3rd Party Companies

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

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!

CSHotline acquired by ResolveTek

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
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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
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We now have 2 operational call centers in Texas & California to cover all of United States and Canada.

Offer Unlimited Support Plans
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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
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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
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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)
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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 http://cshotline.com/pricing/

**** 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

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

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: http://www.lostateminor.com/2014/12/09/tattoo-artist-gives-woman-syndrome-tattoos-free-every-week/

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

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

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.

2014: Top 5 Antivirus Software

*2014: Top 5 Antivirus Software*

It is not a secret that one of the keys to make your computer work the
right way and avoid the risks that come from internet is to have a good
antivirus or virus removal software virus removal software to keep your system protected without
affecting its functioning.

Then, you will see what are the top 5 antivirus according to some reviews
made ​​during 2014:

*1 Bitdefender: *

It is a program that offers advanced protection and superior performance.
It is ideal for both novice users and experts on the subject. You will not
lose speed; it is easy to use and is an excellent shield to protect your
personal information. This program can even detect malware that has not
been registered as dangerous.

*2 Kaspersky: *

It is a software that prevents Trojans, rootkits, worms and other viruses
to enter to your computer and cause many problems. It also detects if
someone tries to violate your privacy and has a clear interface. Kaspersky
is continuously updated to avoid the risks that can affect your computer.

*3 Norton: *

It is one of the most used antivirus software and this popularity is not in
vain. It is easy to install and update. It gives reports, daily scanning
and excellent protection against malware. One of its best features is that
rapidly disinfects computers that have already been attacked by a virus.

*4 F-Secure: *

It is a fast, safe and simple mechanism to keep your computer in optimal
condition. F-Secure protects your system from different viruses that can be
spread by email, cookies or spyware attempting to access your PC registry.

*5 AVG: *

It is recognized worldwide for its high-level protection and ability to
repair infected machines, besides being easy to manage. One of its
attractions is that it has several layers of security that protect the
computer at various levels.

6 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS WITH SEO

6 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BUSINESS WITH SEO

At RepairTech, our core focus is providing techs with a robust toolkit for automating their computer repair process. While we typically try to ensure that the majority of our workday is centered around the development and improvement of our products, we’re consistently challenged with trying to better understand the cunning and silent behemoth that is Search Engine Optimization. This is a challenge facing many modern businesses today, and we know that techs from all over share our SEO struggles. We wanted to help out our fellow techs by sharing some SEO resources we’ve found thus far.

We worked with the San Luis Obispo Small Business Development Center, and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to compile a list of resources that make it easy for IT Professionals to boost their SEO Rankings. The end result was step-by-step e-book that the SBDC is now selling for $39.99. We were able to snag some of the key points from the e-book in order to give to you for free. While the list isn’t enormous, each of the following resources will certainly give you plenty of work to do. Feel free to get in touch if you have anything you think should be added to the list!

If you’ve got everything checked off from those top 4 resources, and you’re monitoring your traffic while building it up with social media activity and blogging, you should be good to go with your organic search. If you can keep that moving, it might be time to start experimenting with paid search. Many hosting providers give you free coupons for Google Adwords and Facebook advertising, so it shouldn’t be difficult to try a few different channels without much risk. While the world of SEO is ever evolving, these tools can certainly help you make some substantial improvements and boost your business.

Good luck!

The RepairTech Team


 

For more information, make sure to check out the full e-book Search Engine Optimization Tools 101: A Step By Step Guide. It’s a great read and worth the investment if you’re serious about your SEO.

About RepairTech

RepairTech is a software company based out of San Luis Obispo, CA that develops a collection of computer repair utilities called TechSuite, designed to automate the computer repair process. As an upstart software company, RepairTech is dedicated to helping techs get more done with less effort. For more info about TechSuite and RepairTech check out their site: https://repairtechsolutions.com/

To see a comprehensive demo of the toolset, click the following link to sign up for a weekly webinar that happens every Wednesday at 12pm PST:

bit.ly/techsuitedemo

How To Extend The Life of Your Computer

By Chris Calkins

Here’s a little secret: Computers aren’t free, or even inexpensive. Getting the maximum lifespan from your computer is a great way to avoid an unnecessary expense. Like most other devices there are many simple things you can do to lessen the likelihood of your computer failing prematurely.

1.      Don’t turn your computer on and off unnecessarily. Some people feel the need to power down several times a day. You don’t have to go weeks without turning off your computer, but frequent heating and cooling cycles can shorten component life. The key here is balance.  Don’t restart too much and don’t leave on too long either.  I turn my off every other day or so the computer can load updates and fix file errors correctly.

2.      Blow out the fan vents regularly. A lot of air moves through those vents, and dust tends to build up over time. Keep the internal components cool is imperative to extending the life of your computer. Ideally, the dust shouldn’t be blown back into the computer. Taking it apart is the best method. If you’re not comfortable doing this, seek out a qualified computer repair specialist.

3.      Use laptops on a hard service. Using your computer on a firm surface will keep the air vents unobstructed. Using a laptop on your lap or on a pillow would be a poor choice. Your lap generates heat and is soft. A pillow is soft and highly insulative. A firm table, out of the sun, is the best bet.

4.      Use a surge protector. Many CPU problems can be possibly avoided with the use of an inexpensive surge protector. Unplugging during a storm or power outage is the best practice, but if that’s not possible, a surge protector can help.

5.      Get a regular tune up. Taking your computer into a qualified computer repair specialist is a great way to increase the longevity of your computer. They have the specialized software tools and experience to find potential problems quickly and easily. You probably take your car in for a tune-up on a regular basis. Your computer would be well-served by the same.

6.      Avoid eating and drinking while using your computer. Getting food or water down into your system can create all kinds of potential problems. Water and electronics never mix well. At the very least, blow out your keyboard with a can of compressed air regularly.

7.      Use in a cool environment. Computer components hate heat. If possible, use your computer in a cool place. A 95-degree summer day isn’t the time to be using your laptop outdoors. The cooler, the better.

8.      Use a good anti-malware program and keep it updated. Malware can cause all types of problems. With a quality anti-malware program, you’ll be able to keep a lot of potential issues at bay. Staying updated is important. There are thousands of malware programs released each day.

With a few simple actions, you can be assured of getting the maximum amount of utility from it before needing a replacement.

For more informative articles on Computer Repair and Service related topics you can visit our blog called PC News.