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Computer Repair Business Lessons Learned

Starting out in the industry or looking for some tips then this is the book for you. More »


Humans of Technology

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I am putting together this new thing sort of like “Humans of New York” . If you have never heard of it you can check it out here:

Reason i’m doing it is, it’s interesting to me and in my 20+ years I have met and talked with thousands in the industry and always take something away from it. So I have thought about this for some time and I really think it would be a nice thing to throw out there for our industry.

Some of the differences is obviously I am not in New York and the one I am doing is not going to be about a city…Rather it is going to be “IT” (Information Technology) people from all over the world. Can be business owners, network engineers or anything related to “IT”.

That is where you come in. I’d like to have you on the site.

All that is required is this:

1. Picture….It can be of you, your family, you and your dog, you and your car, you at your store or whatever you want. But, you have to be in it in some shape or form 😉

2. Write something (this will go under the picture)…Now this can be really anything you want but a few thoughts are this:

What the technology industry means to you…

What do you see the technology industry moving towards…

Why you love the technology industry…

Heck you can even put in there about your family if you’d like….

Nothing extreme of course maybe a paragraph or two is about it.

Of course I will be glad to put your name, business name, location or whatever you’d like and I can even link to your website at the end of it.

Facebook Page:

3rd Party Companies

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Do you do work for 3rd party companies? If not then maybe it’s time to think about it and see if it might work in your business model.

The reason I bring this us is because many of you have employees and I always hear “what am I going to do on slow times”. Well sometimes doing work for 3rd party companies and be a filler for just that.

Now there are quite a few of them out there and i’ll only talk about a few that I have actually done work for in past. Many years ago I was doing quite a few of these jobs and the reason was simple…”the pay was very good”. But, now fast forward and the pay that some of them are offering is not very realistic and makes you want to just say “not going to do it”. I still think it’s worth looking into for the sheer fact that you don’t have to accept a job and you can also counter-offer a job with a different price.

Here is an example…A job comes in from FieldNation for a printer problem. The scope of the work says something like this:

“Printer malfunction error code 51.0″. Tech will arrive on site and run configuration report and then if error is still there will replace filter cartridge with new one. (the new one has already been shipped there).
Date/Time: Will show information
Location: Will show city etc..
Price: $65

Now you can either say yes to it or counter offer and ask for more money if you want. Really depends on your area and if you think others might be willing to accept the offer or if you think you might be the only one around to do the job in which case you can probably counter on a few things.

Now that particular job is one I actually did. Total driving time was about 20 minutes round trip. Time on site was roughly 15 minutes. So less than an hour for $65. if you are a one person shop then it might be hard to justify doing a job like that. But, if you have techs there is no reason you can not have them do those types of jobs during slow times.

Some of the companies out there are FieldNation, FieldSolutions, WorkMarket, Onforce and Geekatoo….At some point i’ve done jobs for all of them and have never had an issue with payment or anything else as long as you follow directions.

Summer Push

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Summer is coming and with that comes a slow time for many business owners. Hopefully that is not going to be for you, but you never know…

Typically families are all planning trips, end of school, graduations, etc. The last thing on their minds is a computer problem.

With that in mind you still have time to contact your customers and do something that might change their thinking. If you have a list of previous customers (and I hope you do) send them an email/newsletter about a “clean-up”, “tune-up” special you are having and call it “Summer Special” or whatever you’d like. Also, if you have a Facebook page post it on their daily to get the word out. Of course if you use things like Craigslist then post it on there also.

If you have been marketing hard from the start of the year then hopefully it will carry you thru the summer months. But, if you have been lax then there is really not much you can do to correct that. You have to continually market and push in order to not experience that down time. Of course sometimes there is nothing you can do. But, if you have marketed properly then you know that you have done your best and ride it out.

If you are not good at flyers or content then go to a site live Fiverr and get it something done professionally that you can send out. MAKE SURE when you get someone from Fiverr to do your ad or whatever that you get the source files in case you put a date or just a year on it that you will be able to go back and change it for future use.

You still have a few weeks to get these ideas in action and hopefully pull in some customers for the June/July time frame……

Best of Luck!

IT Business Owners Group

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If you have not heard there is a new group to the IT industry…

IT Business Owners Group, is a group dedicated to three types of people. People who own Computer Repair Businesses, technicians who consider themselves as top notch technicians as well as Vendors and those who work for OEM manufacturers.

