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BigMac
09-02-2010, 01:27 AM
Hi all,

I have had a storefront business now for nearly 6 years. While I of course started out with residential, I have picked up quite a few business clients. I am having a hard time focusing on business projects while having to keep up with my residential work. I go ahead and admit it, I don't like residential work for the reasons you can find throughout this forum. I have already cut a couple of my days short for business work but it still isn't enough. Basically I want to focus on businesses, but still need some of that residential work income. Before I opened the store, I did residential on-site work and hated it. I would never go back and love a place people can drop things off, have meetings, and to have an office away from home.

Are any of you in a similar situation? The only ideas I have are to cut my store hours way back, such as 8am-12pm, and have the rest of the day for business work or do by appointment only. I know people are going to be annoyed with the short hours and by appointment only just sounds like a pain.

I sure don't want to hire someone either. I want to remain a one man operation for the simplicity of things. I have been through 2 techs and it just didn't work out for various reasons. Plus, while I have successfully ran a good business, I sure don't want to add any more 'business responsibility.'

Any thoughts?

cmonova
09-02-2010, 01:38 AM
Well seeing that you have gone thru 2 techs and it did not work out I guess I should not suggest that..;)

But, that is the route i'd go. I'd pick up a temp (1099) and see how it works out. We have a storefront and also business contracts. But, we have gotten some of those business contracts thru doing peoples residential work first. So it's a trade off I guess. To me the residential breaks up the daily routine and I like that, but I also have 2 full-time employees.

Alan22
09-02-2010, 02:19 AM
The only ideas I have are to cut my store hours way back, such as 8am-12pm, and have the rest of the day for business work or do by appointment only. I know people are going to be annoyed with the short hours and by appointment only just sounds like a pain.


I think that pretty much sums everything up.

Personally I think business at your shop is going to dry up. However, let me ask you this: what seems to be the busiest time of day in your shop? During what time of day do you experience the most foot traffic & phone calls. Do you think you can get all the repairs completed within a reasonable amount of time by having such short business hours? Also, is there anything in your lease concerning store hours?

It's very difficult to do everything by yourself. I know you like being a one man show (so do I), but when expanding it's time to take on an additional person or two. If you don't want to hire a technician maybe get someone who can answer phones and greet customers during the afternoon hours.

Good luck whatever route you choose to take.

perryny
09-02-2010, 05:28 AM
Hey BigMac,

You say you've got quite a few business clients now and would like to continue focusing in that direction.

Have you considered moving your business clients to a flat-fee managed service model, where you charge a flat, monthly rate for round-the-clock monitoring and primarily remote support (with an additional rate charged when on-site work is required)?

Under this model, you'll be able to support your customers mostly without leaving your shop, and you can hire a low-level or even non-tech to watch the place when you have to run out. If this new person has even just basic tech skills, well then, you've got yourself a full-time helpdesk now.

I think it's definitely worth it to at least run the numbers and see if how many business clients you'll need to generate your required revenue. You might even be there already.

-Rob

CPU
09-07-2010, 04:08 AM
You can keep the shop open and get business clients through it. But without help business class support is tough because what the client want more than anything else is support when something is not right. They will want support asap if a server goes down and if they cant get that from you they will go elsewhere. So do you want to be available 24/7 for this goal? If not then employees are what you need to make it work and distribute the load businesses require. Trust me its worth it, once you have a large business base you will not have to worry much about the homes. Also the links go both ways homes getting businesses and businesses getting homes. Another help can be designing yourself for what you desire your attire, your website, your cards, your sign, your office, should all reflect your goal of having more business customers. :)