Re: Home service calls

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Ken Briscoe, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. Ken Briscoe

    Ken Briscoe Guest

    To slightly change the topic a little...
    About a year back, I started up a little "on the side" business, making
    housecalls to fix computers. While I ended up with a decent customer base
    after only a couple months, I found it harder and harder to charge my
    regular rate. It started out with family members telling friends. I
    couldn't, and didn't, charge my family, but when their friends called, they
    were surprised that I was going to charge them. So I ended up giving them
    the "friend-of-a-friend" discount, and before I knew it, I was doing it for
    everyone. Word of mouth is great, but if you don't know how to deal with it
    and stick to your guns, it can be the bane of a tech's existence...
    Glad to hear that you all have successful shops! Keep up the good work.

    KB




    "Lee Parsons" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Someone here was bemoaning home service calls -- the dusty dark corner
    > where the computer sits, the kitchen chair, the crowded space, etc.
    >
    > I *love* home service calls and they're my bread-and-butter.
    >
    > A local ISP provides home calls, but the customer has to pay almost
    > $50 for the trip out and then $95/hour.
    >
    > I charge no trip fee and less per hour, and I'm busy most of the time.
    > But I enjoy the service. A lot of my clients in our rural mountain
    > area are elderly folks who have one or two computers in their homes,
    > have come to computing late in life and love the information and
    > communication it gives them.
    > But they aren't techs, and when there's a problem they need a
    > little help. It's often something small, probably not worth the time
    > of your big-shop folks. Yes, it's not always the best of conditions,
    > but they have what they have and I refuse to talk down to them or
    > ignore their need for service.
    > If I need a better chair, I ask for it. If I need a drink of
    > water, I ask for it (most of the time they offer). I also ask for the
    > vacuum cleaner when approprate!
    > A lot of them want to use the computer, but have no interest in
    > learning the details of fixing it, and have come to rely on me for
    > fixing those little gremlins that come up once in awhile. I also help
    > them learn to use their machines and software. In return, I've gotten
    > to know a lot of good folks in my region, made money without raping
    > them, and enjoy a good reputation. Word of mouth has been phenominal.
    >
    > Business repairs may make you rich and be easier to work on, but don't
    > ignore the satisfaction that can come from helping neighbors and doing
    > a little teaching, too.
    >
    > Lee
     
    Ken Briscoe, Jul 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Ken Briscoe

    Ghost Guest

    In article <boeSa.84473$OZ2.15585@rwcrnsc54>, "Ken Briscoe"
    <> wrote:

    > To slightly change the topic a little...
    > About a year back, I started up a little "on the side" business, making
    > housecalls to fix computers. While I ended up with a decent customer base
    > after only a couple months, I found it harder and harder to charge my
    > regular rate. It started out with family members telling friends. I
    > couldn't, and didn't, charge my family, but when their friends called, they
    > were surprised that I was going to charge them. So I ended up giving them
    > the "friend-of-a-friend" discount, and before I knew it, I was doing it for
    > everyone. Word of mouth is great, but if you don't know how to deal with it
    > and stick to your guns, it can be the bane of a tech's existence...
    > Glad to hear that you all have successful shops! Keep up the good work.
    >
    > KB
    >
    >


    WHAT?? You mean you are going to take time out of your day, come to my
    house, fix my computer, and then you want to charge me for it too???
    That's outrageous!!!

    lol
     
    Ghost, Jul 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Ken Briscoe

    Nick Guest

    You are exactly right! That is why i stopped doing
    side jobs. It is far too easy to kill a weekend that
    way, and you feel guilty about charging them.
    --

    Nick
    A+, Network+, MCP
     
    Nick, Jul 19, 2003
    #3
  4. Ken Briscoe

    Lee Parsons Guest

    On Sat, 19 Jul 2003 16:32:07 GMT, "Ken Briscoe"
    <> wrote:

    >To slightly change the topic a little...
    >About a year back, I started up a little "on the side" business, making
    >housecalls to fix computers. While I ended up with a decent customer base
    >after only a couple months, I found it harder and harder to charge my
    >regular rate. It started out with family members telling friends. I
    >couldn't, and didn't, charge my family, but when their friends called, they
    >were surprised that I was going to charge them. So I ended up giving them
    >the "friend-of-a-friend" discount, and before I knew it, I was doing it for
    >everyone. Word of mouth is great, but if you don't know how to deal with it
    >and stick to your guns, it can be the bane of a tech's existence...
    >Glad to hear that you all have successful shops! Keep up the good work.
    >
    >KB



    I not only stuck to it, I've raised my rates this year.

    One thing I made clear to my family and in-laws was, I do work for
    family free but EVERYONE else pays. I have a brother-in-law who still
    insists on paying me. No problem, I take it.
     
    Lee Parsons, Jul 19, 2003
    #4
  5. Ken Briscoe

    techshare Guest

    Guilty about charging .... I tell ya , only computer people are this wacked
    .... and we wonder why India is taking over. <SIGH>

    PS. I like the bit about the weekend too. What about holidays? I guess we
    should all be opposite of every other business out there. You want work done
    at odd hours, weekend, and/or holidays? that's FREE! :-/
    "Nick" <> wrote in message
    news:KKfSa.3661$...
    > You are exactly right! That is why i stopped doing
    > side jobs. It is far too easy to kill a weekend that
    > way, and you feel guilty about charging them.
    > --
    >
    > Nick
    > A+, Network+, MCP
    >
    >
     
    techshare, Jul 23, 2003
    #5
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