Advertising your computer repair business can be a bit overwhelming. 68.7% of American homes have internet access, and the number rises sharply in more densely populated areas. That means you have over half of your community, town, city, or county as possible customers.
You could take a generalist approach and randomly advertise to as many people as possible and hope you appeal to some of those people. That works for well-established companies with large advertising budgets. But there is a much cheaper and more effective method of advertising that involves targeting a small niche of your potential customer base.
In the Finding a Niche series of blog posts I will profile different possible customer niches that you can target for your computer consulting business.
Today we will focus on the growing population of eldery computer users. I’ve had a lot of success targeting this niche lately, and I find it to be under-served by our profession.
Income: Moderate to High
Location: Retirement communities, single family homes
Need: To use and understand simple technology in order to communicate with their families and use e-commerce.
Technician Work -load: Simple to moderate training, break/fix, and installation.
As baby boomers retire, they do so in a world where their kids and grandkids primarily use technology as a communications tool, forcing them to use the same methods to stay in touch. On top of that, as a person’s mobility becomes limited, they are more inclined to stay at home with the technology that’s available to them and therefore place more value on it’s availability.
This is an ideal niche for computer consultants because this group of customers often need only general training on new technology. They are normally more attentive and have a more relaxed disposition as opposed to younger customers who have the stress of jobs and families to attend to. They also tend to have more disposable income after retirement which makes them more likely to pay for a service they need. These are all broad generalizations of course, but it’s important you hone in on these aspects when you begin your advertising campaign.
Finding This Customer
The most obvious place to find customers in this niche is at retirement communities. In my area there are a number of large communities that offer a broad range of housing for eldery residents. The bigger the better, because word of mouth can travel quickly around such a tight community and the more people there are to hear that word, the better.
I often find that older homes are a good area to target since retirees often choose to stay in the same home they’ve always owned for as long as possible.
Another way to bring awareness of your company to this group is to advertise in areas where retirees are likely to congregate. Community centers, country clubs, and healthcare facilities being prime examples.
Services to Offer
Some ideas of services to offer for this niche include:
- Training on new software
- New computer or component setup
- Setting up Accessibility Options in Windows (Bigger Icons, Voice Activation, etc.)
- Installing and training for communications tools such as webcams and VOIP
- General break/fix
Once you’ve located your niche, it’s important to build a marketing message around their needs. This will take some experimentation as every situation is different, but there are some things to consider.
Traditional advertising mediums are probably the best way to target this niche. Fliers, posters, and post cards trump social media, web ads, and viral marketing in this case.
Older generations are not easily swayed by flashy presentation. Keep your signage simple and concise. Make it relatable by including things like pictures of elderly couples having fun using a computer or a grandfather and grandson enjoying tech together.
Make sure the copy is printed in large type and is easily readable. The less words, the better.
Word of mouth is a crucial component of this niche, so make sure you leave plenty of business cards behind when you leave. Specifically ask for referrals, possibly offering a discount in the future for doing so. Above all, be patient, friendly and polite…these qualities impress this niche above all else.
Have you had success with this niche? What techniques do you use to focus your advertising?