Finding a Niche: Bilingual Households

How to start a computer repair businessAdvertising 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.

Habla Espanol?  Parlez-vous français? 당신은 한국어를 할 줄 아세요?  Today we will focus on bilingual households.  This is a niche I’ve seen some techs do very well in and if you speak another language, you can literally dominate this niche if you are the first to enter it.

Customer Profile

Age: All Ages
Income: All Income Levels
Location: All Location Types
Need: The technical needs of this niche are the same as any other group of customers.  The big difference is these households seek service professionals who are able to communicate with them, especially if their native language isn’t English.
Technician Work -load: Simple to Advanced.

Customer Description

One of the best things about the United States, in my opinion, is how it continues to attract such a diverse range of residents from all over the world.  As such, you may find a number of people living in your community in which English is not their primary language.  This has become very obvious to me, especially living and working in the DC area, which is one of the most diverse melting pots in the country.  Depending on where you live, this can be a huge percentage of your potential customer base.

These customers often seek out someone who can speak their native language, especially when dealing with relatively complicated tasks such as computing.  The possibilities are endless as far as the type of customer: from business owners to families to single professionals…there are a wide variety of non-native English speakers who have a wide range of computing needs.

Finding This Customer

Before you go seeking these customers, make sure you can speak another language.  Fluency in that language is optimal, but I think if you can squeak by in conversation then you’ll be good, and well ahead of most of your competition.

Whatever language you speak, there is usually a culture behind it.  Try finding places in your community that cater to that particular culture.  In my neighborhood, right down the street, is a grocery store that specializes in Asian food.  This would be a great place to find bilingual customers.

Also, look for festivals and fairs that celebrate certain regions and cultures.  Many religious institutions hold services in foreign languages.  Finally, community colleges and other places that offer English language classes may be good places to find bilingual computer users.

Services to Offer

Although these customers will have the same needs as any other computer user, they also have the added requirement of language support on their systems.  If you’ve had any experience with Windows Language Packs, you know that they can be hard to configure and troubleshoot.  You may also be able to give the customer some training in how to use applications that do not offer foreign language support.

Marketing Techniques

The biggest marketing advice I have for this niche is to use bilingual copy in your ads.  Don’t make your ads only in one language or the other.  This way you’ll show the non-native speakers that you can speak their language without alienating the English speakers who may see your ad.  Simple fliers should do the trick.  They can be placed in the places mentioned in the Finding This Customer section above.

Don’t let the fact that you speak a second (or third or fourth…) language go to waste.  Bilingual communities are often very tight knit.  Word travels fast when they find a reliable service professional that speaks their native language.  That person often ends up serving the entire community.

Do you speak another language?  Have you had success utilizing that skill with your customers?


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Comments

  1. Super article….I speak only one language and that is “English”…..But, years ago a young boy “16″ called for support on his gaming machine. From talking to him even though his English was very good I knew he spoke Spanish as well. Went to the house and he was not there when I arrived but I was welcomed into the home like they knew me. Started working on the pc and the boy showed up. We talked a bit and fixed his PC and all was good.

    About a week later he calls again about a neighbor and told me the problem and if I would fix it for them. Told him sure and he said “I’ll be there in case they have questions”…This has gone on for a few years now with him calling me at random times to come into his neighborhood to fix problems with family and friends computers.

    Now if it was not for him I would not venture into this type of work due to the language difficulty and it would become a nightmare very quickly. And yes before anyone ask….I do take care of the young man on each and every call ;)

  2. I run my computer business part time in Arizona and I speak both English and Spanish fluently. When I first started my business in October of last year I decided to only advertise in English. I did that for about a month and I was getting a decent amount of business but not as much as I was hoping for. It was only after I started advertising in Spanish that I got the amount of business I wanted. Now that I reflect on it I can’t believe that I did that to myself, I lost so much potential business, and clients. Learn from my mistakes and if you know more than one language use that to your advantage!

  3. I’m not as big of fan of Rosetta Stone as many people here. Unforgettable Languages did the trick for me, I saw them on NBC nghtily news one night and got their Italian online course, they use a scientific memory method called Linkword and TRUST me it worked well for this dumb Southerner! Oh and they tout themselves as being the fastest way to learn ANY Language think they are cheaper than Rosetta tooHere is the French Free Demo and Information LinkHere is the Spanish Free Demo and Information LinkGood Luck

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