Business is *BOOMING*!!

By almcneil
Sep 14, 2007
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  1. Techies,

    Just as I was advised, business is now *BOOMING*!! I'm so busy, I can hardly keep up with the calls!!

    Quick background for those who don't know my story. I used to be a high tech engineer. The collapsed in 2001 and by mid-2003 I got laid off from full time work. I went the next 3.5 years mostly unemployed/under-employed with just 2 short 3-month contracts. I finally gave up last January trying to get full employed in tech as an engineer. One of my under-employed jobs during that 3.5 year period was as a tech support agent for Dell at one of their call centres. I decided to startup my own self-employed business servicing a large suburb.

    I was advised by a colleague who ran an independent computer store in the same neighbourhood that it the market goes dead during the summer then gets real busy in September. He was exactly right! My business started last April and was slow at first. By June I started to average a call per day. Then late June through mid-August, I was only averaging 3 calls per week and felt very discouraged. Then the last week of August, it started to rebound. This past week, I've been booked *SOLID*!!

    Now, in addition to the "back from summer vacation" reason, there is another reason I'm making a lot of business. I changed my strategy when do get an in-home call. Initially, I would do "extra" work at no charge to impress the customer in hopes they would refer me to their friends and neighbours. Yes, I did get some referrals but not a lot. So, now what I do is once I solve their primary problem I point out other items I could do for them but that it would be an additional charge. Half the time, they agree to it on the spot and I get what I call a "double". If not, they usually call me back later and say they do want me to come back for the additional call. It's making a big difference!!

    Anyone else who's running the same or comparable business and wants to learn how to make more money, message me!!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    What is the service call per hour in Canada?
    Do you have the same liability coverage? Do you have the same shop requirements from Dell that they demand in the US?
    What do you feel you have to earn per hour to feed your family for a year...
    In the USA, the charges must be $65 to $85 an hour just to survive, so when times are slow, it can be difficult.
    We have been in business since 1992 as a multiship business, and worked a single shop from May of 1986.
    The slowest periods are June to September, All of November, and all of January and February. The highest productivity periods are September through October, Thanksgiving to January 1, and April-May.
    The greatest income, but with the greatest work are in Networking fixes, lightning damage, and laptops.
    We could make a good living just fixing eMachines and Sony, but the laptops are the heart of our business, followed by cable installations, and wireless repairs. Dells are easy because the documentation and parts are there. EMachines, Sony, and Compaq are usually angry clients who feel their product was junk.
    The best indicator of success in this business, is the repeat call and the referral. If your costs are too high, those homes will not tell you of their dissatisfaction, but they will not come back to you leater.
  3. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 1,277


    I don't run a shop. I only do -inhome service. If the customer requires hardware, they must purchase it themselves and I will install it. Also, I charge flat rate per issue. My "Door Crasher", first time customer, first issue, is $99. After that, it's $129 weekday daytime, $169 evenings & weekends. I will be increasing my prices in November to $119 "Door Crasher", $149 weekday daytime, $189 evenings & weekends.

    I guarantee my work. If I can't fix their problem or get something to work, there's no charge. In 6 months, I've only had one case in which I couldn't get it to work. Although the customer was willing to pay me, I refused to take it.

    So far, I have only had one dissatisfied customer to my knowledge. She was a little weird when I serviced her PC and she paid me. When I bumped into her a few months later, she said that her Internet went down a few days later so she went with someone else rathe than call me back. I thought about offering her a refund but she was so flippant and weird, that I didn't bother. She wasn't angry, just flippant. I just chauled it up to that one customer in a long while that can't make his/her mind up so why bother tryign to win her back.

    I get TONS of repeat business!! I get into a job for $99 and by the time I'm done, they've paid me for 2 more service calls because they love my work and thoroughness!

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