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Dealer Discussion: Struggles and successes of 2018

In our new regular retail feature, industry community Tech For Techs asks retailers, resellers and service providers for their insight on various topics. This month, they discuss their struggles and successes of the past year.

CORMAC O DONOGHUE – CROSSHAVEN COMPUTERS

“I have decided to take the step and become an MSP and start selling 10 hour prepay tickets to businesses. I told all the businesses I work with and they all want to sign up. This should bring in a cash injection for my business. I’m hoping to upgrade my old car to a new one with my business name…I should have done it sooner!”

IAN HARDEN – IPC SOLUTIONS

“For me, being a part-time IT guy and mainly selling online and working part-time from home, my turnover has roughly been the same year-on- year. Over the last two years, the profit has gone up but nothing to support me if I gave up my full-time job as I just haven’t got the time to concentrate on the business more. So, I decided to drop a day at work in May, thus giving me Fridays and Saturdays to work purely for me. I drop about £6k from my salary to do this so needed to make £100 a week pure profit to replace those earnings. This has been done easily. My turnover to date is higher than last years already. I’ve had an e-commerce site developed so I have a shop online although no sales yet – it needs some SEO and time spent.

“I have gained a support deal with my local council taking over the supply and support for there IT and it’s been in place since August and has bought monthly income and lots of sales – and private work from their councillors. I’m also able to book jobs in.

“My online sales have also increased on eBay and Amazon and starting to grow via Facebook although this is slower. So, I’ve decided that over the next year I will take the next step when I get a proper plan in place. I have good trade suppliers and some possible new ones that can provide proper cheap tech products so I can sell more at higher profit margins. The next step: move to a small business park and have a shop!”

BEN ASHCROFT – BUGS AND BYTES COMPUTING

“I left part-time employment last month to go full- time self-employed with my business, Bugs and Bytes Computing. It was bloody nerve racking at the time, leaving a steady income and doing it, but so far it’s paying dividends. The hardest thing has to be getting used to a different wage every week though!"

DARREN HAMBLETT – YORKSHIRE REPAIRS

“Setting up my consultancy that runs alongside the main support company and residential business. The consultancy deals with one-off high-end work with clients all over the world. But its main goal is to make enough recurring revenue for when we move to the US in eight years.”

STEVE HAMES – SJH COMPUTING

“Biggest success for me is moving from my home office into a proper office on an industrial estate. Since then business has just picked up and I’m busier than ever. The biggest struggle for me has been fluctuation of prices. One week I can quote for something and the following week the price has gone up. Obviously prices haven’t gone up on everything, SSD prices have come down which makes upgrades easier to sell.”

SAM JAMES – FRESH PCS

“Best thing for me is gathering reviews, building more of a social presence and setting apart from the competition with fixed fee pricing. Biggest struggle is as it grows, being a one man band I’m having to think about hiring, the risks involved, not quite having enough coming in to hire willy nilly but on the flip side I’ve already worked with another member I met in Tech For Techs to share the workload.”

LISA HENDRICKSON – CALL THAT GIRL

“It’s been an interesting year for me, first half of the year I had a few ideas that failed. Felt very frustrated and was considering exit strategies by mid summer. I picked up a book called the Pumpkin Plan and learned right away I need to get rid of a lot of crap on my plate. I am working through the book slowly but have learned so much and the crap I got rid of actually turned to gold in many ways. Things happened I wasn’t expecting and it’s been exciting watching the new things roll.

“Now in the 4th quarter, I’m working on new support plans for Office 365 (goal was Nov 1st to launch but now it’s looking more like Q1-2019) and doing more training, with goals of eventually doing in-person training. That’s the longer game there, but the short game is awesome right now.”

DANIEL POTTER – GATEACRE COMPUTERS

“We are starting to move away from break-fix (domestic) into more corporate work. We are looking into keeping the domestic side running by employing a full time member of staff to manage that side of the business. We are currently using Google Ad Words with some success, however it’s the corporate side and the reputation I have built in it for the last 5-6 years that makes up the vast majority of our turnover.”

TECH FOR TECHS

Launched in January 2018, Tech for Techs (TFT) is a new community for technicians of all kinds, including on-site call out services, retailers, resellers, managed service providers, vendors and distributors.

Free to join, TFT is run by the team behind retailer Chips Computers and offers up insight and information in the industry, as well as product reviews, price comparisons, free directory listings and more. Visit www.techfortechs.co.uk for more information.

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