPodcast.com (Direct link to podcast episodes)
- Contact me with questions and feedback
At work he has two other employees besides himself, one receptionist and one assistant. They have 3 Windows computers and two printers networked together in a Workgroup. It is imperative that these computers are operational and that patient data is backuped up properly, which is why I am on retainer with them and perform regular repairs and maintenance on their systems.
Because he runs his own business, he also calls on me to design and update his website, since he knows these are services I perform. I also help out with his website’s SEO and social media needs from time to time.
At home Dr. Haywood has one desktop computer, one laptop, and a tablet. Here, he and his wife are most concerned with checking email, making the internet safe for their kids, and keeping their family pictures secure. I helped them set up their network at home and I visit once every three months to perform a quarterly maintenance and cleanup. They also call me every now and then when something goes wrong or they have question.
Doug lives in a single family home in an upper middle class neighborhood. He coaches one of his children’s soccer teams and is active in the local community. Dr. Haywood is easy to work with and always pays on time. And because I have such a good relationship with him, he always recommends me to his friends and colleagues which keeps me busy with referrals.
Doug Haywood is my perfect customer.
He’s also fake.
I find trying to pick up new clients for my computer business is very much like fishing. You put the best bait possible on the end of the line (advertising), cast it off into the lake (your local area) and hope something bites (a new customer).
That’s a great approach, especially if you’re the only fisherman in the lake. But what happens when you’re in a lake crowded with hundreds of other fisherman? Some of these guys have been in the business for decades and have huge boats with dozens of fishing lines coming off the deck. How do you compete?
Before I started running my computer business full time, I had a feeling that entrepreneurship would be far and above more stressful than working in my corporate IT job. I suspected that I’d be working long hours supporting my business and stressing out over making my customers happy. After all, as a business owner, all responsibility falls on ME for EVERYTHING, right? That sounds nerve-racking!
In my corporate gig I only needed to worry about one small piece of a large business. Sure, I could show some initiative and go outside my box now and again, but mostly I just did what my boss said. More importantly, if the business got sued, if equipment failed, if employees quit, or the company went bankrupt, it really wasn’t my concern. At the end of the day I’d just leave it all behind, go home, and watch The Office.
While I do sometimes work long hours, sometimes have problem customers, and cashflow is still fairly unpredictable…I’m very rarely stressed out.
In fact, after running my solo consulting business for over a year and a half now, I’ve come to the realization that I’m FAR MORE happy and relaxed in this new role.
In my latest video I answer the following question from a reader:
So I decided to get extra income by fixing computers in my hometown. Since I do not have the money to open up a shop, I will either go to my customer’s home or let them drop it off at my house ( I currently live with my parents). I know this can be a privacy issue but do you have any recommendations?
- Vinh Tran
Check out the video for my response:
The holiday season is upon us and this time of year can be especially slow for your computer consulting business. Many of our customers are spending their money on gifts, and spending their time preparing with family.
But that doesn’t mean you should stop advertising. There are plenty of unique opportunities the holidays present to you as a service provider. Simply send out an email to all your clients offering up some of these suggested holiday-focused services to boost your bottom line and provide your customers with a great opportunity to hire you!