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Old 04-14-2011, 01:23 PM
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Default Extra Revenue Sources

We provide your typical do it all services like repair, maintenance, networking and installs for businesses and residential. I heard of one guy doing background checks as an additional service as a "side service". What other services do you provide that generate extra revenue on top of your typical "full service" computer shop type stuff?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:43 PM
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Due to the economy and my clients needing social media/website assisting, I hired my seo guy to do remote support for website installs/widget plug ins, word press help, SEO/SEM/Facebook iframe, etc. We are trying to stay in the core of repair/technicial assisting so I thought this would have a good synergy with our clients and what we do.

He will remote into their computers, just like we do for repairs. Clients will hire us to do it for $75 an hour and they can watch him do the work, or be on the phone with him to get their needs taken care of in the time they are paying for. If they need extra work that he needs to do offline, we may prepare a package, but this is probably going to be rare. We are marketing him a "social media technicial assistant". My research from asking the small business owners about their current website needs is that they don't want to pay for packages or $1000's for a website and they want to learn to do a lot of it for themselves, so this should be a win for us, so many just want a simple blog or a FB link put on their site.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:21 PM
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I've been branching out to do a lot of stuff over the past year:

* Home theater installation & support
* Computer recycling & data destruction
* Smartphone support
* Website/email setup and support
* New computer purchase consultation (very busy with this recently - good money maker)
* CCTV installation (another good moneymaker)

And Im sure you can come up with a lot more items. That's what came to mind for me.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minc3d View Post
* New computer purchase consultation (very busy with this recently - good money maker)
Do you charge a percentage or a flat rate on this?
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:34 PM
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We are trying out doing classes. We are trying to get about 8-10 people per class. The class is to just teach the very basics. Like how to do searches on the internet. How to install software. Maybe get into a little bit of office.

We have discussed the idea with several customers and they really would like to try it out. We have some fine tuning, but hopefully we will be able to start some classes in 2 months.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:35 PM
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This is an interesting topic, especially with the economy as it is. It's difficult to keep enough work coming in steady to cover operating costs, let alone anything extra. We all know you get good spurts and bad spurts, but having an additional source of revenue can be a life saver in terms of balancing the swings. Even better if the additional source provides recurring revenue.

One thing I have considered is buying a white label, online backup service. Then brand it my own and sell online storage to my customers. I wouldn't need to make a lot per customer, in the sense that I would be able to be competitive with other such services. A few dollars a month, multiplied by X customers will certainly bring in some cash for offsetting slow times, advertising, furthering education, beer, and even a relaxing poker game.

The key here is to implement a service that has a low overhead cost, whether it be time or money. Then implement additional services on top of that. You don't want to overwhelm yourself with side services, as you want to focus on your core business and quality of your other services. Having several low cost services, subscriptions, etc priced competitively, can build up over time to be a significant portion of your income -- with low requirements of your time involved, thus allowing you to enjoy a reliable flow of income.

Some services / products, with recurring income, I have or have considered adding:
  • Online Backup Service
  • Security Software Subscriptions
  • Remote Service Contracts
  • Routine Office Tasks - things like handling email newsletter distribution, blog updates, facebook updates, etc for small companies who understand that they need to use these types of services, but "don't like computers". We all know people like this.
  • SEO
And..... my mind is drawing a blank right now.

In any case, I think it is an important and essential part of running a successful business. As long as you don't overdo it with everything under the sun, and maintain the same quality standards and service that you have in your core business. You can't forget that those additional services will effect your reputation in just the same way. You don't want your repair business to drop with bad reviews just because some obscure subscription based software, that you resell, is bundling malware. Or a white label backup service you are branding that has frequent server issues.

-Adam


PS - As usual Lisa, you have come up with a unique, easy to implement, and profitable service to offer. That idea just flat out makes perfect sense, and is one of those "why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Even better part is that customers can see, in real time, the work they are paying for rather than just results. People often assume it is easy to get their page listed high in the search engines, so they can't comprehend how it could "cost so much for hitting a switch". Your service eliminates that concern and allows the customer to see all the intricate steps being done under the surface. They will learn an entirely new respect for the services you provide, and understand that the complexity and time involved is, indeed, worth every penny. Great job Lisa, you never cease to amaze me with your gift of creative business tactics.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:40 PM
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Mr I,

I tend to consider the small difference I make between my cost on the product and the sale price as the consultation fee. It is, after all, time to consult, research, and procure product.

Works out well. I can get better pricing for customers than Best Buy and other big box stores and they receive product they actually need - not something oversold like they love to push.

It also builds good cred with customers when you get them a quality machine that lasts and they are happy with. I tend to push Lenovo systems a lot because I love their build quality and once people try them out (after telling me they haven't heard of them) I hear nothing but great things.

What do they do when friends/family have new computers to purchase? My name always comes up in conversation. You know where that leads to - connect the dots. And it's an easy referral chain to build.

Get your foot in the door on a computer sale, and keep them for the life of the machine with support/upgrades. It's a great recipe for repeat business, and they also keep you in mind for friends that have businesses and such.
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Old 04-14-2011, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minc3d View Post
Mr I,

I tend to consider the small difference I make between my cost on the product and the sale price as the consultation fee. It is, after all, time to consult, research, and procure product.

Works out well. I can get better pricing for customers than Best Buy and other big box stores and they receive product they actually need - not something oversold like they love to push.

It also builds good cred with customers when you get them a quality machine that lasts and they are happy with. I tend to push Lenovo systems a lot because I love their build quality and once people try them out (after telling me they haven't heard of them) I hear nothing but great things.

What do they do when friends/family have new computers to purchase? My name always comes up in conversation. You know where that leads to - connect the dots. And it's an easy referral chain to build.

Get your foot in the door on a computer sale, and keep them for the life of the machine with support/upgrades. It's a great recipe for repeat business, and they also keep you in mind for friends that have businesses and such.
Brilliant! thanks for sharing this info
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:28 PM
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I am quickly becoming a fan of signing up for reseller programs of software that gets installed with yearly renewals (i.e. antivirus programs). Recurring revenue is the key to extreme profits for our industry.

I also do website design and hosting. For website design, I used to charge $800-$1,500 for a custom design, custom coded website. Client would pay 50% down, 50% on completion. A friend of mine suggested switching to a monthly cost model, so now clients pay $250 up front (to cover development costs) and then $100 per month for the next 12 months. It works perfectly because even small, small businesses can afford those prices, I get to charge full price for everything, and that $100 per month for 12 months requires no additional effort on my part to earn.

Currently I'm thinking about creating an affiliate referral program, where you can sign up and then earn $10 cash for each first-time referral that comes my way. I have clients in other industries that have the same thing going and they say it works really well in this crappy economy.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:36 AM
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1. Quickbooks Pro advisor - install, setup and work around custom company files pays really well and also brings you small and medium business clients.

2. Rebuild corrupt database files- good money almost as good as hard drive recovery.

3. Recycle PC's- I accept pc's free, charge small fee for monitors and printers. I often can refurb & resell the computers or parts off same.

4. New hardware sales-danagerous to get too addicted to hardware sales but its nice to make a few sales now and then or a small network once in a while.

5. Network design, installation, security and management.

6. Virus repair and removal. Workstation maintenance and security.

7. physical backup service which includes test restores.

8. virtual data recovery (about 80% of failures are virtual).

9. laptop reflow, power jacks repair.

10. pcb repair, including mobo's.

11. I am looking into physical data recovery or hard drive repair.

12. specialized proprietary software support such as dental soft, tiremaster, mortgage broker and the like.
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