How to Grow without Hiring

grow your computer businessAs your computer business grows, if you are successful you will inevitably reach a point where you can’t possibly handle any more work. Your days are full of client work. Your nights and weekends are spent on administrative tasks. You have to book clients days or weeks out in advance.

This is, of course, a great problem to have. This means you’re successful. You’re building a business and getting more clients. Isn’t that the whole point?

But it can also be frustrating. After all, you want to provide the best possible service to your customers, but you can’t do that as well when you’re constantly running around.

Not to mention the elusive work-life balance. At this point there is no “life” side of the equation.

You may find that its easy to get burned out when you are constantly working. Its hard to find new customers when you’re always servicing your current clients…which means you may eventually reach a dry spell.

All this  pain means one thing:  you’ve arrived at a turning point in your business. A fork in the road, if you will. You have to decide how to continue growing your business.

Many owners will decide to hire an employee at this point. Its a logical move. Hire an inexpensive recent grad to take care of the dirty jobs while you work with the high end clients and continue to work on the business side of things.

This has worked for many computer shops in the past and is a perfectly legitimate way to build your business.

But if you’re like me, you aren’t interested in hiring employees, and the headaches that can come with that decision. Headaches like:

  • Payroll processing
  • Providing benefits
  • The hiring and firing process
  • Quality control (employees will NEVER be as dedicated to the business as you)
  • Training
  • Workplace (if you work at home you’ll probably need to find office space or a storefront)

I’d rather continue building my business on my own terms, without becoming someone’s “boss”.

Whether you’re like me and you simply enjoy working as a one person operation, or you’ve reached the point where you are considering hiring a your first employee, I recommend that you consider some alternatives. There are many ways to grow your business, free up some time, and increase your revenue without hiring on an extra body.
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CBP 009: Malware Removal Best Practices with The Virus Doctor

Computer Business Podcast Episode 7The topic of today’s episode is about the best practices around Malware Removal. 

We’ll be talking with Ken Dwight, the Virus Doctor, about how to identify and remove malware quickly and effectively. 

Plus I’ll be answering a handful of reader emails about everything from developing a computer teaching curriculum to how I find time to provide all the services that I do.

CBP 009: Malware Removal Best Practices with The Virus Doctor

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CBP 008: Tips from a Veteran Computer Business Owner

Computer Business Podcast Episode 7In this episode I have a chat with a successful computer business owner of 18 years from Australia named Jay Burleigh. We’ll talk about his successes and failures and the tactics he’s used to stay in business for so long. I’ll also talk about setting goals for your business, answer a reader email about giving gifts to your clients, and introduce a service that can get you covered in the national press. All that and more on this episode of the Computer Business Podcast.

CBP008: Tips from a Veteran Computer Business Owner

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Introducing my new eBook (and a sample chapter)!

Start a Computer Business BookI’m excited to announce the release of my first full-length premium eBook called How to Quit Your Job and Start a Computer Business!

Are you currently working a full time job and want to know how to start a computer business with as little risk as possible?

Are you running a business part time, but don’t know how to get to the point where you can quit your job?

Do you want a computer business, but aren’t sure how to get started?

If you answered YES to any of those questions then this is the book for you. I wrote it for people who want to start a computer business, or go from running it part-time to full-time.

This book is literally the culmination of 5 years that I’ve spent writing my blog and building my computer business. It’s all the lessons I’ve learned packed into 20 chapters of actionable easy-to-follow content.

I’ve heard from many of you who are struggling to figure out how to get your business started. It’s tough to do, especially when working another full time job. But I’ve been there, and in this book I take all the lessons I learned and lay out a road map for you to follow so you can build the business you’ve always dreamed of.

With that, I present to you the first chapter of the book so you can get a real idea if this is the book for you:
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CBP007: Getting into Managed Services

Computer Business Podcast Episode 7In this episode we’ll be digging into the world of managed services and how, among other benefits, becoming a managed service provider (MSP) can help keep your computer business income steady and predictable.

Also I have a metric ton of emails to answer and an exciting announcement about an upcoming project of mine. All that and more on this jam packed episode of the computer business podcast!

CBP007: Getting into Managed Services

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CBP006: The Remote Support Episode

Computer Business Podcast Episode 6This episode is all about Remote Support. What tools are out there, how do you find remote support customers, and how can you integrate it into your computer business?

My guest today is Lisa Hendrickson, owner of Call That Girl, a computer shop based out of Rochester Minnesota.  She’s also the author of some very helpful guides for computer business owners including Call That Girl’s Guide to Remote Support.  She services a large majority of her customer base via remote support, so I wanted to pick her brain about how she gets clients and handles situations that may come up during remote sessions.

CBP006: The Remote Support Episode

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How to Handle A Leave of Absence from Your Computer Business

Photo Credit: Ken Hawkins

Many of you who read this blog are solo computer consultants.  In other words, you are the CEO, Marketer, Technician, and Secretary rolled into one extremely busy individual.

You ARE your business, and without you, it doesn’t run.

This is great for many reasons:

  • You have ultimate control over all aspects of your company.
  • You don’t have to spend money on employees and all the expenses that come along with that.
  • You don’t have to worry about managing anyone and making sure they meet your high standards.

However there is one glaring disadvantage.  If you should be unavailable, either by choice or heaven forbid by accident, your business essentially shuts down and you don’t make money.
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CBP005: From Computer Consultant to WordPress Developer

Computer Business Podcast Episode 4CORRECTION: In the Computer Business Toolbox section of the podcast I mention the incorrect source of the WordPress training vidoes. I should have said the videos are from WPMU.org, not iThemes.

In this episode I’ll be speaking with Eric Hamm, creator of the Dynamik Website Builder for WordPress. We will discuss his journey from being an independent computer consultant to a website developer and finally a WordPress theme creator. What lessons can we learn from his story?

Also I’ll be answering some reader emails and talking about tools you can use to start developing Website with WordPress with no prior web development experience!

CBP005: From Computer Consultant to WordPress Developer

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Case Study: Marketing That’s Worth the Money

computer business marketingAs computer business owners you know we absolutely have to ABM (always be marketing).  To avoid the dreaded, but common, feast or famine roller coaster, we need to make sure we’re always getting our name out there to new customers.

Because our time to perform marketing activities is limited, it is best for us to find the tactics that will give us the most bang for the buck.

Not all advertising techniques are created equal, so one must do their due diligence to find those few marketing tactics that work best for your business.

For this reason, over the last year I’ve made an effort to try different marketing tactics and measure their results.   The goal being that I want to find the few marketing tactics that get the best results so I can focus on maximizing the effectiveness of those and turning them into a repeatable processes in order to free up my time.

Right now, I would like to share my results of all the marketing tactics I’ve tried over the last year and how well they did for me.  I measure success both in the number of clients I get (because they can turn into repeat customers as well as provide referrals) and by the amount of money earned from the first call with that client.  At the very least I’m looking to break even.  Here they are in no particular order:  [Read More...]

CBP004: Grow Your Computer Business with YouTube

Computer Business Podcast Episode 4The topic of today’s episode of the Computer Business Podcast is how you can use YouTube as a marketing tool for your computer business.  I’ll be talking with Gabe Martushev of Teknyka Tech Support in Oregon who has quickly grown his computer shop with the help of YouTube videos.  Also I’ll be answering some reader emails and talking about a great tool that you can use to produce professional looking videos for your business in minutes.

CBP004: Grow Your Computer Business with YouTube

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