I am looking for someone who can help me out by taking over my phone calls for computer help.
I ran an onsite residential computer help business from 2001-2009. I sold the business in 2009 to go back to school. The guy who bought my business attempted to run it for a few years, but he stopped returning phone calls and setting up appointments.
Gradually, people started calling me again when they couldn't find anyone else to help them.
Rick Castellini was the only other guy in town who operated on the same business model that I did and he moved. Although Rick still offers remote support, many people need systems set-up, virus removal, or software installed that can be difficult to handle remotely. Many of the people I help still use Rick's remote services often.
I send Rick as many clients as I can, but I still see as many as five clients per week, but the number is growing quickly. I haven't promoted myself or advertised and I'm not even trying to run a computer business. But people need someone to call who can actually help them by holding their hand and communicating with them on their level.
I am going to start a new job soon that will prevent me from helping people with their computer problems in my off-hours and I am looking for someone trustworthy that I can send clients to.
Before you recommend a local computer shop, or suggest an existing service that your company offers, understand that I run my business differently than most other computer help businesses and that is why it is so successful.
It is 90% onsite and most of it is helping with very simple tasks (occasionally, I will do some work on my workbench for efficiency). If you want to help businesses or network customers, don't bother with this business. The secret sauce to this business is that residential customer needs always come first and that can't happen if you work with business offices.
Some of the most common jobs I do for people include:
* Setting up a new laptop and removing all of the crapware
* Helping people find the right device for their needs
* Removing malware
* Patiently explaining to a client how various web scams work - over and over and over again
* Teaching how to adapt to new features or processes
* Configuring a computer to work exactly like the person needs (even if I disagree with their system)
* Configuring a phone to get email (even if it's on Bresnan.net and they don't want to change to Gmail)
* Resolving issues with kitten videos, Jaquie Lawsen e-cards, or political forwards that won't open
* Unfixing the computer after the client's grandkids or Best Buy fixed it for them
* Setting up their new SmartTV to get Netflix
* Helping them reset all of the passwords that they have forgotten when the get a new tablet
It's not a tech job as much as it is a home health nurse for technology problems. It is very profitable, but it must be run as a customer service business, not a tech support business. In most cases, I am helping these people because everyone else has grown impatient or tried to tell them that what they want can't be done.
I charge $75 for the first hour (minimum) and I pro-rate by the 15 minutes. My tools include a flash drive with troubleshooting tools, a car, and a USB hard drive dock for transferring files from an old computer. That's it. I don't sell products (although I do occasionally buy a computer for a customer, but I pay tax and then have them reimburse me the exact price). Again, this is a service business, not a sales or tech support contracting business. The model works and any other charge just homogenizes it. It's not sexy, but it is profitable.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in, please contact me and let me know. I'm hoping to find someone by early October so that I can start referring all of my calls to this new person. I will share all my secrets and answer any questions along the way, but this is not the job for someone who doesn't want to patiently help senior citizens or non-tech savvy customers as they ask you a lot of questions while you work on their computer.
In fact, I can say that if your preferred method of helping people with tech problems is to suggest that they change the way they are doing things or the programs they are using, this is not the right gig for you.
If you are interested, please call/text or email me at 970-201-6638 or firstname.lastname@example.org