Although I don’t think I’m really ready for it yet, I decided to take on my first customer as owner and operator of Jiffy-PC, my computer consulting company. I say I don’t feel I’m ready for it because there are still a few things I wanted to get settled before taking on customers, like getting a separate phone line established and printing up some business cards. But my girlfriend approached me with a referral and I couldn’t resist.
I have had numerous customers before this, but they have all been off-the-record jobs, or jobs for other companies. The person I meet tomorrow will be the first official customer that I take on as a business. How does that differ from my customers before? Not much. The only difference, really, is that I will provide her with an invoice after my work is done. That invoice will contain my company logo and if she pays by check, it will be made out to Jiffy-PC. Other than that, nothing much is different from before.
The customer says her computer does not boot into windows and instead it gives her a message asking her to back-up her hard drive. What does that mean? Well, we’ll have to find out, but I’m guessing it’s a damaged hard drive or corrupt boot file. A big part of computer consulting is decoding “customer speak” to figure out what the problem really is. Luckily, the customer has agreed to give her computer to me to take home. Normally I wouldn’t do this without asking her to sign something first, but since she is a friend of a friend, I’m making an exception.
I’m charging her about half of my normal on-site hourly rate, because with her computer at my place, I have the luxury of taking my time with her repairs. Since I don’t have any prices published anywhere yet, I can be a bit flexible with my pricing.
Wish me luck folks, this job will set the tone for my business, so I hope it turns out well! I’ll be sure to let you all know how it goes.