IT Business Owners Group is designed for these three types of people to get together in a group and be able to ask questions to technology challenges and be able to get fast answers. This group is also the only group that is designed to bring OEM’s to a common place with the techs that are implementing the technology on a day to day basis, whether you are in the break fix side, managed service provider or an OEM vendor, this is the group for you!

IT Business Owners Group Facebook

IT Business Owners Group linkedIn

Facebook for SEO?

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I know many business owners have a Facebook page for their business but do you have one for your city/town? If not you might want to look into it. I created one a few years ago and now it comes up on the 1st page of Google for “Computer Repair City Name” (City Name is actually the city we are based in. Not only do you admin the Facebook page but you decide what goes on it. You can put daily repair, tips or whatever you want and use it as a marketing tool.

If you have not done so already create your city computer repair page today, populate it with content, pictures etc and see just how well you do in the search engines.

The “blacked” out part is where you put your city/town name.


CSHotline acquired by ResolveTek

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CSHotline has been acquired by ResolveTek based in California. So now there are techs in California and Texas running the operation.  I have not only used CSHotline for many years with my own local and nationwide websites but ran CSHotline for over a year. A few of the biggest benefits of CSHotline to me has always been the branding and the pricing….$27 per repair!

Plus, this type of service is not only cost effective as compared to hiring techs but gives you time to concentrate more on building your business vice working in your business. Plus, no long term commitments….

Below are some of the benefits of CSHotline.

Completely Branded
We offer 100% branding between you, CSHotline and your customer. They will be warmly welcome by your business name all the time.

24×7 US Based Tech Support
We now have 2 operational call centers in Texas & California to cover all of United States and Canada.

Offer Unlimited Support Plans
That’s right, You can also offer Monthly or Annual Plans to your customers. Our Plans includes all services we offer under PC & MAC, Accessories, Router & Networking.

Offer More Services
Why stop at Tech Support Service. You can now also offer Web Design, Internet Marketing & Software Development services to your clients and that too with 100% Branding.

Enhanced Backend
Control every part of your business using CSHotline Dashboard. You can set pricing, check messages, daily reports, view tickets, assign calls to our team and more.

Mobile App (Coming Soon)
Your customer can get support in one touch for their PC’s and Gadget using your own custom made mobile app.

CSHotline vision is to provide great returns to computer repair business owners and continue to build something that is growing rapidly with a lot of upside.

To know more about Pricing and Getting Started with CSHotline visit

**** Special discount for limited time, Get $99 OFF on the setup fee

Please feel free to reach me at 1 (888) 722-3069

Customers and Smoking

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Having been a smoker for over 30 years I think i’m somewhat of an expert in the field and I’m not sure that is a good thing.

I smoked ever since I had my first job at a bowling alley where I could get cigarettes behind the counter for free. From there I went
to boot camp in the Marine Corps and you could even smoke there. So there was never really a place that I encountered that you could
not smoke. Even a few of the duty stations I was at working in a network center you could actually smoke inside them at your desk.
So in my mind “all was well” in the world of smoking.

Now, just like everyone else that smokes I was continually told about the health hazards of it and what “could” happen to a person. Trust me when I say I thought about that numerous times but never really put it on the top of the list of why I should quit. I always had a better reason not to quit. If they would of said “at age ?? you will become sick” then that may of worked because it was for sure…but nobody ever did that.

Fast forward and i’ve had to have multiple back surgeries and my latest surgery was a neck surgery. My doctor has always said I needed to quit prior to surgery but of course “what does he know” is what I always thought. But, then this time for my neck surgery he said “the only people that have ever had a hard time healing from a neck surgery is smokers due to it does not allow the neck proper healing”…I listended to that and thought ‘wow, do I really want to go thru this again”…I know from past experience the recovery is never good and “if” I know that I am hurting my healing ability then I have nobody to blame but myself. Now trust me I also know he’s a doctor and is suppose to push the whole “quit smoking” but I have known him for years and I think our relationship is at the point where peer pressure doe’s not work and he knows that.

So I decided (5 months) ago to quit. I smoked an entire pack the night before my surgery (probably not the smartest thing to do) and decided at that point that I would quit. It’s now been five months and I have not had 1 cigarette, there have been maybe one or two times that I actually craved one but that passed quickly. I have no problem being around smokers or even going out to the old locations where smokers gathered at work and talked while smoking. My one fix for this is “vaping”. I started doing that as something to do with supposedly less harm. From what I read, have been told (even from doctors) that is in their mind 100% better than smoking. But, at some point I have a feeling that will stop also but for now it’s a fix that I will stick with.

