PC Business Advertising Strategy: Buy Out the Yellow Pages

Based on the first 8 results of a search I performed on YellowPages.com, it would seem that a certain company owns them!

I wonder how it’s working for them, and how much it costs.

One way to advertise your computer repair business is to ensure that it looks like you’re the only choice customers have. Seems like a monopoly of sorts though, doesn’t it?

The following screenshot was taken from YellowPages.com on January 26, 2011 after doing a search for “computer repair”: Read the rest of this entry »

Computer Tech Scams

I had an email exchange with a scammer today. Nothing new, but just something for computer techs to watch out for.

Scammer:

Hello let me know if you are capable of repairing computers in volumes.

Thanks.

Me:

Possibly – what sort of volumes are we talking about, and what’s the issue?

Read the rest of this entry »

Computer Technicians that Suck at Communication

I receive a lot of applications from computer technicians. Some of the issues that rule out a tech right away include atrocious spelling/grammar, not following instructions, and the lack of a targeted cover letter. All these are indicators that the tech doesn’t really believe he has a chance or is a fit with my business anyway. Take this “cover letter”:

Why do i think i would be a good technician for Bein Tek, I have the knowledge and hands on experience doing laptops and desktop computer. Also i am familiar  using windows xp,2000,vista,7, and 2003 server. I can repair hardwares such as cd dives dvd drives, and network adapter.

Damn. First, this guy misspelled my business name. All right, I can overlook that; it’s a tough name to spell and pronounce… but his grammar and punctuation are awful.¬† “I have the knowledge and hands on experience doing laptops and desktop computer” … doing laptops and desktop computer?

This application was among many that came from an “institute” that I won’t do the dishonor of naming. I received a bunch of low-quality, irrelevant applications after receiving a call from the career department at this Michigan vocational school.

Here’s another great cover:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fill in Your Downtime by Partnering with “The Competition”

When your computer repair business doesn’t have a full workload, why not lend your technicians (or yourself, if you’re a one-man show) to “the competition”? By working as a subcontractor, you can gain additional work and experience. Full Article.

More People Repairing Before Buying a Computer

With the declining prices of computers, one would think more people are buying a new computer instead of getting it repaired these days. A trend in search behavior suggests the possibility that more people might at least be considering repairing a computer before buying one.

It’s clear that there was an increase – from 2009 to 2010 – in the number of people searching for “computer repair” vs “buy computer”. The actual meaning of this increase is up to interpretation.

"Buy Computer" vs "Repair Computer" searches. Source: Google Trends

How to Start a Virus Removal Business in a Down Economy

Over a year since this article on starting a “virus removal business” was originally written, it’s still a “down economy” and the economics of starting out by first running a home-based computer repair business still makes sense. The article covered some basic strategy and marketing for the part-timer just getting his foot in the door. Give it a read if you’re considering starting out.

Computer Repair Biz Interview: A Prompt PC

Today at VirusRemovalBusiness we have a guest interview with Kyle, the sole proprietor at A Prompt PC.

Note: This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.

Brian: We both run home-based computer repair businesses. These days I do 95% Internet advertising. What sort of advertising are you running?

Kyle: I did the Yellow Pages about 4 years ago, and they worked really well for me then, but now pretty much the only calls are from those whose computers don’t let them get on the Internet. I’ve fixed people’s computers and asked where they found me, and they literally say that “I would have never opened up the Yellow Pages if I could get on the Internet”.

Brian: Yeah, its looking like a lot more people are turning to the Internet and even their cell phones for computer repair services. Mobile searches aren’t big yet but I expect a lot of growth in the next five years.

So, tell me what got you into the business? Read the rest of this entry »

Recommended PC Business Forum

Are you a computer repair business owner? I recommend pcbiz.org, a great forum for experienced computer repair business owners. There are registration restrictions for this forum, but the upshot is that you will find a very professional community there.

Should You Include Rates on Your Website?

She's smiling 'cause she knows you gave her a discount

She's smiling 'cause she knows you gave her a discount

In the Forum, Kev discusses his rationale for providing a price over the phone instead of your website. Adding to what he stated, the decision of whether to list your prices for computer repair services comes down to several factors:

  • if your business has competitive pricing, then these rates should be displayed prominently in your advertising, getting the customer to commit to you and anchor toward your prices; the competition will seem expensive and the customer will make the decision based on your pricing advantage
  • on the other hand, if your business provides services at above-average prices, the sale is harder to make – which is a good reason to take advantage of the phone call request for pricing to quickly demonstrate that you are a competent professional before providing pricing information
  • you can convey trustworthiness to the customer through your communication before he makes up his mind about the value of your services; on the other hand, if you’re not so good at speaking over the phone, you might want the customer to make his decision about using your services before speaking with you
  • if your pricing is complex or changing, it is simpler to provide a quote over the phone than to attempt to include these prices on your site

Thanks, Kev for your contribution. Here’s Kev’s computer business.

Yext Advertising for the PC Biz: Worth It?

Yext, a lead-generation service, is supposed to generate calls for your business, charging you only for the legitimate ones. I called up a Yext rep looking for their rates in a region that can expect $15/phone lead. The rep told me that they were charging charging $30/lead in this region. Seems kinda high. Doing some further research, it’s clear there has been a lot of negative feedback on this service, but it could be that most of the positive customers are just less outspoken.