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Alphabyte
02-22-2010, 06:21 PM
I may be jumping the gun here as I need to build up some Home users first, but how would I go about getting some business customers, even if its small businesses with 2 or 3 computers.

How did everyone else start off with your first business clients

bsd13
02-22-2010, 07:47 PM
My first business client a friend called me and said he knew someone who needed 3 computers networked together. I got there and it was a small picture framing company. Hello first business client.

jay c
02-22-2010, 07:51 PM
Get some professional looking brochures and business cards, a street map of your target area, and start going door-to-door, talking to managers and business owners.

AllenHBlackburn
02-22-2010, 08:34 PM
When I started, I had some basic flyers made up and taped them to doorknobs in the sub-divisions. I had my business card attached to the flyer as most will keep the card. After about two years and a great customer base, I altered my flyer to attract businesses (dentist offices, daycares, basically any place that had a database and needed backups) and went through the yellow pages. I picked out businesses in my area (there are hundreds) and made it a point to send out a flyer to at least 50 per week. The business has grown and there is a lot o repeat business. It has landed me about 30 contract to date. Hope this helps.

kagman
02-22-2010, 08:47 PM
Word of mouth is a great way to start. If you can get just one or two small business owners then they will recommend you to others....


--Jose--

cmonova
02-22-2010, 09:56 PM
Meet and greet. Anytime you get a chance to talk to a business person take the time to talk to them no matter how trivial it may seem. First impressions last a long time in this industry.

Case in point, I dealt with a business about 3 months ago, but knew I did what needed to be done and they were not really interested in a monthly contract or anything like that. But, I took an extra hour or so talking to the owner, listening to his complaints etc after the job was done.

Today an email comes in saying "We are interested in joining your base of monthly maintenance customers. I also believe we need to replace the server sometime in the 2nd quarter & will need to get a quote. Are you still accepting new customers?"

;) Am I accepting new customers...hmmmm don't have to think about that too long. There is a server sale and a monthly contract.

Take the time talk to customers/potential customers any chance you get.

jay c
02-22-2010, 11:43 PM
Chamber of Commerce membership has worked for me too, but I had to go to the events and talk to people. It doesn't do any good just to have your name in the directory.

Alan22
02-23-2010, 03:18 AM
I may be jumping the gun here as I need to build up some Home users first, but how would I go about getting some business customers, even if its small businesses with 2 or 3 computers.

How did everyone else start off with your first business clients

I never really understood the difference. People at home, people at work....they're all people. Computer sitting in a home, computer sitting in an office - they're all computers. They may perform different functions, run different software (and maybe there's a server or two), but basically it's all the same to me. What happens to the computer at home can happen to the computer at work.

For me the key was meeting people. Talking to people wherever I went, telling them what I did & handing business cards to everyone.
Whether business or residential, everyone gets the same treatment - good work at a fair price.

It takes time to build a customer base, but once you get rolling just be honest, take care of your customers and they will take care of you.

Alphabyte
02-23-2010, 09:56 AM
There is the question of how much to charge for maintenance contacts??

And how much to charge for parts on top of what you pay

MrUnknown
02-23-2010, 01:16 PM
There is the question of how much to charge for maintenance contacts??

And how much to charge for parts on top of what you pay

Charge what you think the service is worth. Essentially take what you charge an hour, take some off for a bulk discount, estimate how many hours it will take to do the work on the computers and charge that. That is the general formula I have seen used.

If you are doing managed services so you can monitor the systems remotely and provide immediate response via remote connection, you can charge more for that as it adds value. It will usually even out though because you can actually automate most of the maintenance you do on-site and will eventually be doing very little in the way of maintenance.

Again, charge what you want on-top of parts and whatever you think is fair. I usually charge for my time to find the item, which is normally only a few minutes. Sometimes I round the price up and charge that. The vast majority of your income will come from labor charges, no real reason to try to milk every little penny out of hardware.