Our panel session discusses the changing tech market and emerging opportunities like managed services

Thinking outside the box: Other ways for PC dealers to make money

From repairing mobile phones and laptops to diving into the big world of managed services, PC dealers need to stay nimble and adaptive in the continually changing tech market.

At the PCR Boot Camp 2015 conference this morning, our line-up of IT resellers and retailers discussed how they have moved into new and perhaps unexpected markets to boost revenues.

David Stroud from reseller The PC Surgeon talked about moving into other service areas and stopping selling new products more than £80 to avoid competing with online. 

The company now deals in refurbished Windows 7 desktops and laptops and upgrades. Stroud also mentioned the connected home as a growing category and an increasing focus to The PC Surgeon, as well as other areas including managed services (selling a service for a monthly fee rather than a one-off cost, in a bid to grab recurring revenues).

"The service areas we have moved in or are looking to are tuition – mainly for silver surfers, web and app development, parenting sessions and cyber security to mention a few," he said.

Jeffery Linton from etail-focused IT support reseller JR Linton added that offering a free service to entice customers can be an effective marketing tool. 

"The feedback we received showed we could actually increase our revenue by being a point of contact offering our services, so we jumped at the opportunity to offer customers free audit of their IT infrastructure in their office through an on-site visit. We now have VoIP, online backup, OS/data migration, proactive IT support, web design, mobile app design as service packages.

"The best thing is most of these services are already offered by other IT dealers that we’ve teamed up with on a revenue share basis. Our computer hardware sales have started climbing again because our customers are looking to us first since they now deal with us on an almost daily basis."

Additionally, Richard Alford from Black Bear Computers has recently embraced the PC gaming and components sector, and changed the layout of his store to boost sales.

"We have totally changed the layout of our store to show off headphones, Bluetooth speakers, graphics cards and other ‘exciting’ things, moving the standard desktops and laptops to behind the counter. Thus making the shop brighter and promoting higher margin products rather than ‘boring’ low margin laptops and desktops."

Alford added that using gaming PCs and peripherals for internal use on the shop floor has also encouraged higher margins and higher value sales, plus it has pulled in a younger customer base.

Follow our tweets at @pcr_online and use #PCRBootCamp to tweet about the event throughout the day.

Image source: Shutterstock

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