Now, in business you deal with people on a daily basis either in your shop or if you are mobile in their homes. For the life of me I have no idea how I went all those years and did not think that I actually “stunk” like smoke. Now when I am around those that smoke I can smell it. If I am in a store in line somewhere and somebody gets behind me I can tell that they just smoked. I can only imagine how I must of smelled all those years in my dealings with customers. Yes, like everyone else I did the breath mints, spray etc but in reality I still stunk. It has to be a turn off and in hindsight I should of known this (or cared) at the time.

Believe me I am not now the “don’t smoke” guy or the one that says “I can be around smokers”…To me it’s “to each his own” and that is entirely up to you/them. If you smoke I can only suggest maybe try vaping and see if that quenches your desire. There are hundreds of flavors and devices to use and you might just find one that is a good fit. Plus, the financial aspect of it is crazy. Again, I would never quit even when I was shelling out $75 or more a week on the habit. To me money did not matter and did not justify quitting…

Think about it and maybe 2015 is the year to make it happen.

Pay It Forward

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Everyone has heard the term “Pay It Forward” and knows what it means. I was reading an article today and it made me think about 2015 and what we can do in order to make a difference…

This is the article I was reading:

As you can see the tattoo artist did not do this for fame or fortune, he did it because it felt like the right thing to do.

How many of us as business owners can say the same? How many of us have taken time from our busy schedules and helped others on a continual basis over the past year?

Now is the time to think “What can I do to make a difference” in someone else’s life.  Take some time to decide on what you are going to do in 2015 to make a difference. Actually put it in your weekly/monthly plan and follow through on it. I will guarantee that you will feel great each and every time you actually do what you have chosen.

As business owners we owe it to our community to help others in need no matter how small. Let’s make 2015 the year that we actually follow through with it.

How can you “Pay It Forward” in 2015?

ROWriter Backup

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If you are doing any work for a garage that utilizes ROWriter I am sure you have encountered what can happen if your ROWriter program has issues. The main problem with ROWriter is it utilizes SQL for it’s database and after time becomes corrupted. I know this first hand because it’s been happening over the course of years and each time ROWriter just connects and does their thing and resolves it.

The problem of course is if you don’t have a solid backup program in place then you could be out of luck. Now of course there are a million and one ways you can do this on your own OR you can utilize a company like ROW Backup. Not really sure how it took me so long to run across this company but they are for lack of a better word “great”. Not only will they set you up for local backups but they also will set you up for off-site backups (you can never have enough backups).

The main reason ROW Backup to me is a great solution is the owner actually knows and understand ROWriter and that is the whole basis for the business. ROWriter WILL fail….Not “will it fail” but “when will it fail”…

So be proactive and use a company that understands exactly what you are trying to do and what you want to accomplish.

Hostgator Reseller

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Thinking about starting your own web hosting business? Been looking around to see who would be a good company to team with and utilize their reseller services to start out with? Well i’ll help you make the decision of why “Hostgator” is NOT the company to go with.

About a week ago I realized my reseller account had a problem. It appeared my account was hacked and there were multiple new accounts in my WHM (Web Host Manager) and I new that I had not authorized them or saw any payments come through the system. So then I went to login to my WHMCS (All in one client management..etc) and I could not login to my account. The reason for that was it appeared that they wiped it out of the system completely.

So next thing to do is get on the phone with Hostgator (which is a real treat) and tell them the problem. I was told that I would have to put a ticket in due to it was security related and that went to a different section. I asked how long a resolution would take and I was told there are a few tickets ahead of mine….Ok, I understand waiting your turn and that is not a problem at all. But, the following day I checked and no update, so I called Hostgator again and was told they could not tell me the status because it’s a different section and they can’t find out the status. Seemed a bit crazy to me but ok i’ll wait a bit longer.

Well now it’s been a whole week and nothing has been done with my ticket. My reseller account is still not working and daily crazy things are happening with websites that are hosted on my account. Now Hostgator is claiming that an upgrade messed up some reseller accounts and not only do I have the “hacking” problem but I also have other sites that get the dreaded “unable to connect to database” message….Again, more phone calls and tickets are submitted and no resolutions.

This is a complete “FAIL” in my eyes on Hostgator’s part. They either actually don’t care about their resellers or they don’t have enough staff to support their reseller community. Either way they need to resolve it. I’ll be doing my part by closing my account as soon as I can get into all my sites to make the change. Hopefully me leaving will free up some of their support people to help others.

So, again if you are looking at becoming a reseller look something other than Hostgator.