Hard lesson to learn - Greed

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Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby gurusonwheels » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:08 am

Guy i just wanted to share with everyone a hard lesson to learn ..

took many years before i realized what i was doing was the wrong thing to do .

for many years i was always coming up with some new charge to hit my customers with
or a new small service that maybe i should already have been doing for free .

one day someone told me that a Cow only produces so much milk .

i got to thinking about that . and they are correct .
if i keep hammering my customers with more charges and more stuff
to buy then eventually they was no longer my customers.

the point is .. try to gain more customers and not milk your existing ones
Then your business will flourish .

Milk to much and your Business will Fail .....

I never realized i was hurting my existing customers.
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Re: Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby Xander » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:32 pm

I've always said that I would rather have 500 customers that I see once a year than 100 that I see 5x a year. A lot of businesses (from what I see on Technibble) seem set to squeeze every cent they can out of each service call and I get that. That's their business model. I would rather make a little less on one and be completely confident they'll be coming back again. I'm in it for the long game, not the short one.
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Re: Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby remyservices » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:39 pm

Here here. I run my business on the side, been doing so for I think 17 years now. Might not be my main income, and even if it was I would run my business the same way I do now.

If customers want to be nickel and dimed they will end up at Best Buy, even if they start with you. I can undercut every other tech business I know in the city because my costs are next to nothing, even if I were larger I wouldn't be spending more for costs.

Once customers see they can get fast, great service, onsite and with a smile, they come back. Though some of my customers are now close friends I always tell them I hope not to see them soon for anything IT related, if I do see them soon it is because I failed to do the job right the first time, and for that it is my fault.

I'm really not trying to point fingers, but I see people everywhere not willing to share information and trying to find how to make more money doing something that should essentially be free, even in these forums. To me, if a customer or other tech wants to know how to do what I do or how I do it, there is little that is a "company secret". Sure, I keep some specifics like configs less public knowledge, but lets face it, if someone wants to know how your business runs, and they are a customer, they know most everything there is to know. Your remote software, invoicing and crm systems, if your using dSS they have 100% of your configs, they will see d7II and be able to find what it is, what they don't have is your experience, and that is something they can't just watch you do or copy.

For my day job I work in IT with over 8,000 pc's and an overall team of 20+, of which there are about 8 of us that work together daily. We share all kinds of information, don't charge each other anything for it and yet we are still experts at our specific tasks. It seems like a tangent to some maybe but I think not sharing with your customers is also milking them too much. Why can't you share your knowledge with them, are you afraid they won't need you anymore? If yes, you are offering nothing to them and probably shouldn't be charging for it anyway. Everyone can run patchmypc, ninite, Windows Updates, install an AV and, and, and... Forums everywhere even tell them to do all this as part of canned messages.

Be the difference, be something others don't offer. Train, teach, share, explain and most of all look at how you price it all. I have a large customer base, all willing to return, the spread my company name all over, I'm plenty busy and I can't complain about how much I make. I spend less well less than $1,000 a year to run the business and not a cent on advertising.
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Re: Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby CrazyRom » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:14 pm

I had the same few years ago but happily I understood my mistake and everything is back to normal:)
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Re: Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby wafel9 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:13 am

Sometimes it just happens. Everyone has to understand their mistakes :)
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Re: Hard lesson to learn - Greed

Postby SE5FBO8ArZ » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:01 pm

I agree with remyservices...almost to a T.

Just yesterday I was at a customer's place after having been working on two laptops. I charged them for 4 hours (at $40/hr) but actually spent...errr...invested more time than that with them after the laptop work to figure out why things were so slow on their network. They were very grateful for my (unbilled) time and energy in helping them get that sorted out (it was that the customer had hit their data cap for that billing cycle so the ISP throttled back their bandwidth; they didn't even know about the cap).

My "tech secrets" are few and far between, as I realize that if I'm sharing information with them that they'll be confident that I'm not trying to hide useful information from them. I want them to feel less fearful about using and working on their computers. There will always be work available as some computer/network users will never feel comfortable to tackle themselves whatever issues they're having. (It's not always a problem of knowing what to do but having the confidence to actually do it.) And, frankly, my existing customers pay me twice: once when they use me and again when they recommend me. And my guess is that if I continue doing that -- seeing us together as partners -- that they'll recommend me to others, and then, if necessary, seek me out again.

Great thread, by the way.